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bchisholm 21-06-2009 08:59

San Diego to Ixtapa
I'm planning this trip for the end of October, before the Bahia Ha Ha to avoid the crowds. Would love to hear from others who have done it and any recommendations for stops along the way.

Sailabel 21-06-2009 11:03

Hi, we haven't yet made it to Ixtapa... we expect to be there by February. However, we've made the trip from SD to Cabo and up into the Sea of Cortez.

Others had recommended stopping along the way down to see the sights and have a somewhat leisurely cruise south. We enjoyed our stops along the way. A description of the places we visited can be found on our website- cruises, located here: Untitled Page

Checking in at Ensenada is relatively easy, with all the officials located in one building which is within easy walking distance of the marinas. Bahia San Quintin was one of our favorite places, just because of the beach. Turtle Bay is good if you need fuel and run low on cervesa. Actually, the only place that we didn't enjoy was Cabo San Lucas.... primarily because it's an overpriced, expensive, time-share resort place. Not really what we wanted while cruising. Until Cabo, I never even heard of having to pay to tie up to a fuel dock to buy fuel.

I'm sure others will chime in on where they crossed the Sea of Cortez and places to stop on the mainland side.


bchisholm 29-06-2009 19:34

Cold beer in Lazaro Cardenas
Thanks for the tips, I was thinking of going all the way to Cabo before checking in with the Mexican officials but it sounds easier to do it in Ensenda. I will be keeping the boat in Larzaro Cardenas so if you make it down that far, there will always be cold beer.


senormechanico 29-06-2009 20:07

Ixtapa (at least in the late '90's) was a T-shirt town with sidewalks, Arbie's Roast Beef etc., although the marina was nice.
Otherwise, I could have seen the same thing in Lynnwood Washington. No thanks.

Zihuatanejo was wonderful.

Steve B.

Hollen 30-06-2009 20:54

Leaving SD on the 29th
We and another boat are leaving SD on October 29th as our Mexico insurance isn't good until Nov 1. We plan on stopping in Ensenada to check in and then, slowly, head to Mazatlan by the 13th of November. If you want to convoy let us know.
Steve, S/V Andalucia

DOCRIVERS 18-07-2009 18:18

We'll be heading to and past Ixtapa at the same time. We'll be leaving San Diego on Nov 1. If you're sailing, we might catch up with you in a few days on the way down, since we're on a powerboat. Our eventual destination (for a while) is Acapulco, though we may take some time getting there. I'm trying to figure out options for a slip for some months. Do you know what the options are in or around the Ixtapa area for marinas ?

bene343 18-07-2009 22:45

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I went the other way -- Zihuatanejo to San Diego delivering a Frer 64.

You'll probably need to stop in Turtle Bay for fuel, stop in Tenacatita and do the mangrove tour in a dingy, be careful of the surf getting into the river, McHales Navy movie was filmed there. Cabo for supplies and shore break, We spent some time in Banderas Bay. Most places you will probably want to anchor out and dingy in. If it were me, I'd have RIB and not a soft bottom dingy with a pretty good sized motor 10-15 horsepower.

There is a marina in Ixtapa but it's relatively expensive


bene343 18-07-2009 22:50

this book is a good resource: Mexico Boating Guide (Paperback)

Hollen 19-07-2009 11:28

Heading south this winter
Our Itinerary, made in sand, at low tide: Nov 5th Turtle Bay, Nov 10th Cabo, Nov 13th Marina Mazatlan.
To DOCRIVERS: The only marina in the area of Ixtapa is Marina Ixtapa. We have had numerous friends stay there but the anchoring at Zihuatenejo was free and nicer. Check out:
To Bichisholm: Why Larzaro Cardenas? Sounds like a great story and not known as a cruising destination.

imagine2frolic 19-07-2009 12:35

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Forget Ensenada unless you want to just visit there. I have stopped in San Quitin, and no check in. If you can find your way through the bay a great anchorage in town. Stopped in Acsencion for a breather with nothing there, but a nice beach to land the dink, and buy beer. You can stop in Cedros, but the anchoring is deep, and a wee bit of sell from what I understand. Turtle Bay there is fuel, laundry, and grocery shopping. Bahia Santa Maria is no check in, but the other side in Magdellena the Port Captain comes out to the boat.

Cabo was a drinking, and fishing town. Good for a day, or two. From there we went over to P.V., and loved the place. Exceptionally clean, and anything you need can be found. I can't help going any further south, because P.V. was my turn around spot. If you get stopped by the Mexican Navy...they are very polite.....i2f

bene343 19-07-2009 16:34

a sad note ------ no more Rick's in Z town

Hollen 19-07-2009 17:52

No Ricks in Z town
A sad thing about Rick, but I got one of their shirts.
So, Cool 02-08-2009 21:46

We're leaving SD on Nov 1 too. Why should we forget Ensenada? And if there's no check in at San Quintin where do you check in? Surely the Mexican Navy is only nice if you've checked in...

Hollen 03-08-2009 11:13

I should have said; depending on your boat needs there is no need to stop in Ensenada. There is plenty of provisioning options there, $2.50 per gallon fuel, and easy check in for the country. Two years ago it took us about 6 hours to check in, including the 3 hour power outage. That included tourist cards for everyone, 10 year Temporary import permit for the boat, fishing licenses and Agriculture inspection (usually waived). There is a bank on-site so everything is done in one office, very easy and cheap. This all can be done in Cabo but its 800 miles away. There is only one place along the coast to get fuel, south of Ensenada and that is at Turtle Bay, 350 miles south of the border. There are some great “agents” that will do it all for you for $50 but I liked doing it myself with the help of Romero’s. . They can get you Mexican Liability insurance, as you will have to have it if you plan on staying in any marina in Mexico.
As for the Mexican Navy (or any offshore officials); If you never go to shore, in a port where there is a Port Captain, you never have to check in. There are only 3 Port Captains on the Baja coast; Ensenada, Cedros Island, and Cabo San Lucas. I don’t count the one in Magdalena Bay as he is 30 miles out of your way.
We have decided to go this year with the Baja HA-HA, again, starting October 26th. Just too much fun, way too many fun people to get to know and they know about all the details you will forget before you get there.
Hope to see you there this winter.

imagine2frolic 03-08-2009 11:22

Last year a young man left San Diego in the middle of Oct. He caught the edge of some bad weather, and left his boat. You may want to consider your timing of leaving?........i2f

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