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.
Olas Atlas Beach (Playa Olas Altas)
Once a public pier, Olas Altas Beach and its ever-shifting sands is now popular among locals, first-time visitors to Mazatlán, and surfers. Make time to stop by the public Carpa Olivera swimming hole at the north end of the shore and stroll along the malecón (boardwalk) which runs the length of Playa Olas Altas. Due to the proximity of Olas Altas Beach to Mazatlán Old Town, most city tours—whether on foot, Segway, or electric bicycle—tend to include at least a brief stop at the beach. These excursions typically include visits to other Mazatlán highlights, such as the cathedral and Plazuela Machado.
Things to Know Before You Go
- Surfers and visitors to Mazatlán Old Town won’t want to miss Playa Olas Altas.
- Olas Altas Beach isn’t the best place to swim in Mazatlán, due to high waves and strong currents.
- Take pesos if you want to buy snacks and souvenirs from the beach vendors.
- Olas Altas Beach is not fully wheelchair or stroller accessible.
How to Get There
Olas Altas Beach is situated just blocks from Mazatlán Old Town and most visitors staying in the area find it easiest to arrive on foot. Travelers in the Golden Zone can catch a bus marked ‘Sábalo Centro’ heading south and depart at Playa Olas Altas.
When to Get There
Playa Olas Altas is publicly accessible year-round, although visiting at sunset guarantees great views over the ocean. For surfing, the best time to stop by Olas Altas Beach is between April and October when the waves are at their highest. Generally, weekdays are quieter than weekends.
Other Mazatlán Beaches If you’re planning a spot of beach-hopping while in Mazatlán, Playa Olas Altas is a great place to start. From there, take a detour to the nearby Stone Island beach—a great place for snorkeling—before heading to the picturesque (but also more crowded) beaches of the Golden Zone—Sábalo Beach and Playa Las Gaviotas are two of the best. Meanwhile, Playa Bruja is a quiet, often overlooked stretch of sand.
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