- Fishing, Diving & Sailing
- Car & Scooter Rentals
- Golf Courses & Country Clubs
- Tours & Activities
Mazatlan is famous for it's billfish; marlin, swordfish and sailfish. You'll also find smaller species such as wahoo and dorado in season. The fishing charter outfits are professional, experienced guides and most are bilingual. Fishing in Mazatlan shouldn't be missed!
Fisherman's monument located in Olas Altas
You will find three golf courses in Mazatlan with the El Cid Golf & Country Club at the top of the list. The Estrella del Mar Golf Course, 18-hole, 72 par is open to the public. Fees are in the $70/$75 range (Tel: 699-982-3300). You'll also find the Club de Golf Campestre (Tel: 699-980-1570).
Bullfights are held at the Plaza de Toros Monumentual at Calzada Rafael Buelna (Tel: 699-993-3598). The bullfighting season runs from December to April. You can also find rodeos or charreadas during the offseason usually on wednesday afternoons.
Surfing, Kayaking & Windsurfing
Kayakers will find many opportunities throughout Mazatlan's beaches and it's various islands, such as Isla de la Piedra. You'll also find an easier kaykaing experience, but possibly more enjoyable flora and fauna-wise in the estuaries of El Caimanero and Agua Grande to the south.
Surf can usually be found year around at places like Punta Cerritos, Punta Chile, and Playa Olas Altas. For current conditions and recoomendations, check in with the Palm Surf Shop on Calzada Camaron Sabalo.
There are a few surf spots outside Mazatlan like "hidden" Pueblo de Marmol, which used to be a cement factory. Now it's a place to camp with a few small taco stands and some good surf.
Winsurfing enthusiasts also enjoy Mazatlan's ample ocean breezes and warm temperatures. The channels between the islands offer excellent conditions. The beaches of the north offer good conditions for the advanced.
Baseball is one of Mazatlan's most popular spectator sports, much like it is in the U.S.. The team here is Los Venados (the Deer) and they place in one of Mexico's better pro leagues, the Pacific Coast League. The season runs from October to March or April. The stadium is located at Calle T. Mariscal (Tel: 699-981-1710) and prices are very reasonable to view a game.
There's plenty to see and do for those not content to spend their entire visit on Mazatlan's wonderful beaches.
Here's good way to get the lay of the land. Since Mazatlan's highlights are spread out, this tour can save time searching for the main points of interest. Stops include the Arts and Crafts Center, Old Mazatlan, and the waterfront area. Departures are daily at 10 a.m. and 3 p.m. Check with the activities desk at your hotel for information or one of the tour companies listed under Activities & Tours. There is also a daily tour of the Pacifico Brewery, makers of one of Mexico's finest beers.
Take a morning Fiesta Cruise and see Mazatlan's bustling harbor while sipping a cool drink and listening to Marimba or Mariachi music. Most departures leave between 10-11 a.m.
Isla de los Pajaros, Isla de los Venados & Isla de los Lobos
Island Hopping is another way to see a different part of Mazatlan. Three islands dot Mazatlan's horizon (Isla de los Pajaros, Isla de los Venados and Isla de los Lobos). Each has its own personality. Venado ("deer") and Lobos ("wolf or sea lion") are quiet and undisturbed, perfect for watersports. Pajaros ("birds") is popular for birdwatching. Hundreds of species nest on the island. Regular boat service departs throughout the day from the beach area in front of El Cid Resort and from other locations.
You can also head to the south to Isla de la Piedra, (actually a peninsula) for its tropical, palm-lined beaches and south seas atmosphere. It's a favorite Sunday hangout for Mexican families. Someday this will be developed into a massive resort area.
The Aquarium & Botanical Gardens
At the Acuario Mazatlan see over 50 fresh and salt water tanks with sharks, eels, seahorses, lobsters, and over 250 exotic species from around the world. Interesting sea museum, a trained seal show and an auditorium with film about sea life make this a perfect family outing. Open daily 9:30 a.m.-6:30 p.m and admission is $2 (Tel. 81-7815). A tiny zoo and botanical gardens (the "Jardin Botanico") are nearby.
The statue outside Acuario Mazatl�n
Explore Downtown and Olas Altas
The old section of the city has many restored 19th century buildings. Start at the Plaza Revolucion, the city's main square, surrounded by palms trees and colonial-style buildings. In the center is one of Mexico's most bizarre gazebos: it looks like a 50's diner on the inside with a wrought iron bandstand on top. Facing the square is Mazatlan's beautiful Cathedral, Basilica del la Inmaculada Concepcion. Begun in 1875 and completed in 1890, this Moorish-style church has twin blue and gold spires and a gilded, ornate triple altar. The city's oldest church is Capilla de San Jose which found four blocks east of Plazuela Zaragoza.
Mazatlan's beautiful church
A few short blocks to the south is the Plaza Machado, the city's historic center and the site of Mazatlan's annual carnival celebration. Several civic building and former mansions surrounding the Plaza have been restored.
The Teatro Angela Peralta, the crown jewel of historic architecture, is the oldest theater in Mazatlan (built in 1860) and has recently been restored to its European-style grandeur. Self-guided tours are less than $1. There's also an Archeological Museum at Ave. Sixto Osuna #76 with hundreds of pre-Columbian relics as well as a great deal of information about Mazatlan's history.
Just west of downtown is Olas Altas, the original home to Mazatlan's visitor industry. Though the resorts left years ago, take a peak at the old Hotel Belmar, once Mazatlan's premier place to stay. Just to the north is an old Spanish fort, Fuerte Carranza, from which Mazatlan defended itself from French invaders in the 1860's. Nearby is "El Mirador", a lookout point where divers plunge into the sea, similiar to Acapulco's famed divers.
You may also be able to visit the Pacifico Brewery on a tour. The world-famous brewery is located at Ocampo and Leyva, Tel: (69) 82-7900. Please inquire with tour companies or the tourism office.
Stroll the Malecon
Mazatlan's palm-lined waterfront promenade connects the Zona Dorada and Old Mazatlan. It is one of Mexico's longest and prettiest walkways. It makes for wonderful morning or evening strolls. Towards downtown the Fisherman's Monument features a fisherman and a seductive mermaid. This monument is a symbol of the port and a tribute to the brave fishermen, past and present.
A View From Above
The geography of the downtown (southern) region of the city is punctuated by three peaks. Each affords visitors wonderful views of Mazatlan and the Pacific. From north to south they are:
El Cerro de la Neveria, "ice box hill" first served as an observation point for the Spaniards. In the 1800's imported ice from San Francisco was stored in tunnels to protect seafood harvests. During the Mexican Revolution, the hill was bombed from a biplane, making it only the second city in the world to be bombed from the air.
Cerro del Vigia is another towering peak with fantastic views and an excellent seafood restaurant. The hill is topped by the Pergola de Vigia, a look-out tower with cannons once used by the Spanish to guard the harbor.
Cerro del Creston is the southernmost hill at land's end offering marvelous views of the harbor, the Pacific and Old Mazatlan. The light-house (El Faro) is the world's second highest at 505 feet.
One of Mazatlan's golden beaches
Mazatlan has one of the longest stretches of uninterrupted beach in Mexico. Water temperature tends to stay in the 65-75 degree range year round. Surf is generally moderate, though care should always be taken when swimming in the open ocean. Beaches listed are north to south.
Playa Los Cerritos is one of Mazatlan's finest, uncrowded beaches, although it's recommended for good swimmers. It's located to the north of the hotel zone.
Playa Escondida is found to the north of the Zona Dorada and is home to many of Mazatlan's newer condos and hotels. There is a strong break which attracts surfers and boogie boarders to the south.
Playa Sabalo and Las Gaviotas are superb, sandy beaches (although Sabalo can be rough during bad weather) that make up the Zona Dorada resort area; lots of activity, seaside cafes, strolling vendors and sports action; great for swimming and sunbathing.
Playa Norte is located to the south of Zona Dorada and is popular with locals; lots of palapa resturants selling fresh seafood and cool drinks; local fishermen anchor their boats here.
Playa Olas Altas means "high waves", this beach is popular for surfing (biggest waves in the summer) and is recommended for strong swimmers only. At Diver's Point, you'll see weekend show's inwhich experienced divers plunge 40 feet into the swells below perfectly timing their leaps.
The region's rich colonial past unfolds during an interesting day-trip into the cool mountains east of Mazatlan.
Concordia is a small hamlet founded in 1565. It is about 25 miles to the east of Mazatlan and about 50 years back in time. The drive takes you upward into the foothills of the Sierra Madre Mountains, past coconut, mango and banana plantations. The town is famous for once having been a French garrison. The shady and peaceful town square has a ornate baroque church, San Sebastian, dating from the 18th century. The city's cobblestone lanes and red tile-roofed buildings offer a pleasent break from Mazatlan ocean front attractions. Concordia is famous for its fine carved furniture. In fact, an oversized rocking chair (a tribute to the city's century old furniture making industry ) is in the main square.
Continue another 45 minutes to Copala, one of Mexico's more endearing villages. This former mining town has a 16th century church, cobblestone streets, colonial era buildings, flower-filled patios, and clear mountain air. Have lunch at Daniel's, a wonderful hilltop Mexican restaurant. Both cities can be visited on your own or through one of the many tour companies in Mazatlan (please see Activities & Tours).
The colonial mining town of Copala
To the south of Mazatlan, visitors can take in two other popular trips. A country tour takes visitors to the gold and silver region around Rosario, founded in 1665. The other is to the Teacapan River, a miniature Amazon, replete with tropical flowers and exotic wildlife.
If you are feeling adventurous, a day-long excursion to San Blas will provide you with an unforgettable jungle river tour through the mangroves surrounded by tropical birds and animals.
To the north of Mazatlan is the town of El Quelite (25 miles). This is one of the last villages in Mexico to practice the pre-columbian ball game called ulama. A rubber ball is used by two teams in which they can not use their hands to guide it through a hoop. Matches are usually on weekends, the Mazatlan tourism office should have more details.