Sailing and Boating Near Cancun

There are a number of options for those seeking the seas around Cancun

Photo credit: © CaptPiper

Some come for the parties, some for the nature, and some for the history. Still, for some the real draw of Cancun is the waters around it. Whether sailors simply see the sea as a route or as Cancun's ultimate attraction, it is a popular gathering point for yachts and sail boats from around the region and the world. Explore offshore Cancun with the many sailing opportunities.

Boat Trips and Day Sailing

Waterski boats, family cruisers, runabouts, and cruisers are the four main types of boats typically available for day rentals. Vacationers who want to spend some time sailing – but not he bulk of their time – can rent one of these boats for several hours. Day rentals are ideal for sea tours, water sports, and fishing trips.

If you're simply wanting to experience some time on the open water, without the complications and cost associated with renting a boat you should take a day sailing excursion. Take a look at the listing that follows to get names and phone numbers for area excursion providers.

Boat Excursions
Name Location
Contoy Express Tour 2.0 mi. (3.2 km) Northwest of Isla Mujeres Isla Mujeres
Snorkel Tour Cooperative Morelos Puerto Morelos Mexico

Boat Rentals and Charters

Crewed charter yachts come with a skipper and full crew, including a cook. You will decide on the itinerary, but if weather or any other obstacle threatens this schedule, the captain may alter your course for safety. Captains know the region well, so they may be able to offer great alternatives when necessary. They can also help you plan the perfect itinerary when the weather provides the sunny days for which the Caribbean is known.

If you're traveling with a large group of experienced sailors, you may consider planning a flotilla sailing trip. In flotilla sailing, three or more boats sail together to the same destination. Someone knowledgeable in leading a flotilla and in the area is hired to captain the lead boat, while people from your party skipper the others.


Sailors also have the option of choosing what type of boat they will sail. Yachts and catamarans are the most popular choices.

A yacht is a single hull luxury craft that ranges between 20 and several hundreds of feet long. Various sizes and styles of yachts have different names, including dingies, which are small yachts suitable for day trips; pocket yachts, mid-sized boats that work on weekend trips; and cruisers, or large yachts that can withstand days long trips.

Catamarans have two hulls, and one mast will fly one or two sails depending upon the size of the vessel. Catamarans tend to go fast and are easy to maneuver; they also provide high stability, and have the ability to remain afloat when flooded. The added size of a catamaran means more comfort for passengers.

On most charters you may choose between paying an additional fee to have the charter company provide the food or buying it yourself before you set sail. While buying the food yourself can save money, it presents some challenges. Bringing food into the Caribbean through customs can be time consuming, and buying food can be difficult, especially if you are not departing from a major port. Whatever you decide, remember that fresh fruit and vegetables must be purchased locally. Also remember that you will be responsible for feeding everyone on board, including the skipper and/or crew.


With a long coast and east access from several countries in the region, Cancun is a popular sailing destination for those seeking the eclectic attractions and cultures. If you decide to sail, you will be greeted with over a dozen marinas ready to service your vessel. Just remember that sailing requires a time commitment – and even though you might be sailing yourself, the extra supplies needed for such a trip could quickly raise the price of the voyage. Still, it is clear to see that the intrigue of sailing to Cancun draws many travelers in.

Contemplating sailing to Cancun in your own vessel, or one you charter? See the chart that follows to find basic information for area marinas.

Name Phone Location
Aqua Fun Marina -- 8.2 mi. (13.2 km) Southeast of Cancun Mexico
Aquatours Docks -- Boulevard Kukulcan at Km 6.5 - 6.0 mi. (9.7 km) East-Southeast of Cancun Mexico
Aquaworld Marina (998) 848-8300 7.9 mi. (12.7 km) Southeast of Cancun Mexico
Barracuda Marina -- 7.6 mi. (12.3 km) Southeast of Cancun Mexico
Blue Ray Marina -- 7.6 mi. (12.2 km) Southeast of Cancun Mexico
Boca Iglesia Cooperative Dock -- 0.9 mi. (1.5 km) Northwest of Isla Mujeres Isla Mujeres
Chac -Chi Marina -- 4.3 mi. (6.8 km) East of Cancun Mexico
Del Rey Marina -- 8.0 mi. (12.9 km) Southeast of Cancun Mexico
El Manglar Marina (998) 881-6000 M-40 Lote 7 y 7A - 9.4 mi. (15.1 km) Southeast of Cancun Mexico
El Milagro Marina (805) 698-8165 Colonias Isla Mujeres
Embarcadero Romeo -- 0.7 mi. (1.2 km) Northwest of Isla Mujeres Isla Mujeres
Lagoon View Marina -- 7.5 mi. (12.1 km) Southeast of Cancun Mexico
Marina Paraiso -- 0.9 mi. (1.4 km) Northwest of Isla Mujeres Isla Mujeres
Ocean Marina -- 7.4 mi. (12.0 km) Southeast of Cancun Mexico
Patria & Progreso Coop Dock -- 0.7 mi. (1.1 km) Northwest of Isla Mujeres Isla Mujeres
Punta Del Este (998) 168-8495 7.3 mi. (11.8 km) East-Southeast of Cancun Mexico
Royal Marina (For Guests Of Royal Resorts) -- 8.2 mi. (13.2 km) Southeast of Cancun Mexico
San Marino -- 4.5 mi. (7.2 km) East of Cancun Mexico
Sunrise Marina -- 7.8 mi. (12.5 km) Southeast of Cancun Mexico
Yachts E -- 7.4 mi. (12.0 km) Southeast of Cancun Mexico

You will need the following documentation if you hope to pass Mexican Customs and dock near Cancun:

  • The original (and 10 or more first copies) of your boat's documents as mentioned previously.
  • A valid passport for each person onboard. Be sure the passports will not expire soon.
  • A tourist card for everyone onboard.
  • An up-to-date crew list.
  • Pesca fishing papers, including boat permits and individual fishing licenses. These are required for everyone onboard, whether you have fishing gear and plan to fish or not. Mexican officials charge no fees for boats or trailers left in Mexico for up to 20 years. Travelers may enter and leave without their boat. Once you have passed through all of these formalities, you may also stop in at local ports at Isla Mujeres, Chetumal, and Puerto Morelos.

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