The Heart of Cabo Craziness

mapMarkerGrey The Heart of Cabo Craziness...

A Mellower Alternative to Cabo Craziness

mapMarkerGrey A Mellower Alternative to Cabo Craziness...

More Room Than You Need, With a Wind Machine

mapMarkerGrey More Room Than You Need, With a Wind Machine...

A Short Hop, But a World Away

mapMarkerGrey A Short Hop, But a World Away...

Sweet Mile of Sandy Anchoring, But Open Roadstead

mapMarkerGrey Sweet Mile of Sandy Anchoring, But Open Roadstead...

Shallow SE Protection with a Wifi Bonus

mapMarkerGrey Shallow SE Protection with a Wifi Bonus...

An All Time Favorite, But Technical Anchoring

mapMarkerGrey An All Time Favorite, But Technical Anchoring...

A Gorgeous Classic That Checks a Lot of Boxes

mapMarkerGrey A Gorgeous Classic That Checks a Lot of Boxes...

Big Pocket Anchorage with Colorful Bluffs and Nutty Snorkeling

mapMarkerGrey Big Pocket Anchorage with Colorful Bluffs and Nutt...

Small Pocket with Big Fish

mapMarkerGrey Small Pocket with Big Fish...

Easy Anchoring for an Entire Armada

mapMarkerGrey Easy Anchoring for an Entire Armada...

Your Return to The World of Connectivity

mapMarkerGrey Your Return to The World of Connectivity...

Your Private, Perfect Nook

mapMarkerGrey Your Private, Perfect Nook...

Remote and Beautiful Beach with Good Snorkeling

mapMarkerGrey Remote and Beautiful Beach with Good Snorkeling...

Gorgeous, Quiet, and Multifaceted

mapMarkerGrey Gorgeous, Quiet, and Multifaceted...

They Don't Call it The Aquarium for Nothin'

mapMarkerGrey They Don't Call it The Aquarium for Nothin'...

Gorgeous, Good Surf, But Mind the Bugs

mapMarkerGrey Gorgeous, Good Surf, But Mind the Bugs...

A Keyhole Anchorage With Great South Protection

mapMarkerGrey A Keyhole Anchorage With Great South Protection...

An Unexpected Irish Connection

mapMarkerGrey An Unexpected Irish Connection...

Surgey But Lovely Resort Marina with Poolside Fun

mapMarkerGrey Surgey But Lovely Resort Marina with Poolside Fun...

Great Value in a Protected Marina. Good Food Too.

mapMarkerGrey Great Value in a Protected Marina. Good Food Too....

Banana Tows, Music and Jet Skis, Oh My!

mapMarkerGrey Banana Tows, Music and Jet Skis, Oh My!...

Kid Boat Center of Universe. Fun for Adults, Too

mapMarkerGrey Kid Boat Center of Universe. Fun for Adults, Too...

A Dream Around Christmas, Nightmare in Spring

mapMarkerGrey A Dream Around Christmas, Nightmare in Spring...

Accessible Beach Town with Imposing Swimming Guest

mapMarkerGrey Accessible Beach Town with Imposing Swimming Guest...

A Surfing Break for a Day or a Week

mapMarkerGrey A Surfing Break for a Day or a Week...

Rare Mid-Coast Island Anchorage

mapMarkerGrey Rare Mid-Coast Island Anchorage...

Sweet Mexico Beach Town with Just Enough of Everything

mapMarkerGrey Sweet Mexico Beach Town with Just Enough of Everyt...

A Decadent Escape from the Toils of Cruising

mapMarkerGrey A Decadent Escape from the Toils of Cruising...

Your Peaceful Sleeping Oasis

mapMarkerGrey Your Peaceful Sleeping Oasis...

You Thought THIS Was Your Dream Destination?

mapMarkerGrey You Thought THIS Was Your Dream Destination?...

Get Out of The Weather, Discover a Whole Other World

mapMarkerGrey Get Out of The Weather, Discover a Whole Other Wor...

Excellent, Well Protected Bay with Room for The Sixth Fleet

mapMarkerGrey Excellent, Well Protected Bay with Room for The Si...

Dusty Funky Quiet Expat Surf Haven

mapMarkerGrey Dusty Funky Quiet Expat Surf Haven...

Surfers and Whale Watchers, Look No Further

mapMarkerGrey Surfers and Whale Watchers, Look No Further...

Quiet Baja Beach Town with Expat Cruiser Community

mapMarkerGrey Quiet Baja Beach Town with Expat Cruiser Community...

All Weather Anchorage with Dusty Funky Town

mapMarkerGrey All Weather Anchorage with Dusty Funky Town...

A Bustling Town with Just About Everything

mapMarkerGrey A Bustling Town with Just About Everything...

A Lovely Oasis on a Rocky Shore

mapMarkerGrey A Lovely Oasis on a Rocky Shore...

Dusty Town Built on a Bluff

mapMarkerGrey Dusty Town Built on a Bluff...

Gorgeous Remote Bay and Challenging Inlet if You Dare

mapMarkerGrey Gorgeous Remote Bay and Challenging Inlet if You D...

Hang Out Just Below the Nose

mapMarkerGrey Hang Out Just Below the Nose...

Full-Time Summer Camp for Adults

mapMarkerGrey Full-Time Summer Camp for Adults...

The Galapagos of Mexico

mapMarkerGrey The Galapagos of Mexico...

Longboard Surf Haven with Identity Crisis Ashore

mapMarkerGrey Longboard Surf Haven with Identity Crisis Ashore...
image

Trying to review again: Our favorite stop so far, and had it almost all to ourselves. Testing t...

mapMarkerGrey Photogenic Mellow Jungle Beach Town...

Mexico – Pacific Coast

Mexico’s pacific coast is a well-deserved magnet for cruisers from all over the world, in particular those from the west coasts of the US and Canada. It’s common to find crews down here that left the states for a short trip through Mexico on the way to the South Seas, and are still here a decade or more later. It’s “easy living” at it’s finest: Good food, friendly people, a tight and ever changing cruising community, excellent anchorages, natural wonders, and the currency exchange rate makes it hard to find another place with more bang for your buck.

Clearing In

Checking in to Mexico on a private vessel is often a more arduous task than any other country in the Caribbean or Central America. It’s actually the most difficult, next to the United States. There are a number of steps to go through, which may include: Aduana (customs and immigration), Port Captain, Agricultural Inspection, Health Inspection, Temporary Import Permit for your vessel.

It is expected that you will clear into Mexico at the first available port, so these services are more available, and more streamlined, at select ports North and South, with limited availability at the more interior ports. Best spots to stop are Ensenada, Cabo San Lucas, Huatulco, Chiapas, Puerto Angel. (there may be more)

The old system of Port Captain “fiefdoms,” which had to be checked in and out of at each segment of coastline, almost like a new country border, has given way to a more civilized check in/out procedure at the Port Captain level. These interactions with the Port Captains is typically short and quite pleasant, with no cost. It keeps you on the right side of their ledger, and should make help more available to you, if you should need it.

Finances and Logistics

While credit cards are widely accepted in major cities and large town in coastal Mexico, it’s still very much a cash economy, and exclusively so in the smaller villages. ATMs attached to actual banks are typically safe, while those at gas stations or convenience stores, or in an alley somewhere, should be eyed with due suspicion. Fraud and theft is rare, but does occur. Mostly it’s best to have a bank to go to if the machine eats your card, or lacks the funds you requested. The exchange rate is typically quite favorable for most western currencies, making Mexico an excellent bargain.

Marine services and parts are available in a scattered fashion, and getting items shipped into and around Mexico still poses some issues, notably loss of valuable items in transit. It is often best to have guests bring items with them in their checked baggage, to save the hassle and get access to items not found in Mexico’s chandleries. Labor and common parts can be quite inexpensive, including stainless fabrication and canvas work. But marinas, boat yards, and specialty marine parts (notably bottom paint) can be more than US prices.

More to come…

Quick links to Pacific Mexico cruising areas:

Recent Posts From Pacific Coastal Mexico

Printed Cruising Guides to Pacific Mexico

Contrary to popular belief, we’re HUGE fans of printed cruising guides, and consider them essential gear for cruising any coast. Below are the OCG recommended cruising guides for this area. Following the links and purchasing these cruising guides (or anything else) helps fund OCG through a small commission. Thanks!

Charlie’s Charts – Pacific Mexico

Rains Guide to Pacific Mexico