During the winters of 2010-2013 we were cruised our sailboat Groovy up down the entire Pacific coast of Mexico, from Ensenada down to the Guatemala border, spending time in both the Mexican Riviera (especially the area around Puerto Vallarta) and the Costa Alegre or “Gold Coast.” This page gives the links to our cruising blog posts from this area.
The Mexican Riviera is the northern portion of the mainland between Mazatlan and Manzanillo. There are three main cruising areas in this region: Mazatlan to the north, Banderas Bay (the Puerto Vallarta or “PV” area) in the middle and the “Costalegre” (a concatenation of the words “Costa” and “Alegre” meaning “Cheerful Coast”) at the southern end. The Costalegre is also known to cruisers as the “Gold Coast.”
If the geography of Mexico is unfamiliar to you, especially the locations of the most popular anchorages, check out our Maps of Mexico – Most Popular Anchorages. If you are considering a cruise along Mexico’s Pacific coast and/or Sea of Cortez, have a look at our Tips for Cruising Mexico – Part 1 and our Tips for Cruising Mexico – Part 2.
Watch the Video!
For those contemplating a sailing cruise in these waters, we have published a video describing each anchorage in detail, the nature of the passages from one anchorage to the next, overall weather patterns in Mexico and climate considerations in the first volume of our video series “Cruising Mexico Off The Beaten Path” that covers both the Pacific side of the Baja Peninsula and the Mexican Riviera / Gold Coast.
It is is available as either a DVD or a video download at this link.
CRUISING BLOG POSTS:
- Cruising Mexico’s Sweet Costalegre (“Happy Coast”) – in Sailing Magazine! 06/04/16 The Costalegre in Mexico is the cruiser’s Gold Coast, a great sailing and cruising destination for sailboats and boaters of all kinds.
- Baja Bash (1) – Sailing on the Coattails of a Hurricane! 08/08/13 July, 2013 – We started our Baja Bash in Puerto Vallarta by sailing on the coattails of Hurricane Dalila to Cabo San Lucas. Yikes!
- Costalegre: La Manzanilla – Exotic animals & RVing Copper Canyon! 07/25/13 At Casa Maguey in La Manzanilla, we had fun with the locals and learned about the first RV train tour of Copper Canyon!
- Costalegre: Casa Maguey – Kindred spirits in a beachfront villa 07/17/13 During a fun week at Casa Maguey in La Manzanilla, we met kindred spirits and discovered our host grew up in an RV!
- PV: Paradise Village Estuary – Birds, Iguanas, Crocs…and Dolphins? 05/31/13 Taking an estuary tour behind Paradise Village Marina, we found exotic birds, iguanas & crocs…and dolphins too!
- PV: Paradise Village Marina – A Resort Vacation! 05/25/13 At Paradise Village Marina we found ourselves vacationing at a high end resort filled with pools, beach bars, and exotic animals.
- PV: 2013 Kiteboard World Cup – Here on the beach! 05/14/13 The 2013 World Cup Kiteboard competitions took place right on our beach. What a thrill!
- PV: La Cruz – A Fun Artisan Market & Cruiser Hangout in Mexico 05/05/13 La Cruz is a favorite cruiser hangout and when we went to the Sunday farmer’s market we understood why — it’s fantastic!!
- PV: Chamela to La Cruz – Dances with Whales at Cabo Corrientes 04/27/13 Breaching humpback whales delighted us on our passage from Chamela to La Cruz in Banderas Bay.
- Costalegre: Careyes – The most colorful anchorage in Mexico! 04/20/13 Wow, talk about color! The tiny anchorage of Careyes is hard to park in, but the colorful views make it worth the effort!
- Costalegre: Paraiso – An Unexpected Tropical Oasis! 04/13/13 Paraiso is a tiny gem of an anchorage where we found clear turquoise water, thick swarms of fish, and a gorgeous beach.
- Costalegre: Cuastecomate – Exploring a “Secret Anchorage” 04/06/13 On our 2nd visit to the “Secret Anchorage” of Cuastecomate, we got ashore to the cute village behind the beach bars.
- Costalegre: Santiago – Brilliant sunrises every day! 03/31/13 In Santiago Bay we bolted out of bed every morning to watch the gorgeous sunrises, each more beautiful than the last.
- Costalegre: Manzanillo’s Las Hadas Resort – The Med in Mexico 03/23/13 Visiting Las Hadas in our third season aboard Groovy, we were charmed by its picturesque beauty once again!!
- PV: Paradise Village – The Lap of Luxury 01/02/12 After an unusual birthday bash in La Paz, we crossed the Sea of Cortez to Paradise Village Marina for some pre-holiday luxury.
- Mazatlan Area: San Blas & Isla Isabel – Urban Agitation and Booby Joy 04/08/11 We saw a wonderful whale display going to San Blas, then blue footed boobies & their babies greeted us on Isla Isabel.
- Mazatlan – A Little Strange 04/02/11 Mazatlan was once a great Mexican city, and some folks still enjoy its Old Town, but we never got the warm and fuzzies there.
- PV: La Cruz & Sayulita – Cruisers, Surfers & Fun Loving Mexicans 04/02/11 La Cruz de Huanacaxtle is a small town near Puerto Vallarta where we discovered Huichol yarn art & Mexico’s wilder side.
- Costalegre: Chamela Bay Islands – Remote Getaway 03/25/11 We discovered that the island anchorages of Chamela Bay are remote, unspoiled and very scenic..
- Costalegre: Tenacatita – Not Heavenly for Cruisers Any More 03/25/11 At Tenacatita we saw the biggest red tide ever, but an exotic “jungle tour” up a mangrove estuary made us smile again.
- Costalegre: Barra de Navidad – Upstairs / Downstairs 02/26/11 Barra de Navidad is a funky seaside town overflowing with gritty cruisers and ex-pats as well as high-end resort guests…
- Costalegre: Las Hadas Resort Anchorage – Beautiful! 02/25/11 Las Hadas Resort has gorgeous views of Manzanillo bay, but a trip in town revealed the grittier side of Manzanillo.
- Costalegre: Manzanillo Bay – Mexican Entrepreneurs! 02/17/11 When our alternator died in Manzanillo, a Mexican Horatio Alger and an expert repairman saved our bacon…
- Costalegre: Manzanillo’s Santiago & Playa La Boquita – Beach Fun! 02/16/11 Santiago has a wide four mile long beach in Manzanillo where we found wildlife, a tuba player and a perfect birthday afternoon.
- Costalegre: Manzanillo’s Las Hadas Anchorage – Charming! 12/18/10 Las Hadas Resort is all about sunny poolside afternoons and strolls amid fantasy architecture, but those niggling chores…
- Costalegre: Manzanillo’s Las Hadas – Turrets and Fairies 12/15/10 While cruising Mexico, we anchored off Manzanillo’s Las Hadas Resort (meaning “The Fairies) where the movie “10” was made.
- Costalegre: Chamela Bay – Recovery after a Wild Crossing 12/10/10 Crossing the Sea of Cortez “the long way” (Cabo to Chamela) was unnerving, but Chamela was a great place to recover.
To see the links to our cruising blog posts from the other regions of Mexico, check out these summary pages:
- Pacific Coast of the Baja (San Diego to Cabo San Lucas)
- Sea of Cortez (La Paz to San Carlos)
- Costa Grande & Costa Sur (Zihuatanejo to Chiapas)
- Southern Mexico Travel (inland) (San Cristobal de las Casas, Oaxaca, Monte Alban, Palenque, Morelia)
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 (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!
New to this site? Visit our Home Page to learn more about us, and see our Intro for Cruisers to find out where we keep all the good stuff, including tips for planning your cruise to Mexico, our Solar Power pages, and our ideas for outfitting your boat.