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Ave Maria

Ave Maria

SAILBOAT TO PANAMA, COLOMBIA & SAN BLAS

Alden Offshore Ketch

50FT | 15.3 METRES

GUESTS

10

CREW LANGUAGES

ENGLISH | ESPAÑOL

PRICE PER PERSON

$550.00 USD

PANAMA DEPARTURE/ARRIVAL

PORTOBELO

COLOMBIA DEPARTURE/ARRIVAL

CARTAGENA

Overview

Ave Maria with captain Paul has been operating the Panama to Colombia sailboat route for longer than most others. He settled in San Blas with Ave Maria several years ago and has been sailing from Panama to Colombia operating budget adventure sailing charters since 2009.

The size and passenger capacity means it is best suited to guests looking for a more relaxing time while in the San Blas islands. Its also a good option for people looking for an authentic sailing experience, you may be asked to help out with some duties.

Trips are usually scheduled to depart from Portobelo, Panama to Cartagena, Colombia with departures from Colombia to Panama also available.

Features

  • Competitive all-inclusive price
  • Portobelo departure/arrival: Reduced travel costs
  • Snorkel equipment
  • Inflatable dingy, double air bed and hammock

  • Experienced captain
  • Charging available for camera and phones
  • Fans installed under deck
  • Fresh fruit & snacks

Captain

Australian captain Paul is both Captain and owner of Ave Maria. The boat is his full-time business and home. He has been sailing for a large part of his life, owning several other boats over the years.

Paul has been operating sailing charters in San Blas between Panama and Colombia for longer than the vast majority of other captains currently working on the route.

He is joined aboard Ave Maria by his partner and crew-mate Sindry.

Paul RichmondCaptain

Design

The Alden Offshore 50 is a traditional wooden sailing yacht. Its an attractive classic vessel, offering an authentic live-aboard sailing experience for guests.

Accommodation

Ten berths are available in cabins and the saloon lounge area. This includes some doubles.

All berths are $550.00 USD per person. If you want to be sure of getting a certain berth please let us know in advance so we can be sure there is availability for you.

Ave Maria Panama To Colombia

Portobelo To Cartagena

Please note that the information provided below is to be used as a general example itinerary only.

Your trip, and the islands you visit may be different depending on climate and on anchoring conditions.

Day 1

Captain Paul will need to meet you in Portobelo in the morning. A time and location will be confirmed after your reservation is finalized. You will be briefed about the trip and final departure plan. He will collect all passenger passports at this time.

You will meet again in the evening to board the boat, have dinner and start your overnight sailing to Sn Blas

Day 2

You will likely awake within the San Blas Islands in preparation to anchor at your first island location. Isla Chichime, Cayos Limones and the island of El Porvenir are some of the possible locations on this first day in San Blas.

Day 3

On the third day aboard Ave Maria you will sail towards another group of islands. The Western Hollandes is a popular anchorage where many boats choose to visit, however there are several other possible options . You will have time for more snorkelling on the reef and time on the beach.

Day 4

This will be your final day in the islands. You will visit a third anchorage in the outer, more remote section of islands.

Many boats sailing to Colombia choose Coco Bandero as their final location or another similarly chilled out area. You will likely set off in the afternoon or early evening to start the offshore sailing to Cartagena.

Day 5

The whole day and night will be spent sailing to Colombia on the open ocean. Make sure you have a book to read.

Day 6

In  most cases the boat will arrive into Cartagena and anchor in the bay at some point during the morning. You will likely have  to stay on board until the immigration process has been completed on your behalf.

You will be taken ashore near Club Nautico Marina, around 5 minutes by taxi to the main hostel and guest house area.

What is Included?

  Five nights aboard the boat

  Three main meals per day. Free lobster meal included

   Tea, coffee, water

  All standard immigration agent and port authority fees

What isn’t Included?

  Transport costs to Portobelo, from $8.00 with public transport

  Guna Yala entry taxes $20pp, cash USD only

  Entry fee or visa to Colombia if required

  Alcoholic drinks, sodas and snacks

Frequently Asked Questions

If you are still unsure about something fell free to contact us

ARE THERE ANY HIDDEN COSTS?

No. You will need to budget for your own transport to start the trip at Portobelo, and the ‘Guna Yala Congresso’ fee.

We advise you to you to take some extra cash in USD in case you want to buy souvenirs, additional snacks, beers and coconuts

HOW CAN I PAY THE FINAL BALANCE?

The final balance must be paid in cash, USD only.

You should be sure to have this ready in advance of arriving in Portobelo. The ATM service here is often out of service.

Please remember your bank may restrict the amount you can withdraw when abroad in any 24 hour period. Please prepare accordingly.

HOW DO I GET TO PORTOBELO?

Public Transport

ONLY AVAILABLE THE DAY BEFORE DEPARTURE. THERE IS NO CONNECTION EARLY ENOUGH TO USE THIS OPTION ON THE MORNING OF DEPARTURE. YOU WILL NEED TO STAY OVERNIGHT IN PORTOBELO WHEN USING THIS OPTION,

Busses leave through the day from Albrook Terminal in Panama City. You will need to buy a pre-loaded transport card at one of the kiosks in the departure hall.

Take the express bus to the city of Colon They depart every 30 minutes or when  full. On arrival in the bus station in Colon change directly to any bus marked ‘Portobelo’ or ‘Costa Arriba’. Do not leave the bus station.

Passengers can also depart the express bus before arriving to Colon and change in the town of ‘Sabanitas’ however this is not recommended when travelling with large luggage. The busses here often arrive already full with many locals struggling to board.

Cost: Approximately  $8.00  USD

Time: Approximately 3 hrs

Shared Direct Transfer

A shared transfer may be available On the morning of departure leaving from Panama City at 06:00am. A minimum of three people are needed. If you are a solo passenger or couple we might be able to arrange you share with others if they are also interested. You will be collected from your hotel/hostel in Panama City.

Cost: $22.00 Per Person

Time: Approximately 1.5 hrs

This service is provided by a non-affiliated local operator. We do not receive any commission from them and cannot take responsibility any lost or damaged items or other issues. You are free to book your transfer with your hotel or a local agency,  prices may vary.

WHAT SHOULD I PACK?

Before boarding you should separate all your belongings into two separate bags. One small/medium for anything you might need for the five day tour. You will keep this with you on the boat by your berth

– High factor UVA skin protection
– Book
– Ipod/Phone
– Swim wear
– Light clothing, T-Shirts & shorts, sandals
– Camera
– Snacks, juices/soda, alcohol
– Towel
– Light jacket/sweater
– Flashlight

You main larger luggage will be stowed and difficult to reach, make sure no essential items are packed. We strongly advise you to protect this larger luggage with large plastic trash bags. Use one to line the outside and more for the belonging inside, just in case.

CAN I CHARGE MY PHONE/CAMERA?

Yes, at certain times. The captain will let you know when it is possible. We recommend switching it off to conserve battery when you are not taking photos.

DOES THE BOAT HAVING SNORKEL AND FISHING EQUIPMENT?

Snorkel gear is available to use

Your captain will likely fish with lines while sailing in certain locations. Using rods from the boat while anchored in the islands will probably not be possible.

The local indigenous population heavily rely on selling fish themselves. To ensure sustainable and responsible tourism the captain will abide by the locals wishes not to fish in certain locations.

WHAT WILL WE DO EACH DAY ?

When you are in the San Blas islands the crew will likely leave you to make your own decisions what to do. They can help you organize beach parties, bonfires and visits to local villages.

You can of course enjoy snorkelling, swimming or just relaxing on the beach or boat.

DO I NEED AN ONWARD TICKET WHEN WE ARRIVE IN COLOMBIA ?

No. At this moment in time it is not required when you arrive with a sailboat.

You should however check if the passport you are travelling on has any special conditions upon entering Colombia (ie Canadian reciprocal fee, please check your status)

WILL WE ACTUALLY BE SAILING?

Yes, when there is enough wind and safe to do so.

Preparation Checklist

  • Withdraw all the cash you need to pay the final trip balance, Guna Yala fee and anything additional BEFORE you leave Panama City. There is just one ATM in Portobelo and is often out of service
  • Anything additional you may want to bring along for the trip such as alcohol, sodas, snacks etc can be bought in Portobelo however choices are limited.
  • Before leaving the city please also be sure to make a photocopy of your passport photo page and the page containing the entry stamp issued to you on arrival in Panama. This may be needed for immigration
  • Separate your luggage into two bags. One small ‘day pack’ for what you will need for the time on the boat and your main bag/backpack which will be stowed away. It is also advisable to protect luggage with large plastic trash bags.
  • Dramamine is recommended for seasickness. Be sure to buy before leaving Panama City. You may want to consider taking early on your final day in the islands them to start working in advance before you set sail towards Cartagena. You captain will advise.

Ave Maria Colombia To Panama

Cartagena To Portobelo

Please note that the information provided below is to be used as a general example itinerary only.

Your trip, and the islands you visit may be different depending on climate and on anchoring conditions.

Pre-Departure Meeting

A meeting with your captain will take place the day before departure in Cartagena. A time and location will be confirmed after your booking is complete. The captain will give a briefing and collect your passports at this time

Day 1

The boat will be anchored in the bay of Cartagena, near Club Nautico Marina, in Manga. This is around five minutes in a taxi from the Getsemani area.

You will meet at the marina or nearby at specified time given by the captain at the pre-departure meeting. It is usually late afternoon or early evening.

Day 2

This whole day and night will be spent sailing west towards the San Blas Islands and Panama. You won’t have much to do except catch up on some reading. Keep you eyes out for Dolphins who might give you an escort along the way.

Day 3

San Blas first location. This day is normally spent in one of the outer island groups. Cayos Coco Bandero is one of the possibilities in this area

Day 4

You will take a cruise to a second group of islands where you will probably stay for the day and night.

Cayos Hollandes and Cayos Limones are popular choices.

Day 5

Your final in the San Blas islands. You will likely visit the island of El Porvenir this day.

Your final night aboard Ave Maria will be spent sailing east to the Panamanian mainland.

Day 6

The historic town of Portobelo awaits you as you finish your trip. The captain will go ashore to complete the immigration paperwork and get your passports stamped by the officials.

You will likely be off the boat by midday leaving you free to explore town. The fortifications here are a designated UNESCO World Heritage sites and worth a visit before making your way to Panama City.

What is Included?

  Five nights aboard the boat

  Three main meals per day

  Drinking water, tea and coffee

  All standard immigration agent and port authority fees

What isn’t Included?

  Transport costs from Portobelo after your trip. from $8.00 by public transport

  Guna Yala entry taxes $20pp, cash USD only

  Visa costs to Panama if required

  Alcoholic drinks, sodas and snacks

Frequently Asked Questions

If you are still unsure about something feel free to contact us.

ARE THERE ANY HIDDEN COSTS?

No. As per the information provided above you will need to budget for your own transport after the trip has ended to get from Portobelo to Panama City, and the ‘Guna Yala Congresso’ fee.

We advise you to you to take some extra cash in USD in case you want to buy souvenirs, additional snacks, beers and coconuts

HOW CAN I PAY THE FINAL BALANCE?

The final balance must be paid in cash, $USD to the captain when you board in Cartagena.

You can change change your Colombian pesos to $USD at the best rates locally. This is the most economic way of paying, you will avoid high credit/debit card charges and less economic exchange rates.

HOW DO I GET TO PANAMA CITY FROM PORTOBELO?

Public Transport

Busses leave Portobelo every 30 minutes throughout the day. You will have to change in the town of Sabanitas or the port city of Colon. It is quicker to change in Sabanitas however the connection from here to Panama City will be busy and there may not be seats available.

Time: Approximately 3hrs

Cost: Approximately $8.00 USD

Shared Direct Transfer

A shared transfer may be available however a minimum of three people are needed. If you are a solo passenger or couple we might be able to arrange you share with others if they are also interested. You will be taken directly to any downtown hostel/hostel

Cost: On request

Time: Approximately 1.5hrs

This service is provided by a non-affiliated local operator. We do not receive any commission from them and cannot take responsibility any lost or damaged items or other issues. You are free to book your transfer with your hotel or a local agency,  prices may vary.

WHAT SHOULD I PACK?

Before arriving at Club Nautico Marina should separate all your belongings into two separate bags. One small/medium for anything you might need for the five day tour. You will keep this with you on the boat by your berth

– High UVA skin protection
– Book
– Ipod/Phone
– Swim wear
– Light clothing, T-Shirts & shorts, sandals
– Camera
– Snacks, juices/soda, alcohol
– Towel
– Light jacket/sweater
– Flashlight

You main larger luggage will be stowed and difficult to reach, make sure no essential items are packed. We strongly advise you to protect this larger luggage with large plastic trash bags. Use one to line the outside and more for the belonging inside, just in case.

CAN I CHARGE MY PHONE/CAMERA?

Yes, at certain times. The captain will let you know when it is possible. We recommend switching it off to conserve battery when you are not taking photos.

DOES THE BOAT HAVE SNORKEL AND FISHING EQUIPMENT?

Snorkel gear is available to use

Your captain will likely fish with lines while sailing in certain locations. Using rods from the boat while anchored in the islands will probably not be possible. The local indigenous population heavily rely on selling fish themselves. To ensure sustainable and responsible tourism the captain will abide by the locals wishes not to fish in certain locations.

WHAT DO WE DO EACH DAY?

When you are in the San Blas islands the crew will likely leave you to make your own decisions what to do. They can help you organize beach parties, bonfires and visits to local villages.

You can of course enjoy snorkelling, swimming or just relaxing on the beach or boat.

DO I NEED AN ONWARD TICKET FOR IMMIGRATION WHEN WE ARRIVE IN PANAMA?

No. At this moment in time passengers travelling aboard Ave Maria will not be required to show proof of onward travel.

The immigration services in Panama often change their regulations so we cannot guarantee this won’t change. You will be advised before departure if it does.

WILL WE ACTUALLY BE SAILING?

Ave Maria will sail whenever there is sufficient wind and it is safe to do so.

Preparation Checklist

  • Make sure you plan to arrive in Cartagena with sufficient time for the pre departure meeting
  • Withdraw all the cash you need to pay the final cash balance in USD$. You should also be sure to change additional US Dollars to pay the ‘Guna Yala Congresso’ fee of $20 per person and onward transport from Portobelo to Panama City  (read FAQ’s)
  • Anything additional you may want to bring along for the trip such as alcohol, sodas, snacks etc should also be bought in advance. In some locations within the islands you can make purchases however choices are limited.
  • Before departure please also be sure to make a photocopy of your passport photo page. This may be needed for immigration on arrival
  • Prepare all luggage before boarding (read FAQ’s)
  • Dramamine is recommended for seasickness. You should take your first dose early on the day of departure for it to start working in advance.

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