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Sea of Cortez

An online cruising guide for yachts sailing in the Sea of Cortez.

Sea of Cortez

The Gulf of California (also known as the Sea of Cortez or Sea of Cortés; locally known in the Spanish language as Mar de Cortés or Mar Bermejo or Golfo de California) is a body of water that separates the Baja California Peninsula from the Mexican mainland. It is bordered by the states of Baja California, Baja California Sur, Sonora, and Sinaloa. The name "Gulf of California" predominates on most maps in English today. The name "Sea of Cortés" is the one preferred by most local residents. The Gulf is believed by many to have opened up 5.3 million years ago, redirecting the flow of the Colorado River. Other rivers which also flow into the Gulf of California include the Fuerte, Mayo, Sinaloa, Sonora, and the Yaqui. Its surface area is about 160,000 km² (62,000 square miles).


The Mexican charts are notoriously poor for much of the Baja coast of the Sea of Cortez. Often islets and rocks are charted where none exist, while existing islets, reefs and outling rocks awash are often not charted. For much of the Baja coast of the Sea, the charts have a wandering horizontal datum, often representing features up to two miles from their actual geographic positions.

A much safer resource for navigation closer than two miles from land is 'Sea of Cortez - A Cruiser's Guidebook' by Shawn Breeding and Heather Bansmer.


Also see World Cruiser's Nets

See Mexico

Climate and Weather

Climate & general weather conditions?

Sources for Weather forecasts:

Popular Routes/passages

Popular routes/passages, timing, etc.



Check-in facilities

See each "Port of Entry".

Customs & Immigration

See Mexico

Ports and Popular Stops

Marinas & Yacht Clubs

See each Port/Stop Submit Marina details.


List details of all safe anchorages in the area.

Offshore Islands

List Islands

Health & Security


Tourism & things to do ashore

See each Port/Stop

Marine stores

See each Port/Stop



Contact details of "Cruiser's Friends" that can be contacted for local information or assistance.


List links to discussion threads on partnering forums. (see link for requirements)


Links to relevant websites.


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