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 Playa de Coco - Profile

Location

This is a very pleasant tourist town and clearance into Costa Rica here is probably the easiest option.

Take care of the reef located in the middle of the anchorage (where there are no moorings) and the surf, which can make parts of the anchorage very rolly.

Position 10° 33'24"N, 85° 41'58"W (anchorage)

Clearance

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

The Port Captain's office is half a block above the south end of the park (by the old pier) and Immigration is 2 or 3 blocks further along on the same street (about a 15-minute walk inland and on the right near the bus stop). The Port Captain will issue the usual zarpe.

Customs are now at the Liberia airport only - about 45 mins by bus or take a rental car to the airport.

The procedure to follow is port captain, immigration, port captain, customs. Only Customs speak any English.

Clearing in here is reported to be very easy and should take about 3 hours. Three copies of all papers, including passports, will be required.

Port Captain, Tel. 2670-0216, Monday to Friday 08:00-16:00.

Immigration (Migracion), Tel. 2670-0481, Monday-Friday 08:00-16:00.

Last updated April 2018.

Michelle Lalonde
Tel:011 5062 670 0006 cell:011 8506 375 5952
An ex-cruiser who can offer help with clearance and local information.

Docking

There are no marinas here.

It is possible to anchor off, but choose your spot carefully.

This anchorage has a reef right in the middle. The left side facing shore is very rolly. The right side is calmer and you can anchor out almost to the island in 30 ft of water. The middle part where there are no mooring bouys is where the reef is located, so do not go there.

Getting ashore with your dinghy can be difficult if the surf is heavy, although the beach shallows slowly. Land where the locals are picking up and dropping off. The dinghy can be secured at the top of the beach if you have a long (2 or 3m) cable.

If you prefer not to attempt landing in the surf you can call on VHF Ch. 16 for a water taxi.

Provsioning is easy here.

More comfortable anchorages can be found at Playa del Panama and Iguanita. From Playa del Panama it is possible to get a taxi or water taxi to take you to Playa de Coco for clearance. See Transport information adjacent.

There is another sheltered anchorage north of Bahia Cocos, at Bahia de Santa Elena.

Last updated April 2018.

Mike Milota
Mike Milota says:
Jul 27, 2018 09:58 PM

It was an easy check into Costa Rica at Playas del Coco in January, 2018. Anchorage was good. The beach shallows slowly and it was easy, even as a single hander, to land the dinghy and launch it by walking through the surf. Land where the locals are picking up and dropping off. The dinghy can be secured at the top of the beach if you have a long, (2 or 3 m) cable. The port captain’s office is a little south and about one half block inland. Immigration is on the same street about a 15-minute walk inland and on the right near the bus stop. Customs is at the Liberia airport about 25 miles away, 45 minutes by bus. The procedure was port captain – immigration – port captain – customs. The officials were courteous, but don’t expect much English except at customs (Liberia is an international airport). The whole process took a painless three hours. The town was far touristy than I expected. Provisioning was ok. If coming from Mexico on a budget, plan on half as much beer in CR.

SailSirena
SailSirena says:
Sep 06, 2016 11:53 PM

This anchorage has a reef right in the middle. The left side facing shore is very rolly. The right side is calmer and you can anchor out almost to the island in 30 ft of water. The middle part where there are no mooring bouys is where the reef is located, so do not go there. Call on Ch 16 for a water taxi and save yourself the drama of a very rough surf landing. Provisioning is good, shopping is plentiful, and check in is pretty simple except that you need to take a bus or rental car to the airport to go through customs. As of May 2016 the office is in the airport itself, not down the road. Nice town, great restaurants, hardware store has most basics. Beware the surf!

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