Cruising Blog: Mexican Riviera & Costa Alegre (Gold Coast)

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.


To see the links to our cruising blog posts from the other regions of Mexico, check out these summary pages:

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!


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.