A Gorgeous Classic That Checks a Lot of Boxes

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Islas Coronados – Northwest Anchorage

A Gorgeous Classic That Checks a Lot of Boxes

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There are a few anchorages around Los Coronados (the larger volcanic island and small western islet together), but when people say they’re headed for The Coronados, this anchorage is typically where they mean. It’s a gem of a spot, with turquoise water, a spectacular beach, rigorous hiking for the intrepid crew, cooling breezes and decent cell service. All this, and only 6 miles from Loreto.


Coming around the north side of the larger Coronado (typically from Isla Carmen) is pretty wide open, as long as you stand offshore at least a couple hundred yards to avoid any off lying rocks. Coming in from the SW is another story, as it can be a bit deceiving trying to spot your entrance, and it’s shallow everywhere. The safest route is to go through the middle of the pass between Coronado’s western hook and the Baja shore north of Loreto, letting the western Islet (Little Coronado? Coronadito?) pass by to starboard, and then wrapping a large arc into the open part of the bay. Alternatively, you can thread the proverbial needle between the islet and the western hook, as long as you are able to spot the end of the shoal that extends off the western hook at least 1/4 mile. This area is already quite shallow, so the difference in water color over the 15 foot and 6 foot areas can be rather subtle. Too many boats have had scares in this area, so be careful and use your first approach to place a safe water waypoint off the end of this shoal.


Shallow draft vessels might be tempted to run right up into the shallow (5-15 feet), glowing turquoise heart of the bay, near shore. This is a popular day spot, however, drawing panga traffic and large party charter boats. You’ve been warned. The good news is that there is plenty of room to anchor all along the shore, from here out to the shallow sandy area at the hook. Most of the darker areas are just dark sand, or sand and grass. All is good holding, We typically anchor in 20-25 feet, half way out the spit. Bees can be an issue here, so best to screen up. Some boats find less bees the further they head toward the western hook.


This is a world-class beach, with a public part palapa with a unique built-in grill. Park signage describes some hiking and wildlife viewing opportunities. Feel free to explore.

Don’t Miss:

If you’re looking to stretch your legs, this is the place. Get up early (and I mean pre-dawn) for a hike up to the summit of the volcano. It’s a bit of trail orienteering, rock-hopping, and finally a silty sweaty slog up the last pitch. The reward is a truly spectacular view 360 degrees around, and knowing you can spend the rest of the day in a hammock with a beer in your hand.


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