The harnessing of renewable sources of marine energy has become a promising solution for a number of problems, namely satisfying the increasing demand for electricity, the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions, and the provision of energy to regions unconnected to a national grid. Tropical countries have an interesting dichotomy: Despite their varied potential sources of marine energy, their environmental and social conditions impose severe constraints on the development of a renewable energy industry. Moreover, the exploitation of these opportunities is limited by national economies’ reliance on fossil fuels, political and social restraints, and technological immaturity. The present work addresses challenges and opportunities common to wave energy implementation in tropical nations, as a first approach to a regional diagnosis. The motivation for this work is to encourage research on wave energy policies in the Tropics. Technical, environmental, and social challenges to be overcome in wave energy projects are discussed. The technical challenges are grouped into development, deployment, and operation stages of wave energy converters; environmental challenges are divided into biodiversity, cumulative effects, and monitoring aspects, whilst social issues include population growth and energy access matters. The Mexican strategy for developing sustainable technology throughout the wave energy production chain is also presented.