The Mexican coastal city of Mazatlan is a bustling beach paradise rich in history and culture. On a 3-day stay, you can enjoy a range of activities in the city, then venture outside and spend a day exploring the Sierra Madre mountains and visiting colonial towns. Here's how.
Old Mazatlan (Centro Historico)
Easily explored on foot in a matter of hours, Mazatlán Old Town is a walkable and historic district in this lively port city. Highlights include colourful and renovated French-inspired buildings, the central Plazuela Machado—a family-friendly square which comes alive with live music in the evenings—as well as some small archaeological and art museums.
Most walking, biking, and Segway tours of Mazatlán will pass through the Mazatlán Old Town and typically include stops in Plazuela Machado.
Things to Know Before You Go
- History lovers and families won’t want to miss the Mazatlán Old Town.
- Many stores don’t open until mid-morning.
- Take small bills and coins if you plan on shopping in the Old Town.
- There are numerous street vendors selling snacks and refreshments.
- Mazatlán’s Old Town is a walkable district, but uneven pavements mean it’s not fully wheelchair or stroller accessible.
How to Get There
Mazatlán Old Town is situated just south of the Mazatlán downtown (centro) and will be easily accessible on foot for most travelers staying in the area. There are also several public buses which pass through the Old Town. Look for those labeled ‘Sábalo Centro’ and get off at Calle Constitución. From there, Plazuela Machado is a short walk.
When to Get There
There’s no bad time to visit Mazatlán Old Town, although it’s best explored during the day. Arrive early to stroll around without the worst of the sun but remember that many stores and attractions don’t open until mid-morning. Plazuela Machado especially comes alive in the evenings.
What to Do in Mazatlán Once you’ve explored the small stretches of Mazatlán’s Old Town, make time to head north to downtown. There, you’ll find the Mazatlán Cathedral, as well as several public markets selling souvenirs and fresh produce. Alternatively, head west from the Mazatlán Old Town and you’ll hit Olas Altas Beach and the picturesque malecón (boardwalk).