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Panama, San Blas Islands: A Report on the Current Situation - August 2016

By San Blas facebook Group — last modified Sep 07, 2016 08:21 AM
With the Clearance situation being confused, this report from the San Blas Cruisers Facebook Group, will help clarify what is happening.

Published: 2016-08-24 23:00:00
Countries: Panama

https://www.facebook.com/groups/kunayala/

I spoke to Chifundo the Port Captain in Portobelo and he says immigration will NOT be moving from Portobelo to Puerto Lindo. Boats may check in here, in Portobelo or in Puerto Lindo. In either case, the skipper will still be required to come to Portobelo to do Immigration and pay for visas. Boats may purchase their cruising permit in either port without having to go to Colon.

For those who are new here, or haven't stopped by lately, Portobelo is a great anchorage year round and very easy for provisioning and transportation. The bus to Colon and Panama departs every 30 minutes beginning at 4:30 in morning thru 6:00 in the evening. There is a large number of taxis which can be arranged from town to Sabanitas or Colon at half the price as you'll find in Puerto Lindo because its significantly closer. In town you can purchase fuel and propane. There are also very good mechanics, marine electricians, a sail loft and other resources.

Portobelo has five Chinese mini super markets, hardware stores, two copy shops and a computer electronic boutique. The super markets offer a decent selection of products, chicken, meat, liquor as well dry goods that they typically purchase in Pricemart. So, if your looking for some thing like bulk peanuts, you can save yourself the trip to Panama. They also offer cash back through your credit card, in case you're running low. As a result of being closer to Colon and Panama, Portobelo typically receives two or three vegetable and fruit trucks that pass through each day offering fresh produce at extremely low prices.

On the water Casa Vela, the sail loft, also hosts a bar and lunch restaurant specializing in German fare (wifi). Off the square you'll find Cueva de Morgan, a small cozy bar which opens at night and offers drinks and well prepared Italian dishes (wifi). Further, there are three or four pizza joints including one that delivers and will meet you at the dock. There is a Colombian and Italian bakery which offer fresh bread, sandwiches and sweets baked daily. In addition, there is a selection of local restaurants. Casa Congo on the water with a large dinghy dock (wifi), Arith's for local fare, a new Colombian restaurant on the square offers Colombian dishes at reasonable prices.

Lastly, I may be a bit biased, as the manager, you have Captain Jack's restaurant at the top the hill. We accept credit cards, offer free wi-fi and (again I might be prejudiced) the coldest beer on the coast, extensive cocktails and a varied menu including a large selection of Thai and Vietnamese dishes, assorted specialty burgers and fresh seafood dishes.

There is a new professional laundry on the square in front of the San Felipe Church that offers dry-cleaning and a wash, dry and fold service at extremely reasonable prices. There is a new pharmacy on the square in front of the Customs house that stocks almost everything and a new skin clinic which some of us on boats may require. The town also has two health centers that offer treatment for just a few bucks including dentistry.

So, Welcome to Portobelo, we monitor channel 72 on the VHF. There is a sometimes cruisers net at 9ish in the morning. At any rate, 72 is the hailing channel and if you have any questions upon arrival give call on 72 and someone will get back to you.

Manager of Captain Jacks Bar & Grill

 

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larr
larr says:
Aug 30, 2016 06:52 PM

its correct also you can find minors repairs in portobelo, you can call Daniel at 63798952 they have a marine work shop in portobelo, also they travel every day to Panama you can reach with him any kind of supply

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