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By No owner — last modified Jul 08, 2016 10:45 PM

 Panama - Profile


  • For details on the Canal transit see here.
  • The country is dominated by the Panama Canal and the surrounding Panama Canal Area, which were incorporated fully into Panama on 31 December 1999.
  • Balboa on the Pacific and Cristobal in the Caribbean are the two main ports and gateways to the canal. The port of Cristobal incorporates the town of Colon.
  • It should be noted that whilst quite a few Marina projects have been announced both on the Caribbean Coast and the Pacific Coast, many presently have limited facilities and are mainly
    for local use. Others announced are far from the stage indicated in the announcements, either under initial construction or not even started.
  • The main cruising attractions in Panama are the 365 San Blas Islands off the Caribbean coast, a popular destination for yachts. A cruising permit is required to visit these islands, but the local Panamanian officials usually treat yachts arriving from the east on their way to the mainland with a certain degree of tolerance. See this excellent San Blas Islands cruising report. Note that charting is inaccurate in the San Blas and most charting software is out by 200 yards West and 100 yards North. Navigate here with caution.
  • On the Pacific side, the Las Perlas islands are another unspoilt cruising ground popular with boats en route to the Galapagos and South Pacific islands. Like in other isolated parts of the world, sailors are advised to only stop in a remote anchorage in the company of another boat.
  • If you are entering the Bay of Panama from Costa Rica, go straight to the Perlas Islands and come up on the current.  It is a longer distance but much quicker than trying to sail against the current. The shorter route from Punta Mala to Panama or Vacamonte is shorter, but the very strong current makes it a hard long sail.
  • Although the Balboa Yacht Club received a new concession from the Panama Canal Commission and built a new clubhouse, the buildings of the Panama Yacht Club at Colon were demolished.
  • From the 1st February 2010 all persons or companies offering maritime services to ships or yachts must be in possession of an "Operation Licence". See Noonsite Report. Cruisers are advised to check that anyone offering them such services has a valid licence, but should be aware that this provides no guarantee of the quality of the service being offered.
  • Getting work done: Yachts coming from the Caribbean planning to spend longer in Panama to underake re-fit work should research carefully options available to them before arriving (and ideally before leaving the rich sources of chandlery and services in the Eastern Caribbean). Whilst costs are definitely lower than the Caribbean, parts and skilled workers are harder to find; some are located in Portabello or Panamarina and there are various liveaboards in Shelter Bay Marina who have diesel and mechanical skills.
  • Note: Most brands of lifefraft cannot be serviced in Panama. Be sure to get this organised beforehand.
  • Provisioning: Good choice of large supermarkets. Excellent choice and value for money. If crossing the Pacific from here, this is the last good provisioning option. Be sure to stock up on non-perishables and alcohol.
  • Cruisers have reported half sunk logs on the passage from Porvenir to Portobelo. Care should be taken around the Panama coastline for such hazards.


There are two Yahoo e-mail groups on the Internet specifically designed for cruisers to share information. Both groups have cruisers worldwide.

Cruisers Network Online - Caribbean Side of Panama
Cruisers Network Online’s website is
To subscribe to Cruisers Network Online, email

Southbound Group - Pacific Side of Panama
The Southbound Group’s website is
To subscribe to The Southbound Group, email

Cruisers VHF Net - Caribbean side of Panama
Shelter Bay Marina
VHF Channel 77 every morning at 7.30am

Karsten Staffeldt
Contact in Panama for Danish Ocean Cruising Association (DOCA), Swedish Oceanseglingsklubben (OSK), Swedish Jorden Runt Seglar Klubben (JRSK) and Ocean Cruising Club. Can assist yachts with information and advice covering cruising Panama, Panama Canal transits, facilities etc. Note: Karsten does this as a hobby.

See the Communications section for a list of SSB Radio Nets.

Panama Cruisers Facebook Group

San Blas Cruisers Facebook Group

Last updated August 2016.


Several serious robberies/attacks that were reported in 2103 at Punta Chame (20 nm SW of the Balboa anchorage), Bocas del Toro and Colon and reports of stolen dinghies in Las Perlas, highlight the security situation in Panama. Along with other countries in this area, Panama is experiencing an increase in crime, partly relating to the drug trade, which is also affecting maritime activities. See security reports adjacent for further details.

Nowhere in Panama should yachts anchor at night in remote areas without being accompanied by other yachts.

In March 2014 a yacht anchored in an isolated area to the south of Taboga Island, Balboa, was boarded by armed pirates. See report here.

Unfortunately conditions in Colon have not improved in the last 10 years. Colon remains a risky place for tourists; snatch-and-run as well as hold-ups are all too common, even in daylight. One should avoid walking anywhere outside of the port and all shopping should be done by taxi.

The anchorage at Club Nautico, Colon, is not patrolled by the Panama Canal Police boats and boats have been boarded and robbed here in the past. This is not a recommended anchorage.

Cruisers report that the police in Panama City are quite adamant that you do NOT carry your original passport, but only a copy while traveling around within the City. The police are seriously concerned about theft.

Sadly in the San Blas Islands cruisers have experienced burglaries this year.

The Caribbean Safety and Security Net ( provides information by anchorage or by island, so sailors can plan their cruising in the Caribbean with an eye to appropriate behaviour and precautions wherever they decide to go. Should you have suffered a boarding, robbery or attack on your yacht or have information about a yachting-related security incident, go to the CSSN homepage and click on the "Report an Incident" icon. The associated form is quick and simple to complete and ensures that all the necessary details are reported. The CSSN is the most comprehensive source of Caribbean security incidents against sailors. Remember, it is every cruiser's responsibility to ensure that incidents are reported. Also cruisers can subscribe to e-mail alerts, follow on facebook and twitter and listen to the SSB Voice Service.

The Caribbean Security Index (CSI) is a a tool to assist cruisers in assessing the probability of crime at ports and anchorages throughout the Caribbean. The CSI provides a means of assessing risk in a given area.

Also be sure to check the noonsite Piracy & Safety Pages

Last updated September 2015.


The climate is hot and very humid, although cooled by the prevailing easterly winds. The dry season is January to April, and rain can be heavy in October and November. Panama is not affected by hurricanes.

Panama Weather (in Spanish)

Sailing Advisory Panama to Galapagos

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

Caribbean Weather Centre
Chris Parker
Tel:1-284-494-7559 Fax:1-284-494-5358
SSB Weather Nets (with new webcast service free until Jan 2011) - see website for info. of schedules, Daily Email Forecast, Weather Routing. Free synopsis and weather info.

Main Ports

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Sue Richards
Sue Richards says:
Jul 08, 2016 10:44 PM

The latest from our contacts in Panama:

1: Apparently little is going on as far as discussions between the Central Government and the Kuna Yala Congress.

2: Reports from several yachts indicate that they are cruising the San Blas without problems and collection of fees/charges at anchorages is inconsistant. In most reports no Kuna Yala Fee and anchoring fees have been collected.

3: Also some yachts coming from Colombia or the east have reported that agents in Panama are advising them to cruise the San Blas if they so wish before proceeding to Linton, Portobelo or Colon for clearance (which is contrary to regulations).

Sue Richards
Sue Richards says:
Jun 21, 2016 12:54 PM

18 June 2016: Reported on the San Blas Cruisers Facebook Group

The Port Captain at Linton Bay Marina (Puerto Lindo) has all the stamps required to check you in for a year.
The cost to check in is $195 payable in cash only.

The Port Captain in Portobelo does not have the stamps for the cruising permit, therefore you would have to go to Colon or to Linton Bay Marina for that.

There is no immigration office at Linton Bay Marina as of today, but it is coming soon.
The closest immigration place from Linton Bay is in Portobelo where you can check into the country.
If the immigration office in Portobelo does not have the special visa, the one that costs $100, then you have 72 hours to get it, either in Colon or in Panama city.

The stamp obtained in Portobelo will be good for you to travel in the country for 72 hours.

There is no bank in Linton Bay (Puerto Lindo) or in Portobelo, but there are banks and ATMs in Sabanitas, which is on the way to Colon or Panama city.

Sue Richards
Sue Richards says:
May 31, 2016 03:12 PM

Posted on behalf of Javier Palacios Fenech:

1 - Panama border is closed in Puerto Obaldia and El Porvenir due to the amount of immigrants wanting to reach the US from Colombia.

2 - Be careful with non-official Agents. The stamps they offer are not valid to stay in Panama, and not entered into the inmigration office system.

3 - Armed robbery in Portobello to a french yachtie. Be careful, also in Puerto Lindo. Several cases of robbery in the last few weeks.

4 - Bureaucracy to enter Panama is not so bad as in Colombia, but as the business between Cartagena and Panama is growing and there is an immigration conflict, official agents are becoming more strict with crowded boats. i.e. they may ask for a reservation of a flight out of the country and proof to be financially independent to each passenger. i.e Portobello, Colon.

Sue Richards
Sue Richards says:
May 02, 2016 01:06 PM

Subject: The Latest on the San Blas Clearance situation from Cruisers Network Online - El Porvenir AMP (Port Captain) has relocated

Mr. Aparacio Lopez, Port Captain, is now located at Linton Bay Marina and is open every day, included Saturday and Sunday. Saturday, Sundays and Holidays there is an extra $ 20,00 Charge. Hours are 8am to 4pm. Costs are $ 12,00 for a Zarpe to exit Panama and $ 193,00 to enter including a Cruising Permit.
Immigration is in Portobelo or Colon.

sv. Honalee
Kuna Yala, Panama

Vaguebond says:
May 02, 2016 06:22 AM

If you're short in time to provision in Panama-City, we could surely recommend Chris Burillo (emal: to,take care for provisioning.
All fruits and vegetables (coming from fresh market) wer of excellent quality and price, meat comes vacuum packed and cooled, and all supermarket items were delivered according to our request.
Chris is a great person with big interst in sailing...
Delivery was made exactly on time, everything well packed.

If contacting him, do not forget to order some honey, this is really delicious!

Vaguebond says:
Apr 16, 2016 12:59 AM

We would like to hihem as well. When both pilots came on board, both of the said they were relaxed as they know that we had 2 knowledgeable linehandlers on board (based upon our experience during crossing the locks, at least 2 linehandlers with prior Panama Canal experience are an absolute requirement :-)

zoonie says:
Mar 29, 2016 04:39 PM

Rob and I aboard our Oyster 406 used the services of AYS, Associated Yacht Services to arrange our Canal Transit. Alessandro RisI and Josimar of AYS were professional and friendly and did all the running around for us including clearing out and our Zarpe on leaving. Their email responses were prompt enabling us to sent scanned documents to them while we were still in Curacao. Shelter Bay is a safe and friendly place to stay, with good haul out and boat yard facilities and John Hallen, the manager, and his staff are welcoming and can organise most things. Our Advisor, Regis, directed us to the free anchorage on the canal side of Flamenco Marina, which although noisy at times is an adequate spot near the La Playing harbour end. We dragged in fine silty mud when we anchored further south. Most yachts take their tenders in to La Playita pontoon, but since January the charge for leaving it there has been $57 per week and you CANNOT pay by the day.

Murphy says:
Mar 13, 2016 04:24 AM

A correction re dogs arriving in Panama. We arrived by boat to Boca's Marina. No advance check in. We declared our dog and then paid 50 dollars in town and he was allowed ashore. He does have a UK pet passport and all relevant vaccinations/ microchip. By plane from the USA...we saw a USDA vet who completed the paperwork, then went to the Dept of Agriculture who confirmed the paperwork and vet were genuine. Then we took the paperwork to the Panamanian consulate and they checked the paperwork again. When we arrived in Panama the quarantine people checked our dog and the paperwork. He was given a 40 day quarantine which can be done on the boat. The whole process cost about 350 dollars! Not cheap but so be it. Secondly most dogs are friendly in Panama, especially Kuna dogs. A warning if landing your dog for a walk at Linton Bay. There is a restaurant in the right hand corner that has 5 white dogs who are very unfriendly and bit our dog badly. The owner just said it was his dogs right to attack ours unprovoked even though we werent near their restaurant.

Sue Richards
Sue Richards says:
Feb 23, 2016 12:28 PM

Portuguese Man 'o War
At this time of year these creatures can be seen in this area.
If you are stung by one (also applies to a lion fish, coral, stingrays etc.), the best remedy is HOT seawater.
Any chemical agent, or change in PH, or Salinity, or chemical composition, will trigger the stinging cells to fire more venom. For many millions of years, these things have evolved to exist in a narrow temperature band, but by increasing the temperature, it simply turns the cells into protoplasm, like soup.
Target temperature is about 50 C or 122 F, but just try to get as hot as you can tolerate.

Inchcailloch says:
Feb 23, 2016 01:06 AM

Emmanuel Agencies S.A. Roy Bravo's main aim in his professional career is to make sure you do not work have no worries and to make your transit totally trouble free. Ironically out of all the forms, permits, payments fees, visas etc that have to be paid, this is the only one that is not necessary and the one that is most useful. Being single handed he arranged ropes fender, rope handlers who were the most pleasant you could wish for. Roy was always there at the end of the phone for me and responded to emails often within minutes. Admeasurer was arranger within 2 days and within 2 days of that my transit was underway. Of all the monies spent transiting the canal Roy's was the best value and the most friendly and the one very reasonable amount that I did not mind paying. Thanks very much Roy a pleasure doing business with you. Bob Redley Tiger Lily

Sue Richards
Sue Richards says:
Feb 22, 2016 02:39 PM

Report from Karsten Staffeldt: Contact in Panama for noonsite & various Scandinavian Ocean Cruising Associations and the OCC.
Panama up date:

1: Canal Transit
We are now well into the Dry-Season, the sailing season here, and in general it must be reported that Canal Transit for yacht are running fairly well and without any exceptional delays. Most yachts are making the passage within 4 days of being accepted for transit and tolls paid. Some fluctuation - but nothing like we had some years ago.
As far as the Panama Canal is concerned the large expansion, with a new set of locks etc., is expected to be completed during the second quarter of 2016. The new locks etc. are mainly for large commercial vessels and will not affect the transit of small vessels like yachts. During the past months there have been extensive transit delays due to scheduled maintenance work, but in order to minimize delays some of this work has now been postponed by the Canal Authorities. At this time it is not clear to what extent this postponement will affect transit times of all types of vessels, including yachts, during the coming months, but yachts should expect possible delays. Regarding transits in general for small vessels, I again refer to the Canal Authorities Customer Form
"Procedure for securing a handline Transit of the Panama Canal" which can be found on the Panama Canal web-site ( This form has information and rules, inclusive of the tariff, covering small vessel's transit, inclusive yachts.

2: Marinas Panama
I have looked into the various Marinas and note no uniform structure when it comes to facilities available and fees charged. At this time I would suggest that yachts contact in advance the Marina they want to use, to obtain information and quotes. As mentioned before, in many cases the facilities offered are not available and actual construction not even completed etc,

3: San Blas
Just to confuse matters further, some yachts have reported when clearing in at Porvenir that they were NOT asked to pay Kuna Yala Fees, as they did not mention they had cruised the
Islands en-route from Colombia before clearing in. They had however paid the local Island fees when anchoring at the various places visited.

4. Cruising Panama
Previously I reported that it was not necessary to clear in and out between Panamanian Ports, however the Authorities have reversed their advice and now it is necessary to clear in and out between Panamanian ports where there is a Port Captain's office.
5. Galapagos
Obtaining permission to call, clearing in and out etc. - there are still frequent changes to the regulations. It is still required that an agent is appointed and it is recommended that yachts contact an agent before proceeding to the Islands to find out the latest state of play re. regulations etc..

Karsten Staffeldt
karstenpanama (at) hotmail (dot) com
Radio: HP1XBM

Sue Richards
Sue Richards says:
Feb 11, 2016 10:04 AM

From San Blas Cruisers Facebook Page:
We arrived in the San Blas 2 weeks ago, and we have paid:

105 USD P.P. for Visas (our 12 year old daughter was free)
200 USD cruising permit for 1 year
20 USD P.P. / month park fees (our 12 year old daughter was free)
20 USD per boat/month park fees.

Sue Richards
Sue Richards says:
Jan 27, 2016 01:10 PM

Jason Shell of SY Two Fish has just cleared into Panama in Porvenir in the San Blas. He sent noonsite this report:
A bunch of rumours were stirring on various chat forums about fees for the San Blas. Here is what we paid on 25 January, 2016, clearing in at Porvenir.

205 USD for a 1 year cruising permit.
125 USD per person (20 of which is for Kuna Congresso)
20 USD per boat (Kuna Cogresso)

It therefore appears after extensive protests and communication with
the yachting community as well as the Panamanian Government Maritime
Authorities, that they have cancelled the new fees and no yachts calling at the San Blas after January 1st 2016 have been asked to pay the new proposed inflated fees. We are still however lacking official confirimation on this.

It must also be mentioned that some yachts have reported that on
several Islands, but not all, they have been asked to pay an "anchoring
fee" of around US$ 10,00 for their stay.

WoC says:
Jan 16, 2016 02:34 AM

Roy Bravo: agent
I selected Roy Bravo to handle our entry, exit and canal crossing based in the many recommendations from other cruisers. He promptly responded to email well in advance of our arrival and handled every detail of our stay. The canal transit went as per the detailed schedule he provided along with competent and pleasant line handlers, good fenders and ropes. He met us in person at the Balboa Yacht club were he had arranged a difficult to get mooring for a few days. All charges were detailed in his invoice with no surprises. Based on the above I can join the other cruisers before me who had the pleasure to meet Roy and benefited from his extensive experience in handling transiting yachts and confirm our recommendations from all the crew of "Wind of Change"

muoza says:
Nov 03, 2015 05:23 PM

Discussion about ridicculous San Blas fees 2015/2016:

The Congresso General of the Kuna tribe plans a new monthly fee structure for San Blas. The official agreement of the Kuna chiefs (Sailas) speaks of 5$ per squarefoot(!), whatever this can be. If they take it serious it will be a monthly fee of 1.500$ up to over 4000$. More than a cruiser can afford. Even if they just charge 5$ per foot, the additional monthly charge would be like 200$ for a 40-footer per month. Plus 20$ per person aboard. The Situation is unclear at the moment, lots of discussions are going on. Mr. Obaldia, a very unfriendly Kuna official is complicating the situation by threatening sailors with damaging or untiying the boat - or even coming back with a machete at night.
Some people are writing letters to Panama authorithies, asking to make clear if the San Blas belong to national Panamenian waters and if the expencive cruising permit for panama is not valid for San Blas.
If all new plans come true, it looks like most cruisers have to leave San Blas, soon. Rumours say it will start in January 2016. So far one thing is clear: Nothing is clear.

Keep yourself updated by following "San Blas Cruisers" on facebook. There is a big discussion of the local community going on.

Sue Richards
Sue Richards says:
Sep 11, 2015 11:31 AM

Panama Fees December 2014: Taken from SV Joana's Blog:
We cleared into Panama at Porvenir. We paid $ 193US for a year-long cruising permit, $ 300US for visas (3 people, note that fly-ins don’t pay this fee) and $ 45US to the Kuna Indigenous people for the permit to cruise one month in their waters. In total, we paid $ 538US to cruise one month (the first month) in the San Blas. I hate to say it, but this compares very poorly with Bonaire or Curacao, where we paid zero to enter and cruise in their countries. To be honest, the visa is good for six months, and for the next six months we’d only have to pay the Kuna fee of $ 45 per month.

Sue Richards
Sue Richards says:
Jun 29, 2015 05:44 PM

Posted on behalf of SY Two Oceans:
Filling water in San Blas, Panama is a bit of a problem. The options we found were:
Look for Paco’s house in the anchorage between that island and Corazon de Jesus. His man, Apollo, brings water from Rio Diablo and using a bucket fills your tank. Typical cost – 8$ for 50 gallons. They also sell gasoline.
A small concrete dock, very close to the beach at position 09 27’.301 N 78 59’.947 W has a tap. Desperate for water we agreed to pay 25$ for 70 gallons.
Rio Azucar
A busy dock at position 9 25.846 N 78 37.72 W has a tap. They charged 5$ for tying to the dock and 15$ for the water, regardless of quantity.
There used to be a working tap near the dock of Carti Tupile at approx. position 9 28.56 N 78 57.71 W, but we found its pipe broken. No water available in Carti Sugdup too.
Miki Barzam on “Two Oceans”

ZewOceanu says:
May 31, 2015 03:50 PM

We made a google map with important adresses in Panama (Portobelo, Colon & Panama City). You can see it here:

Now is onli on polish but we try to translate it :)

Sue Richards
Sue Richards says:
May 20, 2015 09:15 PM

5 May, 2015
The Cabinet Council of the Republic of Panama has officially approved a proposal to modify (increase) the Panama Canal Tolls structure effective April 1st 2016.
Furthermore the notification indicates that on this occasion the Tolls for small vessels (minimum Tolls) will not be modified (increased).

Sue Richards
Sue Richards says:
May 01, 2015 04:59 PM

Information from Karsten Staffeldt:
Yachts going to Panama simply to transit the Panama Canal
Regulations are somewhat "cloudy" with reference to the 72 hour rule mainly being applied to commercial vessels transiting the Panama Canal, which most do within 72 hours, and for which no navigation permit is required and no crew visa. Vessels transiting the Canal also do not need to undertake domestic clearance between the Caribbean/Pacific Terminals. Some yachts using agents have been able to pass the Canal handled the same way as commercial vessels, however this is only possible if the yacht in question has transited previously and registered with the Canal and is ready to transit on arrival in Panama.

nautinauti says:
Apr 28, 2015 11:46 PM

Panama City Cruisers Net now meets Monday thru Saturday at 08:00 on CH68 and also uses this frequency for hailing.

KingsLegend says:
Apr 21, 2015 05:36 PM

We worked with Roy Bravo from Emmanuelle Agencies and it was great. We had some problems, parts were cleared quickly, the canal transit went smoothly and he solved our problems when we were not correctly checked in at the San Blas Islands. Thanks to Roy we were able to leave in time.

By the way, we thought Colon to be much nicer than Panama City. You just have to know where to go and where not to, and you have to speak Spanish or ask someone to help you out.

frank says:
Apr 04, 2015 06:01 AM

Oliver Yacht Services assisted me for my canal transit in January 2015. Many thanks to Oliver, the agent who assisted with the paper work, lines, tires and line handling. He is very helpful, reliable, punctual and professional. He responds quickly to emails at any time, speaks fluent english, german, french, dutch and spanish. Provides advice on the transit details. Highly recommended.

Twiganauten says:
Mar 24, 2015 04:36 PM

PANAMA CANAL –Passing March 2015
Our agent was Oliver – we can his service highly recommend!
Oliver is a multilingual yacht agent from Belgium, offering his services in Shelter Bay, Porto Lindo, Porto Belo and Panama City. We met him in Porto Belo, that save money for taxi and marina. Oliver is a great help for spare sourcing, provisioning, gas filling, local information and other logistic needs. He speaks fluent german, french and dutch. It was nice to communicate with him in our mother tongue,
Oliver is punctual, reliable and reachable anytime by phone +507 6602 0498 or by email

Bregt says:
Mar 20, 2015 07:00 PM

I can recommend Oliver Yacht Services for helping with canal transits and provisioning. He arranged our transit very fast as we where in a hurry and for a decent price. He is very punctual and correct. He is a real polyglot speaking, spanish, dutch, german, english and maybe more which makes all the paperwork and formalities easier. The linehandlers he arranged spoke english and where nice company. Also filling my dutch propane tanks with non standard fittings was arranged in one day. highly recommended. Phone +507 6602 0498

mrsannelloyd says:
Mar 13, 2015 07:16 AM

Agent for Canal- March 2015
We would thoroughly recommend Roy Bravo of Emmanuel Agensies. He replies promptly to emails. His fees and costs are very transparent with no surprises. he was very helpful on other non related matters and went the extra mile to ensure the canal crossing was smooth and fun.

He can provide excellent linehandlers , and we wuld recomend having at least two " professional, for their experience, language [dealing with pilot etc]. If you can have Daniel as lead linehandler he is a top guy.

Roy even drove me to hospital on our arrival, and spoke to the reception to organise my treatment. Later on when we decided to go to Galapagos he organised afumigation certificate at short notice.
Thoroughly recommend

David Green
David Green says:
Feb 12, 2015 12:11 AM

We needed to transit the canal within four days of arriving at Shelter Bay marina in January, 2015. Many thanks to Roy Bravo, the agent who made it possible by organizing all the paper work, ropes, tires, and line handlers. Very professional, experienced and helpful.Responds to emails at any time of the day or night. Provides advice on the transit details. Highly recommended.

Sue Richards
Sue Richards says:
Feb 09, 2015 09:15 PM

Posted on behalf of Karsten Staffeldt:
Lately the question of holding tanks has been brought up and that the Canal Authorities prohibit discharge of any "dirty water" in the Canal area, which in fact indicates that a Holding Tank is required. However generally the question of holding tanks is seldom mentioned during inspections and that some yachts have rented portable units (which requires a fair amount of space). Also the Canal regulations state that the Advisor they place on bord must have the necessary "facilities"!

Oliver Yacht Services
Oliver Yacht Services says:
Feb 14, 2015 03:17 PM

It is true that very often the shops do not have items in stock, however you can always let spares fly in from US / Miami at reasonable shipping rates. There are weekly flights so waiting times are mostly not too long.

Val Ellis
Val Ellis says:
Apr 30, 2014 08:20 AM

On our way around the world we have reached Panama. Now having read a lot about re-stocking here either side of the canal, we thought this is the place. However we are very disapointed to always hear the sentence "no lo tenemos" we haven't got it. So sailors be adviced to purchase spare parts before arriving here. On the other hand, if you are lucky to find what you need, than the price you have to pay is quite reasonable.
Patrick Heini

josborne says:
Feb 14, 2014 09:37 PM

Don't bother with Stanley Scott
Taking the ARC through seems to have gone to his head. His charges were hard to understand, but he is charging at least $500 as agents fee. Roy Bravo is recommended by the marina and seems a much better bet.

gentlerain says:
Jan 11, 2014 04:30 PM

I have just had a sail repaired in Portobelo bu Casa Vela which is located on the water front to the right of town, looking fro. the water. Good service and the repare well doene, Catherine s/v Gentle Rain II

brucegoforth says:
Nov 02, 2013 04:41 PM

Panama City Cruisers Connection, Deb Meh 507-6153-2089

Provides reasonably price Bed and Breakfast in Bella Vista, transport throughout the country including personal taxi service in Panama City. Will purchase food and beverages by order and deliver. Locate and purchase parts and provide guidance on where to get boat work done.
All excellent services at reasonable rates.

ppappas says:
Sep 19, 2013 06:06 PM

Roy Bravo: agent
Hi Would like to highly recommend Roy Bravo. He not only did an excellent job arranging my clearance but also in my canal transit. Roy is also a great resource for any needs you might have for service or repairs; he is well connected only recommends "the best of breed". Roy is a great person, very professional, very respectful, and beyond reproach. You will not be disappointed. Peter Pappas "Callisto" Amel sm2000 #369

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Shelter Bay Marina: Feedback from Cruisers & Marina Info.

Shelter Bay Marina: Feedback from Cruisers & Marina Info. (21 Mar 2016)

Weather & Routing for a 2016 Pacific Ocean Passage - East to West – March to June 2016

Weather & Routing for a 2016 Pacific Ocean Passage - East to West – March to June 2016 (14 Mar 2016)

Sailing Advisory Panama to Galapagos

Sailing Advisory Panama to Galapagos (22 Feb 2016)

Transiting the Panama Canal without an Agent: Cruisers' Report

Transiting the Panama Canal without an Agent: Cruisers' Report (10 Feb 2016)

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Nicaragua, north of Isla Providencia (Colombia): Attempted Boarding - January 2016 (31 Jan 2016)

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Panama, Caribbean, Panamarina: Burgled Twice - November 2015 (30 Nov 2015)

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Pacific Panama: Cruising Notes for the Darien Region (28 Nov 2015)

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Clearance Formalities Worldwide: How Experiences Vary (13 Oct 2015)

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Panama, San Blas, East Lemon Cays, Yansalardup anchorage: Burglary - September 2015 (30 Sep 2015)

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Panama, San Blas, East Lemon Cays: Burglary - July 2015 (31 Jul 2015)

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Sailing Panama to the British Virgin Islands - some hints (27 Jun 2015)

San Blas, Porvenir: Aground and holed on a reef

San Blas, Porvenir: Aground and holed on a reef (13 Apr 2015)

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Arriving in Panama: Don't wait to check-in (10 Apr 2015)

Panama Canal Agents: Cruisers' Recommendations

Panama Canal Agents: Cruisers' Recommendations (31 Mar 2015)

Panama, Bocas del Toro: Latest updates

Panama, Bocas del Toro: Latest updates (09 Jan 2015)

South Pacific Cruising Notes: April to November 2013

South Pacific Cruising Notes: April to November 2013 (22 Oct 2014)

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Panama Marine Services: Recommendations from Cruisers (18 Sep 2014)

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Liferaft Service in Panama City: A Warning (14 May 2014)

Panama, Balboa, Taboga Island South: Cruising yacht at anchor attacked by armed gunmen – March 2014

Panama, Balboa, Taboga Island South: Cruising yacht at anchor attacked by armed gunmen – March 2014 (25 Apr 2014)

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Tropical South Pacific weather resources (17 Mar 2014)

Pacific Panama: Update on Anchorages

Pacific Panama: Update on Anchorages (17 Feb 2014)

Pacific Panama: Navigation notes for the Darien Region

Pacific Panama: Navigation notes for the Darien Region (13 Nov 2013)

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Shelter Bay Marina: Recruiting from the Cruising Community (14 Oct 2013)

Panama City Anchorages

Panama City Anchorages (16 Sep 2013)

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Panama, Isla Grande: Night boarding while owners on board - August 2013 (31 Aug 2013)

Considerations for marine lightning protection - survey results

Considerations for marine lightning protection - survey results (12 Jul 2013)

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Panama, Balboa, Las Brisas anchorage: Dinghies and outboards stolen - June 2013 (17 Jun 2013)

Transiting the Panama Canal 2012/13: Cruisers Report

Transiting the Panama Canal 2012/13: Cruisers Report (30 Apr 2013)

Portobelo Updates

Portobelo Updates (30 Apr 2013)

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Pacific Planning Advice (26 Mar 2013)

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Panama, Balboa: Comments and Tips from Cruisers (12 Mar 2013)

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Panama, Las Perlas, Isla Pedro Gonzalez: Outboard Theft - February 2013 (25 Feb 2013)

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Clearing into Bocas del Toro on a Saturday (11 Dec 2012)

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Panama: Sailing Restrictions in Canal Waters (28 Nov 2012)

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Panama, Punta Chame: Yacht boarded and robbed by Armed Men - November 2012 (28 Nov 2012)

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Red Frog Beach Marina Joins the IGY Marinas Network (03 Oct 2012)

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Panama: Clearing into Panama at Puerto Obaldia - August 2012 (31 Aug 2012)

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Buenos Aires to San Francisco (28 Aug 2012)

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Cashpoint in Portobelo (08 Aug 2012)

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Green Turtle Cay Marina nr. San Blas - Updates (21 Jul 2012)

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Cruising Information for the San Blas Islands (20 Jul 2012)

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Panama, Bocas del Toro, nr. Isla Colon: Brutal Assault & Robbery - July 2012 (09 Jul 2012)

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Panama Canal Toll Increases (30 Jun 2012)

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An Update from Colon (13 Jun 2012)

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Panama: New Visa Fees for Yacht Crew Only - ABOLISHED? (24 May 2012)

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Panama Canal Transit - Advance Planning (21 May 2012)

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Do it Yourself both sides of the Panama Canal (15 May 2012)

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San Blas Cruising Only - Returning by air to the USA (10 May 2012)

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Uruguay to Panama - Exit Zarpe (09 May 2012)

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Panama Canal Transit Southbound - in detail (07 May 2012)

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Selden Mast Recall - Our Experience (04 May 2012)

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Panama Canal Transit Spring 2012 - Reports from Cruisers (24 Apr 2012)

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Butane Availability In Caribbean & Pacific (04 Apr 2012)

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Panama, Colon: Yacht at anchor boarded & robbed - March 2012 (03 Apr 2012)

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San Blas: Restricted Travel along the Carti Road (28 Mar 2012)

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Planning to Cruise Central America? (11 Sep 2011)

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Transiting The Panama Canal South to North (06 Sep 2011)

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Planning to Transit the Panama Canal? (24 Aug 2011)

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New Free Caribbean Cruising Guide - A Thinking Mans Guide to Voyages South (23 Jul 2011)

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South Pacific Ocean Passage Planning (25 May 2011)

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Panama Canal Transit End of March 2011 (18 May 2011)

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Central America Ports: Panama to Mexico (18 May 2011)

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Previously Listed Canal Agent No Longer in Business (12 Mar 2011)

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Acquiring Parts in Panama (10 Mar 2011)

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Shipping Parts to Yachts-in-Transit in Panama (24 Feb 2011)

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Clearing Out of Panama at Balboa (21 Feb 2011)

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Our Visit to Bocas Del Toro, Panama (18 Feb 2011)

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Clearing in at Bocas del Toro (01 Oct 2010)

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New Edition of The Panama Cruising Guide Published (03 Jun 2010)

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Spanish for Cruisers - 2nd Edition (03 Jun 2010)

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Panama Canal Agents: Beware! (15 Apr 2010)

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Panama Advance Notification – The Reality (05 Mar 2010)

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Transiting the Panama Canal – A Cruiser’s View (23 Feb 2010)

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Panama Maritime Authority Request Legalisation of Maritime Services (01 Jan 2010)

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Pacific Panama - Discover Golfo de Montijo (22 Nov 2009)

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Panama Canal Transit - Cruisers Notes (28 Sep 2009)

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Panama-Galapagos-Ecuador (26 Sep 2009)

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Venezuela to Canada (15 Sep 2009)

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Anchoring in Panama (20 Jun 2009)

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Panama to Windward Islands (15 May 2009)

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Panama to Callao, Peru in June (27 Apr 2009)

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Panama To The Galapagos (10 Feb 2009)

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Caribbean: Reported Crime Incidents Against Yachts, 2005-2008 (26 Aug 2008)

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Cruising and Enjoying the San Blas Islands – April 2008 (10 Jun 2008)

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Cruising Report: Panama Canal Transit (09 Jun 2008)

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Panama to Marquesas in February (22 May 2008)

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Panama to Chile - Advice Sought (15 May 2008)

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Panama to Victoria, B.C. (14 May 2008)

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Belize to Panama (14 May 2008)

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USA to Panama in April (14 May 2008)

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Ecuador to Panama in December (14 May 2008)

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Advice On Panama Transit (14 May 2008)

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Fishing Boats - Panama to Galapagos (15 Sep 2007)

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Panama: To use an agent or not? (02 May 2007)

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Cruising Report on Sapzurro (15 Jan 2007)

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Panama Canal - Using an agent (26 Jun 2006)

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Cruising Notes Costa Rica, Cocos Island (24 May 2005)

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Positive Experience From Panama Canal To Galapagos (11 Apr 2005)

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Is A Late Transit Of Panama Canal Feasible? (12 Nov 2004)

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Refuelling in the Marquesas (03 May 2004)

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New Comprehensive Cruising Guide for Panama (24 Feb 2003)

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Eastern San Blas (19 Aug 2002)

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Mexico/Central America: Pacific Weather Resource Update  (17 Oct 2016)

Panama, San Blas: Port Captain & Immigration Offices closed until further notice

Panama, San Blas: Port Captain & Immigration Offices closed until further notice  (04 May 2016)

SSCA Radio Station "KPK" Teams With Chris Parker and MMSN to assist Solo Circumnavigator Donna Lange

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Panama, Shelter Bay Marina: Sail Loft needs Sailmaker!

Panama, Shelter Bay Marina: Sail Loft needs Sailmaker!  (27 Oct 2015)

Caribbean Bound? Some Useful Noonsite Articles and Links

Caribbean Bound? Some Useful Noonsite Articles and Links  (23 Oct 2015)

Eastern Pacific: Pacific Puddle Jumper dismasted

Eastern Pacific: Pacific Puddle Jumper dismasted  (08 May 2014)

Panama, Balboa, Taboga Island South: Cruising yacht at anchor attacked by armed gunmen – March 2014

Panama, Balboa, Taboga Island South: Cruising yacht at anchor attacked by armed gunmen – March 2014  (25 Apr 2014)

New NOAA East Pacific Experimental Forecasts now available

New NOAA East Pacific Experimental Forecasts now available  (27 Mar 2014)

Eastern Caribbean and now the Pacific: The Coconut Telegraph SSB Net extends its reach

Eastern Caribbean and now the Pacific: The Coconut Telegraph SSB Net extends its reach  (28 Feb 2014)

Caribbean Crime: Caribbean Security Index (CSI) review of 2013

Caribbean Crime: Caribbean Security Index (CSI) review of 2013   (31 Jan 2014)

Panama: Tightening up of how Cruising Permits are issued

Panama: Tightening up of how Cruising Permits are issued   (29 Jan 2014)

Panama season starting soon

Panama season starting soon  (03 Dec 2013)

Pan Pacific Net needs Net Controllers

Pan Pacific Net needs Net Controllers  (25 Oct 2013)

Panama, Balboa: Diablo Heights now the only official Immigration Office

Panama, Balboa: Diablo Heights now the only official Immigration Office  (09 Jul 2013)

Great New Service for noonsite users: Get notified of cruising news, reports and country updates as they are posted

Great New Service for noonsite users: Get notified of cruising news, reports and country updates as they are posted  (23 May 2013)

The Caribbean Directory of Marine Services and Vendors launched this week

The Caribbean Directory of Marine Services and Vendors launched this week  (16 May 2013)

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Panama, Shelter Bay Marina: Boatyard Manager Vacancy  (18 Mar 2013)

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Summary of Security & Piracy Reports 2012  (28 Feb 2013)

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Panama, Balboa Yacht Club: Pacific Puddle Jump Party, March 9, 2013  (18 Jan 2013)

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Panama, Colon: Protests over land sell-off  (23 Oct 2012)

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Caribbean Security Index from FreeCruisingGuides  (06 Sep 2012)

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Panama: Increased Canal Tolls Effective from October 1st 2012  (18 Aug 2012)

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Panama: Dinghy Licence for Local Residents  (18 Jul 2012)

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Panama, Bocas del Toro: American Couple Brutally Assaulted And Robbed On Their Sailboat Near Isla Colon  (09 Jul 2012)

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Panama Canal: ACP Announces Delay in Implementation of Toll Increase  (30 Jun 2012)

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Panama Immigration: If going to Panama, find out first the best place to clear in.  (26 Jun 2012)

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Honduras: Doublehanders Boarded and Robbed by Pirates  (14 Jun 2012)

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Panama: Row over Proposed Toll Increases  (30 May 2012)

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Visiting the Galapagos? Reduce your Human Footprint  (18 May 2012)

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Panama: Good News about Immigration Fees - with Update  (09 May 2012)

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Panama Canal Transit - Limited Advisors creates Backlog  (21 Apr 2012)

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Panama, Colon, Club Nautico: Skipper tied up and Robbed  (08 Apr 2012)

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Panama: Latest on Transit Waiting Times  (05 Apr 2012)

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Caribbean Free Cruising Guides - New Editions  (04 Apr 2012)

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Panama: Latest Transit Information - Further Updates  (20 Mar 2012)

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Panama: Waiting Time for Canal Transits Increases  (01 Mar 2012)

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Floating Doctors 2010-2011 Medical Relief Expedition  (09 Aug 2011)

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Panama: Marine Scene Marina – New Mega Facility in the Planning  (04 May 2011)

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Panama Canal Temporarily Closed to All Traffic - Update  (11 Dec 2010)

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New Webcast Service for Caribbean Weather  (20 Oct 2010)

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Panama: Skipper Killed and Crew Wounded in Yacht Attack - Further Updates  (11 Jul 2010)

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Panama: New Regulations Covering Cruising Permits - Effective July 1st 2010  (02 Jul 2010)

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Panama - Warning of ACP Canal Toll increase 2011   (30 Apr 2010)

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Panama Canal - Official Agent Listing Available Soon  (21 Oct 2009)

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Transit Fees for the Panama Canal  (02 Jun 2009)

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The Panama Cruising Permit - "Permiso de Navegacion"  (18 May 2009)

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Update on the Panama Canal  (13 Mar 2009)

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Panama Canal Transit Season - Update on Waiting Times  (21 Feb 2009)

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Panama: All Visiting Yachts Now Required to Pre-Register Arrival Information  (11 Feb 2009)

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Panama Canal Transit Season - Current Waiting Times  (09 Feb 2009)

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Confusion in the San Blas Islands  (17 Sep 2008)

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Is the Panama Canal back to Normal?  (20 Jun 2008)

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Waiting Times at Panama Canal Worsen  (16 Apr 2008)

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Waiting Times at Panama Canal Get Worse  (11 Apr 2008)

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Galapagos Restrictions  (03 Nov 2006)

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New US Immigration Requirements  (02 Aug 2006)

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Ecuadorean Authorities Ease Galapagos Restrictions  (05 Apr 2006)

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Spies, Crooks and Others Along the Way: Noonsite Book Of The Month  (10 Feb 2006)

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More News - Good and Bad - From Panama  (21 Sep 2005)

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Panama Canal Authority Tightens Screws On Yachts  (16 Sep 2005)

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Ecuador’s Puerto Lucia Provides A Perfect Base En Route to the South Seas  (05 Sep 2003)

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Panama Canal Raises Fees But Yachts May Not Be Affected  (19 Aug 2002)