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 (firstname.lastname@example.org) 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.
For links to free global weather information, forecast services and extreme weather information see the Noonsite Weather Page.
West coast: Acapulco * , Baha Tortugas (Turtle Bay) , Baja Asuncion , Cabo San Lucas * , Cedros Island , Ciudad Lazaro Cardenas * , Ensenada * , Guaymas , Huatulco (La Crucecita * , La Cruz de Huanacaxtle , La Paz * , Loreto , Manzanillo * , Mazatlan * , Puerto Angel , Puerto Chiapas * , Puerto Escondido Baja , Puerto Penasco (Rocky Point) , Puerto Vallarta * , Punta de Mita , Salina Cruz * , San Blas * , San Carlos , Santa Rosalia * , Topolobampo , Zihuatenejo *
* indicates port of entry