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Pacific Coast: Two Marinas and staying Two Years

By Trevor Lusty with Editor's Note — last modified Jan 14, 2013 02:13 PM

Published: 2013-01-14 00:00:00
Countries: Costa Rica

Puerto Azul Marina
Punteranus

Having visited Puerto Azul Marina in April 2012 we found the description of the facilities to be inaccurate. Entry and exit even during high water springs are a challenge to vessels drawing more than six feet. The pontoons are very short in length and are subject to strong tidal flow. A number of slips are restricted in use by the positioning of steel pylons reducing stern to mooring availability. There is limited slip space for deeper keeled vessels.

Most importantly this Marina, despite advertised claims, is not an "International Marina" and therefore cannot legally provide long term accommodation to foreign flagged vessels.

Two Year Cruising Permit

For vessels and owners requiring more than ninety days, a two year cruising permit can be sought. The document runs for a two year period and is renewable, it is issued by the Ministry of Public Transport Marine Division and is called a "Permisode Permanencia" for a foreign vessel in Costa Rican waters. Unlike placing the boat in bond, which we didn't attempt to do, we were able to go back to the boat as often as we liked to stay on board and exit and enter Costa Rica with the boat without restriction.e.g we are in Mexico at present but the Permisode Permanencia in Costa Rica is still open.

The key to making all of this happen is (a) the right agent - who is already listed on noonsite (see below) and (b) an accommodating marina who will help you with an appropriate contract to run concurrently with the Permisode Permanencia.

There are quite a number of boats under this arrangement in Marina Papagayos where one slip is available for boats with a Permisode Permanencia. Los Suenos, Banana Bay and Fish Hook, while International Marinas, in reality are full and do not have the room for foreign sailing boats. For example Los Suenos charge $40 daily for dinghy access to use one of their restaurants. They simply don't encourage the sailing community.

Agent Recommendation
We would extend the highest possible recommendation to this gentleman.

Ernesto Conejo - Panamares S A
Cell: 506 8811 7290
Email: eandrade@ice.co.cr

Marina Papagayos

We left our boat here from April 2012 to October 2012 under the watchful eye of Dan Effaldano and his highly courteous and  professional team. Upon our return we found the boat washed, intact and batteries well maintained. The services, staff and pricing structure we found to be of the highest levels and we were very reluctant to leave.

For cruisers traveling South and entering Costa Rica for the first time, be aware that should you need fuel, you will not be served by Marina Papagayos until you have officially cleared into the country and can produce your papers to prove it. This is the law of the land not the Marina. The Marina will do everything possible to help, but only within the confines of the law.

Trevor Lusty

Editor's Note:
The Permisode Permanencia will allow you to stay in Costa Rica for 2 years (renewable for equal periods), however this permission is only given to vessels that sign a slip agreement at marinas recognized by the Government of Costa Rica, such as Papagayo, Pez Vela and Los Suenos. An agent is required to secure this permission. Costs vary between $ 900 and $ 1,500,depending on whether the yacht is owned by a company or an individual.

For full details of Length of Stay in Costa Rica see here.

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