Cruise and Beach Destinations
in the Caribbean, Mexico & Beyond
Mexican Riviera

Mazatlán Cruise Port Guide

This mermaid statue is one of many statues along the Mazatlán boardwalk. Credit: Pixabay public domain
This mermaid statue is one of many statues along the Mazatlán boardwalk. Credit: Pixabay public domain
Mazatlán is a Mexican Riviera cruise port full of culture and natural attractions.

The second largest city in the state of Sinaloa has a population of nearly 500,000 people. It was founded in 1531 by the Spanish army. It is now a major commercial port on Mexico's Pacific coast.

The city is known for the historical Old Mazatlán, big-game fishing, nightlife at Zona Dorada (the Golden Zone) and long sandy beaches along its 13-mile boardwalk.

Quick Travel Tips

Cruise ships dock in the commercial port. The port is busy with cargo ships so cruisers are taken on a free tram to the cruise terminal.

Cruisers can stroll around, check out craft vendors and shops or grab a cold beer under the shady trees.

Be aware: timeshare vendors will offer visitors free rides to city spots, but visitors have to agree to listen to the timeshare speech.

Where is Mazatlán?

Mazatlán is 223 miles east of Cabo San Lucas and 195 miles north of Puerto Vallarta on the western coast of Mexico. It is because these three ports are so close together that they are the most popular ports to visit on a six-day, seven-night Mexican Riviera cruise.

Attractions and Shore Excursions

Photo Credit: Carlos Ginard, Wikimedia

Walking Around Attractions

Cruise visitors can take a one-mile walk north from the cruise terminal to Old Mazatlán.

Old Mazatlán has a number of historical points of interest, including the beautiful Moorish-style cathedral with a gold vaulted ceiling. It also has a quaint park for people watching and a Central Market filled with an array of items to purchase.

Old Mazatlán is home to the Teatro Angela Peralta, which is an Italian style theater dating back to the 1800's.

Anyone who visits Old Mazatlán in the morning can walk a short distance west to the massive malecon boardwalk. Otherwise, it is about one mile west of the cruise terminal for anyone who wants to go directly there.

Divers Point is a seaside area about a ten-minute walk from Old Mazatlán. Tourists can watch the amazing feats of the brave divers that leap from rocky cliffs into the ocean depths below.

The Golden Zone has a large array of entertainment including restaurants, shopping, ritzy hotels and sunny beaches.

The main street is Rodolfo T. Loaiza, where tourists can ask to be dropped off in front of Hotel Playa Mazatlán. This will put them in the center of the entertainment with easy access to activities.

Shore Excursions

A guided city tour is one way to get the best of Mazatlán. City shore excursions may include a chance to see cliff divers in addition to other attractions in the area. Expect to pay $50 to $75 per person depending on amenities.

A full day tour of Sierra Madre explores the colonial towns of Copala and Concordia.

Mazatlán Aquarium has more than 200 species of fish, a walk-through aviary and a crocodile habitat. Visitors can feed stingrays and macaws as well as attend a sea lion show. It is often bundled as a shore excursion with a beach visit for a cost of about $70 per person.

Nature tours have rides through mangrove channels, home to exotic birds like osprey, pelicans and blue heron.

Beaches Near the Cruise Port

Mazatlán claims to have one of the longest uninterrupted urban beaches in the world. So visitors shouldn't have a problem in finding a spot. But it's quite a distance from the cruise terminal, which means beach goers need either a taxi or excursion bus to get there.

Shore excursions to beaches usually go north to the Golden Zone resort properties. Prices range between $50 and $100 depending on destination, length of time and amenities.

For a little more adventure, guests can travel by catamaran to Deer Island in about 40 minutes. The area has sunbathing, hiking and kayaking. This five-hour excursion costs about $70 per person.

Transportation / Getting Around

Old Mazatlán is one mile from the cruise docks or about a 15 minute walk.

It is not possible to walk to the Golden Zone, which is about four miles away, but cabs are readily available for anyone who doesn't buy a shore excursion. Both taxi cabs and pulmonias wait outside of the cruise terminal to take travelers to their destinations.

The fare to the Golden Zone or Old Mazatlán should be about $10 US, per cab ride. Always ask for prices before getting into the cab.

Cruise Weather / Best Times to Visit

Mazatlán weather has a long and distinct dry season when cruise visitors are most popular and a brief but harsh rainy season when cruises stay away. The dry season has the coolest weather while the rainy season is hot.

The dry season begins in October with an average rainfall of about three inches, according to the Mexico National Water Commission. Rainfall drops to one or two inches and sometimes even less than an inch each month from November through June. It rains only about one or two days each month during most of the dry season.

The rainy season goes from July through September with an average rainfall of about nine inches a month. It rains about 12 to 13 days a month.

Average high temperatures range from the mid 70s Fahrenheit or low 20s Celsius during the winter to the upper 80s Fahrenheit or low 30s Celsius in the summer.

Late spring is the best time to go for the least rain, but beach temperatures will often feel cool. Summer is best for beaches, but the risk of rain is much higher.

Other Tips

The official currency of Mexico is the peso, but U.S. dollars are widely accepted. Pesos are best to avoid exchange rate fees.

Most of the prices are denominated in pesos, so visitors who use them may get a better deal. Banks are the best places to convert money. Hotels, restaurants and bars will have poor exchange rates.

Mazatlán Cruise Port Map

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