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Mexican Riviera

Mazatlan Cruise Port Profile

Photo Credit: Carlos Ginard, Wikimedia
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.

Docks for Cruise Ships

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.

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 but cabs are readily available. 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.

Touring the City

Mazatlan mermaid statue
This mermaid statue is one of many statues along the Mazatlán boardwalk. Credit: Pixabay public domain
Old Mazatlán- This area of Mazatlán has a number of historic sites, including the beautiful Moorish-style cathedral with a gold vaulted ceiling. Old Mazatlán has a quaint park for people watching and a Central Market filled with an array of items to purchase.

Old Mazatlan is also home to the Teatro Angela Peralta, which is an Italian style theater dating back to the 1800’s.

Divers Point- This seaside area is 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.

Golden Zone- The Golden Zone has a large array of entertainment including restaurant, 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.

Beaches can be lounged on or used for water sports like parasailing, jet skiing and snorkeling.


Guests can travel by catamaran to Deer Island in about 40 minutes. The area has sunbathing, hiking and kayaking.

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

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

Travel Weather

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.


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 peso, 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.

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