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Central America Ports: Panama to Mexico

By Sue Richards last modified Apr 07, 2015 02:23 PM

Published: 2011-05-18 11:15:42
Countries: Panama , Costa Rica , Mexico , Nicaragua

Going up the coast from Panama to Mexico (and then off to Hawaii). I thought I would pass along the following scuttlebutt for noonsite readers.

Balboa, Panama:
At least 4 chandleries in and around Las Brisas anchorage -- Abernathy's, Coastal, and at least two others (can't remember the names of). Great net on ch. 74 at 0800. Check-in at either Balboa YC or Diablo (downtown). Avoid checking in at the marina unless you want to be hassled and pay more. Free dinghy dock in Las Brisas. Also free wifi. Renting a taxi for $8-10/hr. can be a much better deal than paying one-way taxi fares, esp. if you have multiple errands to run. Roosevelt speaks English and Spanish and was quite helpful. The vegetable/fruit market is incredible! It is in a seedy part of town. But produce is cheap and excellent quality.

San Juan del Sur, Nicaragua:
Probably the cheapest place on the whole coast. No marina, though a breakwater is planned. Serious SW swell if wind comes from there. Anchor on right side of bay to reduce swell. No travel lift but a crane will pull a 45-50' boat out for $250-300. No chandleries; bring your own materials. Cheap, cheap, cheap!! Good labor at $7-8/day. Free wifi. Water at the fishing dock (we are told). Otherwise jerry fuel and water.

Marina at Playa Herradurra, Costa Rica:
Will not let you in unless you have already checked into Costa Rica. (You might be able to go over to Tambor in Bahia Ballena and rent a taxi and jerry your diesel without checking in, but I don't know!)

Note: We have heard that Acapulco should be avoided. It has apparently turned into a dirty, dangerous little town, but the marina is supposed to be safe.

Peter Nelson

Captain Chris Wade
Captain Chris Wade says:
Apr 07, 2015 02:01 PM

Banana Bay Marina in Golfito has a fuel dock with very easy access. Great staff and good people. Provisions although not hard to get we found the prices to be high.