parallax background

Mazatlán Carnival, Mexico

El Carnaval de Tenerife es considerado el segundo carnaval más popular del mundo
Tenerife Carnival, Spain
El Carnaval de Calabar es un proyecto de integración cultural y aporte turístico
Calabar Carnival, Nigeria


What is the Mazatlan Carnival?

Mazatlán Carnival is a large annual celebration held in the city of Mazatlán, state of Sinaloa, Mexico. Mazatlán Carnival is one of the most recognized carnivals in the country and thethird most famous in the world. The celebration has an impressive history, as it has been celebrated for more than 100 years.

The carnivals have been for years a vehicle to break the daily life of the citizens with a great variety of entertainment. In the case of Mazatlan, history is more or less repeated, but in a different scenario: by the sea. Mazatlan Carnivals are a great chain of events from start to finish, replete withfireworks, carrozas, themed costumes, live music, sporting events, contests and delicious food.



Every year, people from different parts of Mexico and the world, come to the city of Mazatlan to be part of the historic celebration of its carnivals. The city is painted in hundreds of colors to welcome the festivities with great excitement to once again carry out the impressive festivities and activities on the city’s malecon.

Mazatlan Carnival has had a positive impact on the city, as it has beenencouraging tourism and the various economic activities related to tourism. In addition, every year they have a large number of visitors, recently reaching almost 700 thousand people in just one year.

Come to the city of Mazatlan and live an experience like no other by the sea.


Mazatlan Carnival is a celebration of more than 100 years of history

Mazatlan Carnival is a celebration of more than 100 years of history



When is the Mazatlan Carnival?

Mazatlan Carnival is a celebration that takes place 6 days before the first day of Lent, so it takes place from the month of February until the month of March.

The Mazatlan Carnival will take place approximately from February 11 to 16.



History of the Mazatlan Carnivals



Mazatlán Carnival has deeply permeated the traditions and identity of the city of Mazatlán. Carnival in Mazatlan’s olden days was considered a time full of sins, as people used to perform certain acts that would be considered forbidden or that did not agree with the religious practices of that time. For this reason, the carnival managed to attract problems with the authorities, especially the religious ones.

By February 12, 1827, the Mazatlán Carnival had held a celebration, masquerade and comparsas with the participation of soldiers working in the port. This wasone of the oldest celebrations documented to date of the carnivals in Mazatlán. In addition, it is said that it was an act of protest to demand better pay for their duties; however, it turned out to be a party.

According to the documentation of the carnivals, people would congregate on Tuesdays wearing costumes and masks to perform certain pranks on the townspeople. In addition, they would also perform jokes, antics and alborotos in the streets. The characters would visit and enter houses, but not before leaving their characteristic flour footprint which they used to annoy the locals.

The flour games intensified in the city, so they began to be a fixed part within the celebrations. The city was divided into two bands to perform the flour war and egg shells with dyes. During the dates there was no one who could stop the celebrations, neither social, national events or even the authority itself.



During the government of Porfirio Díaz, the city was beginning to prosper and become a cultured place. Thus, the city tried to get rid of thetraditional flour wars by less savage and violent lake, causing friction between society and authority. Some sectors of the city considered more appropriate the celebration of gatherings and private and more refined places. However, other sectors opposed the drastic change.

Without any success in completely changing the festivities, the more cultured societies decided to transform the festivities, changing the flour for confetti and streamers, a somewhat more colorful and beautiful alternative to the eye. Although with some hesitation, confetti began to be used more regularly, gradually changing the traditions of the carnival. In this way, the authorities began to support the carnivals instead of repudiating them. Since then, carnivals evolved more and more.


Corte Real del Carnaval



Following the traditions of the typical Italian carnivals, the society of the city of Mazatlán also decided to hold a ceremony where a symbolic king of the carnivals would be chosen. The first election of a carnival king was in the year 1898, who was targeted for a great onslaught of eggshells filled with confetti.

The King of Carnival or King Momo of the following years had better luck due to his great diction, oratory and bearing, which served as a guide for the next king’s elections. This second king established as a normal a strong sense of humor so as not to be affected by the rowdy and joking nature of the carnivals.



In 1900 the Carnival Queen was chosen for the first time, although this first figure functioned more as a secondary and supporting role to the Carnival King. The first queen was Wildrida Farmer, a helpful and affectionate young woman from Maine, United States, who knew how to win the hearts of the villagers. In this first edition she wore two dresses, which she changed according to the functions she was going to perform. In addition, she was part of the carriages and parades, always accompanied by her royal entourage.

Wilfrida was one of the personalities of the carnival that the villagers remember with great affection, because she was one of the pioneers of the royal court that had a wonderful charisma. Years later, Wilfrida returned to the United States, but participated again in Mazatlan’s carnivals a few decades later.

Queens Gallery

The perspective of the Carnival Queen had changed with the beginning of the 20th century, as these began to be selected through popular vote. This novel event did the impossible, as the bulk of the population was attracted to the voting, bringing together in one place all the social classes of Mazatlán of yesteryear.

The King of Carnival was relegated to a secondary role, losing his shine and participation in the carnivals. His speeches were changed by the participation of other entities and his function was mostly decorative. Some years later, its image came back to life, only to be forgotten again as the years went by.

Voting for the Carnival Queens was refined, acquiring elements such as election campaigns that mobilized the entire city with great enthusiasm. In addition, they began to integrate a much more elaborate governing board, so the elections integrated other personalities and not only the queen.


Floral Games

With the help of the literary societies and the organizers of the festivities, poetry contests began to be held continuously, but modestly and somewhat timidly. However, since 1937, the celebration began to consolidate and become a continuous part of the festivities. In its early stages, the games awarded prizes for poems in classical form and later for free verse poems.

The Floral Games are still an important part of the carnivals, integrating diverseliterary and poetic elements into each year’s celebrations.


Children’s celebrations

The carnivals were initially not designed for children, however, this did not prevent the children of the city from being part of the festivities, as the colorful costumes and games were elements that attracted their attention. In the year 1900, for the first time, children’s carnivals were established to include this sector of society. The children’s carnival parties have more familiar elements and for any type of audience, in addition to having the regular carnival features such as costumes and games.

Children’s Carnival gained some popularity, so that sometimes children were integrated into the adult parades to be part of the floats. As a result, the Children’s Carnival underwent some modifications to resemble as much as possible thetraditional adult festivities, but without the excesses that these originated.

In the year 1968, the children’s carnival obtained for the first time the monarchical elements that the carnivals have today. This monarchy of the children’s carnival was the result of a voting process. In addition, it was also composed of dances and costume contests.



After its 100-year history, the Mazatlán Carnival has become an important element in the identity of the city and its inhabitants. Although it is not a traditional celebration of modern carnivals, it has unique characteristics that have positioned it as one of the most famous in the world. In addition, it has enjoyed incredible growth, providing first class entertainment in each of its celebrations.


Where is Mazatlan Carnival?

Carnivals are held in the city of Mazatlan, Sinaloa state, Mexico. Mexico.

The city of Mazatlán has a total area of 2,539 square kilometers where about 650,000 people live.


Dozens of groups perform in the Mazatlán Carnival parade

Dozens of groups perform in the Mazatlán Carnival parade



How is the Mazatlan Carnival celebrated?

Mazatlan Carnival features a wide range of celebrations involving the different cultural and historical elements of the city. From start to finish you can be part of or see a large number of celebrations, even some that begin months before the official start of the festivities.



Mazatlán Carnival features several performances by national and international musicians, offeringentertainment of the highest level from start to finish. The genres you can listen to here range from rancheras to theurban music heard in every corner of the planet.



The cómputos are the first carnival ceremonies held to choose the Royal Court of Carnival. The event has a considerable participation that includes all the candidates for queen, their conjuntos or supporting ensembles, entertainment during the celebration and several personalities who conduct the entire ceremony.

Generally, the computations are held twice during the festivities and each time candidates are selected to move on to the next round until they become the Carnival Queen. In addition, the winners receive a generous cash prize that is related to the title acquired.



Like the computations, they are held twice during the celebrations, on the same days as the computations. The demonstrations are a kind ofparade of support for the candidates. It is a great show of affection on the part of the people who support the queen and integrate elements such as carrozasconmúsica, revelers, decorated carts and mascots of events.


Arts Soirees

The evenings are a great celebration that commemorates the different arts of the city. Within the event aregreat concerts of classical music, opera, orchestral performances and various theatrical performances, classical ballet and plays. In addition, the arts in general are celebrated, so there are various activities that take into considerationliterature and poetry.

At the end of the night some prizes and awards are given to artists with a longer trajectory or with important recognitions that were taken into account.

Carnival fair

The fair is amultipurpose enclosure that is composed of a large number of activities and attractions. In the enclosure you can find mechanical games, roller coasters, circuses, prizes and contests, food fair and many other traditional attractions of athemed game fair.


Gastronomic Show

The gastronomic sample is a great event that offers a varied local and international cuisine. The event takes place in the historic center of the city and you can find dozens of stalls with rich and varied food.


Naval Combat

The Naval Combat is one of the most important and attended ceremonies of all carnivals. This ceremony has some commemorative elements, as it attempts to reenact the cannon fire during the war of French intervention. The event features hundreds of thousands of fireworks that explode through the air one after another. It is one of the most impressive pyrotechnic shows you will ever see.

This ceremony is usually performed at Olas Atlas..


Burning of the Bad Mood

The Burning of the Bad Mood is a constant part of the traditions of carnival in Mexico. The ceremony involves the burning of a large effigy, which represents a symbolic act to burn something that generally causes displeasure or discomfort. In addition, it is also used to cleanse sins committed during the holidays, as a catharsis ceremony.


Coronation of the Carnival Queen

The coronation of the Carnival Queen is one of the most anticipated and prestigious ceremonies of Carnival, as it is a tradition that has been maintained for over 100 years of Carnival. The event is accompanied by top quality entertainment, music venues and of course, a great fireworks show.

The Carnival Queen is not only part of the identity of the carnivals in the city, but will also take concrete spaces within the variousdiplomatic events held in the city.


Tips for going to the Mazatlan Carnivals

If you decide to attend the Mazatlan Carnivals, we recommend you plan your trip in advance, make an itinerary of activities and book the lodging of your choice in advance. Also, don’t forget to pack comfortable clothes so you can fully enjoy your carnivals.

If you are sensitive to loud sounds, we recommend you take precautions, since the parades have large sound systems with loud music from beginning to end.

Be sure to arrive early to the events, as Mazatlan’s carnival is one of the most attended celebrations in the country, so the streets get congested and the best stalls sell out very easily.

If you want to know more about tourism in this country I recommend this guide:.


Events in Mazatlan Carnival

Mazatlan Carnival has a large number of events that take place from the month of November until the end of February or March, so get ready to live a full carnival experience in the city. In order for you to know a little about the type of events that take place in Mazatlan carnival, we offer you the following chain of events.

Remember that events may change progressively, so we recommend you keep an eye out for future communications from the carnival.


Pre-Carnival Events



First Computo and Demonstration

Place: Insurgentes Avenue with Campos de la Col Juárez

Time: 4:00 pm



Second and last Computo and Demonstration

Place: Av Bahia with Plazuela Republica

Time: 4:00 pm



Election of Queens

Place: Angela Peralta Theater

Time: 7:00 pm


Celebration of the Arts

Place: Angela Peralta Theater

Time 8:00 pm


Carnival Fair Inauguration

Place: Sam’s Club Parking Lot

Time 6:00 pm


Coronation King of Carnival

Time: 8 pm


Coronation of the Queen of the Floral Games

Place: Teodoro Mariscal Stadium

Time: 8:30 pm



Coronation Carnival Queen

Place: Teodoro Mariscal Stadium

Time: 6 pm


Naval Combat and Burning of the Bad Humor

Place: Atlas Waves

Time: 10:30 pm


First Carnival Parade

Place: Monumento al Pescador with Avenida del Mar

Time: 5 pm


Children’s Dance

Place: Spectaculare Hall

Time: 10 am


Coronation of the Children’s Queen

Place: Teodoro Marisca Stadium

Time: 6:30 pm


Second Carnival Parade

Place: Aquarium with Atlas Waves

Time: 4 pm


During the Mazatlan Carnival large themed floats are presented

During the Mazatlan Carnival large themed floats are presented



Mazatlan Carnival Parades

Parades occur twice in everyMazatlan Carnival. At the event you can witness a great show performed by more than 30 carnival groups and 33 themed floats fully decorated with incredible designs ranging from the most impressive castillo to tropical selva designs.

Of course, the parade features the Royal Court of Carnival with dozens of reinas and Carnival kings. Their entire presentation is accompanied by hundreds of dancers in stunning themed costumes. In addition, you have several national and international folkloric groupings.

The whole event is accompanied by gigantic carts with music at full volume, some of them with dozens of people on them to entertain the public on the sides of the streets..


Parade route


Mazatlán Carnival has a varied schedule from November to February

Mazatlán Carnival has a varied schedule from November to February


The first parade runs along the entire Malecon from Monumento al Pescador, passing along the entire Malecon or Avenida del Mar to Valentinos, which would represent the end of Avenida del Mar. The route begins at 5:00 p.m. and covers about 8 kilometers.

The second route starts at the Mazatlan Aquarium and ends at Olas Altas. The parade starts at 4:30 pm and covers about 4 to 5 kilometers of distance.


The governor taco is one of the region's signature dishes

The governor taco is one of the region’s signature dishes



What to eat at the Mazatlan Carnival

Mazatlan is known for having a varied gastronomy based mainly on seafood. Its specialty is shrimp, lobster, crab, squid, snapper and mullet. However, it also has a wide range of meats.

One of the most classic dishes of the region is the taco gobernador. The dish is made with taquero tortillas, shrimp, cilantro and various vegetables such as onion, pepper and tomato. In addition, it is also topped with grated chihuahua cheese.

Another dish you can try is the aguachile. The agua chile is a very popular food in the region and is a dish made with a bed of shrimp, liquefied serrano chiles and lime juice. However, the recipe has varied a bit so you can find them with avocado, cucumber and onion.

In addition, the city of Mazatlan offers a large number of bars, restaurants and cafes that you can visit to learn more about the local food. The most famous places in town are: Pancho’s, Topolo, Angelina’s, F.I.S.H and Fat Fish..


Aguachile is one of the region's classic dishes

Aguachile is one of the region’s classic dishes



Travel Insurance

From we recommend to hire a good insurance to visit this carnival and to know the rest of the country. For being our readers we offer a 5% discount on all IATI insurances. Read more information about all insurance offers here:



What to see and do inside Mazatlan Carnival

While some celebrations formally begin in November, the most intense activity begins in February. Once you are in the city, you can enjoy a wide range of activities starting with the soirée of the arts or juegos flores and enjoy a varied and entertaining evening of diverse literary and performing arts. In addition, you can attend the carnival fair or gastronomic show, where you can eat a variety of delicious dishes.

If you are interested in the election of the queens, you can attend the various coronation ceremonies of the carnival queens and kings. Also, don’t forget to attend the Naval Combat and the Burning of the Bad Humor, two extremely popular and important ceremonies of the carnivals.

Finally, you can attend the two carnival parades, both accompanied by a variety of dancers, floats, troupes and musicians. The first takes place from the Monumento al Pescador, passing along the Avenida del Mar to Valentinos and the second from the Acuario de Mazatlán and ends at Olas Altas.

If you don’t want to complicate things, here you can book interesting excursions in Spanish in this city:.

Guided tours in Spanish around the world


What to see and do outside of Mazatlan Carnivals

The city of Mazatlan offers you a varied collection of tourist attractions that you can visit during your carnival visit:


Malecon of Mazatlan

It is a great tour along the entire Avenida del Mar. It is located all along the seashore and the beach. In addition, you can find various food places where you can eat something delicious or hang out. During the afternoon you can watch the breathtaking sunset.


Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception

S one of the most popular Catholic temples in the city. This cathedral is dedicated to the Immaculate Conception and was built between 1856 and 1899. The building has three naves and an octagonal dome and its interior has several pillars, images and a vaulted ceiling.


Plaza Machado

This is a plaza right in the center of Mazatlan that was built in 1837. Inside you will find several palm trees and seats where you can rest for a while. Nearby you can find several historic buildings and stores where you can eat something delicious or hang out with friends and family.

Also if you want to visit museums and important buildings in this city we recommend that you book your ticket in advance through Tiquets: .

Book tickets in the city you are visiting


Safety in Mazatlan Carnivals



The city of Mazatlan is relatively safe, even more so in the tourist areas such as the malecon. Our recommendation is that you stay in these areas, as it has more police control than in the rest of the areas that do not have so much tourist importance.

Also, we recommend the following products to keep your items safe:



Weather at Mazatlan Carnival

During the Carnival celebration, the city of Mazatlan has a privileged and warm weather, with temperatures ranging between 14 and 26 degrees Celsius. We recommend you to stay hydrated and use sunscreen frequently.


Several groups wear themed costumes to perform in the Mazatlan Carnival parade

Several groups wear themed costumes to perform in the Mazatlan Carnival parade



How to get to the Mazatlan Carnival


How to get there by plane

The closest airport to the city of Mazatlán is the General Rafael Buelna International Airport, which receives a good number of flights, especially from the United States and Canada. Once here, you can use the different means of transportation to get to the city center.

We recommend buying airline tickets through or Skyscanner where they are usually cheaper. More information on this link to review


How to get there by sea

The city offers connections to the peninsula of Baja California Sur and also receives some cruise ships from various parts of the world.


How to get there by car

From the airport you can take the Tepic Mazatlan road.

If you decide to take a cab, the price of a cab ranges between 5 and 7 US dollars.


Where to stay in Mazatlan Carnival



Costa de Oro Beach Hotel

3-star hotel 4.3 kilometers from Mazatlan city center. Rooms have air conditioning, cable TV and private balcony. The hotel has a swimming pool, ocean entrance, bar, restaurant and free wifi.


Misiones Mazatlán

4-star hotel 5 kilometers from Mazatlan city center. Rooms offer air conditioning, desk, telephone, television and private bathroom. The hotel has a swimming pool, plaza entrance, bar, parking and free wifi.


Don Pelayo Pacific Beach

3 star hotel 2.6 km from Mazatlan city center. Rooms have private bathrooms and sitting area. Facilities offer swimming pool, bar, parking and free wifi.


Coral Island Beach View Hotel

4 star hotel 2.2 km from Mazatlan city center. Rooms feature air conditioning, balcony, cable TV and private bathroom with basic toiletries. In addition, the hotel has a bar, swimming pool, plaza entrance, restaurant and free wifi.


Holiday Inn Resort Mazatlán

4 star hotel 3.4 km from Mazatlan city center. Rooms feature air conditioning, cable TV, ironing set, safe, coffee set and private bathroom with hairdryer and toiletries. The hotel has a swimming pool, bar, beach entrance, wifi and private parking.

We recommend you use to book hotels at a good price, check more information here:.


Thank you for reading


If you liked this article and found it useful share it on your social networks or collaborate by inviting us for a coffee at Paypal so we can continue creating useful content. Click here to collaborate: