El Faro Lighthouse (Mazatlán): The Definitive Guide


El Faro de Mazatlan (Sinaloa): opening hours, prices, what to see

Planning to visit Mazatlan and looking for the best views of the area?

Then, you can’t miss El Faro, the city’s iconic lighthouse!

Here’s a simple guide to the Mazatlan Lighthouse, including all you need to know about visiting times, entry fees, highlights, directions, and the best times to visit.

I’ll also share some activities near the lighthouse and my top hotel picks for any budget in Mazatlan.

Make sure to check out my Ultimate Guide to Mazatlan for the best local experiences!

Ready to discover Mazatlan El Faro Lighthouse and its observation deck?

El Faro sits atop Cerro El Creston and is a must-see in Mazatlan.

To reach the breathtaking views of the city, harbor, and Pacific Ocean, you’ll climb 336 steps. It’s a journey made on foot that rewards you with stunning vistas and leads you to the “Puente de Cristal“.

The Viewpoint
Despite its name, the “Glass Bridge” or “Puente de Cristal” in Spanish, isn’t really a bridge but an observation deck that doesn’t connect two places. 

It’s as much about the journey up as the destination itself, with various spots to sit and soak in the view along the way and at the top.

panoramic view faro mazatlan
panoramic view faro mazatlan
mazatlan lighthouse benches
mazatlan lighthouse benches
top faro mazatlan
top faro mazatlan
bridge el faro mazatlan sinaloa
The glass bridge, El Faro, Mazatlan

How much is entry to El Faro?

Getting to the top is free.

The glass bridge visit costs 30 pesos, cash only.

Pay at the bottom because you can’t buy a ticket at the top. Keep your ticket for bridge access.

Is the glass bridge worth it?

It’s subjective. I found it okay but not amazing.

You visit in groups of 10, staying for 3 to 5 minutes. The platform is short and can feel crowded.

Even in the low season at 9:30 a.m., I had to wait. It must be busier in peak times!

You’ll remove shoes to keep the floor clean, or wear canvas overshoes provided.

The view is lovely, similar to the rest of the park. Only the sea view is unique to the bridge, which might not be worth it for everyone.

glass bridge faro mazatlan
The glass bridge, El Faro, Mazatlan
view bridge el faro mazatlan
view bridge el faro mazatlan

What are the lighthouse opening hours?

Open daily from 6 a.m. to 5:45 p.m. The glass viewpoint is open from 6 a.m. to 5:15 p.m.

How high is the lighthouse?

It’s 115 ft above sea level.

How much time does it take to reach the top?

The path is 2400 ft, then 336 steps.

Time varies by fitness; some jog it! I took 25-30 minutes; others might take 40-45 min

You’ll find several benches on your way up and more places to rest at the top.

I chose to climb up quickly to have more time to relax and enjoy the views at the summit, but the scenery during the climb is also beautiful!

mazatlan lighthouse stairs

mazatlan el faro hike

How Accessible Is the Lighthouse for Visitors?

The lighthouse’s accessibility depends on your physical condition.

For those without mobility issues, reaching the top is a manageable challenge, involving climbing steps and navigating uneven paths.

It’s a popular activity for visitors of all ages, emphasizing the importance of moving at a pace that’s comfortable for you.

However, for individuals with reduced mobility, the lighthouse may not be accessible. The path requires climbing and maintaining balance, which might not be suitable for everyone.

Keep in mind, Mazatlan’s sun can be quite strong, and there are limited shaded areas along the way. Staying hydrated is essential, and there are benches available for resting if needed.

Look out for signs posting emergency numbers throughout the area for added safety.

sign mazatlan lighthouse

Getting to the Mazatlan Lighthouse

Personally, I walked there from Plaza Machado, which took me about 30-40 minutes, stopping to take photos.

Yes, it involves an uphill climb, but the views are rewarding as the path hugs the coastline for much of the journey.

You could also take the green Sábalo-Centro bus, which leaves you just a short 5-minute walk from the entrance, costing 12 pesos each way. Just follow Av. Joel Montes Camarena towards the lighthouse from there.

Alternatively, a taxi or pulmonia can get you there too, with the fare depending on how far you’re coming from.

No matter how you get there, you’ll be dropped off at the hill’s base and will need to make the ascent on foot.

My advice
If you’d rather skip the hassle of figuring out transport, consider booking a guided tour of Faro de Mazatlan.

This option includes a pickup from your hotel in a comfortable, air-conditioned vehicle, a guide to lead you, access to the viewpoint, and digital photos of your experience.

Book it here:

faro de mazatlan sinaloa

local bus mazatlan
The Sabalo-Centro bus, Mazatlan

Are there restrooms at the lighthouse?

Yes, you can find restrooms by the entrance for 10 pesos, located to the right across from the ticket office. There aren’t any restrooms at the top or along the path.

Best time for a visit?

Heading to the lighthouse at sunrise (opening at 6:45 a.m.) or sunset (from 4 p.m. to 6:45 p.m.) is ideal.

This timing not only offers breathtaking views but also helps you avoid the busiest and hottest parts of the day, between 11 a.m. and 4 p.m.

When I got there at 9:30 a.m., I encountered a group of tourists already waiting, likely brought by a tour bus and their guide.

The path up is pretty narrow, and being ahead meant I didn’t have to queue behind them, making my ascent smoother.

For my next visit, I plan to arrive even earlier to beat any crowds.

What should you take to the Mazatlan Lighthouse?

Remember, it can get quite hot, and the sun is much stronger at the lighthouse.

Make sure to bring effective sunscreen, plenty of water, a hat or cap, light clothing, and sturdy shoes.

  • I suggest skipping flip-flops for this trip.
  • Also, note that food and alcoholic drinks aren’t allowed.

The Story Behind El Faro

At a quick look, the hill might seem like a small peninsula, but it was actually an island. In 1930, it was linked to the mainland with a causeway.

Cerro el Creston has been a key navigation point for a long time, originally marked by campfires to guide ships. The first official lighthouse, equipped with an oil lamp, a Fresnel lens, and mirrors, was established in 1879.

Since then, it’s been updated several times, and today its light extends up to 24 nautical miles (about 28 miles).

The most recent addition was the glass observation deck in 2018.

view of faro de mazatlan
view of faro de mazatlan

Exploring Around El Faro: Must-Visit Nearby Attractions

El Faro’s prime location makes it a great starting point for visiting two of Mazatlan’s top attractions: Isla de Piedra and Observatorio 1873.

Plan a day to explore them all!

1. Isla de Piedra

Contrary to its name, Isla de Piedra is actually a peninsula and a favorite beach destination in Mazatlan, known for its gentle waves and shallow waters.

It’s the perfect spot for lounging on the beach or trying out activities like horseback riding, quad biking, engaging in various water sports, or enjoying seafood at the beachside restaurants.

Getting to Isla de Piedra

Driving there involves a 50-minute route around the town.

However, the most convenient way is by boat, especially since there’s a pier along the road from Faro to the mainland.

You have two choices for boat travel:

  • A water taxi that shuttles back and forth, costing 40 pesos roundtrip and taking 5-10 minutes.
  • A tour package that includes round-trip boat fare, lunch, and 3 hours on the island, priced at 600-700 pesos with departures at 10 a.m., 12 p.m., and 2 p.m. daily.

My advice
There are three main piers for trips to Isla de Piedra: the primary one on Avenida Gabriel Leyva; the Playa Sur dock on Avenida Emilio Barragán, and the Embarcadero Iguana near Faro. 

isla piedra el faro mazatlan
view of Isla de Piedra from El Faro
Isla de la Piedra Pier Mazatlan
Isla de la Piedra Pier Mazatlan
iguana pier isla piedra
Iguana pier for Isla de Piedra

2. Observatorio 1873

Right across from Faro, you’ll find Observatorio 1873 perched on Cerro del Vigia’s peak.

This once-active observatory, dedicated to weather and earthquake research, has been wonderfully preserved and transformed into a charming tourist spot.

A cable car brings visitors to the top, unveiling 5 unique attractions:

  • A house-museum mimicking an 1800s residence
  • The agaviario, showcasing 200 types of agaves
  • A sanctuary for birds
  • An iguana sanctuary
  • A distillery where you can discover how mezcal is made

Be sure to head up to the SkyBar for breathtaking views. It’s easily one of my top recommendations in Mazatlan!

You can get your tickets for the observatory here:

view observatorio sky bar mazatlan
view of El Faro from the Observatorio 1873 Sky Bar
interior house observatorio mazatlan
Interior of the house, Observatorio, Mazatlan
Iguana Sanctuary Observatorio Mazatlan
Iguana Sanctuary, Observatorio, Mazatlan

Where to stay in Mazatlan: The Best Hotels

When it comes to finding the perfect place to stay in Mazatlán, you have two fantastic options: the charming historic center, adorned with colonial buildings, or the lively seafront Zona Dorada, with numerous bars and restaurants.

Here are my top hotel recommendations in Mazatlan:

  • One Mazatlán (Zona Dorada): Offering great value for money, this new hotel is just steps away from the beach in the Zona Dorada. With modern amenities, comfortable rooms, and a refreshing swimming pool, it’s an excellent choice starting at only 70 $usd per night, including breakfast!
  • Royal Villas Resort (Zona Dorada): For added luxury, consider this well-appointed hotel nestled in Mazatlán’s Zona Dorada. Enjoy a pool overlooking the sea, direct beach access, and spacious rooms with kitchenettes and sea views. With facilities like a gym, spa, restaurant, and bar, rates start at just 91 $usd per night.
  • Hotel Raices de Mar (Historic Center): Perfectly situated in Mazatlán’s historic center near Plazuela Machado, this hotel is ideal for explorers. Clean and comfortable rooms, an on-site restaurant, a small pool, and a rooftop terrace await you, starting from 120 $usd per night, including breakfast.
  • Casa Lucila Boutique Hotel (Historic Center): Experience the charm of Mazatlán at this intimate hotel near Olas Altas beach. Offering stunning ocean views from its terrace with a sea-facing pool, this boutique hotel features elegant rooms, a spa, and a restaurant. Prices start at 158 $usd per night and provide easy access to the malecon and other attractions.
  • Pueblo Bonito Mazatlan Beach Resort (All-Inclusive, Zona Dorada): Indulge in luxury at Mazatlán’s premier all-inclusive resort. With accolades from Condé Nast Traveler and Travel + Leisure, this 5-star property offers spacious rooms, direct beach access, multiple pools, restaurants, and a spa. Rates begin at 300 $usd per night.

My advice
 Dive deeper into my comprehensive Guide to the Best Hotels in Mazatlán for more insights and feedback!

Rent a car in Mazatlan

Renting a car is for sure the best way to discover Mazatlan and make the most of your stay!

To rent a car, personally, I always use Booking.com Cars, for a few reasons:

  • You can easily compare the rental cars prices between all the agencies: for sure the easiest way to find the best rate!
  • Cancellation is often offered free of charge: no need to worry if you change your mind
  • Booking Cars offers full insurance coverage at a lower price than the rental companies, so it’s an instant saving with no effort

Simply click on the green button to find your rental car at the best price:

Discover the Best Flight Offers

Mazatlan International Airport (General Rafael Buelna International Airport) boasts excellent connectivity, welcoming flights from major Mexican cities such as Mexico City, Los Cabos, San José del Cabo, La Paz, Monterrey, Chihuahua, Hermosillo, Querétaro, and Tijuana.

Moreover, it serves as a prime entry point for direct flights from the US, including cities like Los Angeles, Dallas, Phoenix, Houston, and Minneapolis, as well as from major Canadian airports.

This extensive network of flights makes reaching Mazatlan a breeze from various locations.

To find a great deal on flights to Mazatlan and discover the best domestic flights across Mexico, make sure to use our flight comparison tool in partnership with Skyscanner. It’s your ticket to securing the best prices!

Book your trip now and save money!

You’re traveling in Mexico? These articles will help you!

Discover all my articles about Mexico: All my articles to help you plan your trip to Mexico are listed there.

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visiting Mazatlan Faro


I have created this blog to give you all my best tips to plan your next trip to Mexico, regardless of your budget. I share detailed itineraries, advice about places to visit as well as recommendations for transportation, hotels and restaurants. I hope I will also help you to discover amazing off the beaten path destinations in Mexico!

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