The Pearl of the Pacific

Mazatlan is appropriately nicknamed the “Pearl of the Pacific”, and rumors of lost pirate treasure may not be the only treasure that can be found here. Although not a household name in America, Mazatlan has been attracting tourists since the 1930’s and experienced a growth boom in the 70’s when several resorts sprung up along the beachfront. Today over a million tourists visit Mazatlan each year. With one of the largest ports in Mexico, Mazatlan has a strong economy powered by the fishing, manufacturing, and tourism industries. Mazatlan’s beach front stretches for 16 miles along the Pacific coast, the longest uninterrupted stretch of beach in the country and one of the longest in the world. It is situated at just below the Tropic of Capricorn at approximately the same latitude as Los Cabos and Hawaii, resulting in a warm tropical climate year round. The housing sector continues to grow in Mazatlan, with new developments still sprouting along the oceanfront. Although, very similar in climate to Los Cabos and Cancun, Mazatlan housing prices are generally lower and a great opportunity to consider when selecting a Mexico real estate investment.


For someone who is interested in the tropical life combined with a rich cultural center, Mazatlan could be your ideal location. Some of the features of Mazatlan include Latin America’s largest aquarium, the world famous Carnival festival, the second tallest lighthouse in the world, and Cathedral Basilica de la Purisima Conception (Immaculate Conception Cathedral). The annual Carnival festival in Mazatlan is one of the country’s largest celebrations, attracting hundreds of thousands of people. Old Mazatlan dates back to the 19th century and has several impressive well curated museums. The fishing industry brings in thousands of tons of shrimp, tuna, and swordfish so it makes sense that Mazatlan is famous for its fresh seafood. Two well known resort developments, El Cid and Estrella del Mar have championship golf courses.


Mazatlan is easily accessible by roads via Mexican highway 15, a 4 lane superhighway that connects Mazatlan to the US for a span of 743 miles. Highway 15 is a well maintained privately owned toll road that costs about $60 per car. The Mazatlan international airport named General Rafael Buelna International Airport is 16 miles south of Zona Dorada (Hotel Zone). It handled 819,200 passengers in 2006 and is serviced by Alaska, Continental, and US Airways. A non-stop flight to Los Angeles takes less than 3 hours for a direct flight without delays. There are several high quality hospitals including Hospital Milatar, which has specialists on duty 24 hours a day and Hospital Sharp, a renown facility known for having the best equipment. Retail options include a Walmart, Sam’s Club, and Home Depot. The low lying areas are susceptible to flooding during the rainy season in the summer.

Mazatlan: The Pearl of the Pacific


Mazatlan is a desirable location to live but will become increasingly scarce as the supply of available beachfront property diminishes. The Sierra Madre mountains limit outward expansion that usually occur when a city is saturated. Overflow from the top tier locations like Cancun and Los Cabos, will likely spillover to alternative locations with an equally good climate meaning increased demand for a limited supply. Factors driving demand are Mazatlan’s ideal location with tropical climate and it is easy access through their international airport or superhighway that connects to the US. Mazatlan has recently attracted a $500 million foreign investment by a United Arab Emirates company, Hydra Properties. The $500 million dollar Hydra Wave project has been underway since June 2007 and will consist of a 500 room 5 star hotel, 1000 ocean view apartments, a 1000 seat conference center, and a 100,000 square foot shopping center. The CEO, Dr. Sulaiman Al Fahim, said “We have chosen to launch our property in Mazatlan because, like UAE, it offers visitors diverse choices in tourism including its rich heritage and traditions, and colorful colonial-style architecture”. This mega development is one sign that foreign investors are optimistic on Mazatlan’s future.


  1. Cashing in on a Second Home in Mexico by Tom Kelly

  2. Moon Pacifico By Bruce Whipperman 2007

  3. Mazatlan is Paradise 2003

  4. “Hydra properties launches usd 500m sea-based ‘hydra waves’ project at mazatlan in mexico.” Middle East (June 11, 2007).

  5. Alisau, Patricia. “A pearl on the pacific: Mazatlan polishes its growing reputation.” Business Mexico (June 2005): 56(4).

Published by Mexico Real Estate Investment