Fresh wastes of Mexican headshell shrimp (Litopenaeus vannamei), blue crab (Callinectes bellicosus), and Mexican brown crab (Callinectes sapidus) exoskeletons were autoclaved, dried, and grounded at a particle size of 150 µm. Macerated samples were diluted to ethyl acetate, acetone, cyclohexane, isopropyl alcohol, hexane, heptane, and a combination of hexane-acetone-ethanol-toluene solvents. High-Performance Liquid Chromatography analysis determined the astaxanthin amount in every organic solvent extract. Acetone was the most efficient solvent: 114 µg/g (L. vannamei), 39 µg/g (C. bellicosus), and 44 µg/g (C. sapidus); the mixture of hexane-acetone-ethanol-toluene resulted a idoneus solvent when was used on crab exoskeletons: 39 µg/g (C. bellicosus) and 51 µg/g (C. sapidus). The astaxanthin characterization was performed without saponification, in L. vannamei chromatograms, the amount of trans astaxanthin was 6.23 µg/g (5.47 % of total area), in C. bellicosus was 26.13 µg/g (67 % of total area) and in C. sapidus was 28.42 µg/g (64.6 % of total area).