Known as the ‘Pearl of the Pacific,’ Mazatlán is piece of sun-drenched Mexican treasure nestled on the shoreline of Sinaloa state. Rippling blue ocean and fine white sands characterize the resort, but with a wealth of historical sites, churches and monuments on offer, as well as a dynamic and lively arts scene, you’ll have more to do here than sunbathe. Read our guide for the best things to do and see whilst staying in Mazatlán.
Plaza Machado is situated squarley in the middle of the bustling historic center of Mazatlán. Originally erected to demonstrate the wealth of the upper-classes, nowadays the plaza serves as the hub of the community for Latin locals. The square is a busy tourist attraction surrounded by charming buildings designed in a Spanish and French style, featuring ornate gilded balconies and colorful shutters. Beautiful orange trees surround the area, lending the plaza its affectionate nickname of Paseo de la Naranjas, or orange walk. Watch out for: The iron gazebo in the center of the plaza, which was constructed in 1870 as a platform for performances. Address: Constitución, Centro, 82000 Mazatlán, Sin., Mexico
The Malecón is a boardwalk providing a beautiful and unobstructed view of the surrounding Pacific ocean. Stretching for 13 miles, it is one of the longest seafront walkways in the world. Take a leisurely stroll here, enjoy a bike ride or watch a spectacular Mazatlán sunset. The Malecón also provides walkers with easy access to the historic center of town. Watch out for: The walkway connects with the legendary Cueva del Diablo, which is the Devil’s cave of Mazatlán, and the setting many spooky pirate stories.
Address: Palos Prietos, 82010 Mazatlán, Sin. Mexico
Teatro Ángela Peralta
This theater, named after Mexican opera singer Angela Peralta, is the core of music and culture in Mazatlán. Located close to the historic center, the establishment is a premier performance spot for a variety of national artists, and is home to the talented and popular dance company Delfos Danza Contemporanea. The venue features over 800 seats, and has gorgeously decorated Italian balconies providing excellent views even from the cheaper galleries. The theater is also a hub for cultural development, and is home to a number of art shows as well as an internationally recognised School of Fine Art. Watch out for: The grand space of the theater Address and telephone number: Carnaval 51, Centro, 82000 Mazatlán, Sin., Mexico, +52 669 982 4446
Immaculate Conception Cathedral, Basilica de la Inmaculada
Built on an ancient Indian temple, the Basilica de la Inmaculada is a beautiful and unmissable spot whether visitors want to religiously reflect or simply explore the architecture. The brilliantly sculpted statues of saints which surround the building, coupled with the vibrant artwork of the interior, elevate this church above others in the area. Gilded Gothic arches create a striking and spiritual space, and 28 expertly crafted stained glass windows all creatively incorporate the Star of David. Watch out for: The majestic organ inside the cathedral, built in Paris by Aristide Cavaille-Coll, an artist widely considered to be one of the greatest organ builders of all time. Address: 21 de Marzo, Mazatlán, Sin., Mexico
El Faro Lighthouse
The highest operating lighthouse in the Americas, the El Faro Lighthouse is a fantastic spot to experience exceptional views of serene and idyllic Mazatlán. Although a pretty steep hike, a trek to the lighthouse provides a great opportunity revel in the fresh sea air, and there is no better way to see the so-called ‘Pearl of the Pacific’. Watch out for: The lighthouse is located at the peak of a pretty hill, Cerro del Creston. Address: Cerro el Creston, Mazatlán, Mexico
Playa Olas Altas
Translated as the “Beach of Big Waves,” Olas Altas is the top choice for sea-going surfers visiting Mazatlán, a beacon for surf experts and amateurs alike. The beautiful sunsets here attract many tourists, and every evening before the sun hits the sea a diver performs a majestic flip into the water, always to the sounds of raucous applause. Don’t miss the number of tasty seafood restaurants nearby. Watch out for: La Carpa Olivera, a public saltwater swimming pool, is located at the end of Olas Altas. Address: Olas Altas, Mazatlán, Mexico
Take a day trip to Copala to experience an enthralling blend of colonial and postcolonial cultures. Occupying an extremely small area, there are less than 300 homes in this rustic and inviting part of Mazatlán. A four-century-old silver-mining town, the cobblestone streets and quaint buildings here are oozing with authentic Mexican charm. A great spot to venture off the beaten track and experience native Mexico, don’t miss Alejandro’s restaurant, serving up a wealth of local delicious delicacies. Watch out for: The beautiful colonial church built in 1748 Address: Copala, Sin. Mexico
Opened in 1992, Nidart Gallery began as a business to showcase the leather and clay artwork of one family. Since then, the number of artists displaying work here has grown rapidly, and the types of art exhibited now include designs with copper, paper, wood and abalone shell. Look out for the expertly hand-crafted leather masks, and the beautiful interior of the courtyard. A must-see when visiting Mazatlan, offering a varied range of interesting Mexican art at reasonable prices. Watch out for: The unusual shapes and forms created with different colored leathers. Address and telephone number: Libertad #45 esq. Carnaval Centro, 82000 Mazatlán, Sinaloa Mexico, +52 669 985 5991
Given its stunning location on Mexico’s Pacific Coast, Mazatlán is unsurprisingly a mecca for an array of watersporting activities, such as surfing, kayaking and parasailing. And for those who aren’t such adrenaline junkies, there are plenty of banana boat options available too. Book with a reputable and trusted tour operator such as Aqua Sports. Watch out for: Cliff diving. Centered in a small oceanside park on the Malecon, el clavadistas, or the cliff divers, jump into the aqua water from a platform over 50 feet high.
Destinations Unlocked:Let our travel expert Stefano help you find your perfect Culture trip
Looking for an expert's perspective?Uncover my top 3 recommended places from each continent on the map.
1. GuatemalaAn express adventure for those with limited time off. Prepare yourself incredible experiences. You will hike a volcano, visit mayan temples and witness a ceremony and take in beautiful colonial Antigua.
2. BelizeA quick trip not too far away for those seeking a relaxing mini break. You will have plenty of free time to relax but also some awesome activities to experience the rainforest and the caribbean sea.
3. MexicoAn exciting mini trip exploring the lesser known colonial towns of central Mexico. This is hte perfect trip for someone with limited time off and still wants to turn on explorer mode and do something different.
1. EcuadorA remarkable 8 days adventure through the Andes and the Amazon rainforest. The best choice for adventure seekers wishing to visit the 2 most iconic areas of South America, in only 1 week and no flights.
2. PeruAn alternative itinerary to classic Peru, from Cusco to Arequipa. This itinerary is great combination of highlights Cusco and Machu Picchu with the lesser known Arequipa and Colca Canyon.
1. ItalyThe ultimate Italian experience from the vibrant streets of Naples to the breathtaking sceneries of the Amalfi Coast followed by Matera and down to Puglia with its golden beaches, intense flavours and fascinating destinations.
2. ScotlandEmbark on this great adventure starting from London all the way to Scotland with a true Scottish experience made of breathtaking sceneries, whisky tasting and ..lots of fun! Ideal for train lovers and explorers.
3. PortugalA wonderful train journey around Portugal, from the romantic city of Porto to the Douro Valley, to the beautiful Aveiro all the way to Lisbon and Sintra. The perfect trip to train, culinary and culture lovers.
1. South KoreaDiscover incredible temples, mountains and modern cities on this 10 day adventure. This trip is perfect for those seeking immersion in the cuisine, culture and natural wonders of South Korea.
2. ThailandFrom Bankgok to Angkor Wat to Ho Chi Minh City and everything in between - adventure through the heart of South-East Asia. Taste the delights, see history brought to life and unwind on a Mekong River cruise.
3. Sri LankaA fantastic adventure that showcases Sri Lanka's fantastic landscapes, wildlife and flavours. With 3 epic rail journeys, 3 UNESCO heritage sites and time to relax, this trip has loads to offer at a great price
1. MoroccoAn epic journey across Morocco: from Casablanca to Marrakech, through the blue city of Chefchaouen to the wonders of the desert and deep to the High Atlas Mountains - this trip has it all! Ideal for true explorers!
2. EgyptFrom Cairo to Aswan, this trip brings the land of the pharaohs to life. You'll visit the Pyramids, Valley of the Kings and Luxor Temple and cruise down the Nile in style. This is the perfect way to explore Egypt.
Zooming above Mazatlán is one way to see the city. Taking a ziplining tour is one way to incorporate some adventure into a trip to the city, and with so many different tours, visitors can choose whether they want to experience the rainforest tree canopies, views of the beach, or simply view the city from above. Watch out for: Ziplining can entertain a wide variety of people
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