Sail Mexico!! During the winters of 2010-2013 we cruised our 2008 Hunter 44DS sailboat named Groovy up and down the entire Pacific coast of Mexico, from Ensenada down to the Guatemala border. This page lists the blog posts for our adventures along the southern Pacific coast between Zihuatanejo and Chiapas (Mexico’s border with Guatemala). This region includes the “Costa Grande” and the “Costa Sur.”
Without doubt, for us, this area was the Best of Mexico cruising. The weather was mild and predictable, and the water was warm enough for swimming all winter long.
For us, our months in Zihuatanejo, and even moreso in Huatulco, were the best months in our 3.5 year cruise of Mexico. Huatulco was the pinnacle of our voyage and gave us the truly topical experience we were looking for.
All the blog posts listed on this page are in reverse chronological order for each section (newest first). Some places we visited each year, and others we wandered in an out of.
So, as you read the posts, many link together, but others don’t, because we flew home or flew back to Mexico or went inland from the coast… However, hopefully you will get a feel for what each area is like.
Watch the Video!
For those contemplating a sailing cruise in these waters, we have published a video describing each anchorage in detail, as well as the nature of the passages from one anchorage to the next, in the second volume of our video series “Cruising Mexico Off The Beaten Path,” which is available as either a DVD or video download at this link.
Following are our blog posts from our adventures in Zihuatanejo. The little island of Ixtapa (or “Isla Grande” as given in the cruising guides) is a great place to snorkel and spend time on the beach. Zihuatanejo is a friendly beach community while nearby Ixtapa is more upscale. The water is quite polluted near town, so we preferred to anchor off Las Gatas beach. However, the bottom of our boat always still became thickly encrusted with barnacles after just two weeks. We used a stern anchor each time we visited. We spent a month here each season, enjoying its very laid back pace.
- Zihuatanejo – A place people keep coming back to… us included! 03/14/13 Zihuatanejo has on-the-water action, a lively fish market, pretty sunsets and some very interesting characters…
- Zihuatanejo – Nautical moments with Sail Fest and the pretty schooner Patricia Belle 02/19/13 Zihuatanejo’s Sail Fest and a tour of schooner Patricia Belle were highlights during our stay at anchor off Playa Las Gatas.
- Zihuatanejo’s “Parthenon” – He Did What?! 01/02/12 Christmas, 2011 – The Zihuatanejo Parthenon is a mysterious castle once owned by devil-incarnate Arturo Durazo–touring the property proved thrilling.
- Zihuatanejo – A Fun Town 01/05/11 December 2010 – After days of playing in the water at Ixtapa Island, we anchored at Zihuatanejo, a hip, relaxed and friendly seaside town…
- Zihuatanejo / Ixtapa – Fun in the Sun! 12/30/10 January, 2012 – We explored the lovely beaches and waterfront of Ixtapa with old friends and enjoyed music and new Mexican friends in Zihuatanejo…
- Zihuatanejo – Vacationland 12/28/10 January, 2011 – Zihuatanejo was warm, sunny and just wouldn’t let us go–with “pool parties” at Las Gatas & crazy vacationers para-sailing around us…
- Ixtapa Island (“Isla Grande” or “Isla Ixtapa”) – Great Spot! 12/20/10 December, 2010 – It was a 4-day trek along the rugged coast from Manzanillo to Ixtapa Island, but we found an island paradise at the end…
These are our blog posts from our adventures in Acapulco. Acapulco has great day-sailing in the bay and several nice anchorages around the edges of the bay. Our favorite anchorage was Puerto Marques.
- Acapulco to Huatulco – A Disturbing Passage 02/03/12 January, 2012 – A discovery at sea on our way from Acapulco to Huatulco was devastating. But the beauty of Huatulco got us smiling again…
- Acapulco – A Faded Lady 01/31/12 January, 2012 – Acapulco, Mexico, is a faded lady, but the soaring cliff divers inspired us and we found lots of natural beauty in the outlying cove of Puerto Marques…
The next section contains our blog posts from our adventures in Huatulco. This area is AWESOME, as it has some 25 anchorages or so in a 10 mile stretch of coast. You can anchor in solitude in nature, anchor in a gorgeous bay ringed by resorts or anchor off a little harbor village. The snorkeling is superb. The water is 85 degrees in January. And there are tons of things to do off the boat, from eco-tourism to a day at a surf beach to inland trips to Oaxaca. We spent four months here all together, one month in the spring of 2012 and three months in the winter of 2012-13.
- Life on the Hook in Mexico – What do you do all day when you’re cruising in the tropics? November 17, 2014Sailing off into the sunset on a cruising boat is a dream for many, but life afloat is not just umbrella drinks and suntanning in the cockpit.
- Huatulco to Zihuatanejo – Nature and solitude on a peaceful coastal passage February 15, 2013Sailing from Huatulco to Zihuatanejo we saw breaching whales, leaping manta rays, beauty in Acapulco and a night at sea…
- Huatulco Farewell – Fabulous Memories of a great stay February 7, 2013After 3 months we finally said “goodbye” to Huatulco — and departure day came much too fast.
- Huatulco – Las Palmas Villas on picturesque Playa Violin – Gorgeous! February 3, 2013Returning to Las Palmas Resort, we enjoyed breathtaking views, great snorkeling and gracious hospitality.
- Huatulco’s Villa Escondida – A beach bonfire with new friends January 31, 2013We returned to La Bocana at the invitation of local property brokers and found true luxury at Villa Escondida.
- Huatulco on Wheels – The fun and funny vehicles of Huatulco Mexico! January 24, 2013Huatulco’s warm climate and small size brings folks out on all kinds of crazy wheeled vehicles!
- Huatulco Underwater – Snorkeling with colorful creatures January 13, 2013We snorkeled with spotted eagle rays. sea turtles, and lots of colorful fish and coral in the Bays of Huatulco, Mexico.
- Huatulco Holidays – Delightful Seaside Christmas & New Year’s Celebrations in the Tropics January 11, 2013December, 2012 – Huatulco’s towns of La Crucecita and Santa Cruz come alive with tourists and holiday celebrations.
- Huatulco’s Playa La Bocana – A visit to Huatulco’s Wild Side January 4, 2013December, 2012 – We discovered Huatulco’s wild side at Playa La Bocana, where the breakers thunder and the birds soar.
- Huatulco’s Las Palmas Resort – 24 Hours in Heaven! December 24, 2012December, 2012 – While anchored off Santa Cruz, we met the owner of Las Palmas Resort who gifted us with 24 hours in paradise.
- Huatulco’s Santa Cruz Bay – great beaches & a cute harbor village – Paradise! December 14, 2012December, 2012 – Santa Cruz Bay has a good (tiny!) anchorage with easy access to 3 great beaches and a cute harbor village.
- Huatulco’s Hagia Sofia (2) – Hammocks, hills, waterfalls and a Oaxacan feast December 11, 2012November, 2012 – After trekking through orchards and waterfalls at Hagia Sofia, we were treated to a Oaxacan feast.
- Huatulco’s Hagia Sofia (1) – Exotic fruits and tropical flowers in a lush garden oasis December 2, 2012November, 2012 – Hagia Sofia is a lush 350 acre garden oasis filled with exotic fruit trees and stunning tropical flowers.
- Huatulco’s Marina Chahué – Landlubbing with parrots! November 23, 2012November, 2012 – The true highlights of our stay at Huatulco’s Marina Chahué, were the intriguing yachts and exotic bird-life.
- Huatulco’s Tangolunda Bay – Anchored inside a ring of luxurious tropical resorts! November 13, 2012November, 2012 – Beautiful Tangolunda Bay was the ideal place to recover after crossing the Gulf of Tehuantepec.
- Huatulco – Pacific Mexico’s Best Cruising February 27, 2012February, 2012 – Huatulco is tropical fun at its best, from a lively town square to beautiful resorts to gorgeous beaches and warm water
These are our blog posts from our adventures in the Tehuantepec and Chiapas area. The Tehuantepec is not difficult to cross if you have patience and wait for a weather window. Marina Chiapas is new and is an ideal jumping off point for adventures among the Mayan ruins and natural beauty of Chiapas. I have included our Marina Chiapas Cruiser’s Guide too, as it gives lots of great information about this new marina at the bottom of Mexico.
- Marina Chiapas – Waypoints, Cruising Guide & Inland Travel 02/22/13 Marina Chiapas is a new marina at Puerto Madero (the new Puerto Chiapas cruise ship port) near the Guatemala border. After several months there we put together these notes for cruisers, including waypoints and an inland travel guide.
- Gulf of Tehuantepec, Mexico – Squeezing in a crossing between blows 11/08/12 Halloween, 2012 – Tactical planning, some surprising “visitors,” and old fashioned good luck defined our westbound Tehuantepec crossing from Marina Chiapas to Huatulco.
- Marina Chiapas in Puerto Madero (Puerto Chiapas) Mexico – Sailing near Guatemala 11/02/12 October, 2012 – We kept our sailboat in Marina Chiapas for the summer and returned to find it ready for daysailing, fishing and relaxing.
- Chiapas by Bus – A Day of Adventure 03/05/12 March, 2012 – Bus travel in southern Mexico is an adventure, and our all-day bus ride through Chiapas from Tapachula to San Cristobal was thrilling…
If the geography of Mexico is unfamiliar to you, especially the locations of the most popular anchorages, check out our Maps of Mexico’s Most Popular Anchorages here in our sailboat blog. If you are considering a cruise of Mexico’s Pacific coast and/or Sea of Cortez, have a look at our Mexico Cruising Guide and Insider’s Guide to Cruising Mexico.
To see the links to our blog posts from the other regions of Mexico, check out these summary pages (you can also find them under the Mexico menu item (Pacific Mexico) in the menu bar at the top of each page):
- Pacific Coast of Baja Mexico (San Diego to Cabo San Lucas)
- Sea of Cortez (La Paz to San Carlos)
- Mexican Riviera & Costa Alegre (Mazatlan to Manzanillo)
- Southern Mexico Travel Destinations (San Cristobal de las Casas, Palenque, Morelia, Oaxaca, Monte Alban)
_________________________________________________To help you plan your cruise and get you inspired, we created the video series, "Cruising Mexico Off the Beaten Path - Volumes 1-3," shown below. This is a fun-to-watch and easy-to-digest introduction to Mexico from a cruiser's perspective, giving you lots of valuable information that isn't covered by the cruising guides. Each video is available individually at Amazon, either as a DVD or as a download. For discount package pricing on the whole series, visit our page Cruising Mexico Video Series.
Volume 1 (left) reviews the geography, weather and seasons in Mexico and shows you what the best anchorages between Ensenada and Manzanillo are like.
Volume 2 (middle) gives detailed info that can't be found in any of the guidebooks about the glorious cruising ground between Manzanillo and the Guatemala border.
Volume 3 (right) provides all the info you need to get off the boat for an adventure-filled trip to Oaxaca.Our Gear Store also has a boatload of ideas for your cruise!