BEST SAILING IN MEXICO: Costa Grande & Costa Sur (Huatulco)

Best sailing in 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) which is made up of the “Costa Grande” to the north and the “Costa Sur” to the south.

Without doubt, for us, this area was the Best sailing in 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 more-so in Huatulco, were the best months in our nearly 4 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 through the seasons.

So, as you read the posts, many of them link together chronologically, but others don’t, because we flew home or flew back to Mexico or went inland from the coast to explore the Colonial Cities or the Mayan Ruins… 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.

Map of Southern Mexican Coast

Southern Mexican Coast – Costa Grande & Costa Sur


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.

Fishermen mending nets in Zihuatanejo

Fishermen mending nets in Zihuatanejo


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.

Cliff diver in Acapulco

Cliff diver in Acapulco

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.

Best sailing in Mexico is in the Costa Sur in the Bays of Huatulco

Huatulco was our favorite place on the whole coast of Mexico


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

Sunset in Marina Chiapas


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):

To follow our sailing travels chronologically, see Our Cruise (cruising links only) or the Route page (cruising and RVing).


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 reviews the geography, weather and seasons in Mexico and shows you what the best anchorages between Ensenada and Manzanillo are like.

Volume 2 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!