For a variety of reasons we decided to travel to Puntarenas. We have been trying to get Scream hauled for months. Then our water maker developed a leak and we were pretty low on water to begin with. All of the guides that we have recommend the Costa Rica Yacht Club as the place to stay in Puntarenas.
We tried to arrive on Labour Day, but we failed to get the club on the radio and decided that it wasn’t wise to travel up the estuary just to discover that there was no room for us. So we tried again on Tuesday, September 8th and had no trouble with the communications. Puntarenas is a long sand spit with a shallow estuary on the north side. At chart datum the unmarked channel to the yacht club has depth as little as 2 feet, so a high tide arrival is essential. The club will send out a yellow panga to pilot you around the submerged mud flats.
We tied up to one of the clubs dozen or so floating docks. They used to have a mooring field, then they realized that attaching docks to their moorings lets them at least double the number of boats that fit in the same area. The floating docks also have potable fresh water. The floating docks are US$10/foot/month. There is a 25% surcharge for stays less than one month, which makes them US$0.42/foot/night.
We also stayed three nights in the club’s attached hotel while Scream was out of the water. It isn’t fancy, but it is good value for US$35 per night. The rooms have A/C, Wifi, and full cable TV.
The yacht club here has been very welcoming. They have free wifi, a pool, a restaurant, showers, water taxi, a billiards room, and yard with a 20 tonne travel lift. Carlos, the manager has been very helpful.
The club’s website is quite dated and is broken in a few places. Their email is firstname.lastname@example.org . The email address given on the website is dead.
There are beautiful new docks next door at Marina Puerto Azul, but as they are reported to be charging almost double their docks are mostly empty. They will probably fill up a bit when construction on Puerto Azul’s shore facilities is completed.