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Is Mazatlán Safe To Visit? Top 5 Things To Know Before Visiting

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When we first told our friends and family we were moving to Mazatlán for the winter, some of them thought we were crazy. 

Mix in the word “Sinaloa” vacationers might not think about making Mazatlán their first choice for a holiday destination. The most important thing to remember is that violence is rarely ever targeted at tourists. 

After moving here, below is our personal experience and the top 5 things you should know before visiting Mazatlán.

Mazatlan Safety Tips
Mazatlán is known for its beautiful beaches and authentic Mexican culture

Is Mazatlán Safe to Visit?

Mazatlán is SAFE for tourists to visit for a vacation, holiday, or cruise ship stop. Stick to tourist areas such as the Golden Zone, Old Town and Malecon where Tourist Police have a constant presence. 

For an extra layer of safety upon arrival, we suggest using a safe and reliable airport transfer. We suggest King David Airport Transfers.

Tourist Police Patrol the Mazatlan Malecon
Tourist Police patrol the Mazatlán Malecon

Current Travel Warnings and Advisories in place for Mazatlan, Mexico

Canada Travel Advisory for Mazatlán: Level 2Exercise a high degree of caution” 

U.S.A Travel Advisory for Mazatlán: Level 4 – “Do Not Travel

The United States is the only country with a “do not travel” warning for Mazatlán but still permits it's government employees to visit the tourist areas of the city. 

Top 5 Things to Know Before Visiting Mazatlán

1. Stay in Mazatlán. Venturing outside of the city can be dangerous 

Venturing outside of Mazatlán can be dangerous at times. Do not travel at night and know your route. Always stick to toll roads when possible.  

2. Be aware of your surroundings and avoid arguments

Arguments and confrontations in Mazatlán have occurred. Do not stop to watch arguments or fights. These fights could escalate into violence. Be aware of your surroundings and avoid confrontations at all times. Always be polite and respectful to everyone you meet in Mazatlán.

3. Don't do drugs, buy drugs or sell drugs

Dont get involved in drugs Mazatlan Mexico

This one should go without saying but Mazatlán is not the place you want to start experimenting with drugs. Being involved in the drug trade in any capacity will increase the risk of violent crime. 

4. Don't make yourself a target

Dont mkae yourself a target in Mazatlan

The worse thing you can do while traveling is to make yourself a target. Wearing high end jewelry, flashing large amounts of cash or being drunk in public gets the attention of all the wrong people in Mazatlán. Robberies and kidnapping can occur. Do your best to blend in and not show signs of wealth.

5. Stay within tourist areas and know where you're going

Stay withing Tourist areas Mazatlan

There are many tourist areas in Mazatlán that are considered safe. Look for hotels or vacation rentals in the Old Town, Golden Zone, Marina and anywhere along the 20 km Malecon. Plan out where you're walking ahead of time so you appear confident in your journey. 

If for any reason you get off track or feel unsafe make sure you have Uber installed on your phone. They always have cars quickly available and it's very inexpensive. A reminder they do NOT do airport pickups or drop offs. 

Lap PLay hotel in Mazatlan on beach

Can you walk around at night in Mazatlán?

From our own personal experience we go for a walk every night after dark either in the Golden zone, Old Town or on the Malecon. We have never had any issues or been harassed. We love Mazatlán after dark as the city comes alive! 

Check out our Top 30 Things To-Do on a cruise port day in Mazatlan

Our Thoughts on Safety in Mazatlán

Where to live in Mazatlán: The Best Areas and Neighborhoods

Expats have lived here for years including many Canadians and Americans. Every day families line the beach and Malecon to spend time together and celebrate special events. I would have no problem suggesting Mazatlán to my friends and family to come visit us knowing confidently they would be safe here. The perfect time to visit Mazatlán is now before the secret gets out on just how amazing this authentic city is. 

Interested in learning more about the city? Join our Mazatlán Visitors and Expats Facebook group

Note* The content on this page is provided for informational use only. The decision to travel is your choice and you are responsible for your personal safety abroad.

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Wednesday 16th of March 2022

Looking to travel in December there. I see there is caustionary about traveling there and level 4 for kidnapping and robbery. We do not speak Spanish. Is this still considered safe or should we reconsider travel there?

Kashlee Kucheran

Wednesday 16th of March 2022

We live in Mazatlan and find it extremely safe, as do many other expats who also call this home. However, only you can make the decision about your own safety abroad


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