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 Golfito - Update History

Update History

September 2016: Useful overall updates and info. added by SY Sirena.
August 2016: Security warning updated following theft report anchored off Banana Bay Marina by SY Sirena.
April 2014: New clearance info. from Yahoo The Southbound Gp.
March 2013: Clearance, Security & Docking information from Dave Wyness of SY Cypraea.
December 2012: Clearance and Docking updates from Jan Klintegaard of s/y Anaconda.

Noonsite welcomes information from cruisers visiting this port.
E-mail noonsite with new information, updates and/or confirmation that the current information is accurate.

Sue Richards
Sue Richards says:
Nov 30, 2016 04:28 PM

Message from Chris Tucciarone, SY Mr. Golfito:
The problem with tenders seems to be a few isolated incidents and happened while boats were anchored out in the bay. I suggest that you anchor on a buoy or dock at one of the marinas.

SailingSirena
SailingSirena says:
Sep 06, 2016 05:47 PM

Banana Bay, Land and Sea, and Fish Hook are all clustered together and all were helpful and friendly. We anchored out and negotiated a price with Fish Hook for a week while traveling inland. They have very helpful staff and the dock is monitored. Land and Sea owners have great local knowledge and are willing to assist with whatever you need. They hosted a pot luck dinner for all the cruisers while we were there. If you have cats you will want to anchor out or get a mooring bouy because they have a pack of guard dogs.

The bay is very calm but has heavy tidal flow with lots of debris, including trees in water, especially during rainy season. Theft is a problem here, both on the water and on land so be aware and keep to marina areas by night and travel in groups. Reports of local home invasions had us locking up at night. Locals are not as friendly as in the tourist towns and drugs are a problem.

Golfito Marina Village has yet to be completed as of September 2016 and looks to be a long way from opening. Not much in the way of facilities here except a good wood working shop and metal shop. Marina store is nearly empty. Diesel oil prices are very expensive ($34USD/gal) so bring your own or head down to the border to pick some up for half the price. Alcohol is cheap at the border as well. Beware local police will wave over rental cars and look for passengers without seat belts ($200USD fine for each) while taxi cabs don't even have seat belts installed in many instances. Duty free area in town center is mostly for larger appliances and you must register one day prior to shopping. Border town of Paso Canoas is worth the trip if you need anything. An option to the bus is a Collectivo, or group taxi, that often stops by the bus stop just prior to the bus itself. Avoid a rental car as parking at the border would be a problem.

Overall Golfito is an ok place to stop but not a place we would stay for any longer than necessary.

Papillon
Papillon says:
Apr 18, 2016 11:05 PM

Could not have enjoyed a visit to immigration more than here in Golfito, outstanding customer service and a very cool air-conditioned office to boot! Be aware that the water temperature is very warm and that translates to a very warm boat as well.

Sue Richards
Sue Richards says:
Jun 30, 2014 02:24 PM

Posted on behalf of Fredrick Roswold & Judy Jensen (May 2014)
We arrived in Golfito about 2:00PM local time, after a great sail into the Gulfo Dulce from Panama, called Land and Sea on the radio, and were directed to either anchor or pick up one of their buoys. The channel is well marked. Checking in that same day was easy, we took a cab to Immigration, who made copies for us (although we already had them) and sent us to Customs (in the duty free area) and then the Port Captain's office in town. Everyone was helpful and no fees or charges were levied. Buses can be used but the taxis were fast and cheap.
Land and Sea is a friendly and reasonably priced haven in a normally expensive country and we enjoyed our stay there. We refueled at Banana Marina (when the Clipper Fleet was finished) and shopped in town and at the Panama border (bus ride).
Checking out was even easier, one stop, Port Captain, and again, no fees.
Oh, it rained a lot.
Fred Roswold, SV Wings (USA)

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