Mazatlán is blessed with over 20 miles of beautiful beaches.
The word "playa" means beach in spanish.
Here is a list of the main and best beaches in Mazatlán and information about them that will let you make your decision on whether to go to them or not.
You need to look at the flags and warning signs at the beaches before swimming. All of the major hotels on the beach have warning flags and signs near their beach entrances that you should alway look at when planning on swimming. There are times when the waves and currents are bad and/or there are jelly fish. Also, do not drink alcohol and swim drunk. Although less common now, there are still frequent deaths to swimming when being drunk!
The beaches in Mazatlán are pretty good. Mazatlán's beaches stack up well against other Mexican beach resorts. For example, Puerto Vallarta has many beaches that are rocky and with a steep depth drop-off close to shore. Many of the beaches as Cabo San Lucas, Puerto Escondido, Acapulco, and Hualtalco can be too dangerous to swim at due to the wave action and currents. Mazatlán's beaches don't have the fine white sand like in Cancun, but rather like all other Pacific Ocean resorts has a courser sand. Unfortunately, the sand in Mazatlán does get hot to walk on, unlike Cancun, during the hot period of the year. Most of the beaches in Mazatlán are fairly wide, very walkable, and very swimmable. Some years, if there are lots of winter storms, the sand on some beaches can be low, but this doesn't happen every year. Over time, the sand returns.
Busy beach at Easter in Mazatlán, Sinaloa, Mexico
On Sundays, the beaches are typically filled with more families and children because this is typically the one day off many workers in Mexico get.
During Easter Week (Semana Santa), every beach in Mazatlán is packed with mainly Mexican national tourists! The main beaches get so busy that you cannot barely see sand if you are looking down on them above! So, if you are looking for a relaxing beach time, don't come to Mazatlán during Easter!
All of the beaches in Mexico are public and free so they cannot be blocked by landowners. Usually, there are no motor vehicles allowed on the beaches, except for life guards, police, and military. However, most hotels will have a roped off section for their patrons so that the beach vendors do not bother them. On many beaches in Mexico, there is a lot of activity. There can be multiple-piece brass bands looking for people to pay to hear them play songs. There can be beach vendors hawking blankets, hats, sun glasses, jewelry, hair-braiding, write your name on a grain of rice, fruits, flan, shrimp, etc.! If you want to not be disturbed, stay in the roped off section of the hotels where the beach vendors will not go.
Below is a list of the main beaches in Mazatlán that you may want to go to during your time in Mazatlán.
beach in Mazatlán, Sinaloa, Mexico
Playa Camaron beach
Located in the Golden Zone, this is one of the most popular beach in Mazatlán.
It is medium wide and very sandy. It is fairly shallow for a long distance out so it is good for swimming and boogie boarding.
However, later in the afternoon on most afternoons the wind picks up and the waves can get large making it more difficult to swim out too far.
This beach is not always great for walking on because of the deep sand and the slope especially during high tides.
The best place for children to swim is in front of the Hotel Playa Mazatlán.
At the southern-most end of the beach around Punto Valentino point the waves are larger and this area is frequented by surfers.
Joe's Oyster Bar, the best beach bar in Mazatlán, is located on this beach. You can enter/leave the bar from the beach. In front of the bar is one of the busiest places on any beach in Mazatlán because you can be on the beach and listen to the music coming from the bar! If you need to rent a jet ski, sailboat, boogie board, or umbrella, be sure to rent from Miguel directly in front of Joe's Oyster Bar!
Playa Gaviotas beach
Located in the middle of the Golden Zone, this is also one of the most popular beaches in Mazatlán.
There are a number of big hotels and condos on this beach where there can be crowds of people. Other parts of the beach can be almost empty.
This is a wide beach and the waves on this beach are usually not too large.
This beach is great for walking on because it is wide and fairly flat. There are a few points where the beach disappears at high tide so you may not be able to walk the entire beach at times.
This beach is swimmable and people boogie board on it. Nobody really surfs or snorkels on this beach.
There is a many miles (3-5 miles?) long beach that runs parallel to the Malecon on the Avenida Del Mar.
This beach is swimmable on most parts and is frequented by the many tourists that stay in the hotels and condos across the Avenida Del Mar.
It is dangerous to swim in the area where the Mazatlan letters are on the Malecon due to the rocks and strong currents.
This beach is also very walkable. Nobody surfs or snorkels on this beach.
Deer Island beach
This is a small beach located on Deer Island, one of the 3 big islands located just off the coast of Mazatlán.
You will need to take a boat from Playa Gaviotas near the El Cid Mega Resort to get to Deer Island. Many people go on tour for a few hours which includes snorkelling and lunch.
The beach is very swimmable and there is decent snorkelling here. Nobody surfs here.
Note that there are limited food/bathroom facilities on Deer Island.
Stone Island beach
Located at Stone Island (Isla De Piedra) which is actually more of a pennisula than an island. This beach is a beautiful, wide, flat beach that is protected from large waves so it is popular with families with children.
There are many restaurants and a few hotels on the beach.
Many tours will take tourists to this beach.
Stone Island is also accessible by boat for about MX$30(?) pesos return(keep your ticket stub) from the 'embarcadero' at the Port of Mazatlán which is at the last stop of the Sabalo Centro bus a block from the road that goes to the El Faro Lighthouse.
This is arguably the best best beach in Mazatlán.
This beach is swimmable and great for walking because it is flat. Nobody usually surfs or snorkels on this beach.
Playa Sabalo beach
Located in the northern part of the Golden Zone, this is a wide beautiful beach.
Parts of this beach can be fairly busy with tourists from the many hotels that line it.
This beach is swimmable. People also boogie board on this beach. Nobody usually surfs or snorkels on this beach.
Playa Cerritos beach
Located at the northern end of the tourist area in Mazatlán, this is a beautiful, long, sandy beach.
It is never too busy because it is lined mainly by condominum buildings that are spaced out.
This beach is swimmmable, but can be dangerous due to the strong currents. Nobody surfs or snorkels on this beach.
Playa Bruja beach
Located at the northern end (Cerritos) of the tourist area in Mazatlán, this is a beautiful, long, sandy beach. It is considered one of the best beaches in Mazatlán!
For many years, it was a very quite beach, but now is lined with a few condos and the huge Hotel Riu Emerald Bay.
At the most northern end of the beach at Cerritos point is one of the best surfing locations in Mazatlán.
This beach is swimmmable, but can be dangerous due to the strong currents and rocks.
Also, at the end of the beach is a fantastic restaurant, Mr. Lionso, which we highly recommend.
To get to Playa Bruja, you can take the Sabalo Cerritos bus which runs up Avenida Camaron Sabalo, the main street in the tourist area. This bus goes all the way to Cerritos which is about a 15 minute bus ride north of the Golden Zone.
Playa Norte beach
Very few people swim on this beach. There is no surfing on this beach.
Playa Olas Altas beach
Located in Olas Altas, this is a medium-sized beach.
This beach isn't that busy because the beach is not as swimmable as other beaches. "Olas Altas" means "high waves" so you can guess that the waves are larger on this beach. Most people just sit on the beach while taking the occasional dip in the water to cool off.
People that are staying in Olas Altas or Downtown/Historic Old Town may use this beach.
Surprisingly, nobody surfs or snorkels on this beach.
In front of the beach is the Malecon (sea wall) and many restaurants, bars, and hotels.
Located in the Los Pinos area which is where the Avenida del Mar turns to head toward the old town Mazatlán, this is a very small beach.
It has a reputation for being the beach for grandparents and grandchildren because is very shallow and the waves are small. It is affectionately known by the locals as 'Los Pinitos'
On weekends, it is packed with local families. Not many Canadian and American tourists go to this beach.
There is no surfing on this beach.
Delfin (Dolphin) beach is a long empty beach located in the Emerald Bay area of Mazatlán.
There are very few developments on this beach now, but it is the next large undeveloped area that will be developed.
Mazatlán is not known for good snorkelling. On most beaches the waves kick up the sand so it is cloudy. However, at various times and places there is clear water and you can see fish.
The best place to snorkel in Mazatlán is near the beach on Deer Island. You need to take a boat to get to Deer Island. &bnsp;There are boats that will take you to Deer Island all along the beach in the Golden Zone, especially near the El Cid Mega Resort.
Additionally, there are some tours that will take you out to Deer Island, Goat Island, Bird Island, or Los Cardones to snorkel.
There are a few places to surf in Mazatlán. Mazatlán is not as popular for surfing as is Puerto Escondido, but you can still catch some good waves.
From March to November, there are strong Pacific ground swells that consistently come in making for good surfing.
The most popular places to surf in Mazatlán are 1) Cerritos Point - in the north part of Mazatlán at the end of Playa Bruja, and 2) next to Punto Valentino (big white castle) at the point in the Golden Zone.
There is more surfing a little farther north up the beach from Cerritos at an area called 'Los Cordones', which even has it's own small luxury surf resort.
There are a couple of surf shops and even a surf school in Mazatlán.
This is one of the most asked questions about the beaches in Mazatlán. As you can see from the above description of beaches, Mazatlán has a wide range of beaches that are great for swimming and walking on. No beach in Maz will match the white sand and clear blue water of the Caribean beaches in Cancun and Playa Del Carmen, but Mazatlán's beaches are still pretty good!
Yes, most of the beaches in Mazatlán are swimmable. Some are more swimable that others due to the waves. Los Pinos beach has the smallest waves and is good for very young children and old folks. Our favourite places to swim are on the Stone Island Beach and on the beaches in the Golden Zone.
It is common for the waves to be larger in the afternoons when the wind picks up so it is better to swim in the morning.
There are times that it is dangerous to swim in the oceans due to the currents or jelly fish. Most hotels have flags up indicating whether it is safe to swim or not.
Also, please do not swim if you are drunk as it is very dangerous!
Sometimes. On most beaches the waves will kick up the sand, but there are times during the year and places where the water is very clear.
The closest beach to the cruise ship terminal is Stone Island Beach. Just down the street from where the cruise ships dock is the 'embarcadero'. You pay a couple dollars (for return trip) here to take a 5 minute boat across the harbour to Stone Island which has a great beach.
You can also take a taxi(pulmonia) to other beaches (mentioned above), but they are 15-30 minutes away.