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Old 17-01-2019, 16:42   #1
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Panama to Sea of Cortez - route

Hey guys!


I am looking into going to Sea of Cortez from Panama in November 2019. Is there anybody out there that has done that trip and would like to give some advice?


One option would be to go along the coast and visit Costa Rica, Nicaragua, El Salvador, Guatemala and finally Mexico. I heard Costa Rica is a great place but I know nothing about the other countries.


Another option could be to sail via Galapagos (its always nice to visit the Galapagos) and then sail straight to Mexico- many miles but be much faster- I guess.


Any inputs? I would appreciate tips and advices!!
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Old 17-01-2019, 18:45   #2
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Re: Panama to Sea of Cortez - route

We transited the Panama Canal on November 1st of last year and didn’t waste much time heading north. November is a ‘transition’ month (as is May) and winds are often light during those periods. In December, the ‘Christmas Winds’ can fill in with strong northwesterly winds that can make progress towards Mexico slow and uncomfortable - same with June (but they aren’t called ‘Christmas Winds’).

After checking out of Panama City and making our way around Punto Malo (‘malo’ means ‘bad’ in Spanish), we made a few stops on our way to Golfito, Costa Rica and then did a nonstop passage to Playas del Coco.

Since we had a favorable forecast for crossing the Gulfs of Papagayo and Tehuantapec, we made another nonstop passage to Acapulco - skipping Nicaragua, El Salvador and Guatemala. Unfortunately, we had to motor the entire way but the seas were calm and we made good time.

If you read Jimmy Cornell’s book, World Cruising Routes, he suggests that the best way to get to the US from Panama is via Hawaii.

We did not go to the Galapagos as the costs are very high and you still have to go on approved, guided tours once there. Several cruisers who had been there suggested that it would be about the same cost to fly there round trip from the US and be easier/more comfortable.

Good luck, fair winds and calm seas.
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Old 17-01-2019, 18:54   #3
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Re: Panama to Sea of Cortez - route

Ok- sounds like a good option, skipping skipping Nicaragua, El Salvador and Guatemala.


How was the Mexican coastline before you reached Sea of Cortez? Nice? Worth spending time?



//Daniel
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Old 21-01-2019, 08:37   #4
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Re: Panama to Sea of Cortez - route

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Originally Posted by sbaydreamer View Post
Ok- sounds like a good option, skipping skipping Nicaragua, El Salvador and Guatemala.


How was the Mexican coastline before you reached Sea of Cortez? Nice? Worth spending time?



//Daniel


We have cruised Mexico’s west coast many times and have always enjoyed it. This trip up was the first time we got to cruise southern Mexico and we really enjoyed seeing Chiapas even if it meant that we had to stay in the marina in Puerto Madero (we prefer anchoring). Since we had such great conditions to cross the Gulf of Tehuantepec, we skipped Huatulco and headed for Puerto Angel but it was much too rough to even attempt to enter. Instead, we continued on to Puerto Marques for a couple of nights, spent a delightful afternoon in Isla Roqueta before making the passage to Zihuatenejo, which is a very fun place to visit (we had spent a fair amount of time there with our family in 1997).

Barra de Navidad is one of the few flat calm anchorages on the west coast of Mexico and there’s often a sizable cruising community anchored there. We spent a couple of nights in Tenacatita before we rounded Cabo Corrientes and anchored off of La Cruz.

We are working on getting our permit to visit the Revillagigedos and, if you’re a diver, they shouldn’t be missed. From there, depending on the wind, we’ll probably sail to Mazatlán and then over to La Paz, which we’ve visited many times and always enjoy.

The Sea of Cortez is a magical place for us and we’re eager to get back there. I hope you enjoy it as much as we do.

Fair winds and calm seas.
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Old 24-06-2019, 12:56   #5
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Re: Panama to Sea of Cortez - route

Howdy sbaydreamer. Are you still planning to make this trip? Have you found any good planning resources?


We're looking at transiting the canal from the Caribbean side in 2020 and have become intrigued with the idea of taking some time to explore the SOC before continuing West to the Marquesas.



Thanks,
Erin
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Old 24-06-2019, 15:41   #6
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Re: Panama to Sea of Cortez - route

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Howdy sbaydreamer. Are you still planning to make this trip? Have you found any good planning resources?


We're looking at transiting the canal from the Caribbean side in 2020 and have become intrigued with the idea of taking some time to explore the SOC before continuing West to the Marquesas.



Thanks,
Erin
Hey Eric!

We have actually delayed the trip and it seems like we will do it late 2020 also before we set of to FP!

We will stay in Panama and San Blas until then!!
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