Mazatlan International Airport is the airport that you will fly into if you are flying. This airport was about a 25 minutes drive (11 miles) from our hotel in the “Golden Zone”. You will find many different ways to travel from this airport to your hotel. Shuttles, busses, taxis, and rental cars are all available. Check with your hotel. Most hotels along the “Golden Zone” offer free shuttle service between the hotel and the airport.
The Rafael Beulna International Airport(MZT) is located 17 miles south of Zona Dorada. Both taxis and collectivo minivans run from the airport to hotels; taxis cost twice as much as the collectivo, which runs from $8 to $15, depending of the location of your hotel. Some hotels have their own buses or rent ones (when you have a tour package).
Mazatlas offers inexpensive public transportation system which includes buses, taxis and 'pulmonias'. Buses, few with air-conditioning, cover most of the city; fares are about 30¢ for local routes. The “Sabalo Centro” line connects Zona Dorada with downtown (very often crowded). It runs from the Gold Zone along the waterfront to downtown near the market and the central plaza. Another route, the “Sabalo Cocos”, runs through the Gold Zone, heads inland to the bus station and on to downtown by back route instead of the waterfront. Pulmonias (literally, “pneumonia”) are Jeep-like open-air vehicles which can carry up to three passengers. Usually, they are slightly cheaper than taxis, but you should settle on a price before boarding.
Most tourist fly into Mazatlan, but some do drive down from the USA or Canada. It is safe to drive the highways in Mexico, but a lot of areas recommend not to drive at nightime.
In town, the best ways of getting around area either by bus (if you don't mind being crowded & may have to stand). Or another good way of getting around is taking an open air taxi. They are lots of fun especially after a few drinks!
Airplane! Lots of people drive, but we are located about 16 hours from the Nogales, Arizona border...its quite a hike!
I reccommend the pulmonia taxis. A lot of the tourists take the buses. I think that instead of peso pinching, take a pulmonia and help out the local people by paying a few bucks instead of a few cents.