Where to Stay in Mazatlan 2023: Best Areas

Where to stay in Mazatlán? In this plog post, I will be looking at the best areas to stay in Mazatlán (include map and video), the advantage and disadvantage of each area, the best hotels in Mazatlan for all budgets, and the safest places in Mazatlán.

Mazatlán is the colonial beach city, located in the state of Sinaloa, on the western coast of Mexico on the Pacific Ocean. Known as Pearl of the Pacific, Mazatlán is also a beach resort tourist town with beautiful beaches and amazing weather especially in winter, it attracts lots of United States and Canada from November to April.

Where to stay in Mazatlán Mexico?

The best areas to stay in Mazatlán for tourists are Centro Historico, Playa Sur, Los Pinos, Playa Norte, Golden Zone, Sabalo Country, Marina Mazatlán, Nuevo Mazatlán, and Cerritos. These are the most popular neighborhoods in the city the offer a wide variety of attractions and amenities.

Centro Historico along with Zona Dorada is the overall best area to stay in Mazatlán for first-timers. Centro Historico is filled with many historical and cultural attractions, as well as hotels, restaurants, and bars, it is the best place to get a feel for how the city has changed over the years.

Meanwhile, Zona Dorada along with Sabalo Country is a part of Golden Zone. If you are looking for where to stay in Mazatlan all inclusive, look into Zona Dorada because it’s home to many high-end hotels, busy beaches, and bustling shops, bars, and restaurants.

While Zona Dorada is a very loud, full-on destination, Sabalo Country offers most of the same conveniences in a slightly quieter location.

Playa Sur is located to the south of Centro Historico and is a largely residential district, where you can enjoy a local vibe and stunning views of the ocean from its hilly streets.

Playa Norte is located to the north and features many of the same things as Playa Sur, just with a few more attractions, such as a baseball stadium and an aquarium. 

The three neighborhoods of Los Pinos, Loma Linda, and Olas Atlas are located to the west of Centro Historico and again feature a fairly quiet, local feel. However, this time its beachfront location provides more of the things you would expect from a quiet seafront town.

💖 Best Area for first-timers:Centro Historico
💎 Best luxury hotel:Hotel Boutique Casa Lulu
🏨 Best mid-range hotel:Villa Serena Centro Historico
💰 Best budget hotel:Gamma Mazatlan The Inn At Centro Historico

Overviews of best areas to stay in Mazatlán for tourists

Here is an overview of recommended areas in Mazatlán for first-time visitors: 

Best areas in Mazatlán for tourists Why should you stay in this area?
Centro HistoricoThis area is perfect for history buffs and those who want to experience the city’s cultural heritage. You’ll find historic architecture, museums, plazas, and plenty of dining options. It’s a great choice if you want to be in the heart of the city’s history and culture.
Playa SurPlaya Sur is known for its quieter beaches and relaxed atmosphere. It’s a great option for those looking for a more tranquil beach vacation away from the crowds.
Los Pinos /Loma Linda/ Olas AtlasThis area is known for its beautiful oceanfront promenade, Malecón, and lively atmosphere. You’ll find a mix of boutique hotels, restaurants, and shops here. It’s a popular choice for those who want to be close to the beach and city center.
Playa NortePlaya Norte is known for its scenic beaches and water sports activities. It’s a good choice for beach lovers and families looking for a fun-filled vacation.
Zona Dorada (Golden Zone)Zona Dorada is the main tourist area with a concentration of hotels, resorts, bars, and restaurants. It’s a lively area with a vibrant nightlife scene and various entertainment options.
Sabalo CountrySabalo Country is a quieter and more residential area. It’s suitable for those who prefer a more tranquil environment and are willing to travel to the busier parts of the city.
Marina Mazatlán/ Nuevo MazatlánThis area offers luxury resorts, golf courses, and a beautiful marina. It’s ideal for those seeking upscale accommodations and a quieter atmosphere.
CerritosCerritos is known for its wide, sandy beaches and a more relaxed vibe. It’s a bit farther from the city center but offers a serene beach experience.

Map of areas and neighborhoods in Mazatlán:

8 Best areas to stay in Mazatlán for tourists are:

1. Centro Historico

Centro Historico, where to stay in Mazatlan for first time visitors

Centro Historico is the best area to stay in Mazatlan for tourist, especially for first-timers because it is the true heart of the city, featuring its richest history and the majority of its most famous attractions. The historic center also has wide range of tourist amenities such as hotels, restaurants, bars, and shops.

The city’s cathedral and the beautiful square that accompanies it are perhaps the main features of the district, but with the stunning Angela Peralta theatre, the glorious Plazuela Machado square, and numerous other historic buildings, including colonial mansions near narrow cobblestone streets that dating back as far as 500 years.

Many of these buildings now house hotels and guest houses, where rooms are available for an incredibly affordable price, meaning you can completely immerse yourself in your surroundings and live a piece of history, no matter your budget.

Those that don’t contain hotels now feature coffee shops, craft and souvenir stores, museums, and restaurants, giving you options on what to do with your day. Surrounding them are beautiful parks where you can take a stroll to relax and fabulous markets where you can buy local food and wares.

If you love history, there are few museums in the Centro to explore such as Museo Que Viva Sinaloa, Pedro Infante Museum, Museo Arqueológico, and Museo de Arte / Art Museum, and Archaeological Museum of Mazatlán.

The Catedral Basílica de la Inmaculada Concepción is one of the most historic sites of Mazatlan. it has Gothic arches, a golden Baroque altar, and rounded Renaissance domes.

This isn’t just a city that thrives during the day either, as there is plenty to do of an evening as well. The city’s oldest craft brewery gives you some fabulous local beers to sample, while numerous other cocktail bars, high-end restaurants, and street food are all located in close proximity, surrounding the fabulous Plazuela Machado.

Stay in Centro Historico if you want vibrant nightlife; you are interested in the history of the city; you are traveling on a budget; you like local markets and shops; you want to stay where the highest density of attractions is located.

Best places to stay in Mazatlan Centro Historico:

Gamma Mazatlan The Inn At Centro Historico is located in Centro Historico, within walking distance to local restaurants and popular attractions. This 3-star hotel also offers a free shuttle bus to the beach, and air-conditioned rooms with a flat-screen TV.

Villa Serena Centro Historico is set in central Mazatlán and offers its guests facilities that include an outdoor pool, a hot tub, and a garden. Guests will be able to find several restaurants available within walking distance and can visit local markets like Mercado Pino Suarez 700 m from the complex. Super Hidalgo, a market offering general supplies is just 150 m away.

Hotel La Siesta is ideally located within walking distance to many of the area’s top attractions. A variety of restaurants, shops, local markets, and historical sites can be found right outside the hotel’s front doors.

See more: Best areas to Stay in Mexico City

2. Playa Sur

Playa Sur, where to stay in Mazatlan for authentic experience
Hill House Mazatlan in Playa Sur

Located just to the south of Centro Historico, Playa Sur is a largely residential area, primarily comprised of locals and people who have relocated to make the area their home.

Only a short walk from Centro Historico, it makes an ideal choice for anyone who plans to spend a lot of their time exploring the sites but would also like to stay in a quieter location, away from the hustle and bustle.

Its proximity to Centro Historico isn’t its only selling point though, as there are plenty of other reasons to select this as your destination. For starters, much like its neighbor, prices for accommodation in the area are incredibly reasonable, meaning you will be able to find somewhere to suit you, whatever your budget.

Then you have the Stone Island ferry port, where you can hop on a cruise and take a trip to Isla de la Piedra where you can take ATV rides, snorkeling, horseback riding, and banana boat tours.

Speaking of the views, the area is filled with hills that make a great place to take a stroll and enjoy the views from their peak. Mazatlán Lighthouse is one of the highest natural lighthouses in the world, sits atop Crestón Hill, with a splendid view of the Pacific Ocean.

Perhaps the greatest feature of the area though is the local people themselves. With bars, shops, and restaurants largely run by and aimed at the locals, it gives you the opportunity for a really authentic experience.

Try the local cuisine, buy some of their products, listen to the stories of the locals and get a real feel for what life in the city is truly like.

You will find a few seafood restaurants near the south of Playa Sur and some taco stands along Avenida Miguel Alemán.

Stay in Playa Sur if you want to stay near the attractions but out of the hustle and bustle; you want to stay in a local destination with an authentic feel; you plan to take a trip on the Stone Island ferry; you enjoy stunning ocean views; you are traveling on a budget.

Best places to stay in Mazatlan in Playa Sur:

Hill House Mazatlan is situated in Mazatlán, 400 m from Olas Altas Beach and 1.2 km from Plazuela Machado, Hill House Mazatlan features accommodation with free WiFi, air conditioning, and outdoor swimming pool, and a shared lounge.

Hotel Dwana This family-friendly hotel is situated in Mazatlán and features air-conditioned rooms. Among the facilities of this property are a restaurant, a 24-hour front desk, and room service, along with free WiFi throughout the property. The hotel has family rooms. It is just within walking distance to Olas Altas Beach, Plazuela Machado.

3. Los Pinos, Loma Linda & Olas Atlas

Located to the west of Centro Historico, you’ll find three compact neighborhoods, Los Pinos, Loma Linda, and Olas Atlas, all joined together with the Malecon, a beautiful seafront walk. These three neighborhoods are usually grouped together due to their size and proximity to one another and offer a blend of the two previous areas we’ve looked at.

Featuring beautiful, traditional streets and stunning ocean views, it is an area that makes a perfect choice for anyone seeking a location straight out of a postcard.

Along the longest malecon in Mexico, 13-mile-long path Malecón de Mazatlán, you will find some monuments such as Monumento a la Mujer Mazatleca, Monumento Fernando Valadés, and Pedro Infante Monument.

The Malecon hosts several events such as International Motorcycle week, the Pacific Great Marathon, Fiesta Amigos, and the Mazatlan Biking Tour.

Loma Linda and Los Pinos are both largely residential areas, populated by both locals and those who have immigrated to the area. This makes it a fabulous option for anyone wanting to experience the local cultures and way of life, whilst still getting to experience the more picturesque side of the city.

While accommodation is somewhat limited, there are enough boutique hotels and guest houses to still give you options.

Olas Atlas is a slightly more built-up part of the neighborhood, where you will find plenty of cafes, restaurants, bars, and shops dotted along the seafront, offering you all the conveniences you could require while still encompassing the beauty of the area.

Hotels and other forms of accommodation are also more abundant in this part of the neighborhood, available across a range of prices that make it an attainable choice for all visitors, no matter their budget.

Combine this with its easy access to the attractions in Centro Historico and it makes it a fabulous option for anyone seeking to soak up the natural beauty and history of Mazatlán.

Stay in Los Pinos/Loma Linda/Olas Atlas if you want to be located near to the main attractions but in a slightly quieter location; you enjoy traditional streets and stunning ocean views; you want to stay in a more local, authentic part of town.

Best places to stay in Los Pinos/Loma Linda/Olas Atlas:

Best Western Hotel Posada Freeman Centro Historico is a nice, old-fashioned, well-appointed with a balcony and good roof garden and bar. Also, the beach over the road was great with lots of waves and quite safe to swim in. Only a five-minute walk into the lovely old town which was very lively in the evening.

Hotel La Siesta is situated in the historical center of Mazatlan, Mexico, and steps away from beautiful beaches, this hotel offers a variety of modern facilities and is surrounded by a beautiful natural environment.

Hotel Boutique Casa Lulu conveniently set in the Malecon of Mazatlan district of Mazatlán, This boutique hotel Casa Lulu is located 500 m from Olas Altas Beach, 1.4 km from Plazuela Machado and 3.1 km from Mazatlan Lighthouse. Featuring an outdoor swimming pool, the 5-star hotel has air-conditioned rooms with free WiFi, each with a private bathroom.

4. Playa Norte

Located immediately to the north of Centro Historico, Playa Norte is another large residential area, filled with bars, shops, and restaurants primarily owned by and catering to the local people.

However, unlike the previous two destinations we have looked at, this time there are a large number of attractions located within the district as well, which will appeal to a variety of tourists.

For starters, you have some beautiful beaches in the area. Lined with seafood restaurants and bars, it makes for a fabulous way to relax, soak up the sun, take a swim and enjoy some fresh, local cuisine.

While we’re on the topic of outdoor options, there is also Parque Central, a fabulous place to take a stroll and enjoy some of the area’s natural scenery.

For more specific attractions, you have the city’s main aquarium, which is filled with numerous species of interesting fish and marine wildlife, as well as a baseball stadium where you can catch the local team in action.

There is even a large shopping mall –Grán Plaza, perfect if you want to buy some souvenirs or indulge in a little retail therapy during your stay.

Prices for accommodation in the area are incredibly reasonable, even for the beachfront properties, which makes it an obtainable choice no matter your budget.

While it is only a short distance to Centro Historico and many of the city’s most famous attractions, the presence of a busy bus station make it almost as easy to visit other locations in the furthest reaches of the city.

Stay in Playa Norte if you are traveling on a budget or want to save some money; you want to visit an aquarium or watch a baseball game; you plan to spend some time at the beach; you are a fan of shopping; you enjoy fresh seafood; you want to be near to transport links; you want a local location, not too far removed from the most popular attractions.

5. Zona Dorada (Golden Zone)

Zona Dorada along with Nuevo Mazatlán is one of the best place to stay in Mazatlán all inclusive because With numerous all-inclusive beach hotels, fine dining restaurant, beautiful beaches, and vibrant nightlife.

Zona Dorada or the golden zone as it is also known is an area that is designed largely with tourists and settlers from other countries in mind. A great number of hotels line the beautiful golden beaches, while many more are currently under construction, as are a number of condominium complexes.

The best beaches are Las Gaviotas Beach and Camarón Beach with plenty of water sports to enjoy.

The area is filled with things to appeal to travelers, such as luxurious restaurants offering international cuisine and beaches surrounded by bars, as well as boasting tourist amenities such as cafes, souvenir shops, and beach vendors.

There is also the fabulous El Cid golf course, which is perfect for anyone wanting to play a few rounds during their vacation.

What sets Zona Dorada apart more than anything else though is the amount of evening entertainment available, as it is the undisputed king of Mazatlán’s nightlife. Bars of all manner fill the streets, offering a variety of deals to get you through their front door. With everything from cocktails to local beer and tequila, you can go as traditional or as touristic as you want, while you drink and party the night away.

Entertainment in the form of live music, DJ sets, and nightclubs ensures there is something to keep each night fresh and different from the last, guaranteeing you can enjoy a wild vacation, no matter how long or short your stay here is.

Stay in Zona Dorada (Golden Zone) if Nightlife is the number one priority on your trip, you want a great range of hotels to choose from, you like beautiful beaches, you prefer an area specifically designed for tourists, you love variety in the bars, shops, clubs, and restaurants on offer.

Best places to stay in Mazatlan in Zona Dorada:

6. Sabalo Country

Sabalo Country is located immediately to the north of Zona Dorada and is another part of the Golden Zone, with the two locations only separated by the El Cid golf course I mentioned earlier. 

Much like the rest of the Golden Zone, Sabalo Country is another area that was specifically designed with tourism in mind. Beautiful beaches sprawl out along the coast, making for fabulous days spent lazily lying on the sand, soaking up the sun, and swimming in the crystal-clear waters.

The abundant shops, bars, and restaurants ensure you always have plenty of fabulous food and drink available, as well as places to stock up on supplies and souvenirs. It even has a similar collection of accommodation options available, with everything from high-end, all-inclusive resorts to low-cost beach hotels and guest houses.

Despite all of that, there are two distinct differences between Sabalo Country and Zona Dorada. For starters, this area features a much greater number of residential sections than the former, where it is almost exclusively hotels. This plays a large role in the second difference between the two, which is that Sabalo Country is a significantly quieter location than Zona Dorada.

When you take these things into consideration, it makes Sabalo Country a perfect choice for anyone who likes what Zona Dorada has to offer but would prefer things a little quieter with fewer crowds, or perhaps even wants to rent a private villa or condo as opposed to staying in a hotel.

Stay in Sabalo Country if: you’re looking for the best area to stay for the family; you want to stay in a tourist-focused location but aren’t a fan of the crowds that usually come with them; you want to stay in a high end, all-inclusive resort or private villa; you want a choice of beautiful beaches to stay at; you want plenty of bars, restaurants, and shops to choose from

Best places to stay in Sabalo Country:

7. Marina Mazatlán and Nuevo Mazatlán

Marina Mazatlán is located just north of Sabalo Country and is one of the newest parts of the city. It is a destination filled with new developments and attractions that are either brand new or still in the process of being completed.

The Gallerias Mall and Liverpool Department Store are two of the most popular, recently completed establishments, while numerous other in development department stores, malls, fancy hotels, and gourmet restaurants will soon make this one of the main hot spots of the city.

As the name suggests, this is also the location of a beautiful marina, where yachts, sailboats, and many other types of vessels can be seen bobbing up and down in the water.

Sitting and enjoying a meal or drink while watching them float around is an incredible way to unwind throughout your stay.

Combine this with a three-mile stretch of white sand beach and a fabulous Marina Mazatlán Golf Course, and Marina Mazatlán becomes one of the most chilled out, relaxing, therapeutic destinations in the city.

here are a number of hotels already open to choose from, however, the most popular form of accommodation in the area at present is a collection of privately rented guest houses and apartments.

Despite all of that, the area is quite spread out, so it is definitely a location best suited to visitors traveling by car.

Stay in Marina Mazatlán if you want to stay in a peaceful area close to the City Center with cheaper accommodations, you want to play a round of golf, you find watching boats in the marina relaxing, you want to rent a boat or go on a cruise, you like to stay in a newer area.

Best places to stay in Marina Mazatlán:

8. Cerritos

Cerritos is located in the most northern part of the city. Far removed from the tourist attractions of Centro Historico and the Golden Zone, it is a location that is primarily known for its quiet, residential atmosphere.

While this will understandably put a lot of visitors off, it still provides a charm that will appeal to many, making it an incredibly unique destination. Its most popular feature is the stunning stretches of beach that are found here. Sprawling golden sands meet crystal clear waters, in sight of a picturesque, traditional location.

Amenities may not be as abundant on the beach in the way of bars, vendors or water sports as you’d find in other areas, but this also means you will find a much smaller number of visitors spending their days here.

That makes it ideal for anyone solely seeking to spend their days relaxing on the sand, topping up their tan, or swimming in the ocean on white-sand beaches such as Sabalo Beach and Cerritos Beach.

The bars, shops, and restaurants in the surrounding area are all relatively small and cater to the quiet local community, meaning choices may be limited, but what is available will give you a really authentic experience.

In a similar vein, accommodation options are also limited, mainly consisting of small guest houses and hotels. 

Stay in Cerritos if you prefer a quieter beach for the romantic holiday; you want to stay in a quieter, more traditional location; you aren’t fussed about being quiet away from the city’s main attractions

Best Places to Stay in Mazatlan in Cerritos:

Hidden Gems of Mazatlan

Where should I stay in Mazatlan for the first time?

Centro Historico and Zona Dorada is the best area to stay in Mazatlán for first-timers because they both have a wide range of tourist amenities such as hotels, restaurants, bars, shops, and tourist attractions. Centro Historico has more historical and cultural attractions, Zona Dorada has more nightlife and all-inclusive beach hotel.

Where should I stay in Mazatlan all inclusive?

Zona Dorada along with Sabalo Country, part of Golden Zone is the best place to stay in Mazatlan all inclusive because it has numerous all inclusive beach hotels, beautiful beaches, and high-end shops, bars, and restaurants.

See More:

In conclusion, Centro Historico, Playa Sur, Los Pinos, Playa Norte, Golden Zone, Sabalo Country, Marina Mazatlán, Nuevo Mazatlán, and Cerritos are the best places to stay in Mazatlán for tourists and first-time travelers.

Overall, Centro Historico is the best area to stay in Mazatlán for tourist. It is the heart of the city that has higest range of hotels, restaurants, bars, and shops. If you stay here, you will be located within walking distance to many tourist attractions, as well as restaurants, bars, and shops.

2 thoughts on “Where to Stay in Mazatlan 2023: Best Areas”

    • Hi there,
      There isn’t anything special at the beginning of December. Some big events in Mazatlán are:
      1. Mazatlán Carnival in Feb, which is the world’s third biggest carnival.
      2. Day of the Dead on November 1st and 2nd, it has a large parade and lots of altars in the Mazatlán.
      3. Semana Santa, Celebrate Easter Week, is the biggest vacation week in Mexico. Beach towns are packed with Mexican and international tourists, musicians, and street vendors.


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