Cruisers Rally to El Salvador
 March 13 - April 7, 2017
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About the rally

 Answers to questions about the rally.

What are the rally Dates?

The rally events begin every March in Bahia del Sol and runs through April. Dates for 2017 are March 13 to April 7.

 Where is the starting place?

There is no group starting.  This is a destination rally so you start from wherever you are and travel at your own pace.  Most cruisers come from Mexico so you can enjoy late winter cruising down the Mexican gold coast.  A natural fleet forms in Huatulco when groups of boats wait for a weather window to open. We encourage cruisers to  arrive in El Salvador before the opening date so they do not miss any of the events.

 What are the distances and stops?

From La Cruz, Mexico to El Salvador is 1168 miles with plenty of stopping places in between like Chamela, Las Hadas, Zihuatanejo, Acapulco, Huatulco, and Chiapas.  In fact, there are at least a dozen places you can easily stop.  The longest passage for most boats is only two nights (which may be important to dog owners), but some are one night or a long day-sail.

 Are there any restrictions?

There are no size or crew restrictions. However because of the potential dangers of crossing the bar in El Salvador we do not recommend outboard-powered boats.  Additionally, you must use the hotel pilot service for crossing the bar.

 Is there a charge for the pilot service?

The service has been free for almost 10 years however a few years ago the hotel purchases a new pilot boat and engine and implemented a $25 (includes in and out) per boat fee.  The hotel will waive the fee if you spend a week in the marina.

I have a powerboat, can I join?

This is a perfect event for powerboats.  The normally moderate weather makes for comfortable passages.  There are good fuel stops in Ixtapa, Acapulco, and Chiapas.

 

I’m located outside of Mexico can I still join?

Of course.  Most of our website information is directed at cruisers in Mexico but we have had a number of arrivals from other countries.

 

Do I need to do a lot of provisioning?

No.  We think cruisers tend to over provision anyway.  We suggest that you stock up in your last port before Bahia del Sol so you don't have to head to the store right after arriving.  Some things are cheaper in Mexico like tequila, engine oil, and some juices.  Almost everywhere along the route are supermarkets.  For example, Manzanillo, Zihuatanejo, Acapulco, Huatulco, and Chiapas have large supermarkets like Mega or Walmart/Sams’s/Costco’s. We always joke you can sail across the T-pec with a roast chicken and a loaf of bread.

 

What is the normal weather along the Mexican coast?

Boats that begin to travel from La Cruz, Mexico after December normally experience light winds and small to moderate seas especially after passing Zihuatanejo.  From Banderas Bay to Acapulco you will have a small positive current.  Past Acapulco the positive current increases significantly all the way to Huatulco.

 

What about the Tehuantepec?

The Gulf of Tehuantepec is known for its heavy winds, large seas, and strong currents.  It can be very dangerous if you do not pay attention to the weather forecasts.  However, each month during the travel season there are 3 to 4-day weather windows to safely make the 238-mile passage to Chiapas.  The Internet has plenty of weather sites to predict a window.  In past rallies no one has encountered significant weather; in fact almost everyone complains that the weather is too hot!

 

What about crossing the bar in Bahia del Sol?

Over the years hundreds of boats have crossed the bar without a problem.  Throughout the year our expert and experienced bar pilot will come out and guide you safely over the bar.  Everyone says it is one of the best times they have ever had.  That being said no bar crossing should be taken lightly but we have  had only one serious mishap since the inception of the rally.  (see the crossing the bar page)

 

How much is the entry fee and what do I get for it?

The entry fee is $76 USD.  Upon your arrival at Bahia del Sol you get all sorts of things like a rally logo welcome bag with rally shirts, courtesy flag, hats, a Burgee, discount coupons, a full-color Bahia cruising guide, and other goodies provided by our sponsors. You receive the welcome bag at the opening day party plus you get free entry for you and your crew (up to 4 people total) to the all-inclusive opening and closing day parties.   

You receive a slip discount at Marina Riviera Nayarit  from November thru January AND slip discounts in the new Marina Chiapas AND slip discounts in Marina Papagayo, CR AND touring discounts in Chiapas and El Salvador. Speak directly to the marina for any restrictions. Entry fees are not refundable. 

 

How and when do I join?

Entries for the 2017 are open November 28,2016.   You can join and pay online Due to the vagaries of cruising we recognize that some exceptions may be necessary.  Please contact us and we will seriously consider all requests.

 

Where do I find more information?

Our website has many pages of information about traveling to and around Central America.  We are also on Face Book "Annual Salvador Rally" and "Cruisers Rally to El Salvador".  If you have a specific question or concern please email us at Elsalvadorrally@aol.com  or download the new Bahia crusing guide.  The link is on the home page


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Spending Time in El Salvador















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