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Mexico Boating Guide

– 3rd edition

Mexico Boating Guide [updated July ] This trusted cruising guide covers in great detail both coasts of Baja, the entire Sea of Cortez and all mainland Pacific Mexico to the Guatemala border. Written by active cruisers & professional mariners for recreational boaters: 398 pages, 450 photos, 300 GPS-accurate charts, concise text covers safe approaches & anchorages, what’s ashore. This guide runs mile by mile, no gaps, no fluff. Includes 2018 Paperwork websites, handy Resource Directoryto contact all the marinas, boat yards, fuel docks. GPS Waypoints List, full index. This is the original “cruisers’ bible” endorsed by Latitude 38 and Cruising World, 5-star rated by PassageMaker. $69.95

$69.95 (+ S & H, Tax in CA)

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Capt. Pat RainsCapt. Patricia Miller Rains
(U.S. Coast Guard 100 Ton Master) cruised her 28-foot trimaran and a 44-foot Peterson around the Sea of Cortez for 5 years while working as a freelance writer and photographer, later as a yacht-delivery skipper.

Capt. Jim ElfersCapt. Jim Elfers
Author of “The Baja Bash II” Capt. Jim has skippered or crewed on everything from Tall Ships to racing multihulls, engine-less sailboats to mega sportfishers.

Reanne Hemingway Douglass
Author of “Baja California Map” – Reanne is a plucky sailor and adventurous spirit in all she does. Besides this Baja Map, mariners should know her from her autobiographical classic, “Cape Horn: One Man’s Dream, One Woman’s Nightmare

Kathy ParsonsKathy Parsons
author of “Spanish for Cruisers” newest edition. Kathy has been a sailor, teacher, corporate trainer and served with the Peace Corp in Nicaragua.


Visit Our Sponsors + Friends

Marina Coral & HotelEnsenada, Baja Norte, Mexico

Servicios Navales e Indurstriales,  Mazatlan, Sinaloa, Mexico

Baja Naval,  Ensenada, Baja California, Mexico

Ensenada Cruiseport Village Marina, Ensenada, Baja California, Mexico

Marina Costabaja,  La Paz, Baja California Sur, Mexico

La Amada Marina, Cancun, Quintana Roo, Mexico

Marina El Cid, Puerto Morelos, Quintana Roo, Mexico

Barefoot Cay Marina, French Harbour, Roatan Island, Honduras

Careening Cay Marina, Bocas del Toro, Panama

Red Frog Beach Marina, Bocas del Toro, Isla Bastimentos, Panama

Shelter Bay Marina, Colon, Panama

Ship’s Agent Sermar Maritime Agency, Puntarenas, Costa Rica

Marina Bahia del Sol, Jaltepeque, El Salvador

Barillas Marina Club, Jiquilisco, El Salvador

Marina Puesta del Sol, Asseradores, Nicaragua

Marina Papagayo, Bahia Culebra, Costa Rica

Marina Bahia Azul, Puntarenas, Costa Rica

Costa Rica Yacht Club, Puntarenas, Costa Rica

Los Sueños Marina, Herradura, Costa Rica

Marina Pez Vela, Quepos, Costa Rica

Banana Bay Marina, Golfito, Costa Rica

Marina Fuerte Amador (Flamingo Yacht Club), Balboa, Panama

Balboa Yacht Club, Balboa, Panama


Not Ready to Unplug Permanently?  Go “Commuter Cruising” Instead

– by Capt. Pat Rains

Reasonably sane people do take their well found yachts and go long-distance cruising to exotic lands:  this crazy  idea sprouted in the 1940s, but really bloomed in the 1950s thanks to inspiring tales of the sea-faring live written by the Hiscocks, the Wests, the Pardeys, Hal Roth and Jimmy Cornell.

In those early days, you had to be incredibly wealthy in order to build or buy and maintain an ocean-cruising yacht, or – like most Americans – you had to sell your home, business and everything else you owned. You had to quit your job or close down your business, which severely limited your flow of funds from then on. You had to provision the boat for years of Spartan living off inhospitable shores. Departure day meant severing communications with family and friends. Life-altering commitments like that discouraged all but the most smitten cases of wanderlust.


Mexico updated its customs laws in 2003 with the Temporary Import Permit, which lets each U.S. cruising yacht explore the country for up to 10 years.  Now El Salvador, Costa Rica and Panama are rewriting their nautical tourism laws to mirror Mexico’s. Yacht owners (yatistas) can travel back and forth whenever they need, and – most importantly – can legally leave their boats berthed in Mexican marinas even though they themselves temporarily exit the country. Since those tourism floodgates opened, scores of long-awaited marinas and boatyards were built or renovated, and those increased yachting services in turn have enabled “commuter cruising” to flourish throughout Mexico.

At the same time, with our stateside 401Ks shriveling, most gringos would like to keep generating as much income as possible, whether we’re retired or not. Read More…

Upper Sea of Cortez Hide Outs

– by Capt. Pat Rains My 4 Favorite Hide Outs in the Upper Sea of Cortez Summertime, and the living is easy. But it’s mid July, so recreational boaters who are in the Sea of Cortez right now should have solid plans about where they’ll spend the peak months of this hurricane season (August, September,…

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