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Head to Mazatlán for Carnaval

Jan 23, 2024

Nestled along Mexico’s windswept Pacific coast, Mazatlán’s vibrant streets are alive with color, music, and festivity, and this is especially true during Carnaval. Celebrated with great enthusiasm at Pueblo Bonito Resorts every spring, this event offers guests a glimpse into the cultural tapestry that makes up the city, weaving together history, art, tradition, and an unrivaled atmosphere.  

Carnaval has been celebrated in Mazatlán since the 19th century and is now a rendition of the event recognized throughout the world. As with Carnaval celebrations in other parts of the globe, one of its highlights is the coronation. Both the Rey de la Alegría Carnaval, or King of Carnaval Joy, and the Reina de los Juegos Floras, or Queen of Flower Games, will be crowned at the historic Estadio Teodoro Mariscal baseball stadium though on separate nights. Their recognition is part of a night of traditional music and dance with headlining performers taking the stage.

At the heart of any Carnaval are the spirited street parades. This year, 32 floats have registered to make their way along the Malecón, Mazatlán's famous waterfront promenade, adorned with elaborate decorations and lights. Performers in vibrant costumes dance to the rhythms of banda music, a lively brass and percussion-driven genre commonly played throughout the region as food stall vendors entice party-goers with an array of delicious street food options.

The creativity and craftsmanship that go into the costumes and floats are awe-inspiring. Every year, themes change, bringing new stories to life through art and performance. In anticipation of the solar eclipse that will be on full display in Mazatlán on April 8th, this year’s theme for the festivities is Eclipse Barroco. Thousands of spectators, locals, and tourists will get to delight in the performers’ lavish take on the Baroque era, complete with fantastically imaginative wigs, costumes, extravagant decorations, and music by the likes of Handel, Bach, Vivaldi, and Mozart mixed in with the ubiquitous banda tunes.

Carnaval also offers an opportunity to showcase Mexico’s proud heritage. The festival includes a variety of cultural events, such as evening art exhibitions, literature prizes, dance performances, and concerts. It's a festival that honors tradition while embracing the present, reflecting the spirit and creativity of the people who organize and look forward to celebrating the event every year. 

Of course, you can't talk about Carnaval in Mazatlán without mentioning the Combate Naval, a spectacular choreographed fireworks show set to music that lights up the night sky and cannot be missed. This event commemorates the historic defense of the city against naval attacks and is a visual treat.

While Carnaval is known for its lively parties and nightlife, it also offers plenty of family-friendly activities. The Children's Costume Ball along with the Coronation of the Child Queen, kids’ parades, cultural workshops, and safe, entertaining activities throughout the city ensure visitors of all ages can participate and become part of the tradition.

No festival is complete without food, and Carnaval in Mazatlán is no exception. Street vendors offer a variety of local delights, from fresh seafood to traditional Mexican snacks. Dining at Pueblo Bonito Resorts during Carnaval also allows you to taste dishes made especially for the occasion. 

In fact, by staying at our resorts, you have the unique opportunity to experience this special annual event without sacrificing comfort and style. After enjoying the festivities to the fullest, you can retreat to the luxury of the resort for some R&R at the pool, the spa, or in your guest room.

Carnaval in Mazatlán is more than just a party; it's a tribute to the joy of life, a characteristic deeply rooted in the local culture. This year’s celebrations will kick off on Thursday, February 8, and continue until Tuesday, February 13. Join us in celebrating the spirit, color, and excitement of this highlight of the Mexican calendar.