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What You Need to Know Before Sailing to Costa Rica

What You Need to Know Before Sailing to Costa Rica

The natural beauty and diversity of Costa Rica make it an ideal travel destination. With its pristine waters and tropical climate, it’s no wonder sailors from around the world travel far and wide to experience the country for themselves. While this beautiful country might be high on your priority list, there are a few requirements and formalities that should be noted before setting sail, in addition to carrying the right Boat Insurance policy. Read on to discover the important things you need to know before sailing to Costa Rica.

The infamous tehuantepecers.

These gales or storms can raise up dangerous seas offshore in the Gulf of Tehuantepec, the 500-mile wide gulf at the indentation in the coast where Mexico borders Guatemala, and arise when strong northeasterlies funnel across the isthmus from the Caribbean. During the dry season, the same winds bring the strong northeasterly winds called papagayos to the northern part of Costa Rica, which can make for an upwind landfall for boats coming in from offshore. Both winds are easily forecast from conditions pertaining in the Caribbean, and you can usually get several days’ warning before they start, explains Cruising World.

Keeping “one foot on the beach” is a safe method used by the cruisers. This allows sailors to travel within a few miles of the beach to prevent being thrown off course by large currents and winds.


Even with police stations nearby, it’s important for sailors to lock up their personal belongings to prevent theft. If you have a smaller dinghy on board, lift it up at night, secure the oars, and lock all doors to the sleeping cabins.


Boats traveling between ports in Costa Rica will need to obtain cruising permits, which have to be renewed once a port is visited. Next, don’t overstay your welcome – travelers are permitted to stay 90 days. Do your research prior to leaving so that you know what to expect and don’t run into snags while arriving at new ports.


The Central American Route by Captain Patricia Miller Rains covers the major harbors and provides more than enough information for those passing through or cruising for a month or so.

About Mariners Insurance

Mariners General Insurance Group was founded in 1959 to protect boat owners and marine business clients. We are marine insurance experts, and insure boats worldwide – in every ocean on the planet. Marine insurance is critical if you own a boat or nautical business. Trust the professionals with all of your Boat Insurance needs – trust Mariners Insurance. Call us at (800) 992-4443 any time you have questions or concerns about insurance for your vessel or marine business.