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Old 02-06-2015, 10:04   #1
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SeaBird's Avatar

Join Date: Oct 2009
Location: Playas Del Coco, Costa Rica
Boat: 45' C&L Marine Explorer Staysail Ketch w/ a center cockpit.
Posts: 13
Images: 3
First port of entry to Costa Rica...some advice

If you're heading south and want to stop in Costa Rica on the Pacific side, Playas del Coco is the first port of entry. Here in El Coco is an immigration office and a port captain's office but no marina. It is perfectly fine to anchor anywhere and come to shore, but be aware that you're being watched and you risk getting things stolen if your boat is left unattended. It's sad, but true, theft is common in Latin America, but you can avoid it and that is why I'm here posting this.

There is another safer, but very expensive option, and that is Marina Papagayo. We avoided that when we first brought Sea Bird down here because the rates were just too rediculous to even consider, and we were already living in Coco so we had established connections, which I'm here to share with you.

Don't leave your boat alone/unattended. There are guards for hire who can watch your boat while you run into town to do shopping, check in with the port captain and immigration. Right now we are in charge of 4 boats and have not once had a robbery in all these years of caring for them.

When you row or motor to shore to do the check ins and shopping, carry the oar with you and chain and padlock the outboard motor and gas tank to the dinghy. We do this every day, even living here. Why take the risk? Try to prevent first.

If you need a boat store, there is one on the road to Ocotal, between Coco and Ocotal and it's called El Jobo (pronounced el hobo.) They are closed on Sundays and also close from 12 to 1:30 for lunch. They accept credit cards and cash (dollars and local colones.) If you need major repairs, like engine parts, most parts are available from shops in San Jose. We've gone through the whole process of rebuilding a motor here so we know the mechanics to use and part stores to call.

You can fill your water tank">fresh water tank while anchored but you have to know which beach front house to go ask to send the hose to you and where exactly to anchor so that the hose reaches the boat, and I'm happy to help with anything when you come visit here!

There are 3 banks in town, lots of shops for supplies/food, bars and restaurants and a of fun and connections can be made here.

I wouldn't anchor on the south side of the beach....drop anchor on the north side of the park, where you see the big blue and white ship and other sailboats. Nobody OWNS the bay, you can anchor anywhere you like (even though there is a certain business that is trying to claim a section of the bay as their own recently, it's all talk...trash talk.)

Sorry to say this but one time a friend sailed down and rented a mooring from someone and that someone ended up robbing his sailboat. We weren't friends with him until after he had already rented the mooring but when we found out who he was renting from, we advised him to move...but he didn't, and the "night guard" ended up trying to rob 3 surfboards off his boat. Our Sea Bird captain caught that "ladron" in the act and kicked him off our friend's boat and that night we moved his sailboat closer to ours and it's been safe ever since.

Sorry to ramble, but I have a lot of stories!

If you are planning on sailing into this area, please let us know so we can offer advice to help you have a good experience instead of a bad one!


We have been taking photos above and below surface on almost all of our excursions in Costa Rica since 2009 and uploading them here -
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