Shockingly Good Snorkeling Right Off The Beach

mapMarkerGrey Shockingly Good Snorkeling Right Off The Beach...

Spectacular Setting for Settled Weather

mapMarkerGrey Spectacular Setting for Settled Weather...

It’s a Roller Coaster of Red Rock

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Wow! Just…. Wow.

mapMarkerGrey Wow! Just…. Wow....

The Espiritu Classic

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A Little More Privacy, But Mind The Bar

mapMarkerGrey A Little More Privacy, But Mind The Bar...

In The Heart of This Lively City

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An Incredible Beach, and Welcome West Protection

mapMarkerGrey An Incredible Beach, and Welcome West Protection...

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

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Your Return to The World of Connectivity

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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...

Sea of Cortez – Baja Side

We have been struck over and over by the number of west coast cruisers who, in a rush to get to the South Pacific, give short shrift to Mexico in general, and in particular to the jaw-dropping Sea of Cortez. Many cruisers who have been at it for decades, and in fact have circled the globe more than once name as one of their key mistakes leaving Mexico too soon. We couldn’t agree more. The Sea of Cortez deserves some dedicated exploration, and not just a rushed month and a half in the winter, post Baja Ha Ha, when the temps are cold and the Northers are howling.

Families and sailors who dread rolly anchorages and surf landings in the dinghy will LOVE the lake-like anchorages of the Sea. Once north of the East Cape, ocean swell drops to near zero. This is not to say there is no wind or weather in the Sea, but in general the conditions are quite benign, and the anchorages delightfully flat.

Sea of Cortez Weather for Cruisers

Weather here is cyclical, dominated by two regimes: Winter Northers and Summer SE/Tropical Storm Season. Cruisers enjoy the Sea year round, but the prime seasons for exploring this area under sail would be April to June, and Late October to December. The middle winter months are riddled with Northers, cold and sometimes fierce winds of 30+ knots that originate in winter high pressure in the southwestern US, and blow the full length of the Sea, often kicking up some serious short period wind waves and swell. These can blow for 1-4 days, with sometimes woefully short periods of lovely cool weather in between. The opposite side of the cycle, starting in April or May, is typified by light SE breezes and calm periods that slowly melt into the intense heat and humidity of summer.

Some Excellent Weather Resources for The Sea of Cortez

Typical Cruising Patterns

Most Cruisers move quickly past the introductory anchorages of the East Cape area, and head for La Paz, a proper cruising hub and into into Baja culture and food. The next sizable city is Loreto, nearly 150 miles north, with some of the most spectacular cruising spread out between. Many cruisers will never venture further north than the Loreto area, but they miss out on a lot. From Santa Rosalia north to the Bahia de Los Angeles area (a common haunt for 10-25 cruising boats for the heart of tropical storm season every year), the Sea gets more remote, raw, and full of sea life as you venture north and leave crowds, and in many cases civilization, behind. The extreme northern sea from Gonzaga Bay to San Filipe and Puerto Penasco are generally even less traveled, although Puerto Penasco has in recent years become a popular spot to put up the boat for the off season, or take advantage of one of the only DIY boat yards in the region.

No matter how far you venture in to the Sea of Cortez, it will lurk in your memories, with visions of crystal clear waters, towering colorful mountain ranges, and isolated island beaches, and the blow of nearby whales or the whizzz of fishing line peeling off your reel. Unless you’re just not into that sort of thing (?), it will certainly draw you back.

Recent Posts From The Sea of Cortez – Baja Side

Printed Cruising Guides to The Sea of Cortez 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 guides for this area. Following the links and purchasing these cruising guides (or anything else) helps fund OCG through a small commission. Thanks!

Shawn and Heather’s Sea of Cortez Cruising Guide