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Old 13-10-2015, 11:43   #1
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Bocas del Toro vs San Blas Islands

Hello to All potential Captains

We are going to cruise in November on a 85ft completely rebuild Gulf Shrimper from New Orleans to Panama with ongoing Canal transit and thinking to spend any waiting time for the transit in the San Blas Islands or Bocas del Toro.
Has anyone been there recently, how about permits, fees etc.
Any suggestions, advices, tips and ideas are appreciated.
Thank you
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Old 13-10-2015, 15:38   #2
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Re: Bocas del Toro vs San Blas Islands

There is a big hullabaloo about San Blas fees right now (we've spent the past 3 seasons there). There is a thread here and a San Blas cruisers FaceBook page with more info. As of yet the new outrageous fees are not being collected.

I think its all political sabre rattling and will fade away, but who knows.

San Blas is much closer to the canal with several good intermediate stops between (Naranjo Abajo, Buenaventura, Portobelo, Linton, Turtle Bay Marina). Bocas is longer haul with few viable intermediate stops.
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Old 13-10-2015, 17:32   #3
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Re: Bocas del Toro vs San Blas Islands

If you want good food and drink, Bocas. That is one cool town.
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Old 14-10-2015, 02:42   #4
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Re: Bocas del Toro vs San Blas Islands

One question would be your draft on a 85' boat. San Blas can be a bit shallow so care is needed.
In our opinion, beyond that the San Blas is lots of islands with great clear water, wonderful snorkeling and fishing and simply a nice place. We found Bocas to be marinas for a lot of it with brown water and little good snorkeling. So it depends on what you want.
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Old 15-10-2015, 07:44   #5
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Re: Bocas del Toro vs San Blas Islands

If you're on an 85 ft shrimper, I imagine you consume a fair amount of fuel. Diesel is only available by jugs in the San Blas, there are no fuel docks. The nearest fuel dock right now is Shelter Bay, next to the canal. Linton has a marina under construction with a fuel dock, but no pumps or fuel as yet. Bocas has two fuel docks, one at Bocas marina, and one at Red Frog marina.
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Old 15-10-2015, 17:09   #6
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Re: Bocas del Toro vs San Blas Islands

Quote:
Originally Posted by Steve OBrien View Post
If you're on an 85 ft shrimper, I imagine you consume a fair amount of fuel. Diesel is only available by jugs in the San Blas, there are no fuel docks. The nearest fuel dock right now is Shelter Bay, next to the canal. Linton has a marina under construction with a fuel dock, but no pumps or fuel as yet. Bocas has two fuel docks, one at Bocas marina, and one at Red Frog marina.
There is also a fuel dock at Turtle Bay Marina which is closer to San Blas.

Either way, fill up before you arrive.
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