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Where to Stay in Mazatlán in 2023 | Best Areas & Hotels

Where to Stay in Mazatlán in 2023 | Best Areas & Hotels

The city of Mazatlán is a popular Mexican beach destination. Located on the Pacific coast of Mexico, in the central state of Sinaloa, it is a great destination if you want to enjoy Mexico’s sun, sand, and surf.

However, there is one element that is important for every beach vacation — your hotel. Whether you choose a luxury hotel somewhere close to the beach or a budget hotel in a residential area, choosing where to stay in Mazatlán is an important choice, which is why we prepared this guide.

Why You Should Visit Mazatlán in 2023

Photo of the beige sand on the coast of Playa Gaviotas beach, pictured for a guide titled Where to Stay in Mazatlan

Mazatlan, Mexico – January 18 2023: An oceanfront resort offers private huts and cabanas along the sandy Playa Gaviotas beach in the Golden Zone of Mazatlan, Mexico, along the Sinaloa Riviera/Kirk Fisher/Shutterstock

The beach is definitely the primary draw for visitors to Mazatlán — and with good reason. The city has a long stretch of coastline, with gorgeous waves for surfers and year-round warm temperatures perfect for all types of beach bums.

Popular beaches include Playa Gaviotas, with calm water and a lively beach volleyball scene, and Camarón Sábalo, a popular beach with surfers. With miles of coast, there is a beach for everyone.

There are other benefits to Mazatlán’s coastal location besides the beautiful beaches. An evening stroll along the Malecón, the boardwalk that stretches over a dozen miles along the coast, is one of the most iconic past times for locals and visitors alike.

Mazatlán’s coastal location also influences the city’s delicious food, which is famous throughout Mexico for its seafood specialties.

The city also has plenty to do as you move inland. The city was founded in the 16th century, and a stroll through the downtown will expose you to stunning buildings such as the eclectic Cathedral Basilica of Mazatlán and the Angela Peralta Theater.

For the best views of the city (and to burn off those seafood tacos), hike to the El Faro Lighthouse. To get the most out of your experience in Mazatlán, you definitely want to stay in the right neighborhood so you don’t wind up hiking to the beach all the time.

The city is not very big, but it is spread out, meaning that it takes a while to get from one part of town to the other, even with the well-developed taxi networks.

Unfortunately, choosing the right area to stay in has extra importance in the city, as some parts of it are quite unsafe. You want to make sure that you stay in a neighborhood that is both convenient and safe.

The 4 Best Parts of Mazatlán

Where to Stay in Mazatlan map in vector format featuring the best areas of town

  1. Centro Histórico: Best for sightseeing and historical buildings
  2. Zona Dorada: Best for resort experiences, beach activities, and nightlife
  3. Malecón: Best for families on vacation, culture, and beaches
  4. Cerritos/Marina: Best for water sports and quieter travel

Where to Stay in Mazatlán: Best Areas & Hotels

Mazatlán doesn’t have many neighborhoods that are popular with tourists. There are just four main parts of town where people tend to stay while they are on vacation.

However, these parts of town are fairly different from one another, so it is important to make sure that you are staying in the right one when you plan your visit.

1. Centro Histórico

A well-lit narrow street at Centro Histórico in Mazatlán, Mexico, where old walls and brick street can be seen during sunset.

Mazatlan, Mexico – January 2022 : Historical center in sunny weather, HDR Image/mehdi33300/Shutterstock

Mazatlán’s Centro Histórico is the best place to stay if you want to be right in the middle of the action. The Centro Histórico is unique because it features centuries of stunning buildings from the city’s history as an important port town.

However, unlike in many cities, the Centro Histórico is not frozen in time and is still a living, breathing neighborhood where you can stay right along with the locals.

Centro Histórico is full of stunning buildings. Famous buildings include the Basilica Cathedral of Mazatlán, the Angel Peralta Theater, and the Mercado Pino Suárez.

Mazatlán is not a very museum-heavy town, but it has a few smaller museums and galleries that are interesting to stop and visit while you are in town, such as the Municipal Center of the Arts.

The interesting thing about Mazatlán’s Centro Histórico compared to that of many other Mexican towns is how different it looks. Instead of imposing colonial stone buildings, most of the buildings have colorful, delicate facades.

Nowhere is this more visible than in the Plazuela Machado. This is one of the highlights of the Centro Histórico, with lots of cafés, families running around, and live music.

The Centro Histórico is a good place to stay because it has the biggest concentration of hotels in the city. You can find options for every budget, along with plenty of other amenities such as restaurants, bars, and boutiques.

Mazatlán’s Centro Histórico has everything a tourist may want, but it is not touristy by any means, and many locals still call the place home. However, the Centro Histórico is not the closest neighborhood to the beach.

If you want to maximize your beach time, especially if you would rather visit the less crowded beaches toward the outskirts of town, then you should probably stay somewhere else closer to the waterfront.

Things to Do

  • Explore the colorful streets with historic buildings and colonial-era architecture.
  • Catch some live music in the evenings in Plazuela Machado.
  • Visit the Art Museum or the Archeological Museum for a little dose of culture.

Where to Eat

  • Have local Mexican food in a historic building by dining at El Presidio.
  • Pedro y Lola is a great choice right on Plazuela Machado and is owned by people passionate about the city.
  • Hector’s Bistro is a great restaurant that offers European dining options.

Centro Histórico Budget Hotels

  • The no-frills Posada 53 offers Wi-Fi, parking, and comfortable rooms with beds, private bathrooms, and modern décor.
  • The colorful Posada del Parque, located in a residential part of the Centro Histórico, offers guests comfortable rooms, including family room options, air conditioning, and services such as an in-hotel currency exchange.

Centro Histórico Mid-Range Hotels

  • At Hosteleria Casa Margarita, enjoy comfortable seaside rooms, including allergy-free options, easy access to the center, and even activities such as cycling and barbecuing.
  • The stylish Gamma Mazatlán | The Inn At Centro Histórico has a wonderful location and beautiful amenities such as air-conditioned rooms, a fitness center, and a delicious in-house restaurant.

Centro Histórico Luxury Hotels

  • Hotel Raices del Mar feels like a luxurious oasis in the city, thanks to its recent renovation incorporating traditional décor and modern amenities such as a pool. Thanks to the location inside a renovated 19th century manor, you will truly feel like royalty staying here.
  • For true luxury during your stay in Mazatlán, rent an apartment in Villa Serena Centro Histórico and enjoy the comfortable units featuring kitchens and private bathrooms, as well as shared amenities such as a beautiful outdoor pool.

See All Hotels in Mazatlán

2. Zona Dorada

Sunny skies hovering above grand resorts along the golden beach of Zona Dorada in Mazatlan, Mexico.

Mazatlan, Mexico – January 18 2023: The abandoned Valentinos Disco along the sandy Playa Gaviotas beach in the Golden Zone of Mazatlan, Mexico, along the Sinaloa Riviera./Kirk Fisher/Shutterstock

If you want the typical Mexican resort experience while staying in Mazatlán, then the best place for you to stay is the Zona Dorada.

This area, whose name translates to “Golden Zone” in English, is located just north of the city proper and is where all of Mazatlán’s world-famous resorts are concentrated. The “Golden Zone” has everything that a tourist would want.

The area is packed full of restaurants, bars, and clubs, so you can have fun from morning until late at night. There are plenty of boutiques as well for shopping for souvenirs.

The Zona Dorada is also Mazatlán’s financial core, so you will be surrounded by an upscale environment.

Of course, the main draw of Zona Dorada is the beach. Several miles of coast stretch through this area, with beach areas for every activity, from swimming with the kids to catching waves during your surf lesson. Camarón Beach is a favorite thanks to the wide range of activities that you can experience there.

A benefit of Zona Dorada that is impossible to overstate is the area’s relative safety. Mazatlán is a city that struggles with some safety issues, but Zona Dorada is mostly free from crime as the government invests plenty of resources in keeping tourists safe.

This is the best area to stay if you want to visit Mazatlán but are worried about your personal safety. However, there are a few drawbacks to staying in Zona Dorada. The area is relatively far away from the Centro Histórico.

It is connected to the rest of the city by public transport, but those networks are not always the most convenient (although if you just want to stay on the beach, this isn’t necessarily a drawback).

The Zona Dorada also has all of the drawbacks you might expect from any resort area around the world. Authentic it is not — if you want to see how the locals live, you are better off staying somewhere else as this is a very touristy area.

It is also the most expensive part of Mazatlán, and finding budget accommodations is not the easiest.

Things to Do

  • Enjoy parasailing, kayaking, or riding on a banana boat on Camarón Beach (the possibilities are endless).
  • Check out the bars and clubs where many fellow tourists go to party.
  • Head just north of the neighborhood to El Cid Golf Course and practice your swing.

Where to Eat

  • Try the Mexican and international menu at La Concha (located in the El Cid El Moro Beach Hotel).
  • For the best seafood in the Zona Dorada, check out F.I.S.H.
  • For Tex-Mex food and a campy country-western experience, head to La Casa Country.

Zona Dorada Budget Hotels

  • The Hotel Posada Doña Rubino is one of the few budget options in Zona Dorada. It offers simple but comfortable rooms and basic amenities such as a terrace and Wi-Fi.
  • Suites San Luis offers extremely easy access to the beach. The hotel offers simple rooms with Wi-Fi and a kitchen where guests can prepare their own meals.

Zona Dorada Mid-Range Hotels

  • The Gaviana Resort offers many of the amenities you’d expect from a beachfront resort, such as a restaurant, spa, outdoor pool, fitness center, and more, for a reasonable price.
  • Costa de Oro Beach Hotel is located right on the beach, making it easy to go swimming. The many amenities, including a pool, poolside bar, restaurant, and massages, make it hard to leave.

Zona Dorada Luxury Hotels

  • Courtyard by Marriott Mazatlán Beach Resort features the amenities you’d expect from a Marriott resort, including comfortable rooms and a patio.
  • At the luxurious Viaggio Resort Mazatlán, guests can enjoy a swimming pool, spacious rooms, and a kids’ club so the parents can enjoy time on their own, all just steps away from Camarón Beach.

See All Hotels in Mazatlán

3. Malecón

A lovely boardwalk in Malecón with array of street lamps facing the calm beach during a sunset.


Mazatlán’s iconic boardwalk, the Malecón, offers the best of both worlds. Staying near the miles-long boardwalk offers you easy access to several beach areas without compromising your proximity to the city and culture.

There is plenty to see and do along the Malecón, which makes sense since this boardwalk is one of the longest in the world. It passes through three distinct neighborhoods: Olas Altas, which is the most popular, Loma Linda, which offers the best views, and Los Pinos, which is the quietest.

The Mazatlán Malecón has many monuments and historic sites along the way, such as the Fisherman’s Monument, making it an interesting walk indeed. El Faro, the city’s famous lighthouse where you can get some of the best views, is a short hike away.

The boardwalk also has kid-friendly activities, such as bike rentals and in-line skate rentals. There are also kid-friendly attractions just off the boardwalk, from the Mazatlán Aquarium to the playground and small zoo in City Park.

These activities are part of the reason why staying near the Malecón is a favorite option for many families.

Although the Malecón is close to the shore, there aren’t many good swimming areas near the boardwalk. If you want to be closer to the beach, you’re better off staying further north.

Things to Do

  • Walk, bike, or skate along the Malecón, taking in the many statues and monuments along the way.
  • Take a detour and hike up to the El Faro lighthouse for the best views of Mazatlán.
  • Stop by El Clavedista to see the spectacular local cliff divers.

Where to Eat

  • Try one of the traditional local palapas, or local seafood shacks, such as Puerto Azul.
  • Try the famous local shrimp at Mariscos Los Gavilanes.
  • Have seafood with a sea view at El Muchacho Alegre.

Malecón Budget Hotels

  • Located a bit away from the boardwalk in the residential Reforma neighborhood, Posada Bugambilia features simple air-conditioned rooms, each with a private entrance.
  • Simple Hotel La Siesta offers very comfortable rooms, easy access to the beach and the city center, and a quiet garden for when you need a break from the city.

Malecón Mid-Range Hotels

  • Colorful Casa de Leyendas is decorated in a traditional Mexican style and offers amenities such as a hotel bar, garden, and children’s playground.
  • Elegant Hotel Boutique Casa Lulu feels like a luxury resort minus the luxury prices. Enjoy marble bathrooms, an outdoor pool, and amazing views.

Malecón Luxury Hotels

  • The big Don Pelayo Pacific Beach offers guests massive rooms, some with their own seating areas, and access to shared amenities such as a pool with slides, a hot tub, and a games room. Kids, in particular, love this hotel.
  • Guests at the stylish Casa Lucila Hotel Boutique can enjoy a rooftop infinity pool, pampering at the spa, and activities such as bike rentals before retreating to their elegant, well-designed rooms.

See All Hotels in Mazatlán

4. Cerritos/Marina

The calm Cerritos beach with its beautiful resorts facing the vast calm beach waters, and two small islands visible at a distance.

Mazatlan, Mexico – January 2022 : Cerritos beach in sunny weather, HDR Image/mehdi33300/Shutterstock

To the north of the Zona Dorada in Mazatlán are the quiet areas of Zona Marina and Cerritos. For travelers in the know, these areas are the hidden gems of the city.

Cerritos is a newer area of town that is much quieter than the center and old downtown. The main attractions in Cerritos are the beaches.

The most famous are Sabalo Beach and Cerritos Beach, whose pristine white sand always has a spot for sunbathers, unlike the very crowded beaches in Zona Dorada.

These beaches are popular among water sports enthusiasts as there is so much more space to play than on Mazatlán’s other beaches. The Zona Marina, just south of Cerritos, is centered around Mazatlán’s marina. This area has some of the best views in the city.

Sit in one of the beachfront restaurants and enjoy views of the waves and the boats bobbing at their moors. There are other things to do, such as golf courses and bars, although not that many hotel options.

The Marina is also a nice, quiet option if you are tired of dealing with the hustle and bustle of the city. The quietness of Cerritos and Zona Marina does come with a price.

These areas are located a fair distance out of the city, and you will probably have to drive or take a taxi to get to the Centro Histórico if you want to take in the sights. The area is also not very walkable. Of course, many visitors are content to just explore this corner of Mazatlán.

Things to Do

  • Take in the beautiful views around the Mazatlán Marina.
  • Go shopping in the many department stores and malls of Nuevo Mazatlán.
  • Go surfing (or watch the daredevils) at Playa Cerritos.

Where to Eat

  • Enjoy great Mexican food with an oceanfront view at Pancho’s.
  • Check out the wide-ranging themed menus at La Palapa.
  • Enjoy excellent seafood and service at Tony’s on the Beach.

Cerritos/Marina Budget Hotels

  • The Ibis Mazatlán Marina is a comfortable hotel choice, with clean, air-conditioned rooms, a business center for travelers here for work, and complimentary breakfast.
  • The Xperience by g is an adults-only resort with surprisingly affordable rooms and amenities such as a restaurant, terrace, nightly entertainment, and stylish, air-conditioned rooms.

Cerritos/Marina Mid-Range Hotels

  • At the Park Inn by Radisson Mazatlán, guests can swim in the pool, enjoy services such as a currency exchange and tour bookings, and relax in comfortable rooms, just steps away from Cerritos Beach.
  • The Diamond Bay is a resort located right on the beach. Amenities include spacious studio rooms, an infinity pool, and more, all with an excellent view.

Cerritos/Marina Luxury Hotels

See All Hotels in Mazatlán

So Where Should You Stay in Mazatlán?

🏰 Most Historic AreaCentro Histórico
🎉 Best Area for NightlifeZona Dorada
👪 Best for FamiliesMalecón
🛥️ Best Area for WatersportsCerritos/Marina

Mazatlán is a great city for your next Mexican beach vacation. It is not a big city, but it still has something for everyone. Centro Histórico is the city’s scenic core, with buildings dating back hundreds of years throughout the city’s history.

This is the best place to stay if you want to spend your time sightseeing and exploring the historic attractions and museums.

The Centro Histórico is also a great place to get a taste of local life. Plus, this area has the biggest range of hotels, from budget inns to renovated mansions.

Of course, many people come to Mazatlán with one thought and one thought only — the beach. If you just want to maximize your time in the ocean, then staying in the famous Zona Dorada resort area is the choice for you.

Like any resort area, it has anything you might want, from restaurants to nightlife, in one place. If you want to stay near the shore but don’t want to be so far removed from other attractions, staying near the Malecón or boardwalk is the best choice for you.

Thanks to the many activities, this area is very popular with families. Finally, if you want a quieter vacation, staying in the north of the city near Zona Marina or Cerritos is the best bet.

The beaches here are far less crowded, making them the best areas for water sports from surfing to swimming. These areas are also some of the safest in Mazatlán, making them popular with tourists.

Wherever you stay in Mazatlán, you are sure to realize why this city is called “the pearl of the Pacific.” Choose your hotel wisely — you may never want to leave!