PANAMA TO COLOMBIA
ABOUT THE BOAT
- The Mintaka offers quality. The boat is well maintained, very safe, comfortable, clean, offers a professional service, and is operated by a German couple: Manfred & Petra. They are probably one of the most experienced crew in the backpacker fleet. Their names stand for continuity and reliability.
- 46ft. aluminum sloop that was custom built for Manfred and Petra.
- Fits up to 8 guests and is never overcrowded.
- Very well maintained, very safe, comfortable and clean.
- Features fans under deck.
CAPTAIN AND CREW
- Professional and friendly German couple: Manfred and Petra. Manfred, the captain, and chief engineer. Petra, the first mate, and chef. They are married for almost 40 years.
- They have 35 years sailing experience, 21 years on Mintaka, boat in which they constantly live.
- Both have a sailing license as well as a license for personal safety and boat's safety.
- The Caribbean is their cruising ground for over 8 years. 3 years between Colombia and Panama. They sailed almost 100.000 nautical miles in the North Atlantic Ocean, the Mediterranean sea, Red Sea, the Indic Ocean and the South Atlantic Ocean.
- They speak German, English, and Spanish.
ABOUT THE TRIP
- Duration: 6 days / 5 nights.
- About 8 hours from Puerto Lindo to the San Blas islands. Approximately 3 days within The San Bas Islands. Followed by an ocean crossing that averages 35 – 40 to Cartagena, but can be affected by wind, sea and currents.
- Entertainment: Daily visiting of different islands for nice beaches, snorkeling, and fishing. Manfred and Petra know the area well and will take you to the best islands and snorkeling spots.
- Comfortable accommodation on board.
- Plastic bottles are not allowed on the Mintaka.
- Accommodation onboard.
- Food: Enjoy paradise with Petra’s food, 3 daily delicious meals included. If the season allows it, Lobster will be offered. A varied offer of fresh fruit.
- Water & coffee & tea.
- Use of fishing gear.
- Snorkel equipment for all guests.
- Immigration assistance.
COST & PAYMENT BREAKDOWN
- Total Cost = $550
- $50 deposit payment made to Cacique Cruiser to reserve your spot.
- $500 per guest for the boat trip paid to the captain.
- This price does not include the $20 Guna territory entrance fee, which must be paid to the captain in cash when requested.
- This price does not include transport from Panama City to the boats departure point.
- Canadian passport holders are charged an additional visa fee by Colombia of 190,000 Colombian pesos. Check today's exchange rate online.
THE DEPARTURE POINTS & ARRIVAL LOCATIONS
- Guests must meet the boat crew no later than 8pm the day before the trip at the bar of Restaurant & Hostel “El Castillo” in Portobelo. Guests are able to stay at the hostel the night before the trip for free.Guests must meet the boat crew no later than 8pm the day before the trip at the bar of Restaurant & Hostel “El Castillo” in Portobelo. Guests are able to stay at the hostel the night before the trip for free. The arrival in Portobelo, one day before the sailing trip with Mintaka will begin, can become very important. The only road to Portobelo had been blocked several times due to landslides or strikes
- The arrival in Portobelo, one day before the sailing trip with Mintaka will begin, can become very important. The only road to Portobelo had been blocked several times due to landslides or strikes.
- To get to Portobelo guests must pay for ground transportation. There are 2 options:
- The public bus. This will cost about $12 total, but you must depart Panama City's Albrook bus terminal. When you travel by public bus, please ask the bus driver to stop at the Restaurant “El Castillo”. The Restaurant “El Castillo” is about 1 1/2 kilometers before Portobelo and about 150 meter after the only police station. Restaurant “El Castillo” is directly located on the only road to Portobelo and directly on the waterfront.
- Schedule a seat in in a shuttle for $25, see shuttle details below.
- The boat arrives at Club Nautica marina in Cartagena. From there guests can easily take a taxi to main areas.
- There is a minimum of 2 guests required for this shuttle to operate.
- The shuttle costs $25 per guest and will pick you up 4 hours before the pre-trip meeting time. Your driver is Hernan, a very experienced an friendly driver. He will offer to stop at a supermarket along the way to give you an opportunity to purchase last minute items such as sunscreen, toiletries, snacks or alcohol. The $25 shuttle fee needs to be paid to Hernan in cash.
- The day before the trip we will add you to a Whatsapp group with our team, the driver and other shuttle passengers. This gives us an easy way to send out pick up times, communicate delays and answer questions others might like to know as well.
- To sign up for the shuttle all we need from you is a confirmation reply that also includes your pick up location in Panama City. The other option for transportation is the public bus. This will cost about $12 total, but you must depart Panama Citys Albrook bus terminal to Colon by 8 am in order to make what is normally the last connection direct to Puerto Lindo at 10am.
- Surfboards and kitesurf gear cost $5 additional for the shuttle, please let us know in advance if you are bringing these so our driver can plan to fit these along with the passengers and baggage.
BE PREPARED WITH THE FOLLOWING
- 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.
- Snacks and beverages you want for the trip. We recommend shopping in Panama City as there are no big shops near the boats departure point.
- 2 copies of your passport.
- Cash to pay the ground transport, entrance fees the balance due on the sailboat trip, and any spending money you want for the trip.
- Tight fitting T-shirt to snorkel.
- Mosquito repellent for nights without wind and evenings ashore.
- Sweat shirt or a light raincoat for the night.
- The boat supplies a mattress with sheets but no blanket
- If you get motion or sea sickness, we highly recommend that you buy motion sickness tablets from the pharmacy.
INFORM US AND THE BOAT CREW IF ANY OF THE FOLLOWING APPLY
- You have health problems or conditions the crew should be aware of.
- You can’t swim.
- You have allergies to certain foods.
This Boat is an independent boat which we represent as a guest service agent, because they are busy sailing and taking care of guests. Since we do not own and operate the boats we do not control the schedule, and cannot be held responsible for delays cancellations by the boat, or actions of the crews aboard the boats. However, in the event of a delay or cancellation we will provide guests with other available options, or refund their deposit payment. And if a guest registers a fair complaint or suggestion with us we will communicate with the boat and advocate for the guest in an effort to reach an amicable resolution.