The Mexican coastal city of Mazatlan is a bustling beach paradise rich in history and culture. On a 3-day stay, you can enjoy a range of activities in the city, then venture outside and spend a day exploring the Sierra Madre mountains and visiting colonial towns. Here's how.
Golden Zone (Zona Dorada)
Beginning at the intersection of Avenida del Mar and Avenida Rafael Buelna, the Mazatlán Golden Zone runs the length of Avenida Camarón Sábalo. Perhaps best known for large hotels and resorts, the Golden Zone is also home to some of Mazatlán’s most attractive beaches and best nightlife. Many half-day city tours include stops in the Golden Zone and typically include free time to enjoy the beaches and watersport activities on offer. If visiting independently, be sure to stop by the new Mazatlán Marina.
Things to Know Before You Go
- Ideal for families, friends, and couples, the Golden Zone is a top resort destination in Mazatlán.
- Pulmonias—open-air taxis—are abundant in the Golden Zone.
- Sábalo Beach has calmer surf and is the best for swimming.
- Many places in the Golden Zone accept US dollars.
- Prices may be higher in the Golden Zone than other parts of Mazatlán.
- Most of the service staff in the Golden Zone speak English.
- Much of the Golden Zone is wheelchair and stroller accessible.
How to Get There
Mazatlán’s Golden Zone is situated 5 miles (7.9 kilometers) north of the Mazatlán Old Town and runs the length of Avenida Camarón Sábalo. Travelers staying in the area will find most attractions are within easy walking distance. However, visitors staying further south will need to take a public bus from Avenida del Mar to reach the Golden Zone.
When to Get There
The best time to visit Mazatlán—and, therefore, the Zona Dorada—is between winter and spring, when the weather remains pleasant and humidity is low. Expect higher prices and larger crowds during these months. February also sees the arrival of Mazatlán’s Carnaval festivities, so book accommodation in advance.
What to Do in the Golden Zone, Mazatlán Mazatlán’s Golden Zone may not have the historical appeal of the Old Town, but there’s plenty to do in the area. Adventurous travelers can try paragliding, surfing, kayaking, or jet skiing on the Golden Zone beaches, while travelers with kids should stop at the Mazagua Water Park. Birdwatchers won’t want to miss the nearby Estero del Yugo either.
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