From a ho-hum resort town, Mazatlan has metamorphosed into one of the world's more captivating beach vacation spots. In this socially and economically diverse yet tourist-friendly city, located in Sinaloa state, there is a culturally rich Centro Historico only a short distance from the 20 kilometers of sandy beaches. With the continuous reinvigoration of its historic center, Mazatlan now, more than ever, deserves its moniker as the Pearl of the Pacific.
For the best view of Mazatlan from above, hike up to the Faro, or lighthouse, that stands a little over 500 feet above sea level. The three islands of Isla de Chivos, Isla de Pajaros and Isla de Venados are wildlife refuges and they make great photographs at dusk just when the sun is setting low in the horizon. You can take a Deer Island Tour to Isla de Venados. The Machado Square or the Plazuela in Centro Historico, with its beautiful architecture and outdoor restaurants, have an almost Parisian feel to them. In the Plazuela you can find the Teatro Angel Peralta, which was originally constructed in the 1800s and now wonderfully-restored. The Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception, with its unique Star of David to honor the Jewish family who donated money for its construction, is a quiet place to visit and contemplate. You can swim, jet ski at surf in any of Mazatlan's many beaches. Highly recommended is Olas Altas Beach, with its numerous monuments, and North Beach, located close to the downtown area. Playa Bruja, with its 8-foot to 10-foot waves is the premier surfing spot here. Golfers can play in the Robert Trent Jones Jr.- designed 18-hole Estrella del Mar course.
Camarones is certainly delicious in Mazatlan and highly recommended. On the north side of Machado Square, you can find a lot of good dining spots for lunch or dinner. The Zona Dorada has a number of good eats as well. More places can be found in the downtown area and Playa Norte. There are also open-air food stalls in the Centro Mercado in Old Mazatlan.
The shopping hub here is the Zona Dorada. Handcrafts can be found at the Mazatlan Arts and Crafts Center, while you can pick up souvenirs and objects made of sea shells at, where else, Sea Shell City. For souvenir shirts, hats and bags, head to Senor Frog's. If you're in the market for jewelry, Pardo Jewelers and Rubio Jewelers have a large selection to choose from.
Blvd Olas Altas 11 Sur Centro
Rotario at the Malecon