Cuba, East Coast: Puerto de Vita to Santiago

A cruiser provides info covering Puerto de Vita to Santiago/Marina Punta Gorda.

Published 5 years ago

General Fees:

For signing on crew joining in Cuba 5 CUC (see currency for more information) per person is charged. Signing off is 15 CUC per person. For entering Cuba with the boat it was CUC 55 for the boat and CUC 75 for each person. Note: check the invoices and insist on receipts as staff work 24-hour shifts and you may have a different person to check out.

Northeast Coast

Puerto de Vita: Clearing in laborious but o.k. The process took two hours and included two different dogs sniffing in the boat. Obtaining food in the next town (Sta. Lucia) is possible on a limited scale. Bread was difficult (you need to line up for a single loaf per person). No WiFi but it’s reported there are two computers that can contact the internet with a Voucher/Tarjeta.

Bahia Tanamo: Anchoring was permitted by the authorities in Puerto de Vita. The anchorage southeast of Cay Juanillo in 4m was fine. None of the navigation lights was operational.

Taco Bay and Mata Bay: Note that according to the Guarda Frontera Baracoa both are harbours of refuge only and must NOT be used on a regular basis. This information was contradictory to the information given to us in Puerto de Vita.

Baracoa: One person had to stay on the boat all the time, the others were allowed ashore. They wanted to make entries in the Despacho.

Southeast Coast

Baitiquiri: Anchoring is permitted, but nobody is allowed ashore and no dinghy use is permitted. All navigation lights are operational.

Santiago/Marina Punta Gorda: Marina price was 1 CUC per foot (including water and 110V/220V electricity) which is excessive for the quality of the marina.

Garbage bags are charged at 5 CUC apiece without regard to size; so bring big bags.

The marina showers/toilets are places to avoid. Most of the shower heads and mixing batteries are missing. There are no lights, no toilet paper, no cleaning.

A good alternative is a toilet in the hotel next door where there is also WiFi internet and sale of internet voucher cards.

Diesel was not available.

The staff are friendly, but the huge number of officials continuously cruising the piers is a bit of a turn-down.

Note: The concrete ruins of a swimming basin in the middle of the harbour basin poses a risk during manoeuvring.

Local travel: There is a ferry leaving about 200 m from the marina to downtown Santiago. It costs 1 CUC each way and takes about 35 minutes and is much nicer than expensive taxis or the unreliable public bus.

Dietmar Segner

SY Greyhound

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