We have sailed the entire coast of Pacific Mexico in our sailboat, visited tons of cruising ports and anchorages and have grown to love the people and the place.
This page provides links to articles about all the Pacific Mexico destinations where we’ve had our cruising adventures. The blog posts on this page are grouped by region and are listed in reverse chronological order (newest first).
As you read each post, you’ll find links to the previous and next adventure at the top and bottom of each post, but they also wander off to other regions at the times when we flew home or went inland.
For cruisers considering a sailing cruise of Mexico, we have created nearly four hours of videos describing each anchorage in detail and offering hints and tips about the climate, weather patterns and navigation considerations in our video series “Cruising Mexico Off the Beaten Path,” which is available on DVD or by video download at this link.
All the info that is here can also be found on the individual sub-pages below (all are under the MEXICO menu item above as well):
- Baja Mexico (Pacific coast) (San Diego to Cabo San Lucas)
- Sea of Cortez (La Paz to San Carlos)
- Mexican Riviera & Costa Alegre (N. Pacific coast) (Mazatlan to Manzanillo)
- Costa Grande & Costa Sur (S. Pacific coast) (Zihuatanejo to Chiapas)
- Central & Southern Mexico Travel (INLAND) (Guanajuato, San Cristobal de las Casas, Palenque, Oaxaca, Monte Alban & more)
You can see an overview of our cruise with links to the highlights here:
Mexico Cruise Start to Finish
In the first half of 2010 we lived at Marina Coral & Hotel in Ensenada, Mexico, while we outfitted our boat for cruising. In the winter of 2010-11 we sailed down the Pacific coast of the Baja peninsula and explored the mainland coast as far south as Zihuatenejo and then went up into the Sea of Cortez.
In the winter of 2011-12 we sailed down from the Sea of Cortez as far south as the Guatemala border and made several trips inland in southern Mexico. In the winter of 2012-13 we cruised from the bottom of Mexico up to Puerto Vallarta and then across the Sea and up the Baja coast to San Diego.
If you are planning to take your boat to Mexico, you may also find it useful to peruse our pages under the menu item Cruising Lifestyle.
PACIFIC COAST OF THE BAJA PENINSULA – (San Diego to Cabo San Lucas):
Lots of folks come down to Mexico on the Baja Ha-Ha, stopping in Turtle Bay and Bahia Santa Maria before reaching Cabo. We came down the slow way, stopping at almost every anchorage there is on that coast.
It was cold up north (early November). We had kelp until Turtle Bay and fog in Bahia Santa Maria. We finally took off our foul weather gear during the day south of Bahia Santa Maria and were finally able to swim in Cabo (mid-November).
Ensenada is a fantastic destination and a great place to outfit a boat for cruising Mexico. The Baja Naval boatyard is top notch. With a TelCel Banda Ancha USB modem we were able to get internet access everywhere but Cedros and Belcher Cove (outer part of Bahia Santa Maria).
More about how to acquire a TelCel USB Modem here (½ down page)
We describe all the anchorages on Baja’s Pacific coast in detail in our video Cruising Mexico Off the Beath Path – Northern Pacific Coast which is available as a DVD or video download at this link.
- Ensenada – A Triumphant Homecoming! 09/23/13 July, 2013 – Our return to Ensenada in northern Baja at the end of our Mexico voyage was satisfying in ways we never anticipated.
- Baja Bash (2) – Chased by a Hurricane! 08/28/13 Our Baja Bash excitement continued as Hurricane Erick chased us out of Cabo and barked at us all the way to Ensenada.
- Cabo San Lucas – Way More Fun Than We Expected! 12/01/10 November, 2010 – After 17 days of sailing down the Baja peninsula, we arrived in Cabo just as the sun was rising – an ideal welcome!
- Pacific Baja – Exploring Mag Bay 11/28/10 November, 2010 – On our way south to Cabo we went ashore at the tiny fish camp of Belcher Point in Magdalena Bay where we found fishermen and shells…
- Pacific Baja – A Voyage South from San Diego 11/24/10 November, 2010 – After the Baja Ha-Ha rally left San Diego for Cabo it was our turn, and luck was with us as we found peaceful anchorages to rest…
- Ensenada’s Baja Naval – An Excellent Boat Yard Experience 08/26/10 August, 2010 – We took our boat to Baja Naval for a few minor repairs and a bottom paint job and found it to be an excellent boat yard…
- Ensenada Inspiration – Let’s Go! 08/02/10 July 2010 – Ensenada is a popular stopover for boaters traveling the coast, and many fascinating travelers breezed through and told us tales of wonder…
- Ensenada Wineries – Beautiful Properties and Great Tasting Wine 07/30/10 July, 2010 – Driving along Ensenada’s famous wine route, Ruta del Vino, we stopped at L.A. Cetto and Adobe Guadalupe, two wonderful wineries…
- Ensenada Gentility (Riviera Cultural Center) and Craziness (Baja 500) 06/20/10 Ornate & dramatic, Ensenada’s Riviera Cultural Center hosts great concerts & Ensenada hosts the crazy and wild Baja 500 race.
- Ensenada – A Gathering Place for Cruisers 05/24/10 May, 2010 – As new cruisers in Ensenada we studied the elusive chain splice knot but found an easier activity in town at La Vendimia’s Cruiser Happy Hour…
- Ensenada’s “La Bufadora” – The Blow Hole 05/22/10 May, 2010 – Ensenada, Mexico, has lots of fun things to do, from tequila tasting to seeing “La Bufadora,” the area’s natural blow hole…
- Ensenada Races – For Bicycles and Sailboats 04/26/10 April, 2010 – Ensenada is the finish line for two terrific races: the Rosarito-Ensenada bicycle race and the Newport-Ensenada sailboat race…
- Ensenada Bay – Day Sailor’s Delight 04/22/10 April, 2010 – Ensenada has a wonderful, big bay that is perfect for daysails, and we took full advantage while we lived in a marina there…
- Ensenada – Crossing fom Mexico into the US at Tijuana and Tecate 03/25/10 Feb/Mar 2010 – Living in Ensenada for 6 months gave us many opportunities to cross the US/Mexico border, an adventure in itself…
- Ensenada’s Carnaval – One Wild Party! 02/28/10 February, 2010 – “Carnaval” is celebrated throughout Latin America, and the parades and parties in Ensenada, Mexico, are not to be missed!
- Ensenada – A Vibrant Mexican Town 02/14/10 February, 2010 – Ensenada, Mexico, is a fantastic town, and our first stroll through the lively streets was a thrill…
- Puerto La Salina & Marina Coral – Maiden Voyage South 02/02/10 January, 2010 – Our first voyage (and fourth excursion) in Groovy took us to Puerto La Salina Marina and a new life at Marina Coral in Enseanda…
NORTHERN PACIFIC COAST OF MAINLAND MEXICO – (Mazatlan to Manzanillo):
This is a very popular cruising region. It has very mild weather patterns but the water is prone to red tide and is chilly in wintertime. On the Costalegre (“Gold Coast”), there is often a lot of air pollution from fires burning on shore, so skies are frequently gray. The anchorages are often rolly.
However, the marinas in Mazatlan and especially in Banderas Bay (Puerto Vallarta area) are wonderful. Banderas Bay is fabulous for day-sailing in the afternoons with tons of wind every day. It is worthwhile to spend time at both La Cruz (either at Marina Riviera Nayarit or in the anchorage) and also at Paradise Village Marina.
Each has its own flavor, and both are delightful in distinct ways. La Cruz has a fabulous farmer’s market on weekends and fish market every day. Paradise Village has a glorious beach, swimming pools, hot tubs, free entertainment, and a true resort environment, which is pretty nice after roughing it on the boat for a while.
Many cruisers never get further south than this region, and that is a shame because we found that the further south we went the more enjoyable the cruising became.
Too often we’ve met cruisers who spent months or years in this area and then buzzed through the southern coast — Mexico’s best cruising — in just four to eight weeks. Spend time here, but we recommend allowing time to go further south too.
We describe all the anchorages on Pacific Mexico’s northern coast in detail in our video Cruising Mexico Off the Beath Path – Northern Pacific Coast which is available as a DVD or video download at this link.
- 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.
SOUTHERN PACIFIC COAST OF MAINLAND MEXICO – (Zihuatanejo to the Guatemala border):
This region includes the “Costa Grande” and the “Costa Sur.”, and 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 chronological order for each section. 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 or went inland from the coast… However, hopefully you will get a feel for what each area is like.
We describe all the anchorages on Pacific Mexico’s southern coast in detail in our video Cruising Mexico Off the Beath Path – Southern Pacific Coast which is available as 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…
These are 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?Sailing 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 passageSailing 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 stayAfter 3 months we finally said “goodbye” to Huatulco — and departure day came much too fast.
- Huatulco – Las Palmas Villas on picturesque Playa Violin – Gorgeous!Returning to Las Palmas Resort, we enjoyed breathtaking views, great snorkeling and gracious hospitality.
- Huatulco’s Villa Escondida – A beach bonfire with new friendsWe 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!Huatulco’s warm climate and small size brings folks out on all kinds of crazy wheeled vehicles!
- Huatulco Underwater – Snorkeling with colorful creaturesWe 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 TropicsDecember, 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 SideDecember, 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, 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, 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 feastNovember, 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 oasisNovember, 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, 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, 2012 – Beautiful Tangolunda Bay was the ideal place to recover after crossing the Gulf of Tehuantepec.
- Huatulco – Pacific Mexico’s Best CruisingFebruary, 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…
SEA OF CORTEZ – (the ocean between Baja and the Mainland):
The Sea of Cortez is beautiful but is a land of extremes. It has a foul temper when it comes to weather. The old adage says that for two days of sheer bliss you pay with one day of pure hell. Unfortunately, that is not far from the truth. Northers, Coromuels, Chubascos and other weather events with cute nicknames keep sailors on their toes.
In between the nasty weather and choppy seas, this region is wonderful. It is too cold to swim between December and April, and you may want to run your cabin heater on winter mornings. The air temperature is an oven between July and October. The water is cool until June but stays warm enough for swimming until the end of November. The best times to cruise this area, we found, are late spring and early Fall. Generally, if the water is warm enough for swimming, the air is so hot you want to swim all the time!
- La Paz: Doing The “La Paz Waltz” and Hiding from Northers 11/22/11 November, 2011 – An impending Norther sent us into La Paz where Groovy joined the other anchored boats in the “La Paz Waltz.”
- La Paz: Isla Coyote, Isla San Francisco & Isla Partida – Remote Islands 11/20/11 November, 2011 – Tiny Isla Coyote is one of the few inhabited islands in the Sea of Cortez, but its once vibrant community of 30 has dwindled to 1.
- Loreto Area: La Ramada Cove, Isla Coronado & Puerto Escondido – Gifts From and To the Sea 10/30/11 We hiked and snorkeled at La Ramada Cove and Isla Coronado, two great Sea of Cortez anchorages, but were alarmed by a shipwreck.
- Bahía Concepción & Punta Chivato – Great Sea of Cortez Anchorages 10/30/11 October, 2011 – Crossing the Sea of Cortez from San Carlos “the short way,” we found Punta Chivato very inviting.
- San Carlos – A Gringo Party Town! 10/15/11 October, 2011 – Resuming our boat travels, we found ourselves in beachwear enjoying beers at a beach palapa in San Carlos, happy to be back in Mexico…
- Bahía Concepción – From Fury to Fantasy in the Sea of Cortez 06/25/11 June, 2011 – After a violent spring Norther in Isla Coronado we found incredible beauty and serenity at Bahia Concepcion.
- Loreto: Fun times in Puerto Escondido and Loreto 05/23/11 May, 2011 – Puerto Escondido surprised us with an RV park and unfinished canals, while charming Loreto offered up a farmer’s market and special Dia de la Marina.
- Loreto: Isla Coronado & Villa del Palmar – Taming the Sea of Cortez 05/16/11 Loreto’s gorgeous new Villa del Palmar was a shocking contrast to the leaping manta rays of UNESCO World Heritage SIte Isla Coronado.
- Loreto: Agua Verde – “The Best of the Sea of Cortez” 04/30/11 April, 2011 – Agua Verde is the quintessential Sea of Cortez anchorage: turquoise water, great snorkeling and hiking and a charming fishing village…
- La Paz: Ensenada Grande & Isla San Francisco – Stunning Anchorages 04/26/11 April, 2011 – Ensenada Grande and Isla San Francisco are gorgeous anchorages, and we enjoyed phenomenal hikes up to spectacular views in each place.
- La Paz: La Paz, Bahía San Gabriel & Puerto Balandra – Beauty & The Beast 04/15/11 April, 2011 – Bahía San Gabriel and Puerto Balandra are classic and gorgeous Sea of Cortez anchorages near La Paz, but Watch Out! Corumuels are Nasty!
TRAVELS IN MEXICO – (Getting off the boat and seeing the interior of Southern and Central Mexico):
After spending nearly two years on the Pacific coast of Mexico with our sailboat, Groovy, we realized we had done very little REAL Mexico travel. So we ventured inland in southern Mexico during 2012-13. We left Groovy behind in anchorages and at marinas in Huatulco and Marina Chiapas (to see Southern Mexico) and Zihuatanejo and in Puerto Vallarta (to see Central Mexico). On these inland trips we discovered vibrant Spanish colonial cities that were full of color and life. Better yet, we found it easy to visit lots of thousand-year-old ruins dating from the days when the Zapotecs and Mayans ruled the land.
Where is Everything and How do you Get There?
For more details about how to put together an inland adventure, see these pages:
Mexico by Bus – How and where to catch buses between Mexico’s coast
and the hot spots inland.
Marina Chiapas Inland Travel Notes – Visit Mexico’s incredible Mayan ruins and see the country’s most beautiful state.
What was the Best Place?
It’s all fabulous, and hopefully future cruisers will see even more than we have. However, for those in a hurry, our favorite ancient ruins were at Palenque and Yaxchilan & Bonampak (map further down this page). Our favorite colonial cities were Guanajuato and Oaxaca (see map below).
Places we visited while Groovy was at Paradise Village Marina in Puerto Vallarta. If you make only one off-the-boat inland journey to a colonial city, this is the one to do.
- Flashback – Meeting Toller Cranston in Mexico 01/29/15 While visiting Guanajuato we met maverick skater & artist Toller Cranston at his home in San Miguel de Allende, Mexico.
- Guanajuato – Full of Song and Spirit! 06/24/13 Guanauato, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, is not only colorful but a place where street music is elevated to high performance art.
- Guanajuato – Colors, stairs, tunnels and characters! 06/14/13 Guanajuato amazed us with its vivid colors, steep hills & deep tunnels. It’s a fun town with lots of character and characters!
Places we visited while Groovy was anchored off Las Gatas Beach in Zihuatanejo. An alternative is to leave the boat at Marina Ixtapa. Morelia is a beautiful colonial city and it is lovely to see the millions of migrating monarch butterflies in the ponderosa pine forests of the inland mountains.
- Pátzcuaro – A “Magical City” with a colorful outdoor market 03/05/13 With Groovy safe at anchor in Zihuatanejo, we explored Pátzcuaro, a “Magical City” in Mexico with a vibrant outdoor market.
- Monarch Butterfly Migration at El Rosario – A Fabulous Daytrip!! 03/02/13 High in the Michoacán mountains near Morelia, Mexico, we hiked into the forest at El Rosario to see millions of monarch butterflies.
- Morelia Mexico’s Magnificent Cathedral & Aqueduct – Awe-inspiring! 02/27/13 A whirlwind tour of Morelia, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, blew us away with its gorgeous cathedral, churches and antique aqueduct.
Places we visited while Groovy was at Huatulco’s Marina Chahué: An inland jaunt to Oaxaca gives you both a fantastic colonial city experience AND some wonderful ancient Zapotec pyramid ruins.
- Huatulco’s Hagia Sofia (2) – Hammocks, hills, waterfalls and a Oaxacan feast 12/11/12 November, 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 12/02/12 November, 2012 – Hagia Sofia is a lush 350 acre garden oasis filled with exotic fruit trees and stunning tropical flowers.
- Oaxaca’s “Mitla Tour” – Ancient Zapotec Ruins & More! 02/28/12 On Oaxaca’s outskirts, we visited the 2,000 year old Zapotec ruins at Mitla, saw petrified waterfalls and met traditional weavers.
- Oaxaca’s Monte Alban – Mysterious Ancient Zapotec Ruins 02/24/12 The Zapotec ruins of Monte Alban are mysterious and alluring, and the beautiful Oaxaca Cultural Center houses Mixtec relics.
- Oaxaca – A City of Vibrance, Color & Soul 02/18/12 Oaxaca, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, treated us to all kinds of action and fun: concerts, parades, and a golden cathedral wedding!
- Oaxaca – Quirky, Fun, and lots of Gold Leaf 02/12/12 Energetic and artsy, Oaxaca, has a fabulous gold leaf trimmed 16th century cathedral & a huge town square full of activity.
Places we saw while Groovy was at Marina Chiapas (also known as Puerto Chiapas and Puerto Madero near Tapachula). These places can be reached from Huatulco too and are worth every effort to get to. The Mayan ruins at Palenque, Yaxchilan and Bonampak are absolutely mind boggling.
- Yaxchilan and Bonampak – Haunting Ruins & Ancient Art in the Jungle 04/08/12 March, 2012 – We visited the Mayan ruins of Yaxchilán & Bonampak, an all-day adventure highlighted by wandering through these awe-inspiring ruins…
- Agua Azul & Misol-Ha – Waterfall Adventures in Mexico 03/30/12 Special Biosphere Reserve Agua Azul Waterfall is a fabulous cascade of turquoise, while Misol-Ha is a tall thin spray!
- Palenque – Ancient Mayan Ruins and Terror in the Jungle! 03/20/12 A beautiful all-day bus ride delivered us to the exotic ancient Mayan ruins of Palenque where we got spooked in the jungle!
- San Cristobal – Colonial Delights & Spanish Immersion 03/10/12 March, 2012 – San Cristóbal is a bustling and pretty colonial town where we took a week of intensive Spanish classes in hopes of conversing better…
- 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…
- Antigua, Guatemala – Trying Hard for Tourist Dollars 03/01/12 February, 2012 – Antigua, Guatemala, was disappointing after the vibrant warmth of Mexico, but the colonial architecture, Mayan textiles and cobbled streets were lovely…
Have fun on your voyage and let us know how it goes!!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!