The Best Sailing Routes Along Mexico’s Coastlines: Worth It

Written by Shawn Buckles in Destinations

Mexico, with its diverse landscapes, vibrant culture, and extensive coastlines, offers a plethora of sailing opportunities. The country's coastline is divided into two main regions: the Pacific Coast and the Gulf Coast. Each region boasts its own unique charm, attractions, and sailing experiences. Here are the best sailing routes along Mexico's Pacific and Gulf coasts.

Pacific Coast

1. Baja California: Rugged Beauty and Marine Life

Baja California, a peninsula stretching south from the US border, is known for its rugged beauty and abundant marine life. Start your journey in Ensenada and sail south towards Cabo San Lucas, exploring the pristine coastline along the way. The Sea of Cortez, located on the eastern side of the peninsula, offers calm waters and stunning scenery, making it a popular destination for sailors.

Top 3 Spots in Baja California:

  1. Bahía de los Ángeles: A tranquil bay perfect for snorkeling and spotting whale sharks.
  2. La Paz: Known for its beautiful beaches and rich marine biodiversity, ideal for diving and snorkeling.
  3. Cabo San Lucas: Famous for its vibrant nightlife, stunning beaches, and the iconic El Arco rock formation.

2. Puerto Vallarta: Vibrant Culture and Scenic Views

Puerto Vallarta, situated on the Pacific coast in the state of Jalisco, is renowned for its vibrant culture, stunning beaches, and picturesque views. Begin your sailing adventure at the Marina Vallarta, one of the largest and most well-equipped marinas in Mexico. Sail along Banderas Bay, exploring hidden coves, charming coastal villages, and lush jungles.

Top 3 Spots in Puerto Vallarta:

  1. Los Arcos National Marine Park: A popular snorkeling and diving spot with stunning underwater rock formations.
  2. Yelapa: A secluded beach village accessible only by boat, offering a peaceful retreat.
  3. Marietas Islands: Known for their hidden beach and diverse marine life, perfect for snorkeling and kayaking.

3. Acapulco: Historic Glamour and Dramatic Cliffs

Acapulco, once a glamorous destination for Hollywood stars, still retains its charm with beautiful beaches and dramatic cliffs. The city's main marina, Acapulco Yacht Club, serves as a perfect starting point for exploring the coastline. Sail along Acapulco Bay, enjoying the vibrant nightlife and historic sites.

Top 3 Spots in Acapulco:

  1. La Quebrada: Famous for its cliff divers who leap from heights of up to 35 meters into the ocean below.
  2. Pie de la Cuesta: A serene beach known for its stunning sunsets and tranquil waters.
  3. Roqueta Island: A popular spot for snorkeling and hiking, with beautiful views of Acapulco Bay.

4. Zihuatanejo and Ixtapa: Laid-back Charm and Luxury Resorts

Zihuatanejo and its neighboring resort town, Ixtapa, offer a blend of laid-back charm and luxurious amenities. Begin your journey at the Ixtapa Marina and explore the beautiful beaches and clear waters of the region. Zihuatanejo Bay is known for its tranquil anchorage and picturesque surroundings.

Top 3 Spots in Zihuatanejo and Ixtapa:

  1. Playa La Ropa: A beautiful beach perfect for swimming and water sports.
  2. Isla Ixtapa: An island with pristine beaches and excellent snorkeling spots.
  3. Las Gatas Beach: A secluded beach accessible by boat, ideal for relaxing and snorkeling.

Gulf Coast

1. Cancún and Isla Mujeres: Turquoise Waters and Vibrant Nightlife

Cancún, located on the northeastern tip of the Yucatán Peninsula, is famous for its turquoise waters, white sandy beaches, and vibrant nightlife. Sail to Isla Mujeres, a small island just off the coast of Cancún, known for its laid-back atmosphere and excellent snorkeling spots.

Top 3 Spots in Cancún and Isla Mujeres:

  1. Isla Mujeres: Explore the beautiful beaches, snorkeling sites, and the underwater sculpture museum.
  2. Cancún Underwater Museum: A unique diving experience featuring over 500 submerged sculptures.
  3. Playa Norte: A stunning beach on Isla Mujeres, perfect for swimming and relaxation.

2. Cozumel: Coral Reefs and Crystal-clear Waters

Cozumel, an island located off the eastern coast of the Yucatán Peninsula, is renowned for its crystal-clear waters and vibrant coral reefs. The island is a top destination for divers and snorkelers. Sail around the island to explore its beautiful beaches and underwater wonders.

Top 3 Spots in Cozumel:

  1. Palancar Reef: A world-famous diving site known for its spectacular coral formations and marine life.
  2. Chankanaab National Park: A marine park offering excellent snorkeling and diving opportunities.
  3. Punta Sur Eco Beach Park: A nature reserve with beautiful beaches, lagoons, and a lighthouse offering panoramic views.

3. Veracruz: Rich History and Cultural Heritage

Veracruz, one of Mexico's oldest and most historically significant port cities, offers a blend of rich cultural heritage and beautiful coastal scenery. Start your journey at the Marina Veramar and explore the Gulf of Mexico's coastline. Sail along the coast to discover historic forts, vibrant markets, and beautiful beaches.

Top 3 Spots in Veracruz:

  1. San Juan de Ulúa: A historic fortress and former prison, offering a glimpse into Mexico's colonial past.
  2. Playa Chachalacas: A beach known for its golden sands and sand dunes, ideal for water sports and off-roading.
  3. Veracruz Aquarium: One of the largest aquariums in Latin America, showcasing a wide variety of marine life.

4. Campeche: Colonial Charm and Tranquil Waters

Campeche, a coastal city with a well-preserved colonial center, offers a tranquil sailing experience along the Gulf of Mexico. Begin your journey at the Marina Campeche and explore the city's historic walls and colorful streets. Sail along the coast to enjoy the calm waters and beautiful scenery.

Top 3 Spots in Campeche:

  1. Historic Center of Campeche: A UNESCO World Heritage site with colorful colonial buildings and cobblestone streets.
  2. Playa Bonita: A serene beach with calm waters, perfect for swimming and relaxation.
  3. Edzná: An ancient Mayan city located near Campeche, offering a fascinating archaeological experience.


Mexico's coastline offers a wealth of stunning destinations and diverse sailing routes that cater to all tastes and skill levels. Whether you're exploring the rugged beauty of Baja California, the vibrant culture of Puerto Vallarta, or the turquoise waters of Cancún and Cozumel, Mexico has something to offer every sailor. So hoist your sails and embark on an unforgettable adventure along Mexico's beautiful coastlines.

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