There's nothing quite like traveling to the sound of the ocean waves and a refreshing summer breeze. It's a peace unlike no other and the reason that sailing is such a popular activity. Our neighbor to the south, Mexico, offers some of the most beautiful destinations with easy traveling access. Whether you're looking for a relaxing five-star resort, or would rather anchor to enjoy the rugged landscape and vibrant city culture, here are our favorite sailing destinations in Mexico.
Relax On A Sailing Trip To These Beautiful Mexican Cities
Much more than just a marina, El Cid includes a small market and gold sand beaches stretching for miles in both directions. Take a short walk inland to spot incredible species of shore birds, or take the hotel shuttle to the city to check out the seawall which gives a perfect view of the beach. The dive shop at El Cid rents equipment and charters for surfing, snorkeling, and diving, but there's also weeks worth of sight-seeing to do in the city and of course, plenty of sunbathing and swimming.
A few miles north of Puerto Vallarta lies a luxurious resort marina tucked inside the entrance of the Rio Ameca. Paradise Village offers a true resort environment that may be a welcome change after spending days on a boat. Stay away from the sand by relaxing in one of the three resort pools. For a quick change of pace, hop on the bus to Puerto Vallarta. While considered a tourist hot spot, Puerto Vallarta remains a quaint town with charming cobblestone streets, a colonial plaza, and breathtaking cathedral. If you have a little extra time, take a day trip to one of the many villages and islands close by like Tres Marietas. These three deserted islands have small beaches, reefs and underwater caves!
This small village attracts visitors for its wide beach that curves around the bay and incredible surfing. Delicious seafood restaurants attract tourists and locals alike. There is also a diving area in the southwest end of the cove known as the Aquarium that offers stunning scuba diving and snorkeling. Grottos here are a brilliant emerald color teeming with eels and tropical fish. Day excursions and adventures are also available.
Ensenada may not be the most glamorous, but it is still a fantastic destination, a great place to outfit a boat for cruising, and where boats must check-in to clear customs for entry into Mexico. With all the paperwork to deal with, things may be hectic so stay a few extra days to enjoy the sites. Ensenada is the third largest city in the Mexican state of Baja California, and the weather is pleasant most of the year.
La Cruz has a fabulous farmer's market on weekends and fish market every day. Marina Riviera Nayarit is considered one of the most unique marinas in all of Mexico, located along the North Shore of Banderas Bay sheltered by a tranquil cove with an amazing boardwalk offering a view of the entire Bay. It is also the only full service marina along the Pacific Coast having over 340 slips ranging from 30' up to 400' feet, fuel station, marine store, rigging & welding services, shipyard, pump-out station, public dinghy dock, service docks, restaurants, laundry services and sailing schools including a recycling program & car rentals. The amphitheater hosts live concerts and weekly movie nights, and the marina restaurant offers a fun happy hour with friends or a romantic dinner with a view.
Affectionately referred to as Zihua, is a Pacific paradise. What used to be a sleepy fishing town in the 1970's is now a booming tourist hot spot thanks to the construction of Ixtapa, a Cancun-like resort town, next door. The tourist industry is slowly taking over Zihuatanejo, but it still keeps its historic charm intact. The narrow cobblestone streets of downtown are full of wonderful local restaurants, bars, boutiques and artisan studios, fishers still meet every morning on the beach by Paseo del Pescador, "Fishermen’s Passage," to sell their catch of the day, and the romantic waterfront sidewalk is beautiful any time of the day.
Legend has it that pirates ransacked Huatulco, but that they didn’t succeed in stealing its beauty. Located on the coast of the state of Oaxaca at the edge of the Sierra Madre mountains, Huatulco spans 20 miles of Mexico’s Pacific coastline, between the Coyula and Copalita rivers. It has more than 25 anchorages in a 10 mile stretch of coast offering you the choice between solitude in nature, a gorgeous bay surrounded by resorts, or a small harbor village. There are tons of things to do off the boat including superb snorkeling and inland trips to Oaxaca which is 140 miles away. With 85 degree weather in January, it's a perfect winter getaway.
Lauren Gaw is currently on a sailing trip down the coast of California and Mexico. You can follow her adventures at www.thecaptainsvlog.com to learn more about a day in the life on the water!