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Beach Activities in Mazatlan


Parasailing . Jet Skiing . Sailing . Kayaking . Collecting Sea Shells . Walking . Surfing . Boogie Boarding . Vendors




     In Mazatlan, the beaches are open for business every day of the year.  Water temperatures range from the mid-60's in winter to the high 80's in summer.  Just to give you a comparison, Mazatlan ocean temperatures in winter are warmer than the  Southern California ocean temperatures at their warmest.  During Carnival and other festivals, the beaches are crazy busy.  Most days, there is a lovely mixture of activities and open beach.  Whatever crowd level you are comfortable with, it's only a short walk away.  If you prefer unspoiled beaches, travel a mile north of the city to Nuevo Mazatlan.  For about 3 miles, there is a lovely stretch of beach that is virtually unused.  Surfers prefer it because the currents are less severe, and there are no islands to break the swells.  Downtown Mazatlan surf is broken by Wolf, Deer and Bird Islands. 






Photograph of parasailing on the beach in Mazatlan

Parasailing - Do you enjoy the view from a glass elevator?  If you do, and you're between 8 and 80 years old, you need to go parasailing.  For about $30 USD, you'll be gently lifted into the air until people are the size of golf balls.  This fabulous 10 minute ride up and down the beach will be one of the highlights of your trip.  You'll see for miles. 


Safety is a primary concern of the parasailing operators.  You are securely harnessed into a comfortable leather vest.  The boat operator and beach master are in constant communication.  Your takeoff will be smoother than an elevator.  Before you know it, you're 100 feet off the water, looking at your hotel from the air, seeing the mountains in the distance, and the coastline both north and south.  The harness is comfortable.  You forget you're parasailing, and enjoy the view.  When it's all over and you're coming down, you'll be amazed at the skill of your handlers.  The beach master and his crew are there to lend a hand, but your landing will be so gentle that even people with delicate knees and hips don't suffer any harsh drops.  If you can take a flight of stairs, you can parasail. 





Jet Ski Rentals - Jets skis run the beaches in Mazatlan through almost any weather, but the protected waters behind Wolf, Deer and Bird Islands are a sanctuary for Jet Skiers.  There are many brands for rent, but WaveRunner seems to be the most common.  Blast through the surfline and use your Jet Ski like a combination surfboard/dirt bike.  Motor tranquilly up and down the beach, or out to the islands.  For about $50 an hour, you experience the coastline full throttle.  Use one of the guides, (as in the picture) or if you are experienced, take it out yourself.  There are many activities along the beach will pump your adrenalin, but it's hard to equal the thrill of blasting off the beach through the surf.  In the summertime, with both temperature and humidity in the 90's, there's no better feeling than skimming over the top of the ocean. 










Sailboats - Small sailboats are available for rent on the beach.  Most a catamaran style, with canvas connecting the pontoons.  Most people don't know how to sail, and hire the guide with the boat.  It costs no more than $75 per hour, though if you negotiate strongly you can get a rental for much less.  You can reach the nearest points of the Wolf Island and Deer Island within a half hour.  In Mazatlan, the water is warm, the breezes are light and steady and the sun shines brightly most days.  If you have ever wanted to sail the tropics, Mazatlan is the perfect place.













Kayaks -  Simple plastic kayaks (as opposed to more serious ocean kayaks with spray skirts) are available for rentals on the beach.  Most of the kayaks can hold two people.  The coastline around Mazatlan are very tranquil most days, once you get past the surf.  These kayaks are wonderful for touring the shoreline.  The more adventurous can even take them to the islands,  just a mile offshore.  Wolf Island, Deer Island and Bird Island all have many things to explore.  There are seashells to collect, unusual birds to see, empty beaches and shoreline to hike, and spectacular views of Mazatlan from the top of the islands.











Photography of vendor braiding the hair of a Mexican tourist on the beach in Mazatlan.Vendors - There are vendors everywhere on the beaches of Mazatlan.  They sell fresh fruit, sunglasses, jewelry, hats, blankets, beach activities and more.   Many tourists get intimidated, and forget their manners.  These are normal jobs for local people trying to make a living.  It's your vacation.  It's their life.  A quick "no gracias" (no thank you) and they will move on.  However, you'll be missing out.  These beach vendors light up if you practice your Spanish on them.  Many speak a little English.  The snacks are fresh and safe to eat.  Try the ceviche or fresh fruit.  Bring home a hand embroidered bracelet with the name of your favorite young person.  They are in style, and will only cost you a couple dollars.  Get a massage right on the beach in a private tent.  Have your hair braided with beads.  Let one of the roving bands play you a song.   You're on vacation in Mexico.  Find a reason to say "yes"!  When you return home, you'll be surprised to find these small encounters are your fondest memories.






Boogie Boards - Boogie boards are available for rental at all times of the year.  The cost varies, but a useful average is $50 pesos per hour.  (About $4.25 USD.)  The surf is small in Mazatlan, but well-shaped and the break is usually close to shore.   Average wave heights vary between 2 and 4 feet.  The best time to boogie board is at or near low tide.  That's when the waves have the best shapes.  Unlike surfing, boogie board riders usually spend most of their time in the whitewater.  Without swim fins, it's hard to paddle into the wave.  Most boogie boarders catch the wave just as it breaks, then ride the whitewater  into the shore.  At low tide, the rider stands with the water at chest level, waiting for a good wave. It's relatively safe.  While you'll find people of all ages in the surf, boogie boarding is particularly popular with teenagers. 











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