Mazatlán Local Sightseeing
If your time is limited, or if you enjoy group tours, many of these tours can be booked at your hotel from the many fine Mazatlán tour companies. A few we recommend are Vista Tours and Olé Tours, but there are many other good ones as well. We don't list here the typical activities you can book from your hotel such as parasailing, diving or sailboats; we include just the unusual excursions you can do on your own.
Isla de VenadosDeer Island. There is an amphibious vehicle that makes trips out to Deer Island several times a day from beside El Cid Hotel.
Aquarium (Acuario Mazatlán). Mazatlán's Aquarium, one of the largest in Latin America, is well worth a visit. Situated on Avenida de los Deportes, about two blocks inland from Av. del Mar. There is an adjoining botanical garden and small zoo. Sea lion and exotic bird shows are usually offered three times a day. Open 10:00-5:30 daily. Admission is about 50 pesos. Your hotel concierge might have a discount coupon for the Aquarium.
Historical Downtown Area. Some of the places to explore in the old town of Mazatlán are the central market, the Cathedral, Plaza Revolution, Plaza Machado, the Angela Peralta Theatre, and the Archeological Museum, all within walking distance if you take a bus to the market.
Cerro del Crestón (El Faro)The Lighthouse. This is supposed to be the second highest natural lighthouse in the world. It makes a great hour hike to the summit (it's atop a 505 foot peak) and provides an incredible view of the entire Mazatlán area! Tell the taxi driver to take you to El Faro and you might want to buy a bottle of ice-cold water at the food stand before beginning the hike. They usually also sell cold soft drinks at the top.
Bullfights. The "Plaza Monumental" is a short ride from the Golden Zone (on Avenida Rafael Buelna) and offers bullfights every Sunday and most holidays, December through April. During the summer, the arena usually features rodeos.
Downtown. Sunday evening is a good time to walk around the downtown area and soak up the atmosphere as Mexican families flock to Plaza Revolución to listen to live music and socialize.
Another area to visit, especially on Sunday evenings, is the seaside walkway: the Malecón. Starting at Av. Olas Altas, near La Siesta Hotel and the Deer Monument, follow the walkway north along the seafront where there will be many families strolling and lovers embracing on the seawall. There are several beautiful monuments in this area, as well as the fearless clavadistas who entertain by diving into the rock strewn ocean from a high platform. From the roadside carts in this area, it's possible to buy such goodies as strawberries and cream, ice-cream, corn on the cob, hot dogs, etc. which we have sampled with no ill-effects. It's safe to stroll in these areas at night.
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