Mazatlan offers over 20 Kms. or 12 miles of beautiful beaches. The best Mazatlan beaches vary in their appeal and offer plenty of activities to keep things exciting.
Updated January 2023
If you are looking for a Mexico beach vacation destination where you can Jet ski, waterski, parasail or parascend, Mazatlan beaches are sure to fit the bill. If you are looking to just relax and work on your tan, these beaches are perfect as well! On some beaches you may be able to walk out more as far as 50 meters or 160 feet!
Surfing is popular on some Mazatlan beaches. Always surf with a partner or if you are not familiar with the area make use of a good guide or visit the local surf shops for the best information and locations for surfing. Safety first, live to surf!
Snorkeling and scuba diving is available in Mazatlan. The best places to do some snorkeling in Mazatlan are on Deer Island (Isla de Venados), Goat Island (Isla de Chivos) or Stone Island (Isla de la Piedra). Guides are available to take you to these beautiful, secluded islands.
Of course, if you plan to visit Mazatlan you will want to choose one of the best Mazatlan beach or waterfront hotels!
We will start with the Northern beaches of Mazatlan and work our way South.
Located north of Mazatlan, Playa Los Cerritos is a ways out of town and thus less crowded. This beach is for individuals looking to relax. With a good stretch of beach, you will be able to enjoy a nice romantic stroll and enjoy the sunset.
Not really recommended for swimming as you may find strong waves and undertows. If you are not into surfing you can enjoy watching those who do!
Playa Los Cerritos is a great little beach to relax at! Bring a picnic and a good book. This is a great beach.
You will generally catch the best waves at Playa Bruja close to Playa Los Cerritos. Arguably the best beach in Mazatlan for surfing, this beach is not as busy since surfing is its focus and, like Playa Los Cerritosa, is a ways out of town. Located 40 Kms. or 20 miles north west of the main tourist area of Mazatlan helps to keep the general tourist population down to a minimum.
Some vendors are available to rent boards from but it is best to be fully prepared for serious surfing. Waves at Playa Bruja can reach heights of 2.5 - 3 meters or 8 - 10 feet!
Swimming in this area is not recommended due to high waves. The area however is lovely and you will be able to relax away from the crowds.
Open air restaurants offer casual seafood. Relax... you're in Mexico!
Protected by the islands of Deer Island (Isla de Venados) and Goat Island (Isla de Chivos) this beach is where you will find parasailing, windsurfing swimming and many of the hotels. You will also find the famous Valentino's disco close by. This area is also called the Golden Zone or Zona Dorada. Swimming along this beach is one of the safest as it is protected from the nearby islands.
Vendors are attracted to this area due to the number of tourists wanting to purchase souvenirs of all types. If you are looking to get to a quieter area to lie on the beach, we suggest the more northern beaches.
This could very well be the most popular and one of the best beaches in Mazatlan. Playa las Gaviotas with its golden sand, is located in the "Golden Zone" renowned for its waterfront hotels. Like Playa Sabalo, this beach is also protected by Deer and Goat Islands. It has relatively calm waters which make it ideal for swimming. You will be able to wade out a long ways into the ocean during low tide.
You will enjoy great romantic sunsets from this beach and this is where things get lively!
Playa Norte is about 4.8 Km. long or 3 miles long of white sandy beach. It is the longest stretch of beach in Mazatlan. This beach features a beautiful seaside promenade called The Malecon which overlooks the beach.
Playa Norte is close to Punta Cameron and is popular with the locals. They enjoy playing sports right on the beach here. There are smaller swells for beginning and intermediate surfers. If you would like to fish you can also do it here by casting off the rocks.
The waves at Playa Norte can be forceful but there is not much of a drop off so it is fairly safe. Swimming at this beach is best in the southern part.
Great for romantic walks along the Malecon or Mazatlan Promenade. You can enjoy fresh seafood here as well.
Playa Olas Altas is one of the smaller beaches in Mazatlan. This is where Mazatlan first became a tourist waterfront destination. John Wayne used to dock his boat here while visiting. You could call this beach High Waves Beach in English if you wanted to. It is a small beach favored by locals and surfers alike.
Due to the waves it is not ideally suited for swimming but is a nice beach to watch surfers and sunbathe. A saltwater swimming pool is looked after by the rising and falling of the tides.
Seaside cafés and restaurants are readily available.
The Malecon or Mazatlan Promenade is a must do. Beginning in area of Playas Olas Altas and ending north of Mazatlan in the Golden Zone. A very romantic walk, you will see a lot of Mazatlan's history in this area.
Isla de la Piedra is actually a peninsula located just south of Mazatlan. A large beach is located here and you will see the third largest coconut grove in Mexico.
Gentle waves and sandy beach make Isla de la Piedra a great place to enjoy the Mexican sun. You may also rent horses along this beach! You will find open air restaurants to serve all your favorite Mexican meals as well.
Best Waterfront Destinations (with the help of Google Maps) has assembled the best Mazatlan beaches on this map. These are the most popular beaches in Mazatlan and this map is designed to help you find them quickly without all the clutter. For view of larger map simply hit the square icon at top right of map. It is the best beach map of Mazatlan you will find!
Best Waterfront Destinations (with the help of Google Maps) has assembled the best Mazatlan beaches on this map. These are the most popular beaches in Mazatlan and this map is designed to help you find them quickly without all the clutter.
For view of larger map simply hit the square icon at top right of map. It is the best beach map of Mazatlan you will find!