Between 2010 and 2013 we sailed our 2008 Hunter 44DS sailboat along Mexico’s entire Pacific coast, from Ensenada in the north and Mexico’s border with Guatemala in the south. In the spring of 2011 and the fall of 2012 we sailed up and down the Sea of Cortez, mostly along the east coast of Baja California, and we visited almost all the anchorages between San Carlos and La Paz.
If you are not familiar with the location of these popular anchorages in the Sea of Cortez, check out Maps of Mexico’s Anchorages for more detail.
If you are considering sailing the Sea of Cortez, have a look at our pages:
- Mexico Cruising Guide – Navigation, Weather, Boat Prep, Mexican Culture & more
- Cruising Mexico – An Insider’s Guide – Logistics, Costs, Internet, Provisioning & more
The Sea of Cortez, also known as the Gulf of California, is a stunning, raw land of contrasts. From languid tropical bliss to raging, violent storms, the Sea has shown us her glory and her fury, as she does to every sailor that ventures there.
Sea of Cortez Sailing is at its best in October and May. You may want to run your cabin heater in January (and you definitely won’t want to swim). In August you will find yourself baking beyond belief (but the water will be a balmy 90+ degrees F!
For a very funny read about this area, check out The Log from the Sea of Cortez by John Steinbeck. There is a middle chapter by a chum of his that is very esoteric and boring. You’ll know it when you get there. The rest is absolutely hilarious.
Following are our Sea of Cortez sailing posts:
- 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!
To see the links to our blog posts from the other regions of Mexico, besides the Sea of Cortez, check out these summary pages (you can also find them all listed under the MEXICO menu item (Pacific Mexico Destinations) in the menu bar at the top of each page):
- Pacific Coast of Baja Mexico (San Diego to Cabo San Lucas)
- Mexican Riviera & Costa Algre (Mazatlan to Manzanillo)
- Costa Grande & Costa Sur (Zihuatanejo to Chiapas)
- Southern Mexico Travel (inland) (San Cristobal de las Casas, Oaxaca, Monte Alban, Palenque, Morelia)
_________________________________________________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!