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small lighthouse entering inner bay.jpg


 Adviseable to agree terms with a maritime agency.  Establish a VHF contact channel to call them when you arrive at the anchorage.

We (Club Nautico Marina) can assist on VHF 69 (English spoken between 08.00 and 17.00 most days). 

Currently maritime agencies with the most competitive rates appear to be from Agencies: Rymar (David, Nicole, Alaida), New White Light(Jose) and also Logimar (Maria).

For recreational vessels to 60 ft LOA expect charges close to  270 usd for all boat paperwork for a stay of up to one year including Permanent Stay certificate (valid one year with possibility to extend a further year),  exit zarpe and departure immigration stamps.  A short stay of less than a week will be significantly less.

Visitors are allowed a maximum stay of 6 months per calendar year.

A visiting recreational vessel my stay a year with the possibility of a one year extension.

​​If arriving from another Colombian Port having completed the mainland check-in process (including the Temporary Importation and the Certificado de Permanencia) you will still need  a maritime agent acting as your legal representative to check in to the Port of Cartagena.


In his case costs will be less but clarify this beforehand with your chosen agency

 Ideally you should send the following to your agent before arrival:

1. Copies of crew list and corresponding passports (principal page)

2. All vessel documentation including ownership papers.

3. Completion of health certificate

If you forget don't worry there is almost always a work around with a decent agency.


Approaching Cartagena:

Make sure you have all routine boat papers on board including the above (or similar) health certificate.

Crew list, passports and departing zarpe (sailing orders). Stay onboard until your Maritime agency advises otherwise.

List the last 3 ports visited before arrival in Colombia.



Call Cartagena Port Control (Estacion de Control San Jose) approaching the entrances (Boca Chica or Boca Grande)  on VHF 16/14. They  speak good English.

Your vessel should be flying the Q flag.


Use of bio security face masks is still seen in banks and clinics and is expected if you are suffering from a cold or flu like symptoms


Fondeo de Fuerte P.jpg
fuerte P.jpg
manga walkway

Cartagena Port Control (estacion de Control San Jose) listen on VHF 16/14. English is spoken.

San Jose Coast Guard are also listening on VHF 16/14/13


Main Ship channel

The main ship channel is Bocachica. Controlling depth 40ft.

Clearly marked by channel buoys.

Convention: Red Right Returning.

Until you have some local knowledge keep within the buoyed channel as you go around the inside of Tierra Bomba island.

Passing Punta Arenas you may well go aground if you go just outside the Green channel buoys.

Entrance to Cartagena Boca Chica and Boc


Small craft only channel

One set of channel buoys only.


Channel  is only 50 mtrs wide passing over submerged defensive wall joining the Bocagrande peninsula with the island of Tierra Bomba


Prudent to approach at right angles to entrance from 200 mtrs outside.

Max suggested vessel draft 8 ft. Actual depth crossing the underwater barrier (La Escollera) may be close to 11 ft but low tides and swells should be considered carefully.


Note: entering the Inner bay there is a coral shoal marked by the statue of the Virgin.  Ships can pass either side within the buoyed channels.


Arriving Bocagrande Entrance

A note on Maritime agents.

Officially they are needed when dealing with the Port Captain's office. However, you may need them to assist with all matters (Customs, Immigration and Port Captain's office). Always a good idea to check charges before contracting a particular agency.

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