We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The TripAdvisor website may not display properly.
We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.

how would you compare Mazatlan to Playa Del Carmen?

In cooperation with: Visit Mexico
Which Mazatlan hotels are on sale?
mm/dd/yyyy mm/dd/yyyy
See hotels
ann arbor
posts: 273
reviews: 8
how would you compare Mazatlan to Playa Del Carmen?

Just went to Playa last year and liked the town----how does Mazatlan compare ?

Mazatlan, Mexico
Destination Expert
for Mazatlan
posts: 3,162
reviews: 9
1. Re: how would you compare Mazatlan to Playa Del Carmen?

It depends on WHAT you are comparing. Mazatlan is a city. That means more people, more traffic, more movie theaters, more shopping, more restaurants......more of everything. Then too Mazatlan is not just A CITY. It is several things mixed together. You have the tourist zone. There is also the central city zone. Then there are the numerous residential areas.

Just as you have thousands of tourists who never even see the actual city of Mazatlan, you have tens of thousands of locals who never go into the Gold Zone. (Tourist zone) For good reason. There is nothing there they want, and everything is (For them) too expensive.

Mazatlan has a large historical area and a VERY large business and commercial area. Just for an example Mazatlan has 4 or 5 multi screen theaters. Seven BIG markets and hundreds of smaller ones. Three 'Mercados'.

Those are just a few examples.

Saint Cloud...
posts: 469
2. Re: how would you compare Mazatlan to Playa Del Carmen?

Same long beach, same shopping. Maz seems to have fewer international (European) visitors. Many MN and Canadian folks. Joes oyster bar in Maz reminded me of Senior Frogs in Playa, open and right on the beach. Seems like more people gto huge expansive AI resorts in Playa. Maz has the best food in anywhere I have been in Mx and I would never go AI. Been to Playa once and Maz 10 or more times. Like Maz better. Overall less swanky and more friendly down to earth in Maz.

Mazatlan, Mexico
posts: 194
reviews: 56
3. Re: how would you compare Mazatlan to Playa Del Carmen?

I love both places but have decided to live in Mazatlan. Playa just seems more Cancun ish and I like to have the option of tourist zone and real Mexico in one city.

Good luck and hope to see you in Mazatlan one day.

Calgary
posts: 221
reviews: 5
4. Re: how would you compare Mazatlan to Playa Del Carmen?

We were fortunate to vacation in Playa 15 years ago- when it was a small town of +/- 5,000. The town ended at the Porto Real Hotel at the end of the town beach. 5th Avenue was charming.

Playa-now a city of ? thousands- stretches across the main Highway to Cancun. We were there doing the bag drag from Cancun to Cozumel 2 years ago and could not believe the change.Lost it's charm in our view.

We drive down from Canada each October to Guayabitos, Nayarit and always spend time in Mazatlan- it has nice beaches, great restaurants at low cost, wonderful people and the only Spanish colonial downtown on the west coast of Mexico I believe.

Try it for a change- at half the cost I would imagine!

ann arbor
posts: 273
reviews: 8
5. Re: how would you compare Mazatlan to Playa Del Carmen?

well Playa does have 5th Ave which goes on forever---does Maz have a tourist street or area with places to eat or are there just places to eat spread along the beach zone area?

Edmonton, Canada
posts: 3,000
reviews: 198
6. Re: how would you compare Mazatlan to Playa Del Carmen?

In my opinion, Playa and Mazatlan are so very different. We love both places for very, very different reasons. We were in Playa in Nov/Dec and just got back from two weeks in Mazatlan on Wednesday. Mazatlan is old, historic, real Mexico. Playa is more touristy. Mazatlan is way cheaper with lots of great restaurants. It is way more spread out than 5th Ave in Playa. But depending on where you stay, resorts can be further away from Playa than the many resorts right in the middle of the Golden Zone in Mazatlan. Playa has many more higher end resorts though as Mazatlan is much older. Then, there is the debate about the beatufiul blue oceans on the caribbean side vs. the darker sand and ocean in Mazatlan. In my view, water is all I want to look at and way better than the snow I'm looking at today! You should try Mazatlan. I think you will find that you love it as much as the rest of us do on this forum.

Illinois
posts: 881
reviews: 572
7. Re: how would you compare Mazatlan to Playa Del Carmen?

My husband and I went to the Playa del Carmen for many, many years because of the beautiful white sand and the color of the water. However, about 9 years ago we decided to go to Mazatlan and have been back 10 times and only once during that 9 years have we gone back to the Caribbean side. On the first trip to Mazatlan we really thought that we had made a huge mistake, but by the end of the second day we were hooked. The main reason is like SunSeeker 37 said, Mazatlan is real Mexico. We love the history, the historic buildings, the plaza, the malecon, but most of all the people. We were going to go to Playa del Carmen for one week and one week in Cozumel in 2013, but instead are returning to Mazatlan for the two weeks. Guess we will go to the Caribbean side in 2014 and will most likely also make a trip to Mazatlan in 20114 as well. Give it try, you might get hooked like some of the rest of us.

Mazatlan, Mexico
Destination Expert
for Mazatlan
posts: 3,162
reviews: 9
8. Re: how would you compare Mazatlan to Playa Del Carmen?

"---does Maz have a tourist street or area with places to eat or are there just places to eat spread along the beach zone area?"

I am not sure what the difference is between 'spread along the beach zone area' and 'tourist strret'. But perhaps looking at Mazatlan on Google earth would help you a bit. The 'main' street through the tourist area changes names 4 times and is close to 7 or 8 miles long (Perhaps even more) from Cerritos in the north to Olas Altas in the south. On that street alone are 60 or 70 restaurants from end to end. Adding in restaurants that are a block or two off that street you have well over a hundred . Add in Plaza Machado in old Mazatlan and restaurants in the center and you are probably looking at another hundred or so. You will not go hungry and you won't have to travel far from where ever you stay to have a huge selection.

But do take a look at Mazatlan on Google earth. Zoom in on Cerritos point, then scan down the beach. It covers a lot of territory.

wa state
posts: 3,955
reviews: 3
9. Re: how would you compare Mazatlan to Playa Del Carmen?

No comparison; Playa Del Carmin like Cancun, Cabo, Ixtapa & to some extent P.V. were built around the tousit industry.

Mazatlan, like many mentioned is a diverse multi faceted city with many sides to it.

A huge seafood industry, manufacturing, shipping hub, tourism, & the biggest attraction for many; the friendliest, most sincere,honest people I have met anywhere during our travels.

Looking forward to getting back & catching up & renewing our freindships with the many we have met there.

Edited: 12:41 pm, January 05, 2013
Edmonton, Canada
posts: 1,446
reviews: 11
10. Re: how would you compare Mazatlan to Playa Del Carmen?

Playa draws a more well heeled and younger crowd. It also has higher prices and nicer accommodations.

Maybe if Mazatlan became more high end....it would result in more visitors. I LOVE MAZ, but I'm just saying!