Mazatlan, Mexico

  • Mazatlan, Mexico
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Explore Mazatlan, Mexico

Go from the opera house to the lighthouse with Carnival cruises to Mazatlán, Mexico. This city’s 17-mile-long beach has rolling swells for surfers and calm waters for swimmers. Thatch-roofed shacks serve the freshest seafood and beach bars pour crisp cervezas with lime. On cruises to Mazatlán, don't forget to head out beyond the bustling beach scene to experience the charming colonial core of Viejo Mazatlán, complete with ornate churches and photogenic Spanish mansions.

  • Hike to El Faro, Mazatlán’s lighthouse on a hilltop high over the Pacific Ocean.
  • Sip an ice-cold Pacífico beer — Maztalán’s original brew — on Playa Sábalo.
  • Visit the colonial villages of Copala and Concordia on your Mazatlán cruise.

Things To Do

Local Attractions

Start your port day from your Mazatlán, Mexico cruise with a café con leche on Plazuela Machado in Viejo Mazatlán. Peek into the local art galleries on your way to the seafront malecón promenade, where restaurants plate up jumbo shrimp any way you like it.

  • Take a walking tour of Old Mazatlán, crowned by the cathedral’s soaring yellow spires.
  • Lunch on fresh shrimp at a beachfront restaurant on Avenida Olas Altas.
  • Hang out on the Golden Zone beaches, Playa Sábalo and Playa Las Gaviotas.
  • Watch surfers conquer the waves at Los Pinos.
  • Charter a boat for a catch-and-release fishing trip or island excursion.

Fun Facts

  • Cerveza Pacífico Clara was originally a pilsner beer brewed by German immigrants in Mazatlán, Mexico in 1900.
  • El Faro is the second-tallest lighthouse in the world, at 443 feet above sea level. The lighthouse hill lends its silhouette to the Pacífico beer logo.
  • Opera singer Angela Peralta died in Mazatlán in 1883 during a yellow fever epidemic. The city’s classic opera house is named in her honor.

Within Walking Distance


From your Carnival cruise to Mazatlán, you can walk to Old Mazatlán’s main square, Plaza Principal. The Moorish arches and canary-colored bell towers of the cathedral rise over the plaza, while a round Victorian-era bandstand sits in the center. South of Plaza Principal is Plazuela Machado, a charming tree-shaded square lined with pastel-painted Spanish colonial mansions fronted by inviting patio cafes. This neighborhood has top-notch galleries of ceramics, paintings and prints by Mexican artists. Take an excursion of Teatro Angela Peralta, an opera house named for a Mexican diva, just off the plaza. Lovingly restored to its original 1800s glory, the theater has a beautiful open-air lobby and an Italian-style auditorium decked in red velvet.

Beyond the Port Area

During your Mazatlán, Mexico cruise, you’ll note that the city is one of the world’s biggest shrimp exporters—nearly every restaurant and taco stand has camarones on the menu. Grab an outdoor table at the Copa de Leche or the original El Shrimp Bucket restaurant on Playa Olas Altas beach and watch the waves roll in as you peel and eat a pile of Mazatlán’s famous jumbo catch. Walk it off on the 17-mile-long malecón seafront promenade that stretches all the way to Playa Norte.

Beyond the Port Area

For a view over Mazatlán’s sweeping white sand bay and even your own Carnival cruise ship, hike up to the lighthouse. A steep dirt path winds up a hill to El Faro—Spanish for “lighthouse”—standing more than 440 feet above the green Pacific Ocean.

Beaches in Mazatlán

The rocky Playa Olas Altas beach is too rough for swimming, but wide and sandy Playa Norte is just right. Thatched-roofed seafood restaurants here dish up heaping plates of shrimp.

Beaches in Mazatlán

Mazatlán’s best beaches are Playa Las Gaviotas and Playa Sábalo, in the Golden Zone hotel and dining neighborhood. Laid-back beach bars and restaurants sit just off the sands at both beaches, and the hump of Isla de Venados (Deer Island) rises just off shore. Surfers tackle “the Cannon” wave at Los Pinos, at a point just north of Old Mazatlán, while beachside onlookers sip coconut juice straight from the cracked nut.

Day Trips in Mazatlán

Day Trips in Mazatlán

Spanish colonial villages dot the Sierra Madre Mountains as they rise just inland from Mazatlán. Tours from the coast visit Copala, a historic mining town, and Concordia, an artisans’ village. See how the sticky hearts of thorny blue agave plants become potent tequila on a distillery tour or check off dozens of bird species from your wish list on a bird-watching excursion through mangroves from your Carnival cruise to Mazatlán, Mexico.

Travel Tips


  • The city is composed of two distinct sections: Viejo Mazatlán (Old Mazatlán), near the cruise port, and the Zona Dorada (Golden Zone) tourist hotel and dining neighborhood to the north.
  • Cruises to Mazatlán, Mexico dock in the city’s commercial port, about a mile or a 20-minute walk from Old Mazatlán.
  • Old Mazatlán and the Golden Zone are easy to navigate by foot.