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 Golfito - Profile

Location

Located just north of the Panama canal, Golfito is a convenient and very attractive port at which to clear in or out of Costa Rica. The Banana Bay Marina are very welcoming, can organise clearance, has a fuel dock with very easy access and helpful staff.

Outboard and dinghy theft is a problem in Golfito however and cruisers should take maximum precautions to secure their hardware. Be extra vigilant with security, even in daylight whilst on board the boat.

It is one of the wettest places in Costa Rica, with over 300 inches of rain a year. However, because of the rain it has some of the highest jungle canopies in Costa Rica and a wealth of animal life.

Position 8°38.16'N, 83°10.0'W.

Clearance

See Costa Rica Fomalities for full details on clearing into and out of Costa Rica.

Arrival

On arrival, hoist the Q flag and call Base Naval (Naval Base) on Channel 16. The captain will be required to give his name and passport number, the vessel's name and registration number, the name of the last port, and zarpe number.

Normally boats are directed to the quarantine area, near the commercial dock. Immigration, customs, quarantine and port officials normally visit the boat, or the captain has to go ashore to complete formalities.

Latest reports from cruisers are that officials in the commercial port are not particularly welcoming to yachts and insist an agent is used at a very high fee. It is therefore recommended that cruisers proceed directly to Banana Bay Marina for clearance.

Call Banana Bay Marina on VHF Channel 12 or 16; the marina staff will arrange for the officials to come to the marina.

Boats that have already cleared into Costa Rica at another port must visit the port captain's office to present their zarpe.

Clearance Offices Ashore

It is no longer necessary to visit Quarantine (located down the road from Immigration).

Immigration is a few blocks towards town. They will copy every document for you and tell you what to do.

Then go to Customs near the duty free area with your next bundle of papers, and recieve your cruising permit. Note that there is a new strict supervisor here who insists on reviewing your ORIGINAL vessel registration. She does not accept fax copies or downloaded/printed copies, even if they are certified originals. Be sure to have all your papers in order.

Next go to the Port Captains Office and show your Zarpe to clear with them.

Clearance should only take a couple of hours and costs approx. US$6 in taxi fare.

Port Authorities are closed on Saturday and Sunday, and Customs is closed on Monday. Check-in can still be done on a Monday but keep this in mind for your departure schedule. Official hours for these offices are Monday through Friday, 0800-1600 hours. Overtime charges apply outside of these hours.

On departure visit the Capitania for a national or international zarpe (both are US$20). Cruisers report no problems with the authorities here.

Last updated March 2016.

Docking

This is a useful port of call and good for repairs and provisioning. There are no haul-out facilities here. The nearest are in Punta Arenas in Gulfo Nicoya.

In Golfito the Land and Sea Cruisers Club, situated between Banana Bay and Fish Hook marinas, is a good alternative to marina berthing. They charge $8 per day for moorings and $1 per day for internet. All 3 marinas are close together and reported to be very friendly and helpful.

The Fish Hook Marina offers special reduced rates to visiting yachts.

Banana Bay Marina has a very good restaurant and offers a range of facilities, such as floating docks with water and electricity, as well as duty-free fuel for boats in transit.

A new superyacht marina - The Golfito Marina Village (12m to 107m) - opened in 2017.

The safest places to anchor are close in front of Banana Bay Marina, Land and Sea or Fishhook Marina.

Security: Be extra carefull in Golfito to lock you motor and dinghy and do so with extra due dilligence. Use a big chain so thieves cannot just cut the cables and pry things off with crowbars. Never leave your hardware unsecured even if you are on board during the day. Theft is a problem here - see reports adjacent and comments at bottom of page.

Last updated January 2018.

Arena Alta K&B Marina
Aptdo 202, Playa Zancudo , Golfito, Puntarenas 8021 , Costa Rica
Tel:011 506 775 0741
Banana Bay Marina
Km2 Casa Amarilla, Golfito , Costa Rica 60701-192
Tel:+(506) 2775 0255 Fax:+(506) 2775 0735 ,VHF Channel 16/12
08°37'N 83°09'W
Full service licensed marina, customs office and sport fishing center. Marina services include dockage up to 120 feet, diesel fuel, repairs and cleaning services, 24 hour security, WiFi, restaurant, laundry and accommodation.
Services also extend to two-year cruising permits, Port Clearance and Bonding Services.
Fish Hook marina
Golfito Bay , Golfito
Tel:+ (506) 2775-1624 Rest.: + (506) 2775-0592
Latitude 8° 37' 17" - Longitude -83° 9' 6"
Marina can accommodate boats up to 165 feet. Surrounded by mountains, Golfito bay is protected from surge and tropical storms all year around. Facilities include shore power, pressurized water, WiFi, cable TV, 24-hour security, boat maintenance, laundry service, storage, and much more.
Golfito Marina Village - An IGY Destination
Golfito, Costa Rica
Tel:+ (506) 2775-3000 Rest.: + (506) 8575-3000
Marina of 50 berths catering to vessels up to 107m (350’). Super yacht & Sport-fishing Marina. Restaurants and shops.
Marina Somoa del Sur
P.O. Box 55-8201, Golfito, , Puntarenas, CR
Tel:011 (506) 2775-0233 Fax:011 (506) 2775-0573
A small marina offering full marina and boat facilities with Customs authorization, laundry, hotel and restaurant. Authorised bonding agent.

Yacht Clubs

Land and Sea Cruisers Club
Golfito Bay , Run by Tim and Katie
Tel:011 (506) 2775-1614 Fax:011 (506) 2775-1300
"The place" hosting sailors in Golfito for more than a decade. Very limited med-tie space at the dingy dock plus moorings. Comprehensive range of services, including WiFi (reported to be the cheapest in Costa Rica), clean showers, laundry service, huge book exchange and a cosy honour bar/cafe. Also offer boat sitting and bottom cleaning services. For the self-sufficient cruising sailor who prefers to be on the hook or an economical mooring.
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