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Old 11-27-2020, 02:21 PM   #1
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Traveling to Mexico

We are planning to cruise from Mobile AL following the ICW to Texas and into Mexico. We are looking for fellow cruisers that have spent time in Mexico and what are some good Marinas and what about Customs?
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Old 11-27-2020, 03:46 PM   #2
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The Port Isabel/S Padre Island area is about as far as you can go and stay inside a canal. After that you have to go outside in the gulf further down into Mexico. Tampico is about 250 NM south and is not particularly pretty. It is a very long way to the Cozumel/Cancun area, all offshore.

All Mexican ports require visitors to clear in and out and it often takes extra $.

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Old 11-27-2020, 03:51 PM   #3
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How far into Mexico are you thinking? Why? What is it you think you'll see or do? I do have some notes I can pull up but most cruisers do not cruise the area from the border to Cancun. While there is some unspoiled beauty and there are some interesting small fishing villages, there are not many amenities nor marinas and finding supplies and fuel can be challenging.
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Old 11-27-2020, 04:53 PM   #4
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Isla Mujeres is really the only game
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Old 11-27-2020, 06:58 PM   #5
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Isla Mujeres is really the only game
Which he is further from in Brownsville than when he started his trip.
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Old 11-27-2020, 07:31 PM   #6
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Preparation, preparation, preparation!
Do research prior to departing. Make sure you have all the necessary paperwork. You will probably need originals, not duplicates.
We purchased our Grand Banks in 2017 in San Francisco. We had an export addendum to our sale and brought the boat down to Ensenada Mexico for transport to Florida.

When you arrive in Mexico the first thing you’re going to do at the marina is fill out paperwork which will be submitted to the Captain of the Port. It’s very important that you get all this paperwork correctly done and know about it ahead of time. We were not so fortunate.

This first stop you will be applying for a TIP, temporary import permit. The permit is valid for 10 years. If there is a permit already issued for your boat within the past 10 years it is still on file with Mexico. This could be a major problem for you. I learned from this experience that nothing in Mexico is done ASAP. i’ve learned that mañana, tomorrow only means “not today“.
It took us six days to get this cleared up. Very stressful.
Had I known ahead of time I could have had the PO submit a cancellation of his TIP. Pic’s attached.
Do your homework. Have a great trip!
Attached Thumbnails
A40221E3-8A2E-4D5A-B021-FD8219E3FECD.jpg   52384FC6-6CB3-433B-961F-54B654549730.jpg   A8AEB689-65EF-42A4-9F48-F13BC4EAA0A7.jpg   1DA4DDFA-E3B4-4015-BEAF-3405DC8CA59E.jpg  
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Old 11-27-2020, 08:03 PM   #7
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There are some some small commercial marinas along the coast west and south of Brownsville, but not much. This is not cruiser country - chance of finding a buddy boat is pretty slim.

Its about 500 nms across the gulf to Progresso, a small beach town north of Merida, though I am not sure you can clear into Mexico there. Noonsite would be a good source. Reportedly, May is a good time of year to transit, though hurricane season is around the corner.

Welcome aboard and good luck.

Peter
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Old 11-27-2020, 09:40 PM   #8
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Notes made in 2015 so may be outdated. From Brownsville to Cancun. As you follow the coast, Active Captain has very little information, simply because few do it. However, there are boats all along the way, so obviously there is fuel as well. I’m listing just the obvious ports with marinas and there may be more. In some places the marina is just a commercial terminal. In others just a couple of docks. Also note that the mileage is based on running considerably offshore so the overall mileage if one doesn’t stop at all these places is much less than the total of all the legs.


Tampico
a. Heavy Shipping, Many docks
b. 265 nm from South Padre. There are a couple of inlets between that could be entered. Arranging your customs entry would be the most complicated matter. I know there’s an entry point in Altamira which is near Tampico and think they would probably come to the boat there. There is also one in Veracruz

Veracruz, Club de Yates de Veracruz
a. Even a yacht club here.
b. 220 nm from Tampico

Alvarado
a. There is a big lagoon with a freight terminal.
b. 40 nm from Veracruz

Coatzacoalcos
a. Built up along water
b. 100 nm from Alvarado

Cd del Carmen, La Marina de Chino Pochote, DP Marine Service, Exincomer, Lugolfo, Marina Bucanero
a. There are several different inlets to Cd del Carmen. This would be one of the better stops.
b. 176 nm from Coatzacolcos

Puerto de Seybaplaya
a. Small dock but actually a real town here close to the dock.
b. There are docks next at Champoton, about 50 nm.
c. 100 nm. from Cd del Carmen

Puerto Campiche
a. This iaretwo docks, one is a straight finger and the other accommodates over 60 boats.
b. Also there is another dock about two miles west in Lerma.
c. 20 nm from Puerto de Seybaplaya

Puerto de Arribo,
a. Commercial dock on the gulf.
b. 5 nm from Puerto Campiche

Celestun
a. I can’t identify a marina here but there are lots of boats that must get fuel from somewhere. There is a captain of the port, part of the Secretary of Transportation’s function and I’d try to find out more through them if I was going to need fuel. Many of these places I’ve mentioned have port captains.
b. 107 nm from Puerto Arribo

Progreso, Mexico, Marina Paraiso
a. There are quite a few “shore excursions” in Progreso, primarily to Mayan Ruins
c. 90 nm from Celestun

Isla Mujeres, Marina Puerto Isla Mujeres
a. There are four marinas lined up and I don’t think really one is better than the others. For us Isla Mujeres was a place to just enjoy one day exploring, but not more.
c. 240 nm from Progreso
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Old 11-28-2020, 06:15 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BandB View Post
Notes made in 2015 so may be outdated. From Brownsville to Cancun. As you follow the coast, Active Captain has very little information, simply because few do it. However, there are boats all along the way, so obviously there is fuel as well. I’m listing just the obvious ports with marinas and there may be more. In some places the marina is just a commercial terminal. In others just a couple of docks. Also note that the mileage is based on running considerably offshore so the overall mileage if one doesn’t stop at all these places is much less than the total of all the legs.


Tampico
a.Heavy Shipping, Many docks
b.265 nm from South Padre. There are a couple of inlets between that could be entered. Arranging your customs entry would be the most complicated matter. I know there’s an entry point in Altamira which is near Tampico and think they would probably come to the boat there. There is also one in Veracruz

Veracruz, Club de Yates de Veracruz
a.Even a yacht club here.
b.220 nm from Tampico

Alvarado
a.There is a big lagoon with a freight terminal.
b.40 nm from Veracruz

Coatzacoalcos
a.Built up along water
b.100 nm from Alvarado

Cd del Carmen, La Marina de Chino Pochote, DP Marine Service, Exincomer, Lugolfo, Marina Bucanero
a.There are several different inlets to Cd del Carmen. This would be one of the better stops.
b.176 nm from Coatzacolcos

Puerto de Seybaplaya
a.Small dock but actually a real town here close to the dock.
b.There are docks next at Champoton, about 50 nm.
c.100 nm. from Cd del Carmen

Puerto Campiche
a.This iaretwo docks, one is a straight finger and the other accommodates over 60 boats.
b.Also there is another dock about two miles west in Lerma.
c.20 nm from Puerto de Seybaplaya

Puerto de Arribo,
a.Commercial dock on the gulf.
b.5 nm from Puerto Campiche

Celestun
a.I can’t identify a marina here but there are lots of boats that must get fuel from somewhere. There is a captain of the port, part of the Secretary of Transportation’s function and I’d try to find out more through them if I was going to need fuel. Many of these places I’ve mentioned have port captains.
b.107 nm from Puerto Arribo

Progreso, Mexico, Marina Paraiso
a.There are quite a few “shore excursions” in Progreso, primarily to Mayan Ruins
c.90 nm from Celestun

Isla Mujeres, Marina Puerto Isla Mujeres
a.There are four marinas lined up and I don’t think really one is better than the others. For us Isla Mujeres was a place to just enjoy one day exploring, but not more.
c. 240 nm from Progreso
BandB - this is a good write up. I've seen this topic come up a couple times on forums. This is the first decent response I've seen. I assumed there was little besides work boats to service whatever oil rigs may be in GoM.

Thanks.

Peter
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Old 11-28-2020, 12:22 PM   #10
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We appreciate all the responses and these helped us to decide Mexico is not a option.
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Old 11-28-2020, 05:51 PM   #11
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Originally Posted by mkyles2408 View Post
We appreciate all the responses and these helped us to decide Mexico is not a option.
I wouldn't say not an option but likely not where you'd like to go right now. It's nothing like the area in Texas you'd be leaving. Most bypass that area taking the route from Key West to Isla Mujeres or to Cancun which is less than 350 nm.
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Old 11-28-2020, 06:44 PM   #12
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In my biased opinion, having lived and fished and to some degree cruised the entire Texas coast, there is not much to recommend heading west, then south from Port Aransas. And very little east of Rockport to Galveston. Lacking in natural beauty nor civilized points of interest. Also being fairly familiar with the east coast of Mexico (I ran retail stores in Texas and Mexico as part of my portfolio), no cruising destinations I can think of. We really like exploring the roads less traveled, but in this case, there is often a reason as to why they are not. So if Mexico is your destination, take a cross gulf route to the Yucatan Peninsula and carry from there, which is mostly terrific cruising.
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Old 11-28-2020, 08:46 PM   #13
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Was raised down there. Not really cruising territory. Great fishing, but long distances between ports. After Corpus no real marinas.

As a note, no good place to hide during hurricane season.
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