We cruised Mexico from Oct 2010 to Mar 2012 and then came south to Panama City. We will be crossing the canal in about two weeks for the Caribbean
Mexico is very cheap
... there are lots of anchorages
, both along the Baja
and Mainland Mexico. Visas have to be renued every six months, but there is a big change to their Immigration Laws this November. Yuo can get a perment resident VISA (Former called an FM3) for about $200. See Noonsite.com for better infomration
We spent the summer of 2011 in the Sea of Cortez, traveling as far north as Puerto Penasco (40 miles from the US Border).
Typically, the cruising season is: May-Oct in the Sea of Cortez to avoid the hurricanes and the remainder of the year cruisers go south of Mazatlan for the warmer climates.
In the Sea of Cortez, many retirees spend their summers in the marinas
of Mazatlan, La Paz
or San Carlos
. All of those cites have large Ex-Pat communities. If you want to sail, most people end up around Bahia
de Los Angles (Baja California) from around mid-July to Oct, which is a good hurricane
Along mainland Mexico, there are pleanty of anchorages
from San Blas to Zihuatenjo. A lot of veteran Mexico cruisers get as far south as Barra Navidad and stay there for the winter.
The cruising giudes of choice for Mexico are written by Shawn and Heather Breeding. Here is their web site
El Salvador is a poor country with only a couple of good anchorages, that require crossing bars. VISA and cruising permits were less than $100. We stopped in Bahia
Del Sol for the El Salvador Cruisers Rally
. It required crossing a bar with a pilot on a jet ski. It was inexpensive to visit and do lands tours.
Nicagragua, similar to El Salvador is very poor. VISA and cruising permits were less than $100. We stopped in Pueta Del Sol Marina, which is a expensive Hotel
and Marina. We had a good time and the owners of the place lived on their powerboat in the marina.
by contrast is very tourist oriented, but don't want you to stay around long. They give a 90 day tourist VISA and a 90 Day Cruising Permit
, for about $300. These are not renewable in country, you have to leave to renew them. If you exceed teh cruising permit
time, you are required to place your boat in a marina with a $2500 bond. Most marinas
in Costa Rica tend to charge from $2.50 to $5 per foot per day. Costa Rica does have some good anchorages nd beautiful jungles to visit. You will find a large Ex-Pat Community in Golfito. Land & Sea Service
runs a small Yacht Club and only charges $8 per day for a mooring
, which is the cheapest we found in Central America
In Panama, you are looking at about $2000 for a canal passage
of a boat less than 50 feet, cruising permit and VISA. Panama City has about 4 million people and is the largest City we have seen in our travels so far. It has everything you need for you boat and a large anchorage. Marinas are very expensive, but Balboa
Yacht CLub has mooring
for $29 a day for our 47 foot sailboat. There is a huge Ex Pat COmmunity here and many people living on there boats. The Perlas Island are located 35 miles southeast of here and a wonderful cruising ground to get away from the city with over 100 islands and islets in clear blue water
Hope that helps