El Faro Mazatlan – Hike to the World’s Highest Natural Lighthouse

On a recent vacation to Mazatlan, Mexico, my boyfriend, Garrett and I were looking for fun things to do. As a nature lover and an avid hiker, I couldn’t resist when our cab driver brought up the El Faro Mazatlan hike. Our cab driver explained that you could see “all of Mazatlan from the top and the view is spectacular.” It sounded so appealing that we decided to plan a day to experience the hike to El Faro Lighthouse.

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Where is El Faro in Mazatlan?

El Faro is located on the southernmost tip of the island. We could see the lighthouse from the beach of our hotel. You can see it from the beach of most of the hotels in Mazatlan. El Faro Mazatlan lighthouse is still used to this day and is an important tool for sailors navigating the Pacific Ocean. The lighthouse beam can be seen up to 30 miles away.

More Adventures in Mexico: Before you travel to Riviera Maya, read our post, 5 Do-it-Yourself Riviera Maya Excursions.

An image of a woman near the trailhead of the El Faro hike in Mazatlan, Mexico.
It’s best to do this hike early in the day as it gets very hot by mid-day. Photo by Garrett Iverson.

Getting to the El Faro Trailhead

We spoke to the concierge at our hotel before going to gain some more information on how to get to the El Faro Mazatlan trailhead. A taxi was an option, but we saved some money by taking a city bus instead. We took the Sabalo-Centre Southbound bus and got off at the very last stop. We were one of the first to get on the bus and the last to get off. After exiting the bus, it is a short walk to the trailhead. Just continue heading South until you see the sign for El Faro Trail.

An image of the steps leading to El Faro Lighthouse in Mazatlan, Mexico.
You’ll climb 325 steps to reach El Faro Lighthouse in Mazatlan. Photo by Kelsey Olsen

El Faro Hike Details

The lighthouse can be reached within 30 minutes, hiking at a moderate pace. The trail is an out and back trail and is approximately 2.4 km (1.5 miles) long.With 325 steps and an over 500 foot elevation gain, this hike is a short and relatively steep hike. Once you reach the top there is an option to pay 10 pesos to access a walkway with glass floor. We did not choose to do this as we felt the views were amazing enough as is.

Related: If you’re visiting Cancun, you’ll want to read our post El Meco – How to Feel Like Indiana Jones in the Middle of a Major City.

An image of a woman walking up the steps to El Faro in Mazatlan.
There are incredible views all the way up the El Faro trail. Photo by Garrett Iverson.

Gear Up for the Hike

Despite advice to wake up early and complete the hike before the day became too hot, we decided to sleep in and go later. We prepared for the inevitable heat by packing plenty of water and snacks.  I’d recommend you wear a hat and sunscreen. It was extremely hot and soon into the hike I regretted not bringing a hair elastic to tie up my long hair, so be prepared for the heat if you decide to go in the middle of the day. The trail was extremely well maintained, we wore birkenstock sandals for the hike and were completely fine. A phone or camera is definitely recommended for the amazing views at the top and along the way.

An image of a man taking in the views on the hike to El Faro Lighthouse in Mazatlan, Mexico.
Be sure to stop along the way to take in the views. Photo by Kelsey Olsen.

What it’s Like to Hike El Faro, Mazatlan

From the trailhead, It is a slight incline up until you reach the steps. The steps continue on for the rest of the hike. There are many spots to stop along the way to rest and enjoy the viewpoints. Near the top we saw several cats and kittens sunbathing and playing, which was quite adorable. We saw people along the way but the hike was not busy, however, our concierge told us that when cruise ships are in port, the hike can become quite busy, which is something to be aware of.

An image of a couple standing at the top of the El Faro Mazatlan hike in Mexico.
The top of El Faro is a great spot for a photo op. It’s worth the effort to get there.

One of the Best Things to do in Mazatlan and it’s Free!

All in all, our experience climbing to the tallest natural working lighthouse in the world was spectacular. It was a great way to burn off the copious amounts of chips and guacamole that we had consumed throughout the week, had spectacular views, and not to mention it was completely free! What more can you ask for?

An image of a kitten at El Faro in Mazatlan, Mexico.
There were some cute kittens at the top. Photo by Kelsey Olsen.

Where to Stay in Mazatlan

I’ve been to the city of Mazatlan on two separate trips. On my most recent visit, I stayed at a timeshare condo called Mayan Palace. On my previous visit, I stayed at an all-inclusive resort called El Cid Castilla Beach Resort with my family. The beach area was nice, there were daily activities and my family and I liked the food at the resort. El Cid Marina Beach Hotel is a sister resort that is also a good all-inclusive choice in Mazatlan.

Thinking About an All-Inclusive Vacation? Read our post about how to plan Great All-Inclusive Vacations.

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