Panama: Anchoring Information for Guna Yala (San Blas)

Cruisers have compiled a useful list of anchorages and fees charged in Guna Yala. For updated fees see the Panama Fees section.

Published 5 years ago

As reported by Facebook’s San Blas Cruisers

Cruising Fee: The Congresso collects the following fees for all boats that spend time in Guna Yala: $20 for each person (excluding children) on the boat per month who is not a legal resident or legal resident alien of Panama and $20 dollars for the vessel per month. You can pay the fees monthly or in advance at their office in El Porvenir or you can pay when someone visits your boat. They will issue you an official receipt.

Anchoring Fee: Anchoring fees are charged by each individual island or group and are for 30 days. You can expect to pay a fee at many of the islands you stop at between Puerto Perme and Isla Tigre. If you are staying only one night or think the fee to anchor is too high it has been reported that cruisers have negotiated the rates downward or refused to pay at all. Fees are far less common in the Western San Blas Islands. An official commercially printed receipt for anchoring fees should be given to you before you hand over the money. It should have the Islands name printed on it and may carry an official looking stamp. Ensure your boat name and the date of issue are written on the receipt.

*All this information is totally subject to instant change by the local residents.

  • Puerto Perme: $10 for an anchoring permit. Length of time for the permit is currently unknown. Sometimes they also try to charge for the use of the path to Carreto but if you are going on the hike show your anchoring receipt.
  • Caledonia: $12 for an anchoring permit for 30 days. $2 per person to visit the Island.
  • Mamitupu: $10 for an anchoring permit for 30 days.
  • Isla Pinos:  $10 for an anchoring permit for 30 days.
  • San Ignacio de Tupile: $10 for an anchoring permit for 30 days.
  • Ustupu: $15 for an anchoring permit. Length of time for the permit is currently unknown. Note: do not anchor in Bahia de Masargandi only anchor behind the main Island and do not go up the rivers without permission or a guide (A $200 + fine may be imposed). Health Clinic on the island.
  • Snug Harbor/Playon Chico: $10 anchoring permit for 30 days. Health Clinic on Island.
  • Corazon de Jesus: $10 for an anchoring permit occasionally charged for 30 days especially around Christmas. Don’t anchor over the waterline marked with buoys that extends from the mainland to the new water tower on the east side of the island.
  • Rio Azucar: $2  per person to visit Island. Health Clinic on the island.
  • Holandes/Nargana: $10 for an anchoring permit for 30 days (Receipt is for De Los Seis Pueblos which are all the Holandes, Coco Bandero Cays, Nargana and Green Island). $2.00 per person is charged to visit La Tortuga Island in the Swimming Pool. If you are in this general area, are approached for a fee and have a current receipt from the Holandes, present it. Health Clinic on Nargana.
  • Nubesidup: No anchoring, (unconfirmed first hand, as of the writing of this list).
  • Gun Boat: $20 for an anchoring permit. Length of time for a permit is currently unknown. $2 per person dollars to visit the island. The reef is not of sufficient height to keep the anchorage comfortable with the brisk trade winds we get during the winter months.
  • Salardup: $2 per person to visit the island. Dogs not permitted on the cabana side of the island. Currently no landing on the beach for any purpose, due to problems between the caretaker family and the Congresso about proper licensing for tourism.
  • Gorgidupdumont Island South West of Salardup: $2 per person only if the owners are there with tourists.
  • Dog Island:  $2-$5 per person depending on the mood of the day and tourist count. 7/12/2018 a vessel was charged 24 dollars to anchor.
  • Perro Grande in the East Lemons: $2 per person and $5 for dogs.
  • Isla Gerti (in Islas Robeson): $7 for an anchoring permit for 30 days.
  • Los Grullos -charges a landing fee at the southern island. The amount is currently unknown.
  • Dogs are longer permitted on or off leash in Carti. It is permitted to have dogs in a carrier or in your arms.

Note: At this time it is very difficult to get friends, family or crew in or out of Guna Yala via the Cart Road to Panama. One can charter flights to El Porvenir or Corazon de Jesus or use a regularly scheduled flight in or out of Playon Chico, which is in Snug Harbor.

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