Sailing Guide

Balboa Harbor (Panama Pacific coast)

Balboa Harbor (Panama Pacific coast)

Characteristics

Description

Balboa has been said by many to be "cruiser-unfriendly" with regards to safe moorings. For those transiting the Canal from Colon and arriving in Balboa at 0300, this may well be true. Finding a mooring field or safe place to anchor in the dark is difficult here and the marinas are very expensive. If planning a canal transit, be sure to talk to cruisers about the best place to stop on the other side beforehand.

Clearance:

The service of agents are available for both clearance and/or canal transits if yachts are prepared to pay for the service and don't want to do the paperwork etc. themselves.

Clearance and Immigration procedures are completed ashore at their respective offices.

On the Pacific side of the canal, Flamenco Signal Sation should be contacted on VHF Channels 12 or 16 when moving across or through the marked canal channel. Flamenco Signal may or may not respond.

All private boats are required to carry a Cruising Permit and each crew member a Mariner Visa (NOT the same as a tourist visa) for any stay longer than 72 hours. Note that if you arrive by boat and then leave and return to the country by plane, the mariner visa will be voided and you will need to apply for a new one before you can obtain an International Zarpe to depart by boat.

The Immigration offices at the Balboa Yacht Club and Flamenco Island are classed as "Branch Offices". This means they can stamp your passport with Entry to the Country stamps (valid for 72 hours), but Mariners visas must be obtainedif you are intending on staying longer than 72 hours.

(1) Present your passport at either one of these Immigration offices (Balboa Yacht Club or Flamenco Island - on the second floor of the building which houses the Duty Free Store) to obtain your 72 hour visa. You will need to also provide copies of your International Zarpe, crew list and passports.

(2) Go to the Port Captain's office on Flamenco Island (above the Duty Free Store). There you will receive a “Declaration General” and your Cruising Permit. You will need to surrender the original International Zarpe from your previous port of call and provide copies of the crew list, crew passports and vessel documentation.

Note: Obtaining the Cruising Permit may take two days (one day to request it, returning the next day to get it).

(3) Go to the Immigration office in Albrook District (NOT Albrook Mall) to obtain the Mariner's Visas. The Mariner Visa will be dated to last as long as your Cruising Permit. You will need copies of your Cruising Permit as well as passport copies.

The office is located on Calle Diego Dominguez on the 3rd floor of the Albrook Office Center building. Take the road just to the east of the Rey grocery store. Make the first right onto Calle Diego Dominquez and proceed about 1/4 mile.

Departure:

Departing from Panama City on an International Zarpe:

(1) Take your original Cruising Permit, with a Crew List and crew passport copies to the Port Captain's office on Flamenco Island (see above). Cost approx. US$12.20.

(2) Have your passports stamped for exit by either of the satellite immigration offices (Balboa Yacht Club or Flamenco Island). No fee. Immigration will require a copy of all passports, the Crew List and Zarpe.

The Pacific Ocean entrance channel to the Canal is protected on the east by a breakwater called "The Causeway" (also “La Calzada de Amador” and “ Avenida Amador”) that extends south two miles from Balboa on the mainland to four interconnected islands (listed in order from Balboa to the outer extreme): Naos, Culebra, Perico, and Flamenco.



21/12/2015
Update
Joëlle
Balboa Harbor (Panama Pacific coast)
21/12/2015
Update
Joëlle
Balboa Harbor (Panama Pacific coast)
21/12/2015
Update
Joëlle
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Localisation

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Sites around Balboa Harbor (Panama Pacific coast)
Flying distances - Direct line

Balboa Yacht Club (Panama)

1nm
139°
Balboa Yacht Club is south of the Balboa Commercial Port and close to the Bridge of the Americas.Phone: +507 228 5196 CAUTION: When approaching from the south, do not turn into the mooring field until you are past buoy 14.5. There is a large sandbar stretching across the south end ...
21 Dec 15

Taboga island (Panama Pacific coast)

9.7nm
176°
Taboga island, also known as the "Island of Flowers", is a volcanic island in the Gulf of Panama, about 20 km from Panama city.At low tide, the northern end of the island is joined by a sand bar to the small island of El Morro, and the southeastern end is 270 meters from the neighboring ...
21 Dec 15

Las Brisas anchorage (Panama)

2.9nm
128°
Las Brisas anchorage is located NW of isla Perica, on the causeway.This anchorage tends to be used during the rainy season (April­December) due to prevailing S/SE winds. It can be quite rough during the dry season due to N/NE gap winds. During the rainy seaon expect frequent, sudden ...
21 Dec 15

Flamenco marina (Panama)

3.5nm
129°
Located at the end of the The Causeway. Although mostly occupied by local boats, there is some pier space available for visitors at this full service marina.
No advance bookings possible. This marina suffers from surge and is expensive. Phone: 011-507-314-1980Water, fuel ...
21 Dec 15

La Playita anchorage (Panama)

6.3nm
235°
Located outside the breakwater of the La Playita Marina, on the south side of The Causeway.
The anchorage here is protected from strong winds and waves from the north and east, yet you are continuously exposed to the wake of transiting canal vessels and their related work boats ...
20 Dec 15

Taboga anchorage (Panama)

9.2nm
175°
Located 6 miles S of La Playita.
There are moorings for rent on both sides of the long touristic pontoon.
At low tide and during the week the beach is wide and nice, but at high tide it becomes small and dirty, especially on Saturday and Sunday, when hundreds of local tourists ...
27 Dec 15

Puerto Colon (Panama Caribbean)

31nm
321°
Colon is unattractive and is part of a large commercial harbor, however offers a useful center for cruisers and the Panama Canal Yacht Club (PCYC) is a good refuge. The place grows on you! The local people are friendly and helpful.
Anchorage:
The designated yacht anchorage at ...
28 Dec 15

Puerto Cristobal (Panama Caribbean)

31nm
319°
Puerto de Cristobal is a large harbour located on the Caribbean sea, near Cristobal (town in Colon, a province of Panama), on the continent of North America.Two long breakwaters have converted the entire bay into a safe anchorage, protecting shipping in Cristobal harbor from strong ...
28 Dec 15

Banana bay marina (Costa Rica)

213nm
264°
Located at the edge of a beautiful tropical rainforest in the city of Golfito, Banana Bay Marina sit in a natural, deep draft gulf offering an excellent protection from the swells of the Pacific Ocean.
Separated from the Open Pacific Coast, this gulf, names Golfo ...
18 Dec 15

Golfito Bay (Costa Rica)

213nm
264°
Located just north of the Panama canal, Golfito is a convenient and very attractive port at which to clear in or out of Costa Rica. The Banana Bay Marina has a fuel dock with very easy access and helpful staff. Outboard and dinghy theft is a problem in Golfito however and cruisers ...
18 Dec 15

Fish Hook marina (Costa Rica)

213nm
264°
Fish Hook Marina & Lodge is located at the edge of the beautiful tropical rainforest of Golfito, in the South Pacific coast of Costa Rica and just north of Panama. It is also the official point of entry and exit for Costa Rica.It offers a marina with 20 Slips for ...
18 Dec 15

Bahia Cupica (Colombia Pacific Coast)

183nm
137°
Just North of bahia Solano is bahia Cupica.
When approching be very carefull of punta Cupica. Rocks can be found as far as two miles of the land.
Bay open to the S, si it is best visited during the dry season or when the winds are coming from the North.
8 Jan 16
Local Area

Panama (Pacific coast)

Panama is the southernmost country of Central America. Situated on an isthmus, some categorize it as a transcontinental nation connecting the north and south part of America. It borders Costa Rica to the north-west, Colombia to the south-east, the Caribbean Sea to the north and ...
20 Dec 15

NE Pacific Ocean

WindsWinds and currents in the Pacific flow predominantly from East to West. Above the equator Pacific Ocean trade winds blow from the northeast. Below the equator they blow from the southeast. By taking advantage of the different (north and south) directions of the east-flowing winds, ...
25 Oct 17

Taboga island (Panama Pacific coast)

Taboga island, also known as the "Island of Flowers", is a volcanic island in the Gulf of Panama, about 20 km from Panama city.At low tide, the northern end of the island is joined by a sand bar to the small island of El Morro, and the southeastern end is 270 meters from the neighboring ...
21 Dec 15

Cebaco island (Panama)

Cébaco island is located off the Pacific Coast of the Republic of Panama, in the Gulf of Montijo.
The only transportation to the island is by boat, but no commercial ferry operations are available. Local fisherman can be found on the mainland that are able to transport groups ...
27 Dec 15
During your navigation, remember to update the data. If a harbor, marina or anchorage is missing, create it. Thank you for all boaters.