Mazatlan Again Named One of Top 10 World Destinations for Retirement in 2018

U.S. News and World Report rank Mazatlan #5 best place to retire overseas in 2018 citing beauty, relaxed atmosphere, and affordability of this Mexican Pacific coastal resort town.

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Distinguished for its enchanting mix of beautiful sandy beaches, captivating centuries-old rich culture, and abundant nightlife, Mazatlán has undergone a renaissance focused on the city’s historic center. It continues to earn top honors from independent authorities on international living and investing, and most recently received accolades from U.S. News & World Report naming it one of the top 10 places in the world to retire overseas.

“It’s a great honor being included among notable international destinations that offer compelling retirement havens,” said Marco Antonio Garcia, Secretary of Tourism for the state. “While we have always known our home is a priceless treasure, it is reassuring to know that the world is also coming to discover it as a great value. We are proud to claim a significant expatriate community that actively participates in cultural activities and spreads the word of how happy they are in our home. The message is getting out to the universe,” Garcia said.

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Home to more than 12 miles of golden shoreline, Mazatlán offers idyllic year-round tropical weather, first-class amenities and infrastructure, and an active lifestyle for older adults who embrace a “young at heart” mindset. Many expats embrace living like a local, enjoying the laid-back lifestyle, and city life surrounding the Historic District’s Plaza Machado, which offers magnificent sidewalk cafes, up-and-coming gastronomy, local arts and crafts and diverse theater culture.

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“When considering the monthly estimated cost of living, Mazatlán rises to #3 at $1,370 monthly,” comments Sylvia Ruiz Coppel, Undersecretary of Tourism. “But perhaps most relevant, is that Mazatlán is the closest international destination to the United States, making it convenient and inexpensive to fly back home to visit friends and family or have them come to visit and share in our rich culture, fine dining and festival spirit,” she added.

U.S. News & World Report’s selection of Mazatlán as an ideal retirement choice echoes last year’s distinction in Forbes magazine calling out Mazatlán as not only a great retirement option, but also an economical vacation escape.

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About Mazatlán
Mazatlán is a Mexican resort town along the Pacific Ocean. Founded in 1571, its Historic District, 19th-century landmarks include the performance hall Teatro Ángela Peralta and the towering Immaculate Conception Basilica. Sandy beaches line its 4 mile-long malecón (boardwalk), the newly developed Nuevo Mazatlán area where two marinas and two professional golf courses sit, and the modern district of Zona Dorada which is known for nightlife and hotels to suit any budget. Old villages with its unique charm such as El Quelite, Concordia, Copala and El Rosario surround Mazatlán, and guided tours are available from all hotels. Direct air service is available to Mazatlán from major U.S. and Canada markets.


  1. I know it sounds great in the promotional banter to label Mazatlan a Colonial city, but its not. The oldest buildings in Centro Histico date from the 1830’s. The Mazatlan that was “founded” in 1571 was a village on the Rio Balularte below Chametla. The Spanish traveled up and down the rivers because it was the easiest access into the mountains and the mines.

    • Mexican independence against Spain was not won until August 24, 1821. The area that occupies the current port of Mazatlan and its municipality was inhabited by populations local indigenous, at least, from 250 AD At the end of the pre-Hispanic era, its territory served as a border site between different cultural groups such as totorames , xiximes and tepehuanes , who gave it the name that transcends to this day. During Spanish rule, the San Juan Bautista Presidio of Mazatlán was founded , also called by travelers Mazatlan de Los Mulatos (the current town of Villa Unión), inhabited by military descendants of local and Caribbean Indians brought by the Spaniards, who were in charge of the defense of the neighboring mines and towns, as well as the then uninhabited natural port of Mazatlan, where they established an improvised surveillance camp (on the hill now called de la Nevería), occupied by ten lookouts at the beginning of the 18th century. During the last decade of this century, the installation of the Political and Military Government of Mazatlan was decreed, thus giving an official existence to the territory until then administratively dependent on the authorities of Copala. Between this event and until the end of the War of Independence, in which the mulattos participated briefly under the orders of the insurgentJosé María González Hermosillo, began to permanently inhabit the port of Mazatlan. The Charter for the city was founded on May 14, 1531 by 25 Castilians sent by Don Nuño de Guzmán, after founding Culiacán.
      It was also known as Villa de los Costilla because this is the surname of one of the Spanish soldiers who came from the presido, from what is now Villa Union, to watch over ships docking in its harbor

      Then a merchant from San Sebastian, today Concordia, Vicente Hortigosa and the commercial house Fletes del Rosario, made a request to the government to change the pier of San Felix, at the foot of Cerro del Crestón, being called then Puerto de Hortigosa and later it was changed by the name of Mazatlan.

      • Thanks for taking the time for the detailed reply. When the Spanish founded a town, a church was built along with government buildings. Even when I look at photos of very early Mazatlan, there is not an old church, there are no government buildings. If you can show me some physical evidence of pre 1820 construction, I am more than glad to jump on the “Colonial” bandwagon. But the sketchily written history complied by multiple researchers I don’t believe to be adequate. There are plenty of Spanish colonial towns throughout southern Sinaloa, they all display pre 1820 constructions. If all the surrounding towns were capable of preserving their Colonial structures, what happened to Mazatlan?