Running Mexico – Mazatlan


Visiting new places and exploring by doing a run – one of my favourite things to do! Our most recent trip to Mexico was no exception – and although the heat and an abundance of margaritas may have limited things a bit, I enjoyed running in the beautiful seaside city of Mazatlan!

It’s true that Mazatlan gets a bit of a bad rap. As recently as a couple of years ago, it had the dubious distinction of being one of the most dangerous cities in Mexico. In fact, the notorious El Chapo was actually arrested near the Malecon in Mazatlan in 2014.

However, while it may be risky to travel outside of the city, all of the areas surrounding the tourist zones are reassuringly calm and I felt quite safe throughout our visit.

When we visited Puerto Vallarta back in 2018, I got to experience running along the Malecon there – another great place to run in Mexico!

Running the Mazatlan Malecon

Mazatlan is renowned for its Malecon – one of the longest in the world – the boardwalk / seawall along the oceanside, where tourists and locals walk, run, ride and enjoy the beauty of the city. It’s over 20 kilometres from end to end, clean and well maintained.

For my first run in Mazatlan, of course it had to be on the Malecon!

Our bed & breakfast was perched on a hill at the south end of town, so I had to run a couple of winding streets to get to the beginning of the Malecon. It was the day after our arrival and we’d stayed up late having a few margaritas the night before, so I wasn’t in tip-top shape.

I made it as far as Playa Norte, and then turned back around. The final climb to our B&B was a killer, but I was happy to make it out for just under 5K.

A couple of days later, I was feeling a bit more energetic and accustomed to the heat. This time, I managed 8K round trip, taking me nearly halfway along Playa Norte – still a long way from the Zona Dorada (Golden Zone) where all the resorts are, but getting a solid experience of the Malecon.

Heck, you could run a full marathon if you ran from one end to the other and back again! But not on this vacation!

El Faro – Lighthouse

Sitting atop a 157-metre hill (Isla de Creston – formerly an island), El Faro is highest natural, operational lighthouse in the world. And although it can’t compete with North Vancouver’s Grouse Grind in terms of number of steps, it is definitely a popular spot for tourists and locals to climb – both for the views and the physical challenge!

El Faro Mazatlan

On our second day in Mazatlan, we did a leisurely hike to El Faro. Later in the week, I decided to go again and push a bit harder. Even at 7am, the temperatures had started to soar, but I went out for a run to the foot of El Faro, and then ran/hiked/walk to the summit. I wasn’t alone – although a lot of locals were wearing sweatshirts (!) during their climb!

The views at the top? Brilliant! Well worth the exertion, and I was glad I gave it a second go.

After a week in Mazatlan, I can confidently say that it’s a very fit city! I saw runners out both morning and night, whether during my own runs or while sipping a refreshing beverage on a patio.


In addition to these fun and challenging runs, there was lots of wandering around the old town, hours on the beach, and heaps of scrumptious food and refreshing beverages! Oh – and the sunsets are to die for! I highly recommend a visit to Mazatlan!!

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