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By No owner — last modified Nov 19, 2017 09:45 PM

 Panama - General Info

Time Zone

UTC -5

Yachting Essentials



Voltage: 110 V* (*Panama City 120 V)
Frequency: 60 Hz

LPG / Gas

Local gas (Tropigas & Panagas) is a variable mixture of propane and butane, but works well for most purposes. Be advised that each has its own unique regulator and neither is compatible with US (or other country's) tanks. You CAN get US style tanks filled, but you will need to ask around and it will be alot more expensive (approx. $30 as opposed to $6.40 for local 30# tank). Some cruisers have successfully transferred gas from local tanks to US style tanks with a pigtail-type connection.


For tips about boatyard practices in less developed countries and how to avoid pitfalls see: Getting work done on your boat whilst long distance cruising.


Balboa of 100 centesimos. Balboas are on a par with US$, which circulates as an equivalent currency.

In the San Blas islands, US currency is normally the only money accepted.


International dialing code for Panama is +507.

Cruisers Nets

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

Panama City Cruisers Net: Serves the boating community on the Pacific side of Panama inclusive of Panama City, Balboa, Las Brisas, Flamenco and Tobago. Due to congestion and continuous interference on CH74, this Net now hails and meets at 08:00 on CH68. Future frequency changes may be required if congestion grows on CH68.

The Panama Connection Net on SSB 8107 (USB) 8:30 AM is a very helpful net for cruisers transiting the area from the ABC's, Cartagena to Panama.

06 - Balboa Yacht Club and water taxi
10 - La Playita (Amador)
10 - Flamenco Marina
12 & 16 – “Cristobal Signal Station” and "Flamenco Signal Station Balboa" (Panama Canal Authority - call before entering canal areas)
68 – Bocas del Toro working channel & net at 8 AM
69 - Cruiser channel Balboa/Amador
72 - San Blas/Linton working channel
74 –Taboga Island mooring balls
74 - Colon Cruiser channel & Shelter Bay Marina Cruisers Net 7:40 AM (only on Mon & Thurs)
74 - Panama City Cruisers Net 8:00AM (Mon-Sat)
81a - Alternative channel for cruisers nets

SSB Frequencies
7:30 AM (1230 UTC) – 8104 USB - Chris Parker Weather
8:00 AM (1300 UTC) - 7083 LSB - HAM only – C. American Breakfast Club
8:15 AM (1315 UTC) - 6209 USB - South West Caribbean Net
8:30 AM (1330 UTC) - 8107 USB - Panama Connection Net
9:00 AM (1400 UTC) - 8143 USB - Pan Pacific Net
9:00 AM (1400 UTC) – 6209 USB – NW Caribbean Net

Cell Phones
Both Cable & Wireless Panama and Telefonica Moviles Panama, S.A. (Movistar) use GSM 850 cell phone frequencies. Use a GSM phone with GSM 850 - either pay roaming charges on your current cell phone service provider or buy a prepaid SIM card in Panama assuming your cell phone is not locked to a specific network

Digicel update December 2014:
Anyone cruising using Digicel should be aware that if you purchase a SIM card in one country, it cannot be topped up in different one, as previously possible. So if you wish to use the sim bought here while cruising in other countries, you should either put on a large enough sum to cover your needs, or set up an account and do it online.
You can top-up Digicel at

Another option is to rent a GSM phone from a local company while you are in Panama

American Export Import
Tel:506 2430 9077 Fax:506 2430 6792
Recommended by cruisers if in need of boat parts. Contact Oswaldo Perez Torres. Warehouses in Miami, Florida and San Jose, Costa Rica.


Panama City – Aeropuerto Internacional de Tocumen (PTY)
Located in the eastern part of the city. You will get there faster if you take Corridur Sur expressway. The tolls add up but it is extremely fast. Make sure you are clear with the taxi driver on the fee (are tolls included?) and which way you are going.

Aeropuerto Marcos A. Gelabert (PAC)
Also known as Albrook airport, is located in the western part of the city, known as Albrook. There are daily flights to all parts of Panama, including the San Blas, David, Bocas, Conatadora and other locations.

Note: AIR PANAMA has cancelled flight destination to Corazon de Jesus and El Porvenir (Nov. 2015). These destinations will be reviewed in 2016.

These airlines also have a great economical courier service to remote areas of the country. If you have extra suitcases you can air ship them cheaper than checking them with your flight. Just go to the domestic shipping end of the Albrook airport and ship your heavy stuff. The trip between airports by taxi will take at least 45 minutes or longer depending on traffic (allow 1 ½ hours).

From Cruisers Network Online - If flying from Panama to Quito, be sure to go armed with copies of your Panama cruising permit and boat documentation, as you will not be allowed to return to Panama without it.

Panama City - The Gran Terminal de Transportes is located adjacent to the Albrook Mall. Bus travel is very economical with numerous and frequent bus service between cities. Within Panama City taxis are better and very economical. Find out the rate before you hire a taxi as like everywhere there are sometimes higher prices for tourists.

Car Rental
Cruisers rent cars in Colon, Panama City and David. Rental cars can not be taken across the border into Costa Rica. The new 4 lane interstate is open between Colon (Sabinitas) and Panama City. In general the roads throughout Panama are good. You can get a better rate if you reserve a car online. You can also rent a GPS with digitized road maps.
Colon – Hertz (442-3272) and Budget (441-2126) are located at Colon 2000.
Panama City – Budget (Tocumen Airport PTY - 263-8777), Hertz (PTY - 301-2611), Dollar (270-0355), Thrifty (204-9555), National (PTY – 265-2222), Avis (PTY – 278-9444), Barriga Rent A Car (PTY – 269-0056), Arrendadora Economica (Nuevo Reparto El Carmen & Calle 50 – (229-5257), and Continental Rent a Car (213-0177).

The Panama Canal Railway (317-6070)
Runs one roundtrip per day between Panama City and Colon. From Panama City the train leaves at 7:15 AM from the station which is located in the Albrook area. The train leaves Colon at 5:15 PM. The train ride is about one hour, in modern coaches, air-conditioning and modeled after the railway first built in 1855. To be recommended.

Getting to the San Blas from Panama City
This is easily done by taxi/car. There are lots of companies that do 4wd trips to Carti and they usually can also arrange a small boat from there to take you out to the Islands.

Diplomatic Missions


Fire – Dial 103
Ambulance – Dial 103
Police – Dial 104
Directory assistance – Dial 102


IMRAY AND ADLARD COLES PILOT BOOKS are available at a discounted price for users via World Cruising Club

The Panama Cruising Guide, 5th Edition, by Eric Bauhaus is still the best and most up to date Cruising Guide covering Panama including the Panama Canal.

The Panama Cruising Guide
By Eric Bauhaus
Publisher: Eric Bauhaus; 5th edition (2014)
ISBN: 9789962056645
Considered one of the best Guides covering Panama, this Edition replaces the 4th Edition from 2009. Comprehensive cruising guide for both the Panama Canal and San Blas and Las Perlas. There is also a useful overview of Panama’s coastlines, both in the Caribbean and Pacific. The book contains detailed sketch plans of all ports and popular anchorages as well as aerial photos, as well as tips on local etiquette, fishing, provisioning and land transportation. Good section on transiting the canal.

Explore Central America - Part 2
Continually updated guides available in PDF, EPUB, MOBI. Go to
The most comprehensive guides ever written about cruising the Pacific coast of Central America from Mexico to the Panama Canal. In a two part set, these books provide over 325 GPS waypoints, over 112 charts and city maps, detailed weather descriptions, forecasting information and surfing locations. These books highlight dozens of anchorages not in other books and tons of local information that sailors care about. Many GPS waypoints, charts and city maps, detailed weather descriptions, forecasting information and surfing locations. It also highlights dozens of anchorages not in other books and much local information that sailors care about Also included are detailed procedures for clearing into and out of the Central American countries as well as Ecuador, the Galapagos and Mexico.

The Pacific Crossing Guide
By Kitty Van Hagen
3rd Edition October 2016
See The Pacific Crossing Guide 3rd Edition

A Thinking Mans Guide to Voyages South - the Many Facets of Caribbean Cruising
Author: Frank Virgintino
Published by Lulu: June 2011
ISBN 978 1 105 62982-2
Available at Kindle as well as all other EPub bookstores
2nd Edition now available as Free download at
See Noonsite reviews here
2nd edition includes expanded section on the options to leave the North American Coast as well as addition work in "Quandrant N". Figures have been enhanced for greater clarity and index with active table of contents included.

Captain's Guide to Transiting the Panama Canal in a small Vessel
By David W. Wilson
Published by Cruising Guide Publications (2nd Edn with updates to 2005)
ISBN 9962510317
Available from

The Panama Guide
By Nancy Schwalbe Zydler and Tom Zydler
Publisher: Seaworthy Publications - 2nd Edition (2001)
ISBN: 9781892399090
Available from
Still the most comprehensive guide written about the extraordinarily beautiful waters of the Caribbean and Pacific coasts of Panama. It contains vital information for planning waterborne adventures along these facinating shores. With 187 detailed chartlets this guide travels through the 365 islands of San Blas, explores the protected bays of Bocas del Toro, the green shores of the Las Perlas achipelago, the intriguing rivers leading into the tropical forests as well as the spectacular Panama Canal. This book includes explicit piloting instructions, GPS waypoints, lists of navigational aids, local services, customs regulations and recommendations for on shore activities. A full-colour section featuring Tom Zydler's photography depicts the splendour and panorama of cruising in Panama.

Living in Panama
By Sandra T. Snyder
Publisher: TanToes, S.A.; 2nd edition (March 28, 2007)
ISBN 13: 978-9962001560
Most authoritative day-to-day guide to life in Panama. Available in bookstores in Panama or on line at:

The Panama Cruisers Information Guide
Find it at the Cruisers_Network_Online Yahoo Group. You'll need a Yahoo account to access the guide and forum. Meant to help cruisers get a start with basic boating needs in Panama, to include Colon, Linton, San Blas, Bocas/David and Panama City. From Agents to Watermaker Supplies, this guide has a lot to offer.

Cruising Ports: The Central American Route
By Pat Rains
Published by Point Loma Publishing (New 6.5 edition - June 2013)
See for further details.
This book covers Pacific Central America (Guatemala, El Salvador, Nicaragua, Costa Rica, Pacific Panama) plus Mexico’s Gulf Coast to Veracruz, then NW Yucatan, NW Cuba, Yucatan Channel, Belize, Rio Dulce, Honduras and the Bay Islands, the Western Caribbean islands & banks, Panama’s Caribbean cruising grounds. This book culminates in Panama Canal Transit.

Colombia to Rio Dulce Cruising Guide
Authors: Amaia Agirre & Frank Virgintino (May 2016)
Available free at
Covers the coast of Colombia, The San Blas Islands, the off lying islands of Colombia (San Andres and Providencia), the Moskito coast, the Cape at Gracias a Dios and the Hobbies, the islands of Honduras and finally the Rio Dulce River (Guatemala).

Panama City Anchorages
By MY Domino who spent a year in Panama

Tourist website for the Republic of Panama.

Panama Canal Authorities

Line Handlers - seeking or volunteering

Bocas del Toro province

Transiting the Panama Canal
An interesting Bluewater Cruising article by a catamaran that transited in October 2016.

A look inside the Panama Canal
On their third transit, cruisers John Lewis and Shawn Maxey on the Tayana 37 Pilothouse cutter Active Transport got a VIP tour of the workings of the Miraflores Locks. Published by Ocean Navigator.

See Noonsite's Routing/Pacific Crossing page for other useful reports and links.

Update History

October 2017: Change of visa rules - immigration and fees updated accordingly.
August 2017: Visa at airport for returning yacht crew info. passed on by Russ of Shelter Bay Marina and Immigration section updated.
June 2017: Tourist visa info. clarified following feedback from Bocas del Toro.
May 2017: Porvenir Port Captain now back as reported by KS.
March 2017: Immigration further updated with feedback from Karsten Staffeldt and Shelter Bay Marina.
February 2017: Porvenir immigration and port captain offices re-opening plus entry stamp details added, as reported by Shelter Bay Marina.
November 2016: Panama City Central Immigration Office confirmed that new visa rules in effect - all old visa information removed.
November 2016: Customs section updated with help from Karsten Staffeldt.
November 2016: Posting of new visa rules as informed by Shelter Bay Marina Management. Old information still remains until we receive official confirmation that these visa rules are in place.
January 2016: Formalities checked by Karsten Staffeldt.
November 2015: Domestic Clearance rules updated by Karsten Staffeldt.
June 2015: Publications checked
February 2015: Customs checked.
January 2015: Clearance and Immigration updated with details of Flamenco Immigration branch office now issuing visas, care of SY Moon Dancer.
November 2014: New Domestic Clearance rules confirmed by Karsten Staffeldt.
June 2014: Publications checked and udpated.
July 2013: Balboa Immigration Branch Offices info. from Kay Langley of SY Frangipani and confirmed by Karsten Staffeldt.
April 2013: Clearance updates from Graham Keating of SY Maunie of Ardwall
April 2013: Fees updated with information from Latitude 38 passed on by Michael Bennett of SV Fan.
January 2013: Bringing in boat spares update from Cruisers Network Online.

Noonsite welcomes information and updates especially regarding clearance, customs and immigration procedures from cruisers visiting this country.

PleaseE-mail noonsitewith any new information, updates or corrections. Even just a short email confirming that the current data is accurate would be most helpful.

Share |
Sue Richards
Sue Richards says:
Nov 19, 2017 09:45 PM

San Blas Ustupu EVENT: Theft
DATE: 2017-11-06 08:00
Stolen Items: 40 ft. of port headsail sheet
SECURED: Not Locked
DETAILS: When departing, owners anchored just west of Ustupu discovered their port headsail sheet had been cut just behind the track car and the remaining 40 ft. of line stolen. It had been coiled and secured to the lifeline. Their buddy boat reported that sunscreen and bugspray had been taken from their dinghy while tied to the Ustupu military dock. The theft will be reported to the local officials at their next stop westbound.

roycereid302 says:
Oct 06, 2017 05:07 PM

I wanted to give some positive feedback for Puerto Armuelles as an entry and exit port for the Pacific side of Panama.
We cleared in and out of Panama there with no hassle at all. The port captain filled out all the forms, copied all our documents and helped us with our crew list.... We obtained all of our exit papers in about 45 minutes and when we came in it took about an hour to clear.
There is good holding in about 25 feet of water by the banana dock. Basically an easy in and out stop with good shopping, diesel available at $2.00usd a taxi ride away and friendly efficient service.
I don't speak Spanish.. but they all understood what I wanted and helped a lot. Very positive experience there.

Sue Richards
Sue Richards says:
Aug 11, 2017 09:33 AM

The increase in transit tolls for commercial vessels, effective October 2017, does not affect small crafts (up to 125 ft. LOA). All information on the Customer Form "Procedures for securing a Handline
Transit of the Panama Canal" from 2012 is still current, and can be seen on the Panama Canal

Sue Richards
Sue Richards says:
Aug 02, 2017 05:17 PM

Further report from Karsten Staffeldt - 1 August, 2017
Transit of the Panama Canal - Small vessels inclusive yachts (Less than 125 Ft. LOA)

Please be advised that the Pilot Organization at the Panama Canal has notified the Canal Authorities that they should have more control of the transits by small crafts inclusive yachts, which presently only requires an Advisor.

The negotiations are in the early stages, but if the Pilot Organization is successful and a regular Pilot will be required, no doubt the transit cost for small craft will increase considerably.

Shall keep you advised of developments.

Karsten Staffeldt

Sue Richards
Sue Richards says:
May 20, 2017 08:36 PM

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

Our Summer, Dry-Season, is over and the Rainy-Season started, which will last to
November. May is also the end of the sailing season Panama and in June the
Hurricane Season in the Caribbean and eastern Pacific is expected to begin.

In the Pacific El Niño is presently neutral and La Niña conditions is expected later this year.

As far as the Panama Canal Transits for small crafts, inclusive yachts, we have seen some delays during the past months, but with the season being over this situation is not expected to continue in the coming months.Furthermore at present no indication that the transit cost for small crafts will increase this year.

As far as Panama is concerned - some changes.

It seems that the situation at San Blas Islands has normalized somewhat, it is now possible again to clear in with both Port Captain and Immigration at Porvenir.

Also Immigration requirements have changed and crew on non-commercial yachts will be
grated minimum 90 days tourist permission at no cost, which can be extended, but in such case a visa is required costing around $ 105,00.

Otherwise no significant changes relating to clearing in and cruising Panama, however it must be pointed out that Rules and Regulations are subject to frequent change and often with different interpretation by the various Port Captain and Immigration Offices.

For Galapagos, obtaining permission to call required as well as use of an agent.
It is recommended that yachts wishing to call Galapagos contact any agent well
in advance of their planned visit in order to arrange the necessary permits. It
should also be noted that Rules and Regulations are frequently changed and at
times the interpretation of same up to the local Authorities attending the
clearing in!

Golden Glow
Golden Glow says:
Apr 13, 2017 01:36 AM

Panama Canal delays have only gotten worse since February. We were measured on Monday April 10th and were given a date of May 9th, 29 days out. Our agent says next week, after Easter, there may be an improvement, so I'll update you if things change.

Sue Richards
Sue Richards says:
Feb 22, 2017 12:12 PM

Panama Canal - Transit delays February / March 2017
Transit delays are now anticipated through the end of this month (Carnival Season) and into the first half of March (arrival of rallies). They are expected to be extensive.

Max Terragni
Max Terragni says:
Jan 02, 2017 04:46 PM

We used immigration in Porvenir last December 28th, 2016.
The officer ask us for 105 USD per person to obtain the visa for 6 months.
With the help of our friends, who had obtained a visa a few days before, we were able to enter for free - as the new law permits.
Beware that not all the officers are aware of the new law.

Sue Richards
Sue Richards says:
Jul 08, 2016 09:44 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 11:54 AM

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 02:12 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.

Vaguebond says:
May 02, 2016 05:22 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 15, 2016 11:59 PM

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 03:39 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 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.

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"

Sue Richards
Sue Richards says:
Jun 29, 2015 04:44 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 02:50 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 01, 2015 03:59 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 10:46 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 04:36 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 05:01 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 07:20 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 05:06 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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