Set at the foot of the Sierra Madre Mountains on a peninsula that reaches into the Pacific Ocean, Mazatlan, Mexico is one of the Mexican Rivieraâ€™s leading resort areas. It has a festive atmosphere and a wealth of outdoor activities. Mazatlan is also the largest port in Mexico, both for industry and major cruise lines; that duality adds an interesting cosmopolitan flavor to this city. The weather is pleasant from November until May. There is an intense rainy season and itâ€™s not recommended to visit between July and September.
Because it was a city long before it transformed into a beach resort, Mazatlan is not as tourist-focused as some of its neighbors. The city is concentrated in two areas: In the north is the Zona Dorada (Golden Zone), where most hotels and restaurants are located. In the south is El Centro, the downtown district. These two centers are connected by Avenue Del Mar, also called the MalecÃ³n, which is a curving, 17-mile-long beachfront avenue. Stroll through Old Mazatlan to see the historic landmarks, dine at one of Plaza Mechadoâ€™s outdoor cafes and at night enjoy the lively bars, dance clubs and live music venues.