Is Mazatlán Safe? Everything You Need to Know Now!

Is Mazatlán Safe? The brief answer is YES.

The primary beach destination in the entire state of Sinaloa, Mazatlán, is presently on the rise.

Visitors are pouring in to explore the lively promenade on the Pacific, get lost in the revitalized old town, and visit the undeveloped beaches that stretch for kilometers.

However, is Mazatlán safe?

Sadly, that is a question you must always ask when planning a trip to any location in Mexico.

And that’s a question you should ask in particular when it comes to the state of Sinaloa, a part of the nation traditionally known for its ties to cartels and other organized crime organizations.

I’ll go over all you need to know regarding safety in Mazatlán in this blog post.

I’ll go through the main topics and what you should know about the dangers and concerns of visiting this region of Mexico.

It includes data on public transportation, tap water portability, crime rates, and a ton more. Let’s get started

Is Mazatlán Safe?

Is Mazatlán safe

Is Mazatlán safe? The answer is YES.

Most of it was restricted to the areas of the state and neighborhoods that are known to be more affected by cartel violence.

Mazatlán is now rated as having a “low” risk of car theft, muggings, or physical assaults motivated by a person’s gender or race by the travel safety database Numbeo.

Furthermore, it only qualifies as “moderate” in terms of crime overall.

The sole factor identified as a “high” risk in this situation is the possibility of corruption, which is unlikely to have an impact on a fly-in visitor.

How Safe is Mazatlán Currently?

A large percentage of visitors view Mazatlán as unsafe due to the region’s press headlines as compared to other towns like Puerto Vallarta, Playa del Carmen, or even Cancun.

This destination fails to make the cut most of the time.

Nevertheless, there is really little to be concerned about for visitors who only visit the Golden Zone, and as long as you stay in that region, your personal safety shouldn’t be a huge issue.

You are welcome to travel to other areas of Mazatlán, however I advise hiring a local expert guide.

In fact, if you venture into dangerous areas or regions that are not meant for tourists, you risk putting yourself in trouble.

Travelers to Mazatlán appreciate that the city is not swamped by tourists from abroad since it keeps costs down.

Crime in Mazatlán and Cartel Violence

Mazatlán’s home state of Sinaloa is perhaps most known for the infamous cartel – the Sinaloa Cartel, which oversaw the majority of the nation’s drug exports in the late 20th century.

The group isn’t even close to being as active in the area as it formerly was.

Its primary operations typically revolve around important northern border towns.

The huge cartels, according to many analysts, are also actively attempting to avoid causing trouble in well-known resort cities like Mazatlán in order to avoid police surveillance and attention.

There have been instances, such as the 2022 arrest of a top cartel commander and the 2011 street deaths of many cartel members.

According to statistics, Mazatlán has a crime index score of 40.86.

This demonstrates that Mazatlán has a low crime rate.

Muggings or robberies, damage and theft, as well as bribery and corruption, were among the less serious crimes we witnessed.

One thing to keep in mind is that the travel industry has had to contend with a bombardment of false information or misleading data about safety in Mexico, and Mazatlán was particularly severely affected because it is located in the state of Sinaloa.

Is Mazatlán Safe for Tourists?

Is Mazatlán safe

Yes, visitors who decide to remain in the authorized tourist destinations like Plaza Machado and Malecón de Mazatlán (Golden Zone) are safe while visiting Mazatlán.

This is why thousands of visitors come here every year.

Additionally, the police are cracking down on nearby minor offenses like street robberies and other offenses that target tourists.

Tourists can visit these sites in the evening without worrying about their safety because of the increased police presence in places like the Golden Zone, Old Town, or the Malecon.

The number of tourists who travel to Mazatlán to go whale watching and explore the adjacent islands of Isla de Pájaro, Isla de Venados, and Isla de Lobos might shock you.

These islands are all distinctive in style and have interesting things to see and do.

If you enjoy aquatic activities, a day excursion to one of these islands is ideal.

Petty Theft and Other Small Crimes in Mazatlán

The risk of traveling to Mazatlán may be greatest due to the prevalence of small crime worldwide.

As in every city, there are specific areas to stay away from, and we suggest staying in popular tourist destinations like the Golden Zone, Old Town, and the Marina Zone where police are always present.

A more contemporary area of the city, the Golden Zone is home to numerous hotels, outdoor clubs, and swimmable beaches.

On the other hand, Old Town, which originates to the 19th century, is thought to be one of the city’s most quiet areas.

Local art galleries, the famous Angela Peralta Theater, eateries, bars, and stunning cathedrals may all be found here.

Last but not least, there are numerous unusual sailboats, stores, and cafes in the Marina Zone.

Even so, small-time thieves prey on tourists, operating in busy places where it’s simple to pickpocket or snatch and take goods.

No matter where you go, you should always be cautious, and in Mazatlán, I advise using ordinary safety measures.

These include avoiding flashing your cash in town, not attracting attention by donning expensive jewelry, using reliable transportation, and being aware of what’s going on around you.

To prevent yourself from getting lost and running into possibly dangerous circumstances, it would also be a good idea to schedule all of your trips and transportation in advance, especially if you are traveling into rural areas away from town.

Is Mazatlán Safe for Solo Travelers?

Is Mazatlán safe

Mazatlán is entirely safe for solo visitors, and with so many eateries, historic markets, beaches, and entertainment venues to explore, it’s an excellent destination to embark on your first solo vacation.

It’s also simple to take a journey to a nearby island or explore the rest of the country.

Traveling alone might be intimidating, but there are several things you can do to make your trip as peaceful and satisfying as possible.

Carry sunscreen wherever you go in Mexico, but especially in Mazatlán because the city has a humid, tropical environment and sunstroke is a real danger, and make sure your accommodation is authorized.

Tips for Solo Travelers

Staying in famous tourist districts such as Zona Dorada, Olas Altas, El Malecon, or La Marina is your best choice for a lower crime rate.

I additionally recommend that you keep your valuables hidden, never leave your belongings unattended while swimming, use trusted ATMs in shopping centers, and avoid secluded areas.

When traveling outside of resort regions, use common prudence, but don’t dismiss tourist places either.

Visitors are easy candidates for small crime, so it’s always a good idea to keep an eye out for it.

You can also not assume perfect safety late at night, and it is recommended to go in groups of at least two.

Female travelers should especially be cautious when taking public transportation, as these can be pickpocketing hotspots.

Of course, experimenting with or purchasing drugs in Mazatlán should be avoided as well.

Not only do you not want to be associated with the cartel, but drug use or trafficking carries severe penalties, and gringos are not afforded preferential treatment by local authorities.

Having said that, there is a robust police presence throughout the city, and severe crimes against visitors are in the minority.

Therefore, don’t overthink it, follow your instincts, and take basic measures like you would in any other city.

Is Mazatlán safe at night?

Is Mazatlán safe at night? The answer is YES. Mazatlán is safe at night.

Although the city becomes quieter at night, the shopping and restaurant districts tend to feel safe.

I recommend avoiding back streets. Several visitors often gather around the Marina, the Golden Zone, or the historic center.

Plaza Machado and the Mirador are also frequently visited.

If you want to be near to the fun without having to go too far, consider staying at Gaviana Resort, which offers its own entertainment options such as Joe’s Oyster Bar.

Is Mazatlán safe to live?

Is Mazatlán safe

Is Mazatlán safe if you want to live? The answer is YES.

Despite its location in Sinaloa, Mazatlán is considered to be one of Mexico’s safest cities, making it not only an outstanding location to visit but also an excellent place to contemplate moving to.

It also has a lower cost of living than other Mexican cities, making it popular among expats.

Its magnificent beaches, social and cultural diversity, and historic landmarks make it an excellent place to live, and living here will allow you to experience far more than the conventional tourist attractions.

Because you’ll become more familiar with your surroundings, you’ll be less vulnerable to scams and less likely to be targeted for petty crimes.

Furthermore, the city has one of the world’s largest shrimping ports, which means you can purchase fresh wild and farmed seafood at amazingly low costs.

Markets are brimming with fresh fruits, vegetables, and fish, and it also has a huge, welcoming ex-pat community, wonderful colonial architecture, and affordable public healthcare.

Its biggest draw must be its vibrant cultural scene, and you’re likely to encounter an abundance of interesting events along the Malecon, or promenade, many of which will be free.

Overall, it’s a somewhat safe location to live and a wonderful spot to settle. You should be alright as long as you take the same precautions you would in any other city.

Overall, it’s a somewhat safe location to live and a wonderful spot to settle. You should be alright as long as you take the same precautions you would in any other city.

Places Where You Can Stay in Mazatlán

Here is a list of locations to stay in Mazatlán that are close to the city’s main attractions and entertainment.

  1. Golden Zone
  2. Centro Histórico
  3. Los Pinos
  4. Olas Altas
  5. Loma Linda
  6. Playa Sur

Mazatlán has different areas and places to stay to suit all budgets and vacation tastes.

Most guests prefer to stay near the Malecon.

Take a look at the popular tourist destination Hotel La Siesta.

If you want to avoid the all-inclusive hotel crowd and stay somewhere charming and comfy near El Centro, Casa de Leyendas is a terrific option.

The greatest western Posada is undoubtedly the best option for individuals who want the ultimate stay and insist on taking full advantage of the sunsets in Mazatlán.

It has the most magnificent view from the rooftop pool and lounge area.

Locations to Avoid in Mazatlán

I recommend that you stay in and around the Golden Zone or the historic center for a reason, and while it is not illegal to wander outside of these more touristy areas, I advise you to do so with caution.

In addition, there are several areas in Mazatlán to steer clear of that are worth keeping on your radar but should be far off your tourist map.

Venturing around downtown is perilous territory, and venturing closer to any residential section where you notice a decline in the ‘vibe’ will usually lead you to a bad place for the majority of visitors to be in.

Is Tap Water Safe to Drink in Mazatlán?

Is Mazatlán safe

The tap water in any tropical resort is often unsafe to drink, and Mazatlán is no exception.

Because the pipes are readily compromised by the blazing heat, I recommend you to only consume bottled water here.

Fortunately, bottled water is available at any convenience store in the city, and large grocery stores sell 1 and 2-gallon bottles at extremely cheap costs.

It is advised to avoid purchasing water from merchants that sell it in large plastic jugs because they frequently use filters on their taps with municipal water.

On the plus side, pubs and restaurants typically purchase purified ice cubes, so purchasing drinks with ice is acceptable; but, if your drink has an earthy flavor, the ice may not be clean.

You should also clean the tops of your glasses and bottles before drinking from them, as the ice bag may have been dragged over the floor while it was being shipped.

If you get unwell after drinking tap water, the best thing to do is drink pediatric electrolytes, which are available at any drug shop.

Nevertheless, if you are dehydrated or have a persistent stomach problem, you should always visit a doctor.

Safety Tips When Visiting Mazatlán

Having answered the question “is Mazatlán safe?”, let’s go over some safety tips.

As previously stated, Mazatlán is regarded as a dangerous city in Mexico, yet this is not the case if you stick to tourist regions and avoid unknown residential neighborhoods

Here are some of the best safety tips for you.

  1. Make an effort to learn a few phrases in Spanish so you are able to greet locals and/or ask directions if you get lost.
  2. Do not wander off the designated tourist zones. While the center metropolitan region is safe for solo visitors and easy to traverse, you should never wander outside of the city alone or without having a guide because it can be dangerous.
  3. Always be aware of your surroundings. Whether they’re being friendly or inciting an argument, petty criminals will frequently try to distract you. Allow no one to get too close, and don’t trust everyone.
  4. Never leave your belongings or possessions unattended while swimming at the beach or dining at a restaurant (particularly in an exposed location). Run-and-grab thefts by opportunists are widespread in this area.
  5. Keep off drugs. Because buying, selling, or trafficking drugs is a capital offense punishable by death in Mexico, there is a considerable narcotics presence. Therefore, keep off drugs completely.
  6. Avoid walking around or using local buses late at night if you are intoxicated. There are several things you should avoid doing at night when the city is less crowded. Know your limits and exercise caution after dark.
  7. Be extra careful when in banks or withdrawing money from ATMs. Not only are certain ATMs tampered with in order to swallow or even clone credit card data, but withdrawing big sums of money makes you an instant target, and you never know who might be watching. Only withdraw a little amount of cash at a time, and avoid using ATMs at night.

Final Thoughts on the Question: “Is Mazatlán Safe?”

Is Mazatlán safe? The answer is YES.

The Sinaloa region is regarded as one of Mexico’s most dangerous states, although Mazatlán and surrounding zone dorado are popular destinations for vacationers looking to party, play, and relax.

It boasts a strong police presence and little crime.

Mazatlán ranks high in terms of personal security as a cruise ship stopover, a family vacation destination, and an addition to a backpacking experience.

Pickpockets and petty thievery are likely to be your main concerns.

It can be a different story outside of the city, but as long as you schedule transfers in advance through trustworthy services and always trust your intuition, everything should go smoothly.

So, book your flight and head over to this destination for a fantastic holiday.

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