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Old 25-09-2012, 09:44   #16
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Re: San Blas Island Fees

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Originally Posted by colemj View Post
You want to base out of San Blas Panama for roaming the EASTERN Caribbean? That's just plain nuts. You will be disabused of that notion on your first trip East.

Mark
Thanks for ketching my error...I obviosly meant the Western Caribbean.
But explain this..."You will be disabused of that notion on your first trip East." Am I reading it wrong or you just rude
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Old 25-09-2012, 09:51   #17
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Re: San Blas Island Fees

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hello floridiabilly
guess you really like sailing upwind.
might want to consult your google maps prior to that undertaking.
when based in San Blas did you really mean to say the WESTERN caribbean?
if you indeed meant to say the eastern caribbean then wow you are really hard core.......good luck and be safe!
To all that was kind enough to respond...I did mean the Western Caribbean. It is just a plan...I need ideas and stories of the western Caaribbean. Where I might put my anchor and crusing/liveaboard for a year or two.......I just read a blog about Cuba. It my be worth my while to spend a few months there..........http://trawler-beach-house.blogspot.com/2011/06/cruising-south-coast-of-cuba-east-to.html
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Old 25-09-2012, 11:43   #18
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Re: San Blas Island Fees

Floridabilly-
Yes I too have read their blog about Cuba.
I thought it was very well done and extremely helpful.
Also very excited about going there and it is only a matter of time before I head north and see Cuba myself.
I just hope I can get there before there is a McDonald's on every corner!
In your particular situation it certainly is a lot closer then Panama and I honestly think you will not find a place more "off the grid" as well as beautiful than Cuba.
Good luck in your travels.
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Old 25-09-2012, 12:51   #19
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Re: San Blas Island Fees

Caradow, are you in Curacao right now? ... and if so, where are you? ...
we plan to leave Curacao in November ... Colombia, San Blas, Panama canal, Pacific and beyond ...
greetz,
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Old 25-09-2012, 13:02   #20
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Re: San Blas Island Fees

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Off topic a tudge...I am going to be headed south from Key West through the Yucatan Passage. I sure would like a heads up on portages south of Cuba and the Eastern Mexico coast to Panama. Where I hope to use San Blas as my home port to roam the Eastern Caribbean. Anyone that has suggestions on where to stop and where not to stop...that is the question. I will not have a time table, just weather and want to, will be my only itinerary. If you have a blog I could follow...that would be great.....Billy
We'll be in the Western Caribbean come January - you can follow us along our journey - Sailing Chance. We're leaving New York around Thanksgiving.
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Old 25-09-2012, 13:17   #21
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Re: San Blas Island Fees

Anya,
great to hear from you again.
maybe we can meet for a drink when I arrive back in Curacao in November.
boat is on the hard and will be leaving the end of November but not sure where. Many logistical issues at hand for what I really want to do. I do know it unfortunately will not be thru the canal, so for now I will live vicariously thru your travels in the south pacific.
You guys must be getting very excited and I do wish you a safe and pleasant journey.
Just remember that even the bad times will be a lot better than working. (hopefully
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Old 25-09-2012, 13:39   #22
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Re: San Blas Island Fees

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We'll be in the Western Caribbean come January - you can follow us along our journey - Sailing Chance. We're leaving New York around Thanksgiving.
I will...thank you
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Old 25-09-2012, 22:19   #23
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Re: San Blas Island Fees

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Originally Posted by floridabilly View Post
Thanks for ketching my error...I obviosly meant the Western Caribbean.
But explain this..."You will be disabused of that notion on your first trip East." Am I reading it wrong or you just rude
Sorry, my intent was not to be rude. I meant that your first trip due East from the San Blas to the Eastern Caribbean would most likely be so unpleasant as to cause you to give up the idea of doing so regularly, if again at all.

As for basing in the San Blas for cruising the Western Carib, the San Blas are not an easy place for this. Provisioning here is basic at best, and repairs and parts are non-existant. Some of these things are available a day or so away, but getting there and arranging transportation to cities can be cumbersome.

The San Blas are in the very southwest corner of the Carib, which makes getting out of there somewhat difficult when used as a base.

They are, however, fantastic cruising grounds.

A better base option for cruising the Western Carib may be Honduras. From there, you have quick, easy access to Guatemala, Belize, Mexico and not so quick, but easily doable access to numerous offshore islands belonging to Columbia and Nicaragua and, of course, Panama and the San Blas.

Mark
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Old 26-09-2012, 07:12   #24
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Re: San Blas Island Fees

Mark...I understand...I get excited and do not proof read. That is the exact kind of thing I need to know. I am following your blog. I have some time before I have to decide which way and where to port....Billy
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Old 02-03-2015, 17:28   #25
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Re: San Blas Island Fees

I know this thread is a few years old but wanted to know if anyone has any up to date info regarding the checkin process at San Blas Islands?

We'll most likely be sailing from Puerto Rico down to them directly. Just trying to get information together on where we should checkin to, if we require an agent? Cost of fees, etc?

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Old 02-03-2015, 19:35   #26
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Re: San Blas Island Fees

Most check in at Porvenir. No agent required. Go ashore at dock roughly east of airstrip. You will find immigration and port captain in a building near the dock.

Panama Cruising Permit: $195/year

Guna Yala (San Blas) fee: $20/person/month

Each island group sets its own rules regarding anchoring etc. Some islands may collect a fee for anchoring. Some not. $10 is pretty common, but its a one time fee in my experience, whether 1 night or many.

Edit: and since you are coming in from outside Panama, I assume a $100 immigration fee.
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Old 03-03-2015, 07:54   #27
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Re: San Blas Island Fees

The Guna Yala fee is $20/boat +$20/person/month - so $60/month if two on board. This is a recent substantial increase.

The island group fees are $10/month, but it is very hit and miss because it relies on the local representative coming to your boat to collect - which they don't often do. We have been here since Oct. and have only paid this fee twice. We don't avoid it - there is just simply no way to pay it unless someone comes to your boat.

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Old 17-08-2015, 13:31   #28
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Re: San Blas Island Fees

Thanks for all the information, guys.

I recently found this blog which published some surprisingly high costs for cruising in Kunayala.

My French is marginal, but Spanish is my mother tongue, so I have no trouble understanding the document published on that blog. And this is roughly what it says:

All vessels, foreign and domestic, cruising the waters of Kunayala shall pay us$5/sq.ft. plus another us$20/person for a 30-day stay. Additionally, local communities can charge up to us$10 for anchoring (the document doesn't specify whether it's per day, but given the information on this thread, I assume it's a one time fee).

The document is dated 8/August/2015.

Has anybody heard anything about this? We plan to be there in January/2016, but if these fees are implemented, we'll just skip the San Blas islands.
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Old 17-08-2015, 14:56   #29
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Re: San Blas Island Fees

Have been in the San Blas for our past 3 sailing seasons. Never heard of, nor been charged $5/sq ft, only $20/boat + $20/person/month. Plus sometimes the fees at various islands...typically $10 for an indefinate period of time (some islands will say for a month, others don't seem to have a clear definition, but I've never been asked to pay again within a month). They do give a receipt which you can show on your return, if you leave an island group and come back in a few days for example. We moved around a lot this year so had quite a collection going. Most have an identifying stamp or name on the receipt so you can sort out which is for which.

You also get a receipt for the boat/crew fees. There is a boat from the congreso that comes around and checks these. If yours has expired then you can pay them directly and get a new receipt, so there is no need to go back to Porvenir to get a new one.
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Old 29-08-2015, 09:45   #30
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Re: San Blas Island Fees

Just read an update on FaceBook from SV Gilana who is in the San Blas now. Summary: the Congreso did pass a regulation specifying $5/square foot/month, but it has yet to be enforced.

If it is ever enforced then the monthly cost would be absurd. For example, just this provision of the fees, for my 22x35 cat would be $3,850 per month. That would certainly put an end to our cruising the San Blas...glad we've had 3 great seasons there.

The costs are so absurd that I expect this will go away. We plan to return to the San Blas in Jan/Feb, but wont if these kind of crazy fees are demanded. Hopefully this goes away by then.
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