Spend your days lounging on the golden sands and dipping your toes in the cool waters of the Pacific on the idyllic shores of Mazatlan’s beaches. Indulge in meals of fresh seafood with an unbeatable view, the sea breeze keeping you cool to the soundtrack of the waves.
From strolling the Malecon, a 13-mile seaside boardwalk, to beach hopping along some of the area’s best stretches of sand, Mazatlan is the ultimate coastal escape, whether you’re looking for surfing, people-watching, or simply lounging.
These are the 10 best Mazatlan beaches to enjoy during your Mexican getaway.
Olas Altas Beach
Head to one of Mazatlan’s most popular beaches, located right along the southern end of the Malecon, the city’s famous boardwalk along the scenic Pacific shoreline.
Olas Altas translates to “high waves” beach, making it a great surfing spot, as well as a place to relax. Soak up the sun on the golden sands, letting the calming sound of the waves help you unwind.
Because of the often rough surf, this is more a beach for people-watching and observing the surfers, and taking the occasional quick dip than for long sea swims.
Stop for a snack or lunch at one of the seaside cafés that line the shore, sampling local fare such as monkfish, prawns, and a margarita, of course.
If you have extra time, combine your visit to this magnificent beach with the nearby Parque Natural Faro Mazatlan, accessed from the beach via a five-minute drive to the southern tip of the peninsula.
Hike up to the hilltop lighthouse, perched on the peak of Cerro del Creston and considered the tallest in the Americas. At 523 feet above high tide, the panoramic views of Mazatlan and the surrounding region from the overlook platform are nothing short of spectacular. It’s sure to be an unforgettable scene that’ll stick with you long after your vacation.
Escape the beach-going crowds of the Zona Dorada, or the Golden Zone, the heart of the beachfront area of Mazatlan, and enjoy the tranquility of Playa Cerritos, located on the northern edge of the city and about 20 minutes from the center. The beach is lined with luxury condos but still doesn’t get too crowded.
Bask in the sun while lounging on the golden stretch of sand, or relax in the shade of the palm trees that fringe the sand. Rock formations dot the coast in the distance and with a selection of open-air, seaside restaurants on the beach, it’s possible to enjoy the view while eating lunch.
This is also a great place to take a long walk as the sand stretches for three miles here. Admire seashells and stretch your legs in one of Mazatlan’s most beautiful places.
For peace and quiet in a laid-back atmosphere that’s a bit off-the-beaten-track, Playa Cerritos is an excellent choice and one of the most underrated Mazatlan beaches.
Running the entire stretch of shoreline from the Monumento al Pescador to the popular destination of the Golden Zone, Playa Norte is a wide stretch of sand. The water is ideal for swimming, provided you avoid the fishing boats that depart from here.
Be sure to check out the monument honoring local fishermen, dating back to the 1950s, before or after your time on the beach. Bring a frisbee or play catch on the sand and then cool off with a dip in the shallow water. Simply wandering along the scenic coast here, taking in the surroundings, is another popular activity and you’ll see locals out strolling on weekends.
A wide array of restaurants and vendors with souvenirs or street food are available along the beach as well, making this the perfect place to spend the afternoon.
While it’s a quieter destination than some of the other beaches in the area, there’s enough going on to create the best of both worlds.
Playa El Delfin
Translated to “Dolphin Beach”, Playa El Delfin is situated north of the city, approximately 30 minutes from the heart of Mazatlan.
This quiet stretch of sand is perfect for those looking to enjoy solitude and a serene beach day, away from the bustle of the city beaches.
Watch the local fisherman head out on their boats, read a book, or sunbathe under the warm Mexican rays. Keep an eye out for dolphins in the water too; they have, after all, given the beach its name.
If you’d like to pair your relaxing beach day with a golf game, the nearby course at Marina Mazatlan is a great choice, too.
Playa Isla de la Piedra
Located on Stone Island, this beach is accessed by a quick, five-minute ferry or water taxi ride from the southern edge of Mazatlan.
The large expanse of beach offers a relaxed atmosphere for sunbathing, walking, horseback riding, or fishing. The sand shelves gently into the sea here, so it’s a good place for families with kids or less confident swimmers.
Take a break from the sand and stretch your legs on the nearby path up Goat Hill, named after the resident goats that can often be spotted there.
Take the short and relatively easy path up to the top where you’ll be greeted by sprawling views of the beach and surroundings as well as potentially a curious goat or two.
After, you’ve earned some refreshments at one of the local restaurants along the beach before taking a boat back to Mazatlan. Try freshly made guacamole, fried fish, shrimp in red sauce, or quesadillas at Lety’s restaurant, one of the seaside favorites and Stone Island staples.
Read: Mexico Travel Tips
Located to the north of Mazatlan, Playa Brujas is a quieter option than some of the beaches in the downtown or Golden Zone areas.
Legend says that this beach was used by witches to perform rituals. It’s believed that this is how the beach received its name, “brujas”, which means “witches”.
Nowadays, not a witch in sight, this beach is a favorite for surfers and sunbathers for its secluded feel and wide, golden sands. Chair and umbrella rentals are available, or simply spread out a towel or blanket to soak up the sun.
Boogie boarding and surfing are popular here due to the solid surf break. Board rentals are available at the onsite surf shacks, so it’s easy to pick one up and go catch some waves.
While swimming isn’t prohibited, the water here can be a bit rough at times so it’s wise to go in near the lifeguard stand.
Fuel up at one of the onsite restaurants where freshly caught seafood dishes and cooling cocktails dazzle. A local favorite is Mr. Lionso at the edge of the beach. This Mexican restaurant serves up large shrimp, lobster, and amazing tuna ceviche, among other delicacies.
Dive further into the gastronomic side of Mexican culture with a tequila tasting here, too. The view, food, and drinks can’t be beaten for the ultimate seaside experience.
This bustling beach destination is one of the best-loved beaches in Mazatlan, located in the heart of the Golden Zone, a popular tourist area of the city with swimming beaches, restaurants, and shops.
If you’re coming for Spring Break, this is the place to be. If you’d rather avoid people coming for Spring Break, a more peaceful beach might be a better option.
The wide, flat beach is expansive, with plenty of room to spread out and is a hub for recreational activities as well as relaxation. Amenities are plentiful here, with chair and umbrella rentals available and access to restaurants.
Enjoy views of the Mexican Pacific Ocean, Mazatlan city skyline, and the nearby offshore islands of Isla de Venados and Isla de Chivos while relaxing on the soft sands of Playa Gaviotas.
This is also a great spot in which to take a leisurely stroll or capture some of the photogenic vistas this beach is known for. Moderate waves make the beach a good stretch of sand for swimming, bodyboarding, or even beginning surfing.
Watersports are an option as well; hop on a jet ski, take one of the small sailboats or kayaks out to explore from the water, or catch a thrill on a parasailing ride, high above the coast.
Expect a day-long buzz at this beach, with musicians offering to play to you, and beach vendors offering everything from souvenirs to hair-braiding.
Playa Punta del Sábalo
Also located in the Golden Zone, Playa Punta del Sábalo is just south of Playa Cerritos, near the marina of Mazatlan. Despite its location, this stretch of sand is a little further off the tourist radar, making it a great spot to enjoy a more secluded feel.
Fishing trips for snapper, bass, and more, leave from here, and water sports are popular due to the moderate surf.
Reserve a chair and order a drink right to the beach, or wade into the ocean for a dip in the water, which is protected from the more rough surf found at other area beaches because of the offshore islands.
Playa Los Pinitos
Venture to one of the area’s smallest but most charming beaches, Playa Los Pinitos. Sandwiched in between two small hills or land outcroppings, just west of Playa Norte, this quiet cove is a fantastic place to unwind.
To the left is the Casa del Marino, a historic landmark that used to house sailors, and on the right, there are several University buildings.
With calmer waves than much of the other area beaches, this stretch of sand is ideal for those looking to enjoy a leisurely swim or float in the crystal clear waters. Hydrate with fresh coconut water, typically sold by the seaside vendors on this beach.
Rent a surfboard and take advantage of the solid left point break, with waves usually ideal for beginner to intermediate surfers. Chair and umbrella rentals are available and nearby restaurants dish up fresh oysters among other seafood items.
Playa La Escopama
Situated between Playa El Delfin and Playa Norte, this beach is made for pure relaxation. Enjoy the privacy of this lesser-visited stretch of sand with a secluded ambiance.
Pack a picnic lunch and spread out a blanket or towel; if you’re lucky, you might even get the whole place to yourself.
The sprawling, panoramic view is one of the top draws to this beach, as well as the tranquil atmosphere. Sunbathe, take a dip, stroll along looking for seashells, take photographs, and simply relish in the uninterrupted peace that Playa Escopama offers.
Pair your visit to one of the neighboring beaches for an easy way to experience some of the best beaches in Mazatlan.
A cruise is a fantastic way to explore the top Mazatlan beaches and bask in the warmth of the sun. Browse our Mazatlan cruises and book your Mexican vacation to the “Pearl of the Pacific” today.