Quick Cruising-to-Mexico Guide

BAJA CALIFORNIA — Taking the high seas from Southern California to Mexico is quite the romantic adventure, but are you fully equipped and prepared for what’s ahead? Navigating south of the border is no easy jaunt. It could take several hours before you make it to Ensenada, Mexico’s first port of entry when traveling south. Heading to Los Cabos, La Paz, Loreto or to Mexico’s mainland coast? If so, you expedition down the Pacific Ocean will spill into days.

Here are a few tidbits you should factor into your trip in order to ensure your cruise south of the border is a smooth as possible.

Sail vs. Power

  • The calmer Sea of Cortez is ideal for trailerable boats (and sailboats)
  • Powerboats are ideal for navigation along the Pacific coast
  • Beware of strong winds if you use a sailboat on the ocean side

Necessary Equipment

  • Life Vest
  • Dinghy
  • Anchor
  • GPS
  • VHF Radio
  • Compass
  • Charts
  • Cruising Guide
  • Radar

Other Essentials

  • Food
  • Water
  • Extra Clothing
  • Insurance (Boat and Mexican Liability)
  • Personal Identification/Passport
  • Boat Documents
  • Fishing License
  • Radio License
  • Cash (in case credit cards aren’t accepted)

Port of Entry

  • Present Vessel Documents
  • Present Passport
  • Pay Port Fees
  • Provide crew list
  • Have Forma Migratoria Multiple (FMM) filled out
  • Have Temporary Import Permit (TIP) filled out
  • Don’t forget to go through immigration on your way out of Mexico

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