What's the best time to visit Mazatlán?
The best time to hit Mazatlán is during the winter months when the weather hovers around a cozy 70 to 77°F, making it perfect for soaking up the sun on the beach or diving into water sports. This season also brings the city to life with its peak nightlife and the colorful Carnival celebrations.
Plus, if you’re into whale watching, winter’s your chance to catch these majestic creatures. For the college crowd, late February to March is prime time, as spring breakers flock to the city, ramping up the fun.
The beach town of Mazatlán is one of Mexico’s most popular coastal resorts. Visitors still head to this destination in the state of Sinaloa for some fun in the sun.
The most popular things to do are definitely concentrated around the beach, such as horseback riding, snorkeling, and of course, lounging on the many miles of sandy beach.
The waters off of Mazatlán are also popular among fishermen. On dry land, you can explore the world-famous Malecon (or boardwalk) or the quaint Old Town with its delicious seafood restaurants.
This sleepy city is largely a beach destination, so you probably want to visit when you’ll have warm weather. Keep reading for our super-helpful guide to help you figure out when to visit Mazatlán for the best experience.
The Overall Best Time to Visit Mazatlán
The best time to visit Mazatlán is during the winter, when the weather is pleasant but not overwhelmingly hot and you can easily spend all day at the beach.
Thanks to its location, the city enjoys a tropical climate. This means that temperatures are warm or hot all year round and it almost never gets cold.
While winter in some other places means bundling up and shoveling snow, Mazatlán welcomes December with balmy temperatures. On an average winter day, the high temperature is 70 to 77 degrees Fahrenheit.
Since the air temperature is pleasantly warm all year round, the water temperature is also going to be nice, making it perfect for swimming, snorkeling, and other water-based activities.
Another reason why the weather is the best in the winter is the sun cover. During the winter months, Mazatlán averages only zero to two rainy days a month, meaning your chances of having perfect beach weather in town are almost certain.
Winter is also great for certain water sports. Winter is generally the best season for viewing migrating species such as whales off the coast of Mazatlán. However, divers may want to wear wetsuits as water temperatures get fairly cold.
Winter is generally the peak season for tourism in town, which means that there will be plenty of other visitors around. This has some benefits, such as the nightlife.
In the winter, Mazatlán’s clubs and bars tend to have the most people and the best scene. This is particularly true around Carnival, which runs the few days before Ash Wednesday.
The biggest festival in the town, you can expect big parades with floats and festive dancers, crowning of the Carnival queen, and of course, plenty of parties with lots of dancing! Towards the end of winter and into early spring, Mazatlán turns into a haven for spring breakers.
It’s hard to know when exactly spring break season is, since different universities have different break schedules, but expect peaks during late February and March. If you are a college student and want to visit when there are plenty of your peers around, this is the right time for you.
Cheapest Time to Visit Mazatlán
The cheapest time to visit Mazatlán is during the fall, when the rainy season begins to let up but prices are still discounted. One of the main expenses that you’ll face when visiting Mazatlán is accommodation.
During peak times, hotel prices, especially for high-end resorts, rise significantly. However, most hotel rates in the fall are deeply discounted. The summer rains tend to chase away most visitors, so hotel operators offer discounts for the fall before the winter high season starts up again.
The best hotel deals are in September and October, which are still in the peak rainy season. However, most hotel discounts last well into November, when the weather is also much nicer.
The late fall is a great time to visit to try and save some money. In October and November, you also are more likely to find discounts on flights to Mazatlán.
This is still the low season, so there isn’t as much demand, which causes airlines to drive prices up. However, avoid flying during Thanksgiving as people take advantage of the long holiday weekend to squeeze in a tropical getaway.
Least Busy Time to Visit Mazatlán
The least busy time to visit Mazatlán is during the fall, when the high season hasn’t started yet and the cruise ships are not as frequent.
The city is a year-round popular destination, so you can expect people whenever you come. Spring is popular with college students, summer is popular with families who take advantage of school breaks, and winter is the peak season.
Fall fits in between all of those gaps. Most of the crowds that flood through Mazatlán during the high season come from cruise ships, which deposit people at the port for day trips.
Looking at the cruise ship schedules can help you figure out when there will be fewer people around. According to the tentative 2024 schedule, the fewest cruise ship passengers arrive between May and October, and pick up only slightly in November.
Although the fewest people visit in the fall, this may be the best season to visit. The weather is unpredictable at the beginning of the season, but by early November, you can expect regular sunny days and have the beaches all to yourself. Fall is also the best time to visit for serious fishermen.
This is the best time of year to catch big fish, such as marlins. That’s one of the reasons why most of the fishing tournaments that happen in Mazatlán, such as the World Championship Shore Angler Masters, are scheduled for the fall.
Worst Time to Visit Mazatlán
The worst time to visit Mazatlán is during the summer due to the poor weather, which makes it difficult to enjoy time on the beach.
Summer, which in Mazatlán lasts from June until September, is the rainy season on Mexico’s Pacific Coast. Nearly half of the days each month are filled with rain, which isn’t exactly perfect beach weather.
When there isn’t rain, the weather is very hot and humid, which can make it hard to walk around. The Pacific hurricane season in Mexico runs from May to November, with storms peaking in August and September.
The good news is that Mazatlán is rarely affected directly by hurricanes, thanks to its location. However, hurricane season still affects the precipitation that falls in town.
Despite the weather, summer is also a very busy time in town because many visitors in the United States take advantage of break time from school or work. It’s not even worth visiting to try and get deals on traveling, especially not in July.
Mazatlán by Month: Climate & Activities
Still unsure about the best time to visit Mazatlán? Take a look at our summary of the weather and climate by month below:
Winter temperatures in Mazatlán range from 15 to 26°C (59-79°F). January is an excellent time for beach activities, exploring the historic district of Old Mazatlán (Centro Histórico), and enjoying local seafood.
Similar to January, February maintains mild temperatures between 15 to 26°C (59-79°F). Visitors can take advantage of the pleasant weather for water sports, such as surfing or parasailing, and explore the iconic Malecón.
As spring begins, temperatures range from 16 to 27°C (61-81°F). March is perfect for exploring the Mazatlán Aquarium, attending the Mazatlán Carnival, and enjoying the cultural events in the Angela Peralta Theater.
Spring temperatures in Mazatlán range from 17 to 28°C (63-82°F). It’s an ideal time for hiking in the Sierra Madre Mountains, relaxing on Stone Island (Isla de la Piedra), and taking boat tours to see local wildlife.
May sees temperatures ranging from 20 to 30°C (68-86°F). It’s a great month for exploring Mazatlán’s art galleries, participating in fishing excursions, and enjoying the quiet beaches.
Summer arrives with temperatures between 24 to 32°C (75-90°F). June offers opportunities for surfing at Playa Brujas, exploring the El Faro Lighthouse, and enjoying the vibrant nightlife in the Golden Zone.
July maintains warm temperatures from 25 to 33°C (77-91°F). It’s a popular month for water activities like jet skiing and snorkeling, exploring the Mazatlán Cathedral, and attending local festivals.
Temperatures in August range from 25 to 33°C (77-91°F). It’s an excellent time for deep-sea fishing, visiting the Mazatlán Archaeological Museum, and experiencing the Fiesta de la Vuelta a Mazatlán.
As fall begins, temperatures range from 24 to 32°C (75-90°F). September offers a pleasant transition, with opportunities for exploring the Plazuela Machado, enjoying the Mazatlán Malecón at sunset, and attending cultural events.
October sees temperatures ranging from 23 to 31°C (73-88°F). It’s a great month for birdwatching in the Estero del Yugo, exploring the Pacifico Brewery, and participating in local Dia de la Revolución celebrations.
Fall temperatures range from 19 to 29°C (66-84°F). November is perfect for visiting the Mazatlán Art Museum, relaxing on the beaches of Playa Cerritos, and attending the Mazatlán Jazz Festival.
In December, winter returns to Mazatlán with temperatures ranging from 15 to 26°C (59-79°F). December brings opportunities for holiday celebrations, exploring the Mazatlán Malecón’s Christmas lights, and enjoying festive events in Old Mazatlán.
Frequently Asked Questions
Here are some of the most common questions that people ask before planning a trip to Mazatlán.
What’s the best month to go to Mazatlán?
The best month to go to Mazatlán is any month between November and May, when you are practically guaranteed beautiful beach weather.
What is the coldest month in Mazatlán?
January is the coldest month in Mazatlán. However, this is relative as high temperatures can reach up to 80 degrees.
Is Puerto Vallarta or Mazatlán better?
Puerto Vallarta is more popular with hipsters and has a better dining and cultural scene, including an LGBTQ subculture. Mazatlán is less touristy and has a better historic center.
Is Mazatlán worth visiting?
Mazatlán is worth visiting if you want to spend lots of time on the beach. It also has some of the best seafood in Mexico.
Why is Mazatlán so popular?
Mazatlán is so popular primarily because of its mild, warm weather and long history of resorts. Many families have been vacationing here for generations.
So, What’s the Best Time to Visit Mazatlán?
The best time to visit Mazatlán is during the winter, when the weather is perfect for lounging on the beach. However, winter can also get fairly crowded in the city.
If you want to enjoy good weather but also want to beat the crowds and get discounted rates on hotels and more, then late fall is the best time to visit this Pacific Coast beach resort.
So, with so much to see and do and plenty of amazing times to go, what are you waiting for — book your trip today and experience for yourself all that Mazatlán has to offer. Happy travels!