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The port city of Mazatlán represents all that's great about a Mexican beach town at a fraction of the price of more developed resort areas like Cancun. The self-proclaimed "shrimp capital of the world," Mazatlán is a working-class city of about 500,000 people with stretches of golden beachfront, tasty seafood restaurants and enough upscale hotels to satisfy even the most sophisticated traveler.
Mazatlán has long been a popular weekend and holiday escape for Mexican vacationers, but it has remained under the tourist radar for Americans. That's starting to change. More U.S. airlines are flying to the tiny Mazatlán International Airport, and large all-inclusive resorts are popping up like weeds in the Zona Dorada (Golden Zone) district north of the city. The historic town center, with a lovely cathedral and pedestrian walkways, has been beautifully preserved, offering shady plazas and quaint sidewalk cafés.
For more than 100 years, Mazatlán has been one of the world's top destinations for Carnival, the wild week-long party leading up to Lent. Don't miss the city's unique celebration the Monday before Fat Tuesday, called El Día del Marido Oprimido (the Day of the Oppressed Husband), where men are finally let free to do everything and anything they want. Strangely, this mostly includes setting off fireworks and throwing confetti-filled eggs at people.
Even with its recent tourist expansion, Mazatlán is still one of the best travel values in Mexico, especially if you schedule your trip around major Mexican holidays, Easter or school vacations.
Visiting a smaller Mexican resort town like Mazatlán does not mean nightlife options are scarce. Those looking for a fun night out have a variety of choices here, ranging from locally inspired cantinas to rowdy dance clubs. See our Mazatlán nightlife guide. Before you head out to the clubs, check out our Mazatlán dining guide for a place to eat.
*Terms and conditions for hotel-only rates: Sample prices for hotel rates are for select midweek (Sun.-Thurs.) dates. Offers subject to change. Prices do not include taxes and fees. Based on availability.
*Terms and conditions of air + hotel packages and promotions: Advertised air + hotel package prices include all domestic taxes and Mexico.com-imposed air + hotel package fees. Sample prices shown are updated every Tuesday and are per person, based on double occupancy, from select departure cities unless otherwise cited on select weekdays between 33 and 53 days out. Offers are subject to change. Based on availability. Seats are limited and may not be available on all flights. Some airlines charge baggage fees at airport or online check-in. See specific airline websites for details. Some hotels charge additional fees at check-in.