Cruise to Mazatlan

Top 5 things to do in Mazatlan

  1. Tour Pacifico Brewery
  2. Go Sport Fishing
  3. Feast on the freshest shrimp aguachile
  4. Relax on the beaches fronting the Hotel Zone
  5. Explore Old Town and shop at the open-air market
Known for: BeachesSport FishingShrimpHistoric BuildingsFamily-friendly

Tantalizing from every angle with foods, art, handicrafts and music, Mazatlan is no pre-fabricated resort town. It has enjoyed nine decades as a tourism destination. It has almost more of a European feeling than an American beach city aesthetic—“culture” here runs deeper than its touristic appeal. The hotels and timeshares are big and busy, but there are neighborhoods that thrive in Mazatlan without having any big hotels. Mazatlan’s historic center is a prime example of this. Although restoration efforts may have taken a backseat at certain points, it’s enjoying a resurgence—not only is it thriving, but the restoration of historic buildings is beginning to positively affect the neighboring business district.

Mazatlan is more than a tourism resort—and that often works in the tourists’ favor. The culinary experience is a case in point: Food is great here not simply because restaurants work hard to attract tourists. It’s because 30% of all the food supply in Mexico is farmed, fished or raised in the state. Restaurants from five-star to food carts have an abundance of great regional products at hand--- and if tourists are lucky, they get to taste a bit of it.

Mazatlan is a peninsula, and the cruise pier is located on the eastern side. The iconic lighthouse El Faro (most photographed landmark, and best seen as you’re coming into port) is on the southern tip, and the beaches are on the western side. In between the port and the beaches lies the downtown historic district. This historic downtown is actually the only walkable neighborhood from the port. The Golden Zone, where most of the hotels sit on golden beachfront, is a quick drive away, on the northern part of the peninsula. Excursion vehicles and shuttles as well as cabs to the Golden Zone wait at the port.

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Mazatlan Highlights


  • El Faro Lighthouse—hilltop landmark built in 1879 that you can climb
  • Basilica de la Inmaculada Concepcion – Gothic-Moorish cathedral in the heart of the historic district
  • Plazuela Machado – a perfectly picturesque plaza, ideal for shopping or relaxing at a café
  • Angela Peralta Theater – built in 1874 and the premier venue in Mexico for performances


  • Bargain for leather goods and silver jewelry at the open-air Central Market
  • Buy pure agave syrup at Los Osunas distillery
  • Peruse original artworks along the Mazatlan Artwalk in the historic district
  • Check out the upscale boutiques and galleries in the Golden Zone


  • Barracrudas for sashimi and delectable shrimp dishes
  • La Casa Contre in the Golden Zone for steaks
  • Garrafa’s Ice Cream – around a dozen daily flavors of handmade ice cream

Shore Excursions

  • Get a look—and a taste—at Pacifico Brewery
  • Go up against deep-sea giants on a sportfishing charter
  • Take a boat to Stone Island and enjoy six miles of pristine beach


  • Mazatlan Aquarium – animal shows, interactive exhibits, sea turtle conservation
  • Turtle sanctuary on Stone Island
  • Sample local snacks and learn to haggle at the open-air market
  • Zip line through the foothills of the Sierra Madre Mountains with Huana Coa


  • Playa Gaviota – the most popular beach, fronting the Hotel Zone
  • Playa Savalo to the north fronts the Golden Zone
  • Playa Olas Altas-- a beginner-level surfing beach with a saltwater swimming pool built out of rock at one end, so swimmers are protected from the waves

Solo Exploration

  • El Faro on foot—walk the 325 steps up to the summit
  • Zip line through the jungle canopy, followed by a mescal shot
  • Explore the countryside on an ATV


  • Boat from the small pier to Stone Island, and hide out on a secluded strip of beach
  • Feed your sweetheart the freshest seafood at Barracrudas on Av. De la Marina
  • Sunbathe and sip margaritas on sun loungers at Playa Gaviotas


  • Teatro Ángela Peralta is a beautiful and culturally significant landmark in the historic district off Machado plaza.
  • Take a guided or self-guided walking tour of the historic district
  • Museo de Arte – The pride of the city, from an artistic perspective—a noteworthy collection housed in a restored historic building, one block off the beach.