Sailing Adventures on the Sea of Cortez

Why the Sea of Cortez? Stunning scenery, a good sailing breeze, warm water, uncrowded anchorages, abundant wildlife, and so much more.

It’s safe, and easy to get to - just a 2.5 hour flight from Los Angeles to Cabo San Lucas, and an easy shuttle to La Paz. This has become our favorite place to cruise under sail, and you are going to love it too.

  • Every Sailing Adventure departs from and returns to the CostaBaja Marina in La Paz, Baja California Sur, Mexico.

  • The season runs from Novermber to May, and we usually have a trip running each month. Water temps range from 69-72 degrees F, and the snorkeling is excellent.

  • The vessels we sail on include Catamarans in the 40-45 foot range, and Beneteau and Jeanneau monohulls in the 40-45 foot range.

  • For more on what’s so great about this area, see our blog, Why the Sea of Cortez?

We have two different ways to go, depending on your objectives: the Slow Cruise, and the Bareboat/SLC certification cruise. See the details below.

Here’s what former students are saying about sailing in the Sea of Cortez with Santana Sailing:

I have been on several sailing vacations with Santana Sailing. Have done Santa Cruz Island, Catalina, Sea of Cortez and Spanish Virgin Islands. The sailing adventures are great fun! You can work as much as you want on the sailboat, or just kick back and enjoy the beautiful scenery! Capt. Marc is a knowledgeable and thorough certified sailing instructor as well as being familiar with the areas he charters to, ensuring a positive, safe, and fun experience. I highly recommend sailing with Santana Sailing. The trips tend to fill up fast, so it is good to book in advance!
— Beth O., February 2017
I had a great time sailing the Sea of Cortez in December 2016. Marc is an excellent Captain and had lots of great things planned, as well as, went with the flow of the group. I highly recommend traveling with Marc. Even if its your first time sailing, its a great way to “get your feet wet”. PS-Single ladies- I met my boyfriend on one of Marc’s boat adventures. :)
— Maria M., March 2017

Sea of Cortez Slow Cruise

Chrissie and I recently spent a week on The Sea by ourselves, going slow and really exploring in the same cruising grounds where we do our sail training trips. It was such an amazing experience, I knew we had to share it.

Here’s what Slow Cruising is all about. Enjoying the cruising life. Slowing down. Snorkeling and really exploring without a time table. Trying to figure out the name of that starfish with 12 legs, or was it 13? Kayaking quietly among crabs, long-legged birds, and spotting Frigates and Blue Footed Boobies. Taking pictures. Sailing, navigating and anchoring. Exploring ashore where few people go. Learning to recognize the stingray just under the sand. Dinghy trips and cultural exchanges with local fisherman. Finding and exploring the sea caves. Marveling at weathered rock formations with crazy faces in them. Enjoying the solitude. Some more sailing, navigating and anchoring. Watching Mobula Rays leap from the water at sundown. Deciding whether to take another swim, go for a sail, have a Margarita, try the fresh made ceviche, or just relax and read another chapter.

Check out this video made by Wes Smith, who was on our November, 2018 trip.

 
 

This could be just the right trip for you.

  • Are you exploring the world of sailing and want to see if it’s for you?

  • Are you an experienced sailor or Santana Sailing Alum looking for a low key introduction to the Sea of Cortez?

Aspiring sailors will see the possibilities of learning to cruise on their own, and experienced hands will get a look at the very best these cruising grounds have to offer. While the focus is on fun and exploration, contact us for information about Sailing Skill Endorsements available for these cruises. Be ready as an active participant in running the boat, tidying up, and operating safely.

— Scroll down to see Who This Trip is Designed For, Prerequisites, and how to Apply for This Trip

 
Laguna Salinita anchorage

Laguna Salinita anchorage

 
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2019 DATES

November 16 - 23, Catamaran

December 7 - 14, Catamaran

2020 DATES

January 4 - 11, Catamaran

February 8 - 15, Catamaran

March 7 - 14, Catamaran

April 11 - 18, Catamaran

May 23 - 30, Catamaran

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Wanta monohull instead? Interested in other dates? Want to take the boat over with all your sailing friends? Interested in a flotilla for the same dates? Please Contact Us.

Slow Cruise Package Pricing - Catamaran

Single Occupancy Private Cabin - $3795
Two Sharing a Cabin - $2495 per person
5% Loyalty discount for Santana Sailing School grads and past cruise participants
Please see our Payment Options, and read and acknowledge our Cancellation Policy.

What’s Included

  • Your single private or shared cabin on a Lagoon 421 or 440 catamaran or similar vessel

  • Professional USCG Licensed captain, and first mate

  • 2 Kayaks, dinghy and outboard, fuel, port fees and permits, everything having to do with the boat

  • Bedding, towels, and snorkeling gear

  • All provisions except alcohol

  • Boat will be loaded and ready to go when you arrive

What’s Not Included

  • Airfare and transportation to and from the marina

  • Hotel stays and meals ashore before or after the cruise, and alcohol

Travel Planning, Dates, Times, Deposit

  • Generally, a flight to Cabo San Lucas (SJD) is easier than attempting to fly to La Paz (which usually involves connecting thru Mexico City).

  • EcoBaja Tours provides low cost comfortable shuttle round trip to and from the Cabo airport and La Paz - see the Travel Details page.

  • The CostaBaja Resort and the Hyatt are two very nice hotels right at the Marina.

  • The trip begins with boarding the boat at CostaBaja Marina, beginning 5 PM the first day, usually a Saturday; enjoy a welcome with no-host sundown cocktails at the Beach Club across from the boat, and a get-acquainted dinner together in the harbor; spend the first night on the boat in the harbor.

  • We depart the Marina by 10:00 AM Sunday, spend 6 days cruising the islands, and return to the Marina by about 4 PM on Friday. Off the boat by 10 AM Saturday.

  • See the Travel Details page for complete information.

  • Deposit is 60% at the time of booking, balance due 60 day prior. Please see Payment Options, and read and agree to the Cancellation Policy.

Resources

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DESIGNED FOR:

This one week trip is especially well suited for sailors, both aspiring and experienced, who want to explore new cruising areas and linger a bit. You’ll naturally build confidence in your sailing, anchoring, & maneuvering skills. This is a low stress, easy going week on a Catamaran.

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PREREQUISITES:

While cruising and sailing experience is not a requirement, you must be ready to participate in life on board a sailing catamaran. You’ll refill your own drinks, help out with vessel operation and keeping the boat and your cabin ship-shape. Be ready to learn all you can and participate fully. If you have sailing skills, we would love for you to use them. Participants should be in good physical condition.

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APPLY FOR THIS TRIP:

To apply for participation on this trip please fill out the ONLINE APPLICATION FORM. Once your application is reviewed we will contact you for the next steps.


I met Marc Hughston via my sailing school in Orange County.

I have sailed three Santana Charters with Marc and will sail again April 2017, from La Paz, BCS, with many more excursions planned.

Marc’s sailing skills and knowledge are excellent, as is his ability to teach those skills to a novice.

His patience with students or malfunctioning equipment is remarkable and he handles the unexpected in stride. Safety is of paramount importance with Marc. I know I could trust him with my life at sea.

He excels at meal planning and preparation and his trip planning for things to do while sailing, on-shore excursions, or sundowner activities are things I’ve added to my own sail planning.

In short, whether one is new to sailing or experienced, I believe my time and money spent with Santana Sailing has made me a better sailor. Marc can also make it just a fun time if that’s what one wants.
— Jeff G., February 2017

INTERNATIONAL SAILING LICENSE SLC &
BAREBOAT CHARTER MASTER CERTIFICATION

If you are planning on cruising in Europe or the Mediterranean, you need an international sailing license to charter. I would bet that you’ve been thinking about it. The good news is, getting your practical assessment for the SLC and BBCM on the Sea of Cortez is the most fun and interesting way you could choose to get it done.

These are some of the most stunning cruising grounds in north America. And, it’s a little more challenging on the Sea of Cortez - once away from the marina there are no moorings, no grocery stores or beach bars, and no boat boys looking to sell you stuff. No crowds either. And you know what? That’s just a part of the beauty. Take a look at this video from PostandFly to get a taste of what this area has to offer: Sea of Cortez from Above

We depart from the beautiful CostaBaja Marina in La Paz and explore the Parque Nacional islands of Espirtu Santo, Isla Partida, Los Islotes and Isla San Francisco, and sometimes stop in at the mangrove lagoon on Isla San Jose. Sailing Skill Endorsements will also be awarded to successful grads including Heavy Weather Experience (depending on conditions), Anchoring, Maneuvering Under Power, and Crew Overboard Rescue. Each day includes time for snorkeling, kayaking and exploring ashore. Students provision the boat with guidance from the instructor.

Windy day on the Catamaran

Windward beat up the San Jose Channel

CostaBaja Marina

2019 DATES:

November 16-23 Catamaran

December 7 - 14, Monohull

2020 DATES

January 11-18, Catamaran

February 15 - 22, Monohull

March 14 - 21, Catamaran

April 18-25, Monohull

May 16 - 23, Catamaran

Provisioning…

Amazing sunsets, good dinner, good company, good sailing, hmmm….can we stay for a while?

SLC and Bareboat Charter Master Certification
Cruise Package Pricing

Monohull

  • Single Occupancy Private Cabin - $2995

  • Two Sharing a Cabin - $2395 per person

  • 5% Loyalty discount for Santana Sailing School grads and past cruise participants

  • Deposit is 60% at the time of booking, balance due 60 day prior. Please see Payment Options, and read and agree to the Cancellation Policy.

Catamaran

  • Single Occupancy Private Cabin - $3995

  • Two Sharing a Cabin - $3195 per person

  • 5% Loyalty discount for Santana Sailing School grads and past cruise participants

  • Deposit is 60% at the time of booking, balance due 60 day prior. Please see Payment Options, and read and agree to the Cancellation Policy.

What’s Included

  • Your single private or shared cabin on a cruising catamaran or monohull

  • Professional USCG Licensed captain as your instructor

  • Kayak, dinghy and outboard, fuel, port fees and permits, everything having to do with the boat

  • Bedding, towels, and snorkeling gear

What’s Not Included

  • Airfare and transportation to and from the marina

  • Hotel stays and meals ashore before or after the cruise, and alcohol

  • Meal planning and provisioning - a shared expense, completed by crew as part of the practical assessment

  • NauticEd Bareboat Charter Master Bundle of courses, chart, and nav tools are sold separately.

Travel Planning, Dates, Times, Deposit

  • Generally, a flight to Cabo San Lucas (SJD) is easier than attempting to fly to La Paz (which usually involves connecting thru Mexico City).

  • EcoBaja Tours provides low cost comfortable shuttle round trip to and from the Cabo airport and La Paz - see the Travel Details page.

  • The CostaBaja Resort and the Hyatt are two very nice hotels right at the Marina.

  • The trip begins with boarding the boat at CostaBaja Marina, beginning 5 PM the first day, usually a Saturday; enjoy a welcome with no-host sundown cocktails at the Beach Club across from the boat, and a get-acquainted dinner together in the harbor; spend the first night on the boat in the harbor.

  • We depart the Marina by 10:00 AM Sunday, spend 6 days cruising the islands, and return to the Marina by about 4 PM on Friday. Off the boat by 10 AM Saturday.

  • See the Travel Details page for complete information.

  • Deposit is 60% at the time of booking, balance due 60 day prior. Please see Payment Options, and read and agree to the Cancellation Policy.

Amazing sunsets at Isla San Francisco

Amazing sunsets at Isla San Francisco

DESIGNED FOR:

Intermediate to advanced sailors who want to train and test through the Practical Competency Verification for the Bareboat Charter Master Rank and/or the SLC™

The Hook anchorage

The Hook anchorage

PREREQUISITES:

NauticEd Skipper rank, ASA 103, US Sailing Basic Cruising Cert, or equivalent experience. Participants should be in good physical condition. Not ready for this step? Take one of our SLOW Cruises to check things out and build confidence.

The fishing village on Isla Coyote

The fishing village on Isla Coyote

APPLY FOR THIS TRIP:

To apply for participation on this trip please fill out the ONLINE APPLICATION FORM. Once your application is reviewed we will contact you for the next steps.