Visiting Mazatlan Observatory: Activities and Opening Hours


How to visit Mazatlan Observatory?

At the top of Cerro del Vigía lies the Observatorio 1873, a tourism project that has given new life to the old observatory, once used for meteorological and seismological research.

In addition to its magnificent views of El Faro and the sea, it boasts many attractions of historical and natural interest, making it a top attraction in Mazatlan!

To help you prepare for your visit, here’s my detailed guide to the Mazatlan Observatory, where you’ll find all the things to do on site, schedules, how to get tickets and how to get there.

I’ve also included other nearby attractions that you can easily combine for a fun-filled day, as well as my top hotel recommendations for all budgets.

So, how do you visit the Mazatlan Observatory? Let’s get started!

Observatorio 1873 tickets and opening hours

Opening hours: the park is open Tuesday to Sunday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily and the Sky Bar from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m

It’s best to arrive no later than 4 p.m. to ensure you have enough time to see the sights. Especially as some areas, such as the iguana and bird sanctuaries, close earlier.

You can buy tickets for the Mazatlan Observatory here:

Where is the Observatory?

The Observatory is located on the Cerro del Vigía.

The entrance is on Paseo del Centenario 2218, between the Mazatlan Lighthouse and Olas Altas beach. – Click here to see the exact location on Google Maps

facade observatoire mazatlan
The Mazatlan Observatory

Why visit the Observatory?

Along with neighboring El Faro, the Mazatlan Observatory offers the best views of Mazatlan!

It’s a complete experience that includes a funicular ride up, access to a bird and iguana sanctuary, a visit to a museum that recreates the interior of a house (late 19th-early 20th century) and an insight into the mezcal-making process.

There’s also a rooftop bar (consumption not included in admission) on the main building, offering a magnificent view of the Mazatlan Lighthouse and the sea.

This is definitely a must-do activity in Mazatlan, whether you’re a family, a couple or on your own (like me!), as you can explore the different areas at your own pace and spend as much time as you like.

  • Find out more about what to do at the Mazatlan Observatory below.
carte attraits observatoire mazatlan
map attractions mazatlan observatory
attraits observatoire mazatlan
mazatlan observatory attractions

Attractions at the Mazatlan Observatory: What to See and Do

1. The Funicular

To get to the observatory, the first thing to do is take the funicular, which will gently take you to the top of the hill, 246 ft above sea level.

From the top, you’ll have an impressive view of the lighthouse and the sea!

funiculaire observatoire mazatlan
funicular mazatlan observatory
vue funiculaire observatoire mazatlan
The view from the funicular is magnificent

2. House Museum

The structure of the observatory’s main building has been preserved and transformed into a museum. It is now a reconstruction of a house from the Porfiriato era (1876 to 1911), with some elements from the Mexican Revolution

You’ll find a guide at the entrance who will show you around in a 5-10 min tour. It’s well worth it, and of course included in your ticket.

Alternatively, you can explore the site on your own. It’s not very big, but there’s a lot of detail to see.

maison observatorio Mazatlán 1873
house observatorio Mazatlán 1873
maison observatoire mazatlan
maison observatorio mazatlan
musee observatoire mazatlan
mazatlan observatory house
interior house observatorio mazatlan
Interior of the house, Observatorio, Mazatlan

Iguana and bird sanctuary

The “El Nido” bird sanctuary was created in collaboration with Profepa and Semarnat, government agencies responsible for environmental protection.

It is dedicated to the rehabilitation of wild birds that have been injured or rescued from illegal trade.

Over 70 Mexican species (parrots, parakeets, macaws, flamingos, etc.) can be observed here, while awaiting their future release when they are ready to take to the skies again.

Meanwhile “Tierra Iguana” is an area dedicated to the conservation of two reptile species: the African Spurred Tortoise which is in danger of extinction, and the green iguana which, although not considered endangered, is a vulnerable species.

I knew that iguanas can change color, but I’d never seen orange iguanas before! The guide explained that the males take on this color during the mating season.

Iguana Sanctuary Observatorio Mazatlan
Iguana Sanctuary, Observatorio, Mazatlan
iguanes observatoire mazatlan
Iguanas at the Mazatlan Observatory

Agaves and cacti

The “Agaviario” is home to 30 species of agave and cacti endemic to Mexico!

In addition to the interesting plant collection, it offers a magnificent view of Mazatlan’s lighthouse hill.

agave observatoire mazatlan
agave observatory mazatlan
cactus observatoire de mazatlan
cactus mazatlan observatory


Right next door is the “distillery”, where the process of making tequila and mezcal is explained.

Normally, there’s also a tasting of 3 types of mezcal, but when I visited, there were hardly any visitors and no guides in this section.

maguey distillerie observatoire mazatlan
maguey distillery observatory mazatlan
mezcal observatoire mazatlan
mezcal observatoire mazatlan

Sky Bar

Although not included with admission, the Sky Bar is a must at the Mazatlan Observatory!

As you walk through the house-museum, you’ll come across a terrace facing the sea. It’s beautiful, of course, but I’d recommend climbing to the roof of the building, where you’ll find two intimate terraces and an indoor space .

Personally, I stayed indoors to enjoy both the breathtaking view and the pleasant air circulating between the windows.

I ordered a mineral water with vaso michelado (50 pesos) and the gobernador tacos (150 pesos).

The tacos weren’t the best I’ve had in Mazatlan, but I’d definitely go back for a drink. The view was so beautiful that I couldn’t believe my eyes and took lots of pictures!

What’s more, the service was very friendly.

My advice
For good food during your stay, don’t miss My guide to the 15 best restaurants in Mazatlan!

view observatorio sky bar mazatlan
view of El Faro from the Observatorio 1873 Sky Bar
terrasse rooftop mazatlan
terrace rooftop mazatlan
sky bar observatorio mazatlan
sky bar observatorio mazatlan
bar observatoire mazatlan
sky bar observatorio mazatlan
tacos bar observatoire mazatlan
tacos bar observatoire mazatlan

Other things to do

In addition to the main activities, there’s also “Raices” (starting every 90 min, between 12pm and 6pm) which is a cocoa ceremony.

There are also a few benches where you can relax in the garden. Sitting in the shade at the entrance to Tierra Iguana, I was lucky enough to see a peacock pecking at the earth beside me!

To go back down, take the stairs, and you’ll pass through a lovely landscaped garden where you’ll find the Virgin of El Vigío.

There will soon be two new attractions:

  • The National Whale Museum (MUNBA), where you’ll find 29 skeletons of different types of whales, such as gray whales, blue whales and a sperm whale
  • A 4100 ft zip-line across the sea from the Mazatlan Lighthouse to the Observatory!
vue observatoire mazatlan
window with a magnificent view, as you walk back down to the entrance
banc observatoire de mazatlan
bench, mazatlan observatory

How do I get to the Mazatlan Observatory?

It’s very easy to reach the Observatory, whether by public transport, car or even on foot. Here’s how:

  • By bus: the Sabalo bus (green and white) runs from Playa Brujas in Cerritos to Faro and back – 12 pesos a ticket

You can board it in the Zona Dorada or along the Malecón and alight at the final stop, near Baja Ferries. Find the precise location here.

From there, it’s a 5-minute walk to the Observatory entrance.

  • By car: just head to Paseo Centenario, which you can easily reach from the Malecón.

However, parking can be tricky as there’s no official lot, and the few informal spots across from the entrance tend to fill up fast.

My recommendation? Park your car at Olas Altas and opt for a pulmonia or cab instead.

  • Walking: this is my preferred way to explore! My journey began with a leisurely walk from Plazuela Machado to the Mazatlan Lighthouse.

Enjoying the route so much, I decided to also visit the Observatory on foot to take in the views once more.

As you follow the Malecón to its endpoint at Olas Altas beach, the path ascends, revealing stunning views of Paseo Olas Altas and Cerro de la Nevería.

The Paseo del Centenario then shifts slightly inland before it opens back to the coastline. Here, you’ll glimpse the Arco de Mazatlan and arrive at the scenic overlook known as El Corazon.

paseo olas altas mazatlan
paseo olas altas mazatlan

What to Do Around the Observatory

The Observatory is very close to the pier for Isla de Piedra, and the Lighthouse, two of Mazatlan’s main attractions. So you can easily combine them for a full day out!

Isla de Piedra

Isla de Piedra is an important Mazatlan destination, particularly popular with families, thanks to its long beaches with shallow waters, numerous seafood restaurants and water sports activities.

The best way to get there is by boat! The nearest pier is Embarcadero La Iguana (40 pesos roundtrip).

isla piedra el faro mazatlan
view of Isla de Piedra from El Faro
restaurante isla de piedra mazatlan
restaurante isla de piedra mazatlan

Lighthouse (El Faro)

The Mazatlan Lighthouse, perched on Cerro el Creston, offers unparalleled views of the surrounding area. It’s certainly the best place to take photos!

Accessing this scenic vista requires a rewarding effort: a trek up an uphill path for about 2400 feet, followed by climbing 336 steps, a journey that must be undertaken on foot.

Upon reaching the summit, you also have the option to explore its glass bridge (for an additional 30 pesos), adding an extra layer of excitement to your breathtaking experience.

My advice
To help you plan your visit, don’t miss my detailed article: How to visit the Mazatlan Lighthouse

faro de mazatlan sinaloa

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

How long does it take to visit the Observatory?

It depends! In reality, you could visit the Observatory in just 1 hour, but I’d advise you to take your time, see all the areas, take advantage of the guided tours, and spend 2-3 hours there.

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 explore Mazatlan and make the most of your stay!

To rent a car, personally, I always use 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:

Get the Best Deals on Flight Tickets

Mazatlan International Airport (General Rafael Buelna International Airport) is well-connected, receiving flights from all over Mexico, including cities like Mexico City, Los Cabos, San José del Cabo, La Paz, Monterrey, Chihuahua, Hermosillo, Querétaro, and Tijuana.

It’s also a popular landing spot for direct flights from the US, including Los Angeles, Dallas, Phoenix, Houston, and Minneapolis, not to mention key airports in Canada. All these connections make Mazatlan an easily accessible destination in Mexico.

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!

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visit Mazatlan Observatory


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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