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By No owner — last modified Jul 10, 2017 11:48 PM

 Mexico - Profile


  • The cruising attractions of Mexico are concentrated in two main areas, the Gulf of California (Sea of Cortez) in Baja California on the west coast, and the Yucatan Peninsula on the east coast.
  • For many years the Gulf of California has been the preferred foreign destination of Californian sailors; equally the Yucatan Peninsula and the offlying island of Cozumel for yachts heading south from Florida.
  • Less than 400 miles off Mexico's western coast lie the four Islas de Revillagigedo rarely visited from the mainland except by yachts on passage to the Marquesas.
  • As the number of yachts visiting Mexico is increasing, so the yachting facilities are improving. All major ports visited by cruising yachts now have a reasonable range of services and most routine repairs can be dealt with locally.
  • Fuel is available almost everywhere, although it is wise to filter it, especially where it is pumped from a temporary drum. The port captain in some ports is in charge of fuelling and a permit may be needed from him or customs.
  • Xcalak - a popular clearance port for vessels sailing between Mexico and Belize - is no longer a port of entry. The immigration office in Xcalak has been closed indefinitely. The options are to either take a 5 hour bus journey inland to Chetumal or forgo the cruising grounds along the east coast and conduct clearance procedures at a port on the north of the Yucatan peninsular, such as Isla Mujeres.


March 2012: Sailors are advised to be particularly cautious when sailing down the Pacific coast of Mexico. A young solo American sailor went missing and his boat washed ashore, five days after leaving Manzanillo — near Puerto Vallarta — bound for Zihuatanejo. This is a known area for drug running.

The Caribbean Safety and Security Net ( gather information by anchorage or by island, so sailors can plan their cruising in the Caribbean with an eye to appropriate behaviour and precautions wherever they decide to go. Should you have information about a security incident, as well as contacting Noonsite please also forward details to the Caribbean Safety and Security Net, as theirs is the most comprehensive source of Caribbean security incidents against sailors on the net. Please be sure to include boat name, date of incident and anchorage/port where the incident took place.

Last updated February 2014.


The climate is often very hot on the coasts, although it is more temperate at higher altitudes and in the north. May to October is the rainy season, and it usually rains in the late afternoon and evening. May is the hottest month. It rarely rains from November to April.

Temperatures on the west coast are generally high most of the year, but north of La Paz it can be cold in December-March.

There tends to be more wind in the Sea of Cortez than along the west coast in October-March due to the effect of high pressures in the USA. There is typically little wind (only land and sea breezes) on along much of the west coast including from Mazatlan to Alcapulco.

On both coasts the hurricane season runs from June to October, while winter brings the occasional norther and, on the east coast, strong trade winds. The best time to cruise is spring and late autumn.

Mexico Weather Forecast

For links to free global weather information, forecast services and extreme weather information see the Noonsite Weather Page.

Main Ports

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boatcoder says:
May 13, 2017 08:47 PM

As of May 2017, Pre-Arrival clearing into Isla Mujeres does NOT need to be done. I lost 1000 pesos pre-clearing with the Banjercito link in the Pre-Arrival section.

Sue Richards
Sue Richards says:
Jul 10, 2017 11:47 PM

Reported by Larry Gaddy:
I can give you an interesting update on the TIP. We got one in 2013, when we were cruising the Pacific side, so it is still valid until 2023. However, the buddy boat we were with did not have one. They were not asked about it by the marina, customs, or port authority. I have heard different beliefs about how long you can stay without a TIP - anywhere from 3 days to 10 days. Anyway, after we had been in port for a week the marina asked to see our TIP's. They told our friends that they needed to get one, as "sometimes" it is necessary to show one when clearing out. So, our friends had to go over to Cancun to get it. This was difficult, as the taxi drivers didn't know where to take them, but eventually he got the TIP. When we cleared out we were not asked to show the TIP.

Sue Richards
Sue Richards says:
Jul 10, 2017 11:48 PM

Reported by Larry Gaddy:
We stayed in Mexico for 10 days. Neither of us had Mexican insurance, and we weren't asked to show our US policies. Maybe having Mexican liability insurance isn't necessary anymore.

Feral says:
Mar 06, 2017 04:16 PM

Does anyone know if a drivers licence is required to get mexican liability insurance. And if not, does any one know of a company that does not require drivers licence? Ill be heading down there after november and have all my paperwork for the boat but have never had a drivers licence.

Joyeux says:
Jan 14, 2017 08:04 PM

Checking out/TIP
After dealing with Aduana for 5 days in Cancun, here is what I have learned: If you leave Mexico and are never coming back with your current boat, you don't need to cancel your TIP. If you leave w/o cancelling, then sell your boat to someone who plans to go to Mexico, they may not be able to Import it, and will be liable for LARGE fines. If you leave w/o cancelling and come back after the expiration date you will be liable for LARGE fines. You can have multiple exits and re-entries until the TIP expiration date. You must apply for a new TIP before the old one expires. I got two conflicting answers about how to cancel the TIP. 1. I would have to go to Aduana at the nearest airport. 2. I can cancel it at the Banjercito in the port where I'm checking out (Zarpe, etc). YOU are responsible for cancelling the TIP. Don't assume that it will be done unless you specifically ask for it. Good Luck.

kairos48 says:
Dec 11, 2015 03:18 PM

When clearing in or out at Puerto Morelos (Marina El Cid)a 24 hour notice is required by Immigracion and Customs. You cannot call in advance to inform them as the marina requires you to be present when making the request. You will be required to stay in the Marina until all of the officials have cleared you in. If you are coming from the south expect to be boarded and searched by customs. Five agents and a K-9 searched my vessel. (I am a male, single handing, and I came from Guatemala so, no surprise since I came from a known narco route and fit the profile). In my ase, none of my meat or food was confiscated as others have reported.The agent and personnel at Marina El Cid were quite helpful.

Sue Richards
Sue Richards says:
Nov 10, 2015 02:30 PM

Posted on behalf of Ken Simon:
I followed the link for "Boating in Mexico" on noonsite, which has very detailed instructions for getting an entry permit online. I followed all of these instructions: made the payment online, and sent my documents with my receipt to the listed email address for the customs authorities in Cancun, which is the nearest customs office for where I want to go, Isla Mujeres. I sent my email in both Spanish and English, twice in the last week. It came back with an automatic message, in Spanish, which said the mailbox is full.
I then emailed the manager, Brad Wareing, of the marina where I will be staying on Isla Mujeres, Marina Paraiso. He said he had never heard of this online procedure, although his marina is one of three places on Isla Mujeres for officially clearing into customs. I then emailed the Mexican consulate nearest me in Michigan; no reply.
I think others should be warned that there is a problem with this online procedure, at least for Cancun. I very much doubt now whether the customs people on Isla Mujeres will honor my receipt for 996 pesos when I arrive there.

Sue Richards
Sue Richards says:
Apr 29, 2015 04:47 PM

Meat seizure in Mexico: Taken from Yahoo Group Cruisers Network Online
On Saturday, March 14, 2015 we cleared in to Mexico, Puerto Morelos, on our sailboat, Sea Schell, from Belize. Most of the officials were very polite, friendly, efficient and professional.

The woman from SAGARPA came aboard and started looking into everything. In our freezer she found several pounds of frozen meats for our personal consumption. Most of the meats were still labeled in their grocery store packaging and identified as being products of Belize. She said that she was required to seize and destroy any meats not labeled as having been inspected by the USDA, the Mexican department of agriculture or the similar agency of another government. The items she seized were: 4 chicken breasts, 2 chicken legs and thighs, pork chops, 1 pound pork stew meat, 4 minute steaks, 1 package turkey coldcuts. All of those items were still in their store packaging with appropriate store labels. In addition she seized the following: 4 breakfast sausages, 2 italian sausages. These items had also been bought at the grocery store in Belize but we had separated them into meal sized plastic bags before freezing.

We had never heard of any regulation that required destruction of meats on our boat for our personal consumption upon entry into Mexico. Friends on other boats clearing in to Isla Mujeres, Puerto Morelos and San Miguel, Cozumel at approximately the same time and had not had that happen. Marina El Cid reported that they had never heard of such a thing. Detailed searches we did of websites from the Mexican government, tourist information sites and other cruisers showed no similar seizures and no indication that there was such a requirement. When we reported the incident on a radio net that covered all of the northwest Caribbean no one had heard of any such seizure in Mexico or any other country.

When we asked the woman where we could find the regulation she referred us to <> . There is no information on that site that refers to what cruising boats can bring into Mexico.

We are reporting this incident to all the cruising websites that we use to learn how to comply with all government regulations. If there is such a regulation the Mexican government should make it clear to all vessels prior to entering. This news will deter cruisers from visiting El Cid Marina and Puerto Morelos. That’s a shame because the marina is beautiful, the people are wonderful and it’s a great spot to stop to tour Mexico.

Royce says:
Jan 31, 2015 10:15 AM

The web link for the online TIP does work correctly. The address is right but clicking the link confuses their server. Instead, go to their home page, paste 'Importacion Temporal de Embarcaciones' into the Google search bar and click <Buscar>. This will take you to the right page, in fact the same address as listed above.

Sue Richards
Sue Richards says:
Aug 31, 2014 09:53 PM

Latitude 38 are warning cruisers planning on joining the annual fall migration to Mexico, to hold off on completing paperwork in advance. The problem is that Banjercito (the Mexican military bank) adopted their web page from the web page for automobiles crossing into Mexico. Aduana (Customs) is working to get them to change the website now. It's recommended that cruisers wait until the end of September or even early October to apply for their TIP once the Banjercito web site has been properly amended for yachts. Read more about this at

Sue Richards
Sue Richards says:
Jul 28, 2014 01:49 PM

If using Navionics to navigate in Mexico waters, Latitude 38 report that chart data on which the Navionics charts are based are sometimes off by a significant amount. It is recommended if relying on digital charts, to do a Google Earth overlay of a chart to ensure the coastline is correct, particularly if navigating near islands and at night. See the Latitude 38 article about this at

Islas de Revillagigedo
East coast
West coast
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