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Old 03-12-2009, 12:43   #1
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Customs and Immigration Fees - Cuba, Mexico, Panama

Hi, I am planning a trip from the Bahamas to Panama and am seeking any up to date info on the total fees that have been charged for the following countries:

Cuba
Mexico
Columbia
Panama
Costa Rica

...so if anyone has been to any of these recently, or happens to know off the top of their head what the total cost was to check into any of these countries, I would love to know.
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Old 03-12-2009, 17:15   #2
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...can anyone who has been to marina hemingway tell me what they charge per night, week and month?
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Old 04-12-2009, 03:57   #3
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You can find a lot of info on noonsite.com. Not always completely up to date, but still a one of the best sources, all in one spot.
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Old 04-12-2009, 07:19   #4
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Greetings and qwelcome aboard the CF, elPampero.

It sounds like you're embarking on a wonderful cruise. Where to, after Panama?

Mariel Hemingway Marina, Habana Cuba

The rates a Marina Hemingway are very good.
35 cents per foot per day for yacht under 45 feet
41 cents per foot per day for yacht over 45 feet

Unless you are "hosted" by someone in Cuba or elsewhere (in which case it's free to you), then the marina charges under 50cents/ft. per night, plus reasonable electric & water.
I believe there is a cheaper monthly rate and a (cheaper still) three monthly rate. If you pay the three month rate up front there is a further reduction.
The three month rate is good for a year ,you come and go until you use up the three months.

The current costs to enter Cuba are;
$15 per person for visa
$20 for entry of the boat
$20 for cruising permit to cruise Cuban waters
Diesel and gasoline , available at Marina Hemingway, run about 25% more than U.S. prices

GPS Sea Buoy at entrance to Hemingway Marina
23 05.358N x 082 30.522W

Captains should make radio contact with port office authorities upon crossing into Cuban waters, 12 miles out. VHF Channels 16 and 72 are the Port Authority; Ch. 19 is the Tourist Authority. HF (SSB) 2760 is the National Coast Network, and 2790 is the Tourist Network.

Address: Calle 248 y 5ª Avenida, Santa Fe, only 15 minutes from the City of Havana, Cuba.
Tel: (53 7) 29 7270 -or 209 7928 -or- 209 7201
Fax (53 7) 24 5280
*Note: 53 is the country code for Cuba, 7 the City Code for Habana
E-mail: comercial@comermh.cha.cyt.cu
E-mail: rpublic@puertomh.cha.cyt.cu

Chart ➥ http://www.bootkeyharbor.com/HemingwayChart4x.htm

More info ➥
Cuba

And ➥ Noonsite: Cuba and Marina Hemingway
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Old 04-12-2009, 11:36   #5
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It's not as straightforward an A as your Q makes it. E.g., will you be stopping at San Andreas or Providencia, both Columbian islands? Those charges (which seem to vary a bit by official collecting them - and each island charges their own fee) are outside the fees charged in mainland Columbia. Panama handles immigration somewhat differently from one port to the next if the emails I've received from folks are a reliable indication, and therefore the charges vary as well. (Also, don't overlook the fact that the Flats on the Colon side now lack any shore access after they dozed down the PCYC building).

The moderator's made a good suggestion, as has Gord, but in addition I'd suggest you join the Yahoo's Southbounders Group and correspond directly with folks there. Many of them are currently in the countries you'd listed.

Jack
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Old 04-12-2009, 18:26   #6
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Thanks to Gord for the info on marina hemingway and cuban immigration. After Panama, I plan on making my way up the west coast. I would like to stop in Costa Rica, but after that probably a straight shot to Mexico. From there it's either to Hawaii or keep going up the coast. Of course I am on a tight budget so this could all change especially if I find some work along the way.

Eurocruiser, I was planning on making my passage from Mexico's Yucatan to the Swan Islands, and then over to Providencia in order to break up the long passage. I have also heard of people stopping on the serrana bank, but I might skip San Andres. That's too bad about Colon, does that mean there is no marina there anymore, or just no dingy dock? Thanks for the advice, I'll check out the yahoo group.
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Old 05-12-2009, 08:32   #7
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Gord, one quick question: To clear in to Cuba, it says we need exit papers or a zarpe from our last port, is this necessary? I am not sure if our last port will be in the Bahamas or US, how would I go about getting this zarpe?
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Old 05-12-2009, 08:50   #8
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Originally Posted by elPampero View Post
To clear in to Cuba, it says we need exit papers or a zarpe from our last port, is this necessary? I am not sure if our last port will be in the Bahamas or US, how would I go about getting this zarpe?
I don’t believe that the Cubans will insist upon a Zarpe from your last foreign port, but that they do require them for travel between Cuban ports.

For definitive advice, I’d consult the Cuban Embassy in Nassau, New Providence, Bahamas, at:

➥ Embassy of Cuba in The Bahamas
Cash Fountain Building
Armstrong and Shirley Sts.
P.O. Box EE-15679
Nassau, Bahamas
Phone: (1242) 356-3473
Fax: (1242) 356-3472
Web Site: Cinco Héroes
Email: cubanembassy@coralwave.com
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Old 05-12-2009, 10:13   #9
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In general, consulates and embassies give terribly inaccurate advice to yachties because our circumstances are fairly unique relative to most tourists with whom these officials deal. And I'm betting Gord's correct about the Cubans not really being adamant about a clearance document provided you have proof (e.g. marina bill, fuel receipt) of your recent presence in the Bahamas. (And elPampero, ask what the current clearance procedure is when leaving the Bahamas. It used to be a 'turn in' or 'mail back' tourist card, which of course means you'd have nothing for the ship's log or ship's docs when existing the country that is stamped/dated by an official).

It would be nice of you to post a follow-up message here, letting us know what your actual experience was when clearing into Cuba.

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Old 05-12-2009, 14:45   #10
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Thanks again for the info, I will make sure and find some documents that prove I was in the Bahamas. Right now the planned departure date is in January, and I will let you guys know how it all goes.
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Old 06-12-2009, 10:29   #11
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Gord, do you think it would be easier to clear in at Marina Hemingway or Varadero?
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Old 06-12-2009, 11:13   #12
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Gord, do you think it would be easier to clear in at Marina Hemingway or Varadero?
I don't know.
Check out Nigel Calder's "Cruising Guide to CUBA".
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Old 06-12-2009, 14:59   #13
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I will try and pick up Calder's Cuba guide, are there any good cruising guides for central america?
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Old 09-12-2009, 06:32   #14
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Hello El Pompero

I'v been looking at a new website that just started up about cruising in Cuba. It may not answer all your questions but there is some good information.

Cruise Cuba, current planning and advice for sailing to Cuba

Marlinespike
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Old 09-12-2009, 09:39   #15
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Re: guides for Central America, there are some good ones (and some good, free ones) for some but not all areas.
-- Steve Pavlidis did a very good (and somewhat recent) guide for the W Caribbean, which included Jamaica's N coast, the Caymans and all of the CA coast from the Rio Dulce northward; the W Caribbean guide by Calder is much more dated and I don't know if the even more dated guide (by Rauscher?) was even more dated tho' perhaps now updated (anyone know?)
-- further S, both the Zydlers and Bauhaus have done Panama guides; the Bauhaus one seems to be widely preferred because of the GPS and aerial info
-- going up the W coast (post-Canal transit), Eric and Sheryl on SARANA have done a mix of free for low cost guides for most of CA; they are cruisers on a boat of about your LOA and good folks. I believe their website is svsarana.com
-- and then there are the Rains, who have published some guides about the general routing and ports between Miami and San Diego (plus others)

Once you get to Mexico, lots of choices.

Jack
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