This post is supposed to be a resource for sailors and other boaters that come to Buenaventura Marina or are thinking about it.
Buenaventura is one of the few marinas on the Pacific side of Panama. It is also the newest, only opened in 2018. Everything, from the dock, to the fasteners, water & power supply is new and of the highest quality.
The marina manager Emilio has worked in Shelter Bay marina before and is a hands-on guy who’s always around, super helpful, and friendly.
— This is a draft and there will be much more info —
Supplies and provisioning in Buenaventura Marina
There are plenty of supplies available. For quick shopping, you will find a Felipe Motta shop that mostly stocks drinks, but also convenience food of higher quality. There is also a Deli Gourmet store. Both are on the upper end of the price range. For bigger and more economical shopping, you will find a large Super99 Supermarket and a Novey hardware store about 2 km away from the resort.
There is an ATM inside the Buenaventura resort, in Puntarenas, next to Mansa restaurant.
Confirm with marina management if the fuel dock is operating. Otherwise, they will get fuel for you in jerry cans from the gas station.
Dining, eating out, and ordering food in Buenaventura Marina
There are a couple of restaurants to choose from and they even deliver to the marina if you send them a message. Mansa is a fusion type restaurant with Pizza, Pasta, and local and international dishes at reasonable prices. It used to be difficult to get there as a river would divide the marina area from Puntarenas (where Mansa and other places are). However, there is a bridge under construction that connects those parts and shortens the walk from 45 to about 10 minutes. This is great!
The entrance to Buenaventura Marina
The entrance to Buenaventura Marina is a greatly discussed topic. We were going on day trips to Farallon Island and Anton Beach a lot. So we always watched the tides very carefully. We found that we could leave and enter the marina about 2.5 hours before and after high tide, depending on the high water level. However, we are on a catamaran and only draft 1.4 meters (4.3 feet). Sometimes, there is a bit of swell entering the marina, but that was always easy going.
If you are on a cruising sailboat, the entrance should really not be a big issue for you. Just wait for high tide and you will be fine. If you have a very low draft, wait for a bigger tide. To be honest, you only get in once and get out another time and probably stay a couple of weeks or even months. The amenities of Buenaventura surely make up for a few hours of waiting before you enter or leave.
Beaches to walk around (and take your dog to business) in Buenaventura Marina
Buenaventura has a lot of open green spaces and a long, sandy beach. You can access the beach from the marina in a five minutes walk along the walls of the marina entrance. There are only a few other people on the beach, so your fluffy friend can roam freely.
If you go towards the inside of Buenaventura, there are plenty of open spaces. Beware that there are no sidewalks next to the roads. Sidewalks are just not a thing in Panama we realized as most people drive with their cars or golf-cart-sized 4x4s. However, there are some paths that are not so busy and you may go on a stroll exploring.
Be aware this is a resort place and you would be expected to have your dog on a leash and pick up the things he leaves behind.
Places to go with a sailboat from Buenaventura Marina
Sailing Catamaran Outventure (yes, that’s us :) ) offers catamaran sailing tours and yacht charters from Buenaventura Marina in Rio Hato in Panama.
Sailing Trip to Isla Farallon from Buenaventura Marina in Rio Hato in Panama
Sailing trip to Playa Anton Sandbars from Buenaventura Marina, next to the Hotel RIU Playa Blanca in Rio Hato in Panama
Sailing trip to Isla Iguana from Marina Buenaventura, next to Playa Blanca
Things to do with a sailboat from Buenaventura Marina
Snorkeling in Isla Farallon
Fishing and Fishing Charters in Rio Hato, Buenaventura Marina
Fishing offshore, at the entrance to the marina and around the river mouths of Playa Anton
We hope this helps when you are approaching the sailboat anchorage in Santa Catalina Island in Panama.