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Old 12-01-2017, 18:41   #76
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Re: Best Central/South American countries for cruisers?

Glad you are having a good time. Weve driven all over CA. Took 6 weeks to drive from Guatemala to Panama a few years ago...great trip.

Crossing the CR/Panama border can especially be a paperwork hassle.

Just over the CR/Panama border is Chiriqui province of Panama, where we now live, beautiful area.
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Old 29-01-2017, 18:53   #77
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Re: Best Central/South American countries for cruisers?

Really, Nicaragua, isn't there a war going on. :-;
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Old 30-01-2017, 04:27   #78
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Re: Best Central/South American countries for cruisers?

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Really, Nicaragua, isn't there a war going on. :-;
A few decades behind on your current events?

The Sandinistas toppled the USA supported dictator decades ago and took back their country. Now Nicaragua is one of safest countries in Central America and a beautiful place to visit.
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Old 30-01-2017, 05:58   #79
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Re: Best Central/South American countries for cruisers?

I guessed you missed my old school :-; for sarcasm/irony

Sailed into Corinto in 1978 when Somoza was in Managua and the FSLN held the coasts. Returned in the 90's and pretty much been here ever since. Love the people and the country.

Not many non-mulithull anchorages but, like the surfing, some of the best sailing conditions in the hemisphere. It's blowing 20 kt with flat water out my backdoor.

Beautiful country, and you can get Commandante 0's nephew and bodyguard to watch your boat for a reasonable fee while you explore. ie, $150 a month.

Nicaragua is a country who's time has arrived.

Very interested in hearing about places where you can stash the boat and go walk-about.

Any first hand info on the places up the river in El Salvador?
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Old 30-01-2017, 05:59   #80
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Re: Best Central/South American countries for cruisers?

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A few decades behind on your current events?

The Sandinistas toppled the USA supported dictator decades ago and took back their country. Now Nicaragua is one of safest countries in Central America and a beautiful place to visit.


I will definately +1 this. I have lived there for seven years and although i am now back in the UK we still maintain a beachouse/shack there ready for holidays. The people are great and the crime rate small. Much worse in London!
Although i wasn't there cruising i have a friend who was involved in building a marina there called Puesto del Sol up near Corinto. Very posh place but very safe. We stayed in a hotel there and had a great weekend. There are also moorings near to Paso Caballo ( near my house) which ( one day) i intend fully utilise
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Old 30-01-2017, 06:32   #81
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Re: Best Central/South American countries for cruisers?

I know your area well. Just North of all the wind. Well actually in the Northern edge. Good choice. The North was my "ace up the sleeve" till Roberto made such a big splash. Stung to see my secret spot on the front page of the La Prensa. The marina is nice and there is a great anchorage just inside the point.
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Old 30-01-2017, 06:53   #82
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Re: Best Central/South American countries for cruisers?

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I guessed you missed my old school :-; for sarcasm/irony

...
Assumed that was probably the case, but you never know here. Of course, the smiley should have been a clue.
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Old 30-01-2017, 07:18   #83
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Re: Best Central/South American countries for cruisers?

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Unlike most of CA the craft brew industry is booming in Colombia. :beer:
Could have saved a lot of bandwidth on this thread if this had been in the first post!
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Old 30-01-2017, 08:11   #84
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Re: Best Central/South American countries for cruisers?

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Could have saved a lot of bandwidth on this thread if this had been in the first post!
Yes, good beer is an important part of our cruising/travelling!

Here's more info:

Excluding all the mass produced swill of course.

Panama. Growing slowly...see Rana Dorada and Casa Bruja. The Colombian group behind Bogota Beer Company, which has something like 32 (!) locations in Colombia is also funding Rana Dorada in Panama. You can get a fair selection of good quality imported beers here too.

Belize. Belikin was effectively a legislated monopoly for decades. After Sir Bowen's death it has loosened up and there are more imports now, but no craft brewing industry really. Customs duties/process are outrageous so I dont expect craft brewing will grow there.

Guatemala craft brew industry is almost non-existent too, for similar reasons, but imported craft brews are slowly becoming more available. I know a few serious homebrewers there too.

El Salvador has one that I know of in El Tunco...a funky little surf town. See Brew Revolution.

Costa Rica has many craft breweries. The most in CA that I know of and they make some good beers. We get some of them here in Panama and during our border runs to San Vito.

Honduras has a couple of very small operators, but Ive yet to try their brew.

Nicaragua. I havent tried many craft brews from Nica, but they do exist. (Have had some world class cigars from Nica though...visited Estelí last year...cigar Mecca). Maybe our Nica residents have some recommendations?

Further south, we recently travelled to Peru and had lots of good craft brews there (and some amazing food!). Quite a few breweries. Sacred Valley Brewery, near Ollantaytambo, just blew us away. Every beer they made was awesome.
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Old 30-01-2017, 09:48   #85
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Re: Best Central/South American countries for cruisers?

That's good news as we head south. We loved the Sea of Cortez, but keenly felt the lack of good suds. We did find one restaurant in Loreto who's owner brews a decent IPA and sells growlers. "La Zopilote" if I recall. Apparently Northern Mexico is catching the craft beer bug due to proximity to all the good things going on in San Diego. Life just keeps getting better.
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Old 31-01-2017, 05:01   #86
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Re: Best Central/South American countries for cruisers?

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Hi, we've done a couple of laps around the Caribbean, and have also done a lot of time on the W. coast from Alaska to Ecuador. Here are some impressions of central America from our cruising perspective. Since you mentioned Ecuador, we'll start in the Pacific.

Mexico:

The west coast is simply fantastic. We based out of Puerto Vallarta for about 8 years, using it as our hurricane season harbor, and we would cruise winters. The cost of living is quite good, safety concerns when it comes to crime against Norteamericanos has been pretty overblown. Medical care is good and cheap, and air/road access to the USA is easily available and also cheap.

This would be my absolute first choice as an expat destination for living if I wanted to also have a boat.

Costa Rica:

Off your list, and I agree. It's not really that good of a place to base a boat anyway.

Ecuador:
We only made one trip there, in 2004. There were very few cruising boats there at that time. We stayed at the Puerto Lucia yacht club in Salinas, and it is quite small and largely has local boats. I remember seeing about 5 cruising boats in a month there. I understand that this number has increased in recent years, but compared to the Caribbean or Mexico, there are still far less boats there, and probably not a cruising community that qualifies as vibrant in most people's book.

However, up in the mountains, it's absolutely spectacular, and all of the good things about Mexico apply there in spades. It's a very popular expat place for a reason.

Panama:

Marinas are pretty few and far between, and pretty expensive. It's a great place to cruise, for sure, but not necessarily a great place to have a boat year round on a budget. Shelter Bay's pretty reasonable, but it's a hell of a long way from anywhere. Bocas del Toro is also nice, but you might find it to be too much of a backwater for full-time living.

Guatemala has been covered. The Caribbean side of Mexico might be an option, too.

But, from our point of view, Pacific Mexico ticks an awful lot of boxes based on what you're describing.

Good luck.
TJ
I agree about Mexico's west coast main land and Bajas east coast. I have lived all my life on California-Baja border so am quite familiar and probably prejudiced. Have a nice day.
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