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Marinas in Panama

Nautical Charts covering this area can be found here

Panama, officially the Republic of Panama, is the southernmost country of the North American continent. It is situated on the isthmus connecting North and South America and is bordered by Costa Rica to the northwest, Colombia to the southeast, the Caribbean Sea to the north and the Pacific Ocean to the south. Panama City is the capital.

Formalities with the Panamanian Authorities (clearing in and out, immigration etc.) are completely separate from formalities with the Panama Canal Authority for Canal Transit.

The law concerning the pre-registration of visiting vessels is officially now being enforced for yachts. This requires details about the yacht and its crew to be sent to the Authorities (AMP) at least 48 hours before arrival at any Panamanian port. This information may be sent by email or by filling in the on-line form. AMP understand that this may not be possible, and in such cases, the information will need to be provided on arrival. The on-line form is available at the AMP website.

Yachts arriving from the Caribbean must visit the AMP office in Colon or use the Shelter Bay Marina (advance reservation recommended). When arriving from the Pacific, clearance is also completed at the offices ashore. After immigration, one must clear with customs and the port authority, both of which are within a short distance, but are best visited by taxi.

At both Balboa and Cristobal, arriving yachts may be boarded by Panamanian officials. At Cristobal they may complete all the initial clearance formalities. When the captain goes ashore to complete clearance procedures, all others must remain on board until clearance is complete.

Yachts coming from the Caribbean should make sure they have the proper port captain clearance paper.

When you sail from one district to another in Panama (e.g. San Blas to Colon or Colon to Balboa etc.) you must obtain a Zarpe (for which you pay) and clear in at the destrination port (for which there are no charges). Districts are defined by ports with Port Captains Offices. If you do not obtain a Zarpe, the fines can be between $100 and $300.

Our aim is to build a comprehensive collection of reports on Harbours, Marinas, Anchorages & Moorings in Panama and we want your help to do it.

Send us your comments or observations on any marina, harbour or anchorage you've recently visited. We would especially welcome two or three photos to go with your report, please just send them as attachments with your email. Our email address can be found on our contact page.

View other Marinas, Harbours and Anchorages in the Cruising Guide.

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Bocas Del Toro, Marina at Red Frog Beach