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10 Exhilarating Things to Do in Mazatlan, Mexico

Sonali Pimpale Jun 25, 2019
Replete with pristine, sandy beaches, historical landmarks, a surfeit of food and music, and a vibrant nightlife, the resort town in Sinaloa, Mexico has earned the appellation of ‘The Pearl of the Pacific’.

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Stroll Along the Malecón

Malecón is the favorite haunt among both locals and tourists for a leisurely stroll, an invigorating run or a refreshing bicycle ride.

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You’ll run into many singular monuments and statues, cafes, street vendors, and gazebos on this 21 kilometer long oceanfront promenade, one of the longest in the world.

Amble Around Centro Histórico

Centro Histórico, or Old Mazatlán, is the abode of majority of historic buildings in the town.
Soak in the cultural history and the architectural wonders of the 19th century district, with its gorgeous plazas, colorful buildings, and interesting museums and art galleries.
The quarter’s numerous restaurants, cafes and street food vendors will leave you with satiated stomachs and happy hearts. Word on the street is that the shrimp tacos are to die for! If your legs grow tired of your meandering, you can enjoy a fun ride in a pulmonia, a charming golf-cart style taxi that wanders around the streets of Mazatlán.

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Hit the Mazatlán Beaches

Mazatlán has no dearth of beaches. The Playa Olas Altas beach (at the end of Malecón) is particularly sought after by surfers.
The Playa las Gaviotas beach in the Zona Dorada (Golden Zone) is a bustling hive of activity, with countless hawkers and perpetual blasting of music.

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Head towards Playa Sabalo if you prefer splashing around in gentle waters.

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Join a tour to go whale watching between December to April.

Break Sweat to Reach El Faro

One of the highest lighthouses in the world, El Faro (literally, ‘The Lighthouse’ in Spanish) sits atop the imposing hill of Cerro Crestón.
The brave souls who take on the somewhat arduous uphill trek will be rewarded with spectacular views of The Pearl of the Pacific. Beware of cloudy days, though, as they might put a damper on your visit.

Hang Out in Plaza Machado

As unbelievable as this sounds, a marshy ground was all that existed in the place of this gorgeous plaza, before it was constructed in 1837.
One of the coolest places in Mazatlán for socializing and people watching, a beautiful wrought iron gazebo surrounded by palm trees is the highlight of this square.

Visit the Cathedral Basilica of the Immaculate Conception

The palatial Basilica is a fine specimen of the Baroque Revival style architecture. It is much admired for its lavish interiors, including the largest chandelier in Mexico, and the 28 stained glass windows that are embellished with the Star of David in honor of the Jewish family which helped finance the construction.

Be Awed by the Clavidistas

Hold your breath as the daredevil local Clavidistas (cliff divers) fling themselves off a small platform called El Clavidista, into the treacherous rocky waters below.
The Clavadistas mostly dive in the afternoon, and while watching the fearless divers won’t cost you a penny, tips for their risky performances are always well-received.

Make Fishy Friends at the Mazatlán Aquarium

A fun family experience awaits you at the Mazatlán Aquarium. The only aquarium in the Pacific coast of Mexico boasts of over 250 species of sharks, stingrays, sea lions, octopuses, freshwater species from across the world, and many more!

Relax at Isla de la Piedra

If you need a respite from the throng of tourists in Mazatlán, retiring to Isla de la Piedra is your best bet. Lounge on the beach, try your hand at horseback riding, and feast on delicious food in restaurants or in laid-back palapas at the beautiful peninsula.