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post #1 of 5 Old 12-03-2003 Thread Starter
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Pacific Coast - Central America Ports?

I will be departing LA soon for a 6 month cruise to Mexico and the Pacific Coast of Central America.

Does anyone have good recommendations for places to anchor or good ports to visit in the following countries:

- Guatamala
- Honduras
- Nicaragua
- El Salvadore
- Costa Rica
- Panama
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post #2 of 5 Old 12-03-2003
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Pacific Coast - Central America Ports?


Here are some references you can check. Best you spend a bit of time researching your question in some of these, as ''best places'' depends on draft, season, type of facilities sought, etc.:

John Rains'' Miami to San Diego Guide
Latitude 38 back articles ( which covers this coast repeatedly
Carol(?) Rausch''s Guide to Western Caribbean
Calder''s similar guide (now outdated but little changes in Honduras-Guatemala)
Zydler''s Panama Guide
SSCA''s CD of last 8 years of Bulletins (small cost; huge amount of information; it''s searchable -, go to the store and select ''Publications'')

A place like Blue Water Books will have (or will know about and can get) all the books on this list.

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post #3 of 5 Old 12-16-2003
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Pacific Coast - Central America Ports?

kmeeks:We are leaving in May for the same trip taking us through the ditch and on to the Carib. Take a look at under the heading of countries and you will find very good information on Central American ports and entry requirements.

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post #4 of 5 Old 12-18-2003
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Pacific Coast - Central America Ports?

Guatemala, Pacific Side. Pto Quetzal, a navy base. You can check into the country there. Very secure. We left the boat and rented a car and traveled inland for a week.
El Salvador, Bahia Del Sol or Barillas. They both have websites. Sol is free anchorage and easy bus access for provisioning. Barillas is VERY isolated but first class. Both are very secure. Fonseca...there is a new marina in Nicargua there. Try listening to to the Pan Pacific Net, 8135 I think, local time 8 am? Costa Rica, great anchorages before Puntarenas. Near Puntarenas, anchor at Playa Naranja or Isla Jesuita, close to the ferries that go to Puntarenas. You can anchor in the river at Puntarenas, but is NOT safe to leave your boat unattended. Check out Costa Rica Yacht Club, there. Avoid hauling out there if you can. Equipment is unsafe, manager unscrupulous, even though he seems like a prince. From there south, watch for the SW swell, and signifiant tidal changes, can be more than 6 feet. Bahia Drake is must do, you can do day trip to Isla Cano. Pass on Armueles, Golfito is worth the visit if for nothing other than buying rum at the duty free store. Places there too anchor for free. More info? Send me an email. Oh, very important is that the best rum by far is Flor de Cano, made in Nicargua. The four year aged is a bargain at about $5 a bottle. Enjoy your adventure!
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post #5 of 5 Old 01-02-2004
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Pacific Coast - Central America Ports?

There are several good books to study and take with you.
1. The Forgotten Middle, a cruiser''s guide. Author is Roy Roberts. This is one of the few guides to the Pacific side of Central America. It covers Guatamala, Honduras, Nicaragua, and El Salvador.
2. Cruising Ports: California to Florida via Panama. Author is Capt. John Rains
3. World Cruising Handbook. Author is Jimmy Cornel
4. World Cruising Routes. Author is Jimmy Cornell.
The only reason I know is that we are headed in the same direction next year and these 4 are in our library. Steady winds, Peter
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