How many souvenirs can you pack in a single suitcase? How many will you remember in a year or two? In Mazatlán, the best souvenirs are the stories woven by the sea and whittled by its cobblestone streets. Here are a few of our favorite ways to write your very own story in this colonial city on the beach.
Hike to new heights.
Let’s just say Mazatlán’s lighthouse is high-priority. Here’s why: The guiding light perches at about 515 feet above sea level on the summit of Cerro del Creston, making it the second-highest lighthouse constructed on a natural setting in the world. And that means the thirty-minute trek to the top is quite the hike, but the views of the city and the bay are what your #nofilter dreams are made of. Want to skip the hike? You can reach the base of the lighthouse by car, bus, or bike. Onward and upward.
Take a dip. At the aquarium.
Mazatlán sits at the mouth of the Golf of California (locally known as the Sea of Cortez), one of the most naturally diverse seas in the world. And the Mazatlán Aquarium, home to the largest seawater fish tank in Latin America, gives you a glimpse at all the underwater action you’d be missing from the beach. Watch blacknose sharks, whitetip sharks, rays and more do their thing. Or, better yet, hop in with them. No joke. Want to get up close and personal? You can take a dive with some harmless sharks (or the aquarium’s friendliest sea lion, Toby).
Find makers, bakers & beautiful bites.
Colorful pyramids of farm-fresh fruit and veggies. Fresh-out-of-the-sea fish. Quaint, pint-sized restaurants. And so much more. At the Pino Suarez Market between Aquiles Serdán St. and Melchor Ocampo St., just perusing the stands and stalls in search of just the right snack or souvenir is more than half the fun. The market has been a Mazatlán hotspot since 1900 and shows no sign of cooling down. Fresh pastry in hand, walk the few blocks to check out the jaw-dropping architecture of the Cathedral Basilica of the Immaculate Conception.
Reel it in.
Here’s what’s tricky to find on your own: Swordfish. Here’s what’s not-so-tricky to find on your own: A Mazatlán boat and crew that will help get you hooked on swordfish. Or marlin, sailfish, tuna, and mahi-mahi for that matter. Thanks to the nutrient rich waters of the Sea of Cortez, Mazatlán is consistently one of our top picks for the best sport fishing you can find in Mexico. Different fish are easier to find in different seasons, so plan ahead for the perfect catch.