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 Porlamar, Margarita - Profile

Location

Porlamar was once regarded by many as the only "safe" anchorage on Isla Margarita. During the hurricane season there used to be as many as 100-150 boats here. However the number of visiting yachts has declined substantially over the last five years and now that Venezuela is in the middle of troubling times there are no foreign cruising boats visiting here.

Local webcam: (http://www.margaritainfo.com/webcam.htm)

There no longer exists a gathering place for yachties here, and many of the services available to cruisers in the past, have now gone out of business.

Robberies from yachts do occur here and crew should be careful not to flash money around. Be sure to secure all items on deck and always lift and lock the dinghy and outboard at night.

Last updated March 2017.

Clearance

See Venezuela Formalities for full details on clearing into and out of the country.

International Clear in and out:

Immigration raised Clearance costs significantly in 2010, making Porlamar probably the most expensive place to clear in the Caribbean. See report here for details of costs.

It is no longer necessary to use an "agent" to assist with entry and departure formalities - and in fact to clear in and out yourself here is now much easier than in the past (see agents listed under General Services).

The customs, immigration and port captain offices are now in the same building at the northern end of Concorde beach and some officials speak English (although some Spanish does help). Leave your dinghy at the Concorde Marina dinghy dock, they will watch it for your for 5 Bolivares. You do have to go to town and make a bank deposit.

National Clear in and out:

There is some discussion as to whether or not this is a legal requirement to have to clear in and out between the islands and the mainland. Several cruisers report that they never bother and never have a problem.

Last updated January 2016.

Docking

10deg 56.7'N, 63deg 50'W

There is a submerged wreck with about 3' of water covering it close to the El Morro headland, so be sure to not cut the corner when arriving. In addition there is a semi-submerged wreck in about 6' of water at the front of the anchorage, take care not to hit it with your dinghy.

Anchoring

The Porlamar anchorage is hard sand, CQR anchors tend not to set so well here and 100' of chain is recommended. Winds can be from any direction, but any swell is usually from the east and can cause an unpleasent roll. A bridle or stern anchor will make life more comfortable.

Marina Juan went out of business in 2011 and Juan himself is reported to be deceased. The wooden dock in front of Juan's is still standing, however it is no longer a safe place to leave a dinghy. ONSA (the civilian Coast Guard auxiliary) have taken over this facility.

You may find some enterprising soul at the Concorde Marina (now operated by the Wyndom hotel group) who will be offering dinghy security of some sort. Be sure to lock your dingy and outboard as they do get stolen here.

Docking

The Concorde Marina (easily spotted as a wooden dock jutting out from the Concord beach with a few people milling around) is very small with shallow draft and only accommodates local traffic. There is a dinghy dock here, near the Government Offices, which cruisers can use when coming ashore for clearance. However there are no other cruiser services available here.

The Marina Venetur is the only docking option when stopping in Margarita. The Coast Guard moors their boats there assuring a higher level of security. It is also reported to be relatively cheap and has water and electricity (at some of the slips). It is however often full in the 4 Venezuelan tourist seasons (Christmas, Carnival, Easter and Summer school holidays).

A limited number of repair facilities are available in Porlamar.

The hailing channel is VHF Ch:16. Channel 72 used to be the yachties chatting channel, with a daily net (not Sundays) at 0800. This no longer operates.

Last updated March 2017.

Marina Venetur Margarita
Calle las Cayenas , Urb. Costa Azul Municipio , Mariño. Edo. Nueva Esparta.
Formerly known as the Hilton marina. Located a few miles east of Porlamar. 231 berths. Basic facilities (water and electricity at some slips). Described as "a big open-ended bathtube with bollards", conditions are basic and rough. However probably most secure berthing option available.

AUSIE IN VEN
AUSIE IN VEN says:
May 29, 2016 03:38 AM

I was asked to comment on the docking in Concorde. At present there are 2 boats in Concorde, the rest is open for anyone. The large blue boat is habitated by a nice guy, Vercaro, who looks after the boat.
My boat is at Chacachacari, which is a town about 33km from Porlamar with 2 large boatyards, mostly for large fishing boats. They have 2 travel lifts. Cost on the hard is US$10 a day.
Also as far foreign boats go, it is safe here providing you use common sense. At present the situation for local people is bad here. They are hungry and have little money as inflation has wiped out their ability to buy cheap food. So if you have dollars it's good living. Not many things are under a dollar now, except petrol, diesel and water and electricity and mobile phone plans.
We get 2 or 3 foreign boats a month here, French and German mostly.

AUSIE IN VEN
AUSIE IN VEN says:
May 17, 2016 12:01 AM

My boat is on the hard at the moment in Chacachacari. There are two boatyards there and it costs US$10 a day (or 10000bs) to stay there. I have had to pull the motor out and rebuild the motor and trans. Price of fuel is now 6bs a liter, but diesel is still 5bs for about 56 liters. All prices are higher now as inflation is out of control. If you have dollars its cheap, but the Venezuelans are hurting.

Sue Richards
Sue Richards says:
Jan 11, 2016 01:13 PM

Posted on behalf of John Schiller:

I live in Margarita Island in Porlamar the Capital. Yachts need to check in at Concord, about 10 minutes from Porlamar. The Port Captain is called Pedro and Immigration is Eduardo. It will cost you 23 dollars for your 3 months stay for the boat. This has to be paid by bank transfer to a Government bank account, and the receipt to be given to the captain of the port. You get 3 days to do the transfer. Always carry copies of your passport here, not originals. You need to make copies of passports, ship documents etc. for the Port Captain.
Concord has 1 chandlery, but very limited parts and items here as no one has dollars to import. If you require anything it’s best to get it on the net. The 2 boat yards are in Chacachacari and they also have one chandlery very well stocked. Labour costs are about 3 to 4 dollars a day for boat work.
The exchange rate is at present 897 to the dollar. The island has many taxis and the rates are good. It is safe here mostly if you don’t splash your money around and act normal - not like a rich tourist. Do not carry many dollars around the town. They don’t like small notes here. If you have dollars in cash and you exchange them, make sure they take a photocopy of your notes in front of you. And give you a copy, just so no one comes back at you for being counterfeit.
Vegetables and fish are cheap as are the restaurants (particularly Chinese). Fresh bread and cakes are also cheap. One loaf of bread with six rolls will cost about 680bs (under a dollar). A large pizza will set you back 2 dollars, beer about 15 to 20 cents, a Chinese meal about 2000bs. The town is full of supermarkets and shops: Sambil ,Costa Azul, La Vela Rattan plaza. There are bars along the beach in Concorde and there are bottle shops everywhere. There is a scarcity of flour and milk and corn flour and rice at present . When they have some the lines are very long and people queue at 4am in the morning. Some medicines are not available and nappies are not available. There is a shortage of most basics but if you have money you can buy them at higher prices.
Petrol: 65 litres costs 10cents. I normally fill my Jeep and pay 10bs. Oil is plentiful here so is paint and most things are procurable if you hunt around. Water is buyable in large bottles, but Concord has no water. The boatyards do. Gas is very cheap, but they have large plastic bottles here and to fill them costs less than 5 cents. Telephone is cheap - under a $1 a month - but you need to get a chip - Movistar is probably the best.
My boat has been anchored in Concord for 1 year with no problems. As I live in my house I have someone on board at night for security. I have not had any problems apart from one night someone tried to cut the dinghy loose.

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