Mazatlán FAQ |  - Everything you need to know about visiting and residing in Mazatlán Mexico!

Mazatlán FAQ

Is Mazatlán Safe?

Yes, Mazatlán is safe.  Like any big city there are incidents of crime, but it is surprisingly low in the Golden Zone, Olas Altas, and Historic Old Town where you will most likely stay.  It seems these days that the majority of Canadian and American visitors to Mazatlán are older and they don't have many problems.  We do however recommend that you do not get too drunk and don't do drugs...people that do are more likely to encounter issues!  You will notice many police (traffic, city, state, federal) patrolling the streets to keep a visible presence.  Mazatlán even have tourist police that speak some english!  Overall, you are more likely to get a sunburn then to be robbed or assaulted!

Why visit Mazatlán?

Mazatlán is more than just a beach resort.  It is also a large colonial city that has many Attractions, Activities, and Events!  From the largest Aquarium in latin america to the 3rd largest Carnival in the world to professional Baseball to tens of miles of fabulous Beaches, you can do as little or as much as you want in Mazatlán!

Day of the Dead parade in Mazatlán, Mexico

Where is Mazatlán?

Mazatlán is located in the state of Sinaloa in the country of Mexico.  It is on the Pacific Ocean, i.e. western, coast of Mexico.  It is located directly east of the end of the Baja Pennisula north of Puerto Vallarta.  It is located almost at latitude 23 which is the 'Tropic of Cancer'.

How do I get to and from Mazatlán?

You can get to Mazatlán by air, land, or sea.  Mazatlán has an international airport that has international and domestic flights daily.  There is now a super highway from Durango in the north and a highway from Tepic in the south if you are driving to Mazatlán.  There is also a daily car ferry from La Paz on the Baja Pennisula that you can take to get to Mazatlán.

Ferry to La Paz from Mazatlán, Sinaloa, Mexico

What are the different areas of town in Mazatlán?

Mazatlán is a big town and has many different areas that you should be aware of.  We have written up descriptions of all the areas of Mazatlan on this webpage: Areas of Town

Mazatlán, Sinaloa, Mexico from the air

When is the best time of the year to visit Mazatlán?

Depends on what temperature you like.  The main tourist season runs from November through April.  During this time it is fairly dry and sunny, and the temperature is warm during the day (25-30 celsius) and cooler at night (15-23 celsius).  Our favorite months are November and April.  It cools off a bit in January and February and the water can be cool to enter.  From May through October is is very hot and humid.  Temperatures can reach 40 celsius!  From the late summer through November is hurricane season.  Rarely has Mazatlán been hit by a hurricane, but it could happen.

What is the weather like in Mazatlán?

Sunny, dry, and warm from November through April.  Very hot and humid from May through October.

What does the word Mazatlán mean?

Mazatlán means "Land of the Deer".

deer statue at Olas Altas, Mazatlán

What currency is used in Mazatlán?

The currency used in Mazatlán is the Mexican Peso.  Most hotels, restaurants, and shops will accept smaller US dollar bills as payment, but won't give you a good exchange rate.  Also, the bills must be perfect or they won't accept them.  Canadian dollars and coins are not accepted anywhere.  We recommend that you convert your currency to Mexican pesos and use the pesos.

mexican pesos

Can I put toilet paper in the toilets in Mazatlán?

No, except in the major hotels.  The sewage system in Mazatlán is at sea level and cannot handle toilet paper well.  The general rule is that if you see a waste basket next to the toilet, put your toilet paper into the waste basket!

toilet in Mazatlán, Sinaloa, Mexico

Can I drink the water in Mazatlán?

No!  Always drink bottled water.  Some hotels claim to have purified water, but we wouldn't trust drinking it from the tap.  You can buy bottled water cheaply at any convenience or grocery store.  If you are staying a long time, you can buy 5 and 10 litre bottles of water at most grocery stores.

drinking water in Mazatlán, Sinaloa, Mexico

What does 2x1 mean?

2x1 means "Two for One" which means that if you order 1 they will bring 2.  This usually refers to beers, but can also refer to mixed drinks as well.  We have also seen...but don't remember...3x1 at some bars!!!  You will see this at many bars and restaurants in Mazatlan.  Usually, they do not allow you to order just one beer if it is 2x1, you have to take two beers.  So when you order be sure to order the correct amount.  If we are ordering more than one, we usually say "dos for quatro", i.e. 2 for 4, or "tres for seis", i.e. 3 for 6, etc. just to be clear to the server.

2x1 sign in Mazatlán, Sinaloa, Mexico

What is the big white castle in Mazatlán?

The big white castle on the point is an entertainment and food complex called 'Punto Valentino'.  It was formerly called 'Fiestaland.  It is at the corner of Avenida Rafael Buelna and Avenida Camaron Sabalo where the Malecon ends and the Golden Zone starts.

Previously this complex was called Fiestaland and had the famous nightclubs: Valentinos and Bora Bora along with some restaurants.  Fiestaland fell into disrepair and most of it closed by 2020.

In 2021, new owners took over and renamed it 'Punto Valentino'.  As of fall 2021 it is currently being built out.  So far, it has an outdoor beach club called: Onaki Beach Club that opened in the summer of 2021 and a seafood restaurant called: Onaltica, that opened in August 2021.  Eventually, it will have 8 bars and restaurants.

Fiestaland castle in Mazatlán, Sinaloa, Mexico

How much should I tip in Mazatlan?

It is generally accepted that tourists in Mazatlán will tip about the same as they tip in the US or Canada which is about 10%-20% on average depending on the service.

Where is the United States consulate in Mazatlán?

The United States consulate office is located on Avenida Playa Gaviotas directly across the street from the Hotel Playa Mazatlán in the Golden Zone.  If you need to get here, just tell any taxi driver to take you to the Hotel Playa Mazatlán.  They may not know about the consulate, but they definitely will know the hotel!

US Consulate Office in Mazatlán, Sinaloa, Mexico

Where is the Canadian consulate in Mazatlán?

The address of the Canadian consulate in Mazatlán is at Boulevard Marina Mazatlán #2302, Marina Mazatlán, Mazatlán, Sinaloa, Mexico, 82103.  This is in the northern part of the tourist zone in the Marina Mazatlán area of town.  The office is in an office complex called the 'Centro Comercial La Marina Business and Life'.  The local telephone number is: 669-913-7320.  It is open Monday to Friday from 9:30am to 12:30pm.

What is the Mazatlán Airport Code?

The Airport Code for the Mazatlán airport is: MZT.  The airport is called the General Rafael Buelna International Airport which is about half an hour drive from the main tourist area of Mazatlán.

Mazatlán Airport

How do I say "Cheers" in Mazatlán?

In Mexico, the common why to toast with a drink is to say "Salut"!

people saying cheers in Mazatlán

How do you pronounce Mazatlán?

You pronounce Mazatlán like: mah-zhat-LAN .  The emphasis is on the last syllable because it is accented!

deer statue at Olas Altas, Mazatlán

What time zone is Mazatlán in?

Mazatlán is in the MDT time zone which is ....

When is the Carnival in Mazatlán?

Carnival occurs annually and is usually in February...but always is 6 weeks before easter.  For 2024, it will be from February 8, 2024 to February 13, 2024.  2024 Mazatlán Events Calendar for a full list of the Carnival events that will take place!

Carnival in Mazatlán, Sinaloa, Mexico

Is Uber operating in Mazatlán?

Yes, as of November 2017 Uber was operating in Mazatlán.  We used it a number of times and found the price slightly lower than for taxis/pulmonias.  Also, you could get an Uber ride easier than a taxi if you were outside of the Golden Zone.

What are the red truck taxis in Mazatlán called?

The red pickup truck taxis that take large groups of people are called "aurigas" which means chariots!  The name evolved from the horse-drawn carriages that used to operate in the Downtown/Old Town.  If you have a group of more than 4 people you will likely have to use an auriga.  They operate similarly to how the Pulmonia taxis operate.

Auriga taxi in Mazatlán

Mazatlán Links