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By No owner — last modified Jun 14, 2016 12:23 PM

 Ecuador - Profile

Facts

  • For cruising sailors Ecuador's main attraction lies several hundred miles offshore in its Archipiélago de Colón, commonly known as the Galapagos Islands . As they form a separate entity and cruising regulations also differ from mainland Ecuador, the Galapagos are described separately in the South Pacific section.
  • Due to the prevailing winds and currents, the Ecuadorian coast is best cruised from south to north, which most yachts visiting Ecuador rarely do, as usually they sail from the north after having transited the Panama Canal.
  • A good intermediate landfall is the coastal city of Salinas, specifically Puerto Lucia Yacht Club, on the westernmost point of mainland Ecuador. It justifies breaking the passage from Panama to Galapagos into two shorter legs of about 550 miles each, as it allows yachts to navigate in fair winds and currents. In addition, it allows owners to leave their boat secure in the marina and explore the interior. Salinas is a practical port to clear customs and arrange for the boat to be worked on or cared for while traveling inland. The Puerto Lucia Yacht Club has a 50-ton travelift, floating docks and strong buoys for Med-style mooring to a wall. Diesel and water are available dockside. An excellent fresh produce and seafood open market, grocery store and hardware stores are a short distance away. This is also a good place to leave for the Galapagos Islands .
  • The coast is arid and there are few natural harbours with the notable exception of the estuary of the River Guayas. The Guayaquil Yacht Club welcomes visiting yachts and is convenient for provisioning in Guayquil although marine facilities are limited.
  • The US dollar is now the official currency. Local prices are quite low for both provisions and fuel. Water is sometimes scarce along the coast.
  • The usual procedure for yachts wanting to visit just one port in the Galalpagos is to obtain outward clearance for the Marquesas (or another offshore destination) and not to mention the intended stop in Galapagos to the officials.

Security

It is advisable not to travel within 15 miles of the border with Colombia. See the UK FCO website for the latest advice.

The usual safety and security precautions should be taken, especially when anchoring alone or in isolated places. Cases of armed robbery are increasing and petty crime is common.

Noonsite has not received reports of any particular problems or dangers, although extra care should be taken when near the Colombian boarder. However, there are a number of places inland where it is not advisable to visit.

You should not climb the Tungurahua or Reventador volcanoes due to renewed volcanic activity.

Updated January 2016

Weather

Although lying on the equator, the climate of Ecuador is very pleasant, which makes the coast of Ecuador very attractive to leave the boat between seasons. Temperatures along the coast show little variation between seasons and the period between May and November is usually dry. The winds are mostly light southerlies. The climate in the interior is more varied and temperatures vary greatly with altitude. Weather conditions can be strongly influenced by the El Niño phenomenon.

Ecuador Weather Forecast

Sailing Advisory Panama to Galapagos

For links to free global weather information, forecast services and extreme weather information see the Noonsite Weather Page

Main Ports

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herzberg
herzberg says:
Jun 10, 2016 01:09 AM

I came with my OVNI 395 at the beginning of November 2015 to Puerto Libertad from Puerto Amistad, because I had to haul out my boat. On entering the marina I had to first give my credit card and I was disappointed at the welcome this exclusive marina gave me.

A day later I met Jeremy from Steward Yates & Servicios and I was skeptical about the shipyard after the reception the day before. What a surprise! I met a competent and helpful guy and I gave him a work list because I wanted to go home for the next 5 months. In May 2016 I came back to the boat and now the 2nd surprise - 90% of the work was well done!

Marisol at Steward Yates & Servicios is an extremely helpful person. She organized for me 2 workers for 1 Week so that I could put the boat into the water at the exact date that we programed. Once in the water, the motor didn't run! A Yanmar specialist checked and found that all the tubes were very dirty. We decided the day before leaving to clean the tank with 100 gallons of diesel in. Marisol organized this in a half day! Also she did the paperwork for clearing in the Galápagos Islands together with the agent Bolivar Pesantes in Galápagos, a very helpful person too.

If you are in need of any boat work, I would strongly recommend Stewart Yates & Servicios. The business is owned by Marisol Stewart and Jeremy Whalen and has been in operation for over 14 years. Their work is top quality, very reasonably priced and on schedule. There doesn’t seem to be anything they can’t handle. Their services include stainless, paint, carpentry, canvas, rigging, fiberglass, electrical and mechanical. They also run a small chandlery and are licensed importers in Ecuador.
Puerta Lucia Yacht Club in Salinas Ecuador, is a very convenient stop before crossing the Pacific or heading south. The climate is perfect for vessel storage with light rains only a few times a year, low humidity and zero lightning strikes. For pullout the marina has a 50 ton travel lift. The location is also a great place to restock. With a ten minute taxi ride you will find large grocery and hardware stores. Even a good sized marine chandlery and mall with a movie theatre. In an ocean of boatyards Stewart Yates & Servicios is heads above the rest.

Georg Herzberg
SY Galatea II

vibesparre
vibesparre says:
Aug 20, 2015 04:50 PM

Recommendation for boat repairing facilities in Galapagos

On July 13. 2015 we left Galapagos Islands on our boat, Danish Blue, to go to Marquesas. About 1000 nm out, we hit something - most likely a whale. The rudder was pushed backwards and the fibreglass broke where the ruddershaft was attached. Luckily we did not loose the rudder, but we had to bolt it tightly with bolts and pieces of wood we had on board. Also, we could not steer. To be safe, we had to return to Galapagos.

At Galapagos we got in touch with Martin Schreyerg, a German guy who lives and works at Puerto Ayora at Santa Cruz Island. He was a great help. He speaks English fluently, and he was capable of making any kind of repair on the boat such as fibreglass, welding, etc. We needed to continue to Ecuador mainland (Stewart Yates, Puerto Lucia) to get the boat hauled out, which is not possible at Galapagos. Martin was effective and thorough - in one week he had our rudder taken out, repaired enough to work for the trip to the mainland (650 nm), put back in and fastened with stainless steel. We were afraid we would be stuck at Galapagos for at least a month, but Martins great work made it possible for us to leave again after exactly one week.

We are so grateful for Martins help, effectiveness and expertise and wish to recommend him and his workers to anyone who needs repair done at or around the Galapagos Islands.

Martin Schreyerg's mail is: Martinschreyerg@yahoo.com

Christians Arp-Hansen
Captain
Danish Blue, Denmark

sandandfoam
sandandfoam says:
Apr 20, 2015 04:45 PM

I have just spent 10 months in Puerto Lucia Yacht Club (it is about $800 USD a month to keep your boat ashore) after sailing there from El Salvador. First. when we arrived last year (April 2014) we were forced to anchor off for 3 days of "Quarantine". Next we had to have an agent and we were given "Napoleon" who seemed OK. Then a Julia Delgado arrived alongside of NOE shipping agency and said we HAD to have her. We gave her her fee of 500 USD and we dutifully changed. I was assured by her and a custom agent who has since retired that we would have no problem in leaving my 36 foot yacht there ashore for 10 months while I went back to the UK providing that, after 3 months, I filled in a form that they would e-mail me for an Extension. This I dutifully did. However Julia Delgado the agent then in July 2014 e-mailed and said I had to return to Ecuador as "there was a problem". As it happened I couldn't as I had broken some ribs and I sent her a medical certificate saying I was unfit to travel.When I was fit enough to travel I arrived there in early February 2015 and Julia took me to the customs office in Las Salinas who said I owed $70,000 USD.No idea what for!! However as I had been unable to travel and had medical certificates which I had all previously sent to Julia my fine was reduced to $3,800 USD!! No-one would explain to my why I was being fined.

In the meantime I was working with Marisol Stewart the owner of Stewart Yates & Servicios to repair my yacht. Marisol was amazing. She phoned the customs and said this was incredible and that I should not have to pay ANY fine. And thanks to her I didn't!!

Moreover the Services of her company were outstanding and very reasonable. I had a lot of excellent work done by Pancho and Nicky which ranged over new VHF ariels, new window, oil seals, skilled woodwork, liferaft servicing, cutlass bearing repair, chain galvanising etc.

Another French yacht which had spent the same amount of time there and used Napoleon as the agent had absolutely no problems despite the owner being away in France for a year.

So either NOE shipping agency and Julia was totally incompetent or there was some very strange things going on. Thanks Marisol for great work on the yacht and all your help. We left for Chile in mid February 2015 along the coastal route.

Michael Marshall

Sand and Foam

Hans-Rudolf Lehmann
Hans-Rudolf Lehmann says:
Sep 02, 2014 03:28 PM

This is to all cruisers who want to travel to Ecuador and not to be confused by the announcement of Marina Operations:

By Ecuadorian Law it is required to clear internalization of a boat through custom office through an agent. If the operator of the Marina says it is not required, this means he assumes the function of the agent or - in other words - he has an associated agent. Any irregularity of the ships documentation will then lead to different costs than advertized. This, is to be taken seriously as it leads to increased prices. Be aware, no hooks behind the bushes!

Sue Richards
Sue Richards says:
Aug 13, 2014 08:35 AM

Posted on behalf of Hans-Rudolf Lehmann, SY IBIS
I have just recently arrived in Ecuador and as Ecuadorian citizen I am in the process of re-establishing myself in the country. Up to now, Ecuador has a very reduced oportunity to cruisers to stay and we are very concerned at this point to change the infrastructure for cruisers.

This is what we have achieved at this point:
1. The new city administration of Salinas has almost finished the public access to the beach in Salinas.
2. The new city administration of Salinas is very open to discuss a project for a Marina with city administration for about 48 vessels between 25 and 60 feet.
3. The new administration of Salinas in cooperation with the National office for tourism will review the procedures to document the boat for tourism and suggest the national administration a different procedure to facilitate a less expensive and more efficient way to visit the country by boating.

In the meantime we are setting 10 mooring buoys in Salinas just outside the yacht club, which can be reserved at the email lehmannhr@gmail.com at a cost of USD 15 a day, or USD 350 monthly. We also provide water service to the boat, electricity provided by 110 V generator and fuel provision to the boat. Our agent will service the boat permit with the custom office, immigration and port clearing. Communication to the e-mail lehmannhr@gmail.com
Best regards and fair winds
Hans

heatherreimer
heatherreimer says:
Jun 24, 2014 04:52 PM

Another great spot to leave your boat is at Bahia de Caraquez, at the mouth of the Rio Chone. Approach (from north): 00º 36.6' S 080º 28.2' W - this keeps you away from shoals
"Waiting Room": 00º 35.8' S 080º 26.8' W - anchor or wait for pilot here for entry over bar.
The anchorage is very calm, and boats are able to either get on a mooring ball (Puerto Amistad: $370/month, includes hot showers, dinghy dock, wifi, and nighttime security. The town of "Bahia" is an easily walkable village, which has a fresh fruit/vegie mercado, and several smaller tiendas for provisioning. For more major shopping, Portoviejo is an hour away ($2) and Manta is 2 hours away, ($3) and will have most everything you want. Bahia is a more affordable option for people than Salinas, due to the costs involved. As well, Salinas has quite a surge, so anchoring is more difficult. Should you wish to anchor in Bahia, the cost is $240/month, which includes all the above services. We have left our boat on anchor for months at a time, without issue. The only thing to be aware of is the barnacle growth on the chain.
Costs for arrival into Ecuador at Bahia, using Puerto Amistad as an agent.
$50 - agent fee
$20 - immigration
$40 - taxi fee for paperwork
$45 - Capitania
Total cost - $155

Should you wish to know anything else, contact Heather Reimer on sv Sundancer at heatherreimer@live.com.

Open roadstead but relatively calm at most times of year.

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