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 Santiago de Cuba - Profile

Location

Santiago de Cuba is Cuba's second largest city.

The city itself is especially beautiful with a huge range of architecture, however sadly it is in various states of decay and nothing has been painted is 30 years.

There is a lot of history on the revolution and of course the famous pilgrimage site "El Cobre". Be prepared to step back 60 years in time with old cars and trucks and horse drawn carriages.

The entrance to the port is clearly marked by a large white lighthouse on the cliff top. This is also by the airport, which is invisible from the sea but you can see the planes take off and land.

The channel is deep, around 10 to 13 metres for the commercial traffic, and is well buoyed. The Marlin Marina is straight in then bear to starboard, heading for a blue and white building. It is located in Gaspar Cove.

Position 19° 58'N, 75° 52'21"W (entrance to the Bahia)

See this report for feedback from Cruisers who have visited this port.

Clearance

See Cuba Formalities for detailed information on clearing into and out of Cuba, including fees.

On arrival you will be hailed on the radio by the Guarda Frontera and instructed to anchor in the "quarantine" area on the other side of the harbour (approx. a mile from the marina).

If however you wish to berth at the marina, you can now proceed directly there and undertake clearance at the marina. Be sure not to step ashore however until you have been cleared.

Marina staff are very welcoming. Call Marina Punta Gorda on Channel 16 between 1800 and 0800, otherwise CH 72. Fees are paid to the Marina office and a receipt is given. At least one marina official speaks English and there are personnel there 24/7.

A health inspector will come on board to check everyone on board is fit and well and inspect the fresh food on board.

Other officials will come to the boat. Clearance can involve up to 6 different people and a fair amount of paperwork. The entire procedure will take between 3 and 5 hours - be patient.

Expect three sniffer dogs which will not have shoes. Handheld VHFs, GPS, flares and Very pistols are wrapped and sealed and must not be taken ashore.

Note that if you declare that you have come from Haiti you will be put on "Cholera Watch" - all crew temperatures to be taken every four hours and logged until the Sanitary Department say you are clear.

Last updated May 2017.

Docking

Call the marina on CH 16 between 1800 and 0800, otherwise CH 72 (photo courtesy of SY Calliope 2015).

The marina has two rather rough concrete piers - be sure to have good fenders. Holding either side of the pier is patchy and you will need to ensure your anchor is well dug in as the winds will turn through 360 degrees in the course of the day.

There is a charge for anchoring out (approx. half that of taking a berth). The cove nearby is very deep (50ft +), however depths of 17-20ft can be found just off the marina. If at anchor you may only dinghy in to the marina - the naval police will prevent you from going anywhere else.

Cruisers report that yellow soot from the cement factory close by will stain your decks.

Showers and toilets at the marina are poor (cold water, no toilet seats or paper).  WATER IS A PROBLEM HERE. Frequently the water is off; sometimes for two days at a time. Fuel can be obtained by jerry can.

There is a hotel on site with a restaurant and bar (open 10am to 4pm). The hotel has two free terminals for internet access (no WiFi). There is also a hotel bar just a short walk down the road. The marina gates are locked at 10pm.

Be aware that as soon as you step outside the marina grounds you will be hassled by people asking for things. The marina can order a taxi for a ride into the city. It takes about 20 minutes (or 30 minutes by bus).

Last updated May 2017.

Marina Marlin Punta Gorda
Avenida 1A , Punta Gorda , Santiago de Cuba
Tel:53 226 91446 Fax:53 226 86108 ,VHF Channel 16, 72
Clearance. Water on docks (intermittent and not potable), electricity (110 or 220V - take American plugs), fuel, telephone, laundry, cold showers, chandlery, 24 hour security, bar & restaurant. Free internet access at hotel on-site.

Sue Richards
Sue Richards says:
Jul 22, 2015 01:51 PM

Posted on behalf of SY Calliope:
In Santiago there is a family who live just outside the marina who promise all sorts of things, but when they tried to overcharge us for a trip into town, we realised they were not to be trusted.

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