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Mexican Riviera

Mazatlán Beaches Near the Cruise Port

Playa Bruja
Playa Bruja; credit: Wikimedia

Mazatlán has one beach near the cruise port and many more north of the city in the hotel “Golden Zone”.

In fact, Mazatlán has one of the longest stretches of uninterrupted beaches in Mexico, offering various types of beaches for all tastes. Unfortunately, there are no beaches within walking distance of the cruise port.

Nearest the Cruise Port: Stone Island

Cruise visitors can take a water taxi from the ferry dock near the cruise terminal over to nearby Stone Island. The trip takes about five to 10 minutes. After arriving, it’s a somewhat long walk or brief taxi ride to the beach.

Shore excursions to Stone Island are available from cruise lines and local operators. A typical excursion will cost about $55 or more including transportation and amenities such as lunch. They last up to six hours.

Playa Gaviotas and Playa Sabalo

Also called the Golden Zone, these Mazatlán beaches are actually some of the most crowded beaches in Mazatlan as they generally cater to tourists. They are about 15 minutes north of the cruise port.

They offer some of the best swimming opportunities available in Mazatlán beaches. As such, they are lined with several Mazatlán resorts with vendors, hotspots and a wide variety of fun activities.

Playa Bruja

Mazatlán Beach Map

For those who want to avoid the crowds, just head north of the Golden Zone for some of Mazatlán’s lovely, uncrowned beaches. One of the most popular of these is Playa Bruja.

Playa Bruja is an idyllic secluded beach complete with unbroken stretches of golden sand edging a warm blue ocean. Visitors will generally catch the best waves for surfing. Sill, this beach is not as busy since surfing is its focus. Moreover, it is located 40 kilomters or about 24 miles northwest of the main tourist area of Mazatlán, which helps to keep the general tourist population down to a minimum.

It is important to note that swimming in this area is not recommended due to high waves.

Playa Los Cerritos

While a popular and well-loved beach, Playa Los Cerritos is located north of Mazatlán and is a ways out of town and thus less crowded. This beach is for individuals looking to relax. With a good stretch of beach, visitors will be able to enjoy a nice romantic stroll and enjoy the sunset.

It is not really recommended for swimming as beach goers may find strong waves and undertows. If they are not into surfing they can enjoy watching those who do.

Playa Los Cerritos is a great little beach for relaxation. Bring a picnic and a good book.

Playa Sabalo

Like Bruja, Playa Sabalo is well loved for surfing. Protected by the islands of Deer Island (Isla de Venados) and Goat Island (Isla de Chivos), this beach is known for parasailing, swimming and numerous resorts.

The beach is also home to the famous nearby Valentino’s disco. Unlike Bruja, Sabalo is one of the safest beaches as it is protected from the nearby islands.

Visitors should note that there are normally several vendors along the beach. Vendors are attracted to this area due to the fact that a large number of tourists frequent the area.

Playa Norte

Playa Norte beach
Playa Norte beach; credit: Šarūnas Burdulis, Wikimedia

Playa Norte is about 4.8 kilometers or 3 miles long of white sandy beach that is popular with the locals. It is the longest stretch of beach in Mazatlán. It features a seaside promenade called The Malecon which overlooks the beach.

Beginning and intermediate surfers will find manageable waves. Sometimes the waves at Playa Norte can be forceful, but there is not much of a drop off so it is fairly safe. Visitors who like to fish can also do it here by casting off the rocks.

Swimming at this beach is best in the southern part.
It is important to point out that conditions at all the Mazatlan beaches can change enormously over relatively short periods of time. Mostly they are safe, but the undertows can become dangerous, and visitors don’t get the benefit of the protection from the islands.