Puerto Amistad Restaurant and Marina

Puerto Amistad Restaurant and Marina (17)

Friday, 13 January 2017 16:09

New Docks

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Our Maintenance dock is now ready
Pull up and fill up, Pressure washing, bottom scraping, fumigating for the Galapagos.
The Maintenance dock is in full operation.


The New Slips are on their way also.



Approval has been given to build new docks and a Tidal Grid at Puerto Amistad.
Construction of the Tidal Grid is underway and the Docks are scheduled for July 2106

Wednesday, 13 July 2016 15:24

Puerto Amistad Marina

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Reserve your berth today. Reservations require one month payment in advance for either your anchorage or your buoy. We have limited space so insure your mooring by reserving today. We operate on first come basis. 

Anchorage Reservation $150.00 USD           Buoy Reservation $300 USD

Puerto Amistad Restaurant and Marina is located in Bahía de Caráquez, on Ecuador’s spectacular coast. Situated at the broad mouth of the Chone River where it empties into the Pacific Ocean.  Bahía is a quiet Ecuadorian tourist destination, recently discovered by the cruising community.  It has become an  increasingly popular location for ex-pats looking for a beautiful and temperate place to retire.

Bahía is a wonderful place to visit in it's own right, and is also a perfect place to leave your boat while you travel north and south along Ecuador’s stunning coast or move inland to  explore the incredible sites of the highlands of Ecuador, Peru, Brazil or  the many other spectacular destinations in  South America.

“Our goal was to create a place that was friendly and secure, in a place that is friendly and secure, and I think that we've accomplished this in Bahía. In other words, we didn't have to create a bunker enclosed place to leave your boat secure. Bahía is probably the safest place for your boat in South America! The second thing we wanted was a place the ordinary cruiser can afford, so we work hard to provide an excellent service at a good value. 

We are fortunate to have received approvals for 15 new slips. These are scheduled to be built by the end of November 2017. We are building a Tidal Grid to give cruisers the opportunity to work on their boat in the dry. Estimated completion is September 2017.

We certainly hope that you come and visit; we're sure you'll love it as much as  us.

Warm Regards,







Thursday, 30 April 2015 13:39

Entry Procedures for Bahía de Caráquez

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Visa Requirements: Most cruisers will be able to enter Ecuador without obtaining a visa ahead of time. Check out this link from the Ecuadorian Ministry of Foreign Affairs to see the requirements for you. 

Please note that the harbor entrance is not buoyed at this time, and coupled with the currents that come with the area's 8-10 foot tidal range, it can be tricky. For that reason, it is REQUIRED by the Port Captain of Bahía that all incoming yachts enter with the Capitania's permission and with a qualified pilot aboard. But, not to worry, just approach to the waypoints given below, and call on VHF 69 for Puerto Amistad and we'll arrange for a pilot to come get you. Please note that the river shoals have changed since the DMA charts (below) were published, so approach from the West in order to avoid them. Please also be on the lookout for fishermen that work in the bay.

If at all possible, contact us by e-mail prior to your arrival so that we will be expecting you and you won't experience any avoidable delays. Please note that there is approximately 40cm more water than indicated on the tide tables, so check your arrival date with the tide tables if you have a deeper draft boat.

bahia de caraquez ecuador port entry


WP0 00º 35.780S 080º28.300W Virtual Sea Buoy
WP1 00º 35.805S 080º26.832W "Waiting Room" Anchorage


Upon Arrival

When the pilot guides you in, you'll have the option to take a mooring or drop your own hook. A representative from the navy and health departmentmay visit you on the boat for a cursory inspection, and then you'll be free to come ashore. Come to our office and we'll give you the "lay of the land."

Check-In Procedure

The Ecuadorian Navy requires that all foreign flagged vessels be represented by an agency. In your case Puerto Amistad will perform that function. When you arrive, please make available to us originals of your ship's papers, passports, vaccination records, and zarpe from your previous port. We will scan them and return the originals quickly. We will coordinate your arrival with all appropriate authorities (Health ministry, Navy, Customs, and Immigration). We will make the process super-easy. You'll never have to leave the bar!


You'll be given a 90 day multiple-entry visa upon arrival. The clock stops while outside the country. If you need additional time in Ecuador, we can help get a new visa with the ministry of foreign affairs. you will be applying for a visa extension and are a married couple or family, please bring marriage certificate and birth certificates with an Apostile on them.


Your boat will initially be allowed ninety days. Extensions are available for up to  a year at additional cost.  We will help you with the approvals of the extensions as needed.

Thursday, 30 April 2015 13:38

Where In The World is Puerto Amistad?

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Puerto Amistad is located in Bahía de Caráquez, known locally as simply "Bahía" just thirty six nautical miles south of the Equator. It's conveniently on the way for anyone leaving Panama bound for the Galapagos on the Coconut Milk Run. It's also a very safe place to leave your boat while you travel to the highlands of Ecuador, Peru, the rest of South America, or visit back home. Some people come and end up staying a year.
You'll find it's also the most economical, safe place, to leave your boat by far. Because Bahía is located in a dry tropical zone, your boat won't suffer from the mold and mildew that is rampant in wet tropical locations such as Panama. Also, tropical thunderstorms and their accompanying lightening is virtually unheard of here. If you're thinking of coming here from Panama, consider leaving early in the winter to take advantage of the northerly winds, then stay here until the southerly trades start and enjoy an easier sail to the Galapagos Islands.

Puerto Amistad Yacht Club is located after the bridge on the right while headed into town. Google Maps does not yet support an exact laocation for the Marina.

See the second map below.


our location


Thursday, 30 April 2015 13:37

In the friendly city

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Welcome to Puerto Amistad, or the “Port of Friendship” in Spanish. We hope you come to visit us, but we have to warn you; Bahia is a "sticky port." You may find it hard to leave here once you've arrived. We're a case in point. 

Our property, previously used as the ferry dock, had been abandoned and had become nothing more than a place where some drunks slept at night. It was filled with cans and bottles and stuff from the debris collected by the street sweepers. We had to rebuild  all the pilings and beams as well as the sea walls and retaining walls because they were damged from the earthquake and lack of maintenance. We essentially had to redo the entire structure. Everything was repaired, rebuilt or at the very least, repainted.  

Initially, the original business plan called for us to mostly operate the marina with a small grill serving hamburgers and hot dogs. Customers then came to us and said we needed to offer a more expanded menu. Now we've become known as the go-to restaurant specializing in steaks, seafood, and classic American food, and Maye is amazing in her ability to plan a custom event to recognize a special occasion.

The ground-breaking ceremony was held December 21, 2004. We offered our  initial shore services (namely our excellent showers) in March and the first happy hour shortly after. The inauguration (Grand Opening) was celebrated on the 23 of September, 2005. Currently we have 22 massive moorings, a nice dinghy dock, a gorgeous restaurant and bar, a five star bathroom, showers, laundry, and an administrative office. We also have DirectTV in the bar so you can watch the Super Bowl or CNN if you have to have a news fix.

Our goal was to create a place that was friendly and secure, in a place that is friendly and secure, and I think that we've accomplished this in Bahía. In other words, we didn't have to create a bunker enclosed place to leave your boat secure. Bahía is probably the safest place for you personally, and for your boat in South America! The second thing we wanted was a place the ordinary cruiser can afford, so we charge work hard to provide an excellent service at a good value. We want as many people as possible to come, stay a long time, and enjoy the town

We certainly hope that you come and visit.

Best Regards,




Thursday, 30 April 2015 13:36

Cruiser Photos

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Kewl photos of kewl places, taken by kewl people who have visited Bahía. (You know the drill, click on the arrow for next photo.)

Another shot of boats at anchor in Bahía

Another shot of boats at anchor in Bahía

The lighthouse coming into Bahía

The lighthouse coming into Bahía

Cruiser Happy Hour at Bambú in Canoa

Cruiser Happy Hour at Bambú in Canoa

And I thought I was going to a sleepy fishing village!

And I thought I was going to a sleepy fishing village!

sla Corazón - Make sure you don't miss the high tide :)

sla Corazón - Make sure you don't miss the high tide :)

King Neptune may well welcome you as you cross the Equator!

King Neptune may well welcome you as you cross the Equator!

Rush Hour in Bahía

Rush Hour in Bahía

The Witch of Endor all dressed up

The Witch of Endor all dressed up

LOTS of volcanoes!

LOTS of volcanoes!

Incredible hiking opportunities in

Incredible hiking opportunities in

Colorful people in the Sierra

Colorful people in the Sierra

Kewl llama shot

Kewl llama shot

Thursday, 30 April 2015 13:35

About Bahía de Caráquez

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Bahía de Caráquez is located just 36 nautical miles South of the Equator on the estuary of the Rio Chone. Puerto Amistad is located inside the estuary and boats are extremely well protected from ocean swell in a quiet anchorage. Bahía is a quiet tourist town that primarily caters to the middle and upper class of Quito that have vacation condos here and that visit during holidays. Bahía has amazingly mild weather and a low  crime rate, so you can be sure that you and your boat will be safe during your stay. For those of you familiar the "Andy Griffith Show," I like to say that Bahía is Ecuador's Mayberry. 

The Climate

You maybe thinking that because you're on the Equator that the weather is hot, sticky, and buggy. Nothing could be further from the truth. Since you'll most likely be coming from Panama and/or Costa Rica, you'll be in for a very pleasant surprise.

Here in Bahía, there has never been a hurricane or tropical storm, and lightning is extremely rare (The locals say lightning has never struck the ground in Bahía!) Bahía is in a dry tropical belt only about 60 miles wide; there are cactus growing on the hills here! As a result, you won't have mold growing on the walls of your boat as it does in Panama and Costa Rica. In the last couple of years, during what they call the rainy season, we have averaged an hour or two of light rain in the evening PER WEEK.

The average daytime temperature during the months of November through April is about 85 degrees with moderate humidity. For March through May temperatures are in the low 80's. June through October we have very low humidity and daytime temps of 70-75 degrees. In addition, the daily sea/land breeze pattern means that there's almost always a pleasant breeze. If you decide to stay later in the season (April-October) you'll find yourself reaching for a light blanket at night. It's great sleeping weather!

The People

The people of Bahía are the real treasure. Nowhere else in my travels have I found people so open, friendly, and willing to help. Although they are from very humble backgrounds, you won't feel panhandled and taken advantage of like you may have experienced in other countries. You'll feel safe and welcome walking the streets of Bahía; you'll likely have people trying out their few words of English as you walk down the malecon. 

Things to Do

There's more to do than just work on your boat :)
  • Beaches - There's great shelling at Canoa. You may even stumble across a pre-Colombian artifact washed up on the shore.
  • Surfing and hang-gliding in Canoa (15 miles up the coast)
  • Museums
  • Check out the Eco-projects
  • Whale watching
  • Bird watching
  • Shrimp Farms
  • Rio Muchacho
  • Isla Corazon
  • Horseback riding
  • Take Spanish classes
  • Of course you'll have to take a trip to the Andes!


You'll find Ecuador an inexpensive travel destination, plus they use the U.S. dollar as their currency.

The prices in the local restaurants, and also the rest of Ecuador, are very low. You can order an Almuerzo (the most for the least) which included soup, salad, rice, beans, with fish, meat, or chicken, and a fresh juice for around $3. A large beer (600 ml) costs $3 in most places. 

To get someone work on your boat, expect to pay $10 perday for laborers, and $15-20 per day for journeymen.

The fresh fruits and veggies available in the market are great.

Thursday, 30 April 2015 13:34

Interesting Links

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Ministry of Tourism

El Nuevo Globo - The local newspaper

La Voz de las Caras - One of the local radio stations.

South America Explorers - SAE has offices in Quito, Lima, and Cusco. Good resource for inland travel.

Ecuador Explorer - General Tourist portal for Ecuador

Ecuador.com - General Tourist portal for Ecuador

The Best of Ecuador - A general tourist guide

Club Nautico Cartagena - Our "Sister Marina." Maye worked there for ten years and it's owned by her Aunt Candelaria.

Embassy - Ecuadorian embassy in Washington

Jimmy Cornell's Noon Site

U.S. Consulate in Guayaquil

U.S. Embassy in Quito

Tide Site for Bahia

Thursday, 30 April 2015 13:33

Here's Something to Think About...

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To be truly challenging, a voyage, like a life, must rest on a firm foundation of financial unrest. Otherwise you are doomed to a routine traverse, the kind known to yachtsmen, who play with their boats at sea-"cruising," it is called. Voyaging belongs to seamen, and to the wanderers of the world who cannot, or will not, fit in. If you are contemplating a voyage and you have the means, abandon the venture until your fortunes change. Only then will you know what the sea is all about.

"I've always wanted to sail the South Seas, but I can't afford it." What these men can't afford is not to go. They are enmeshed in the cancerous discipline of "security." And in the worship of security we fling our lives beneath the routine of routine - and before we know it our lives are gone.

What does a man need - really need? A few pounds of food each day, heat and shelter, six feet to lie down in - and some form of working activity that will yield a sense of accomplishment. That's all - in the material sense. And we know it. But we are brainwashed by our economic system until we end up in a tomb beneath a pyramid of time payments, mortgages, preposterous gadgetry, playthings that divert our attention from the sheer idiocy of the charade.

The years thunder by. The dreams of youth grow dim where they lie caked in dust on the shelves of patience. Before we know it, the tomb is sealed.

Where, then, lies the answer? In choice. Which shall it be: bankruptcy of purse or bankruptcy of life?

Sterling Hayden  1916-1986

Thursday, 30 April 2015 13:32

Cruiser Comments

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From the beginning we didn't know much about Ecuador and the Ecuadorian people. But after three weeks here in Bahía and a trip to the Andes we know how beautiful this country is and how nice the people are. We have enjoyed your hospitality. For sure we will recommend this safe place to all our cruising friends.

-- S/V Circe, Denmark

Bahía & Ecuador - A very nice and friendly place and country. We have enjoyed the place and stayed much longer than planned.

Bahía de Caráquez is probably the best place along the Equator and South America to leave your boat for land travel in this beautiful country.

I have spread the word to other cruising sailors.

-- S/V Pacific Pearl, Sweden

After one month here in Bahía we sadly leave for the Galapagos and all points west until we return to New Zealand. The people of Bahía and Ecuador have made both of us welcome and have been friendly towards us also. We enjoyed our inland travel, and will leave with very fond memories of Ecuador and it's people. 

-- S/V Seabride, New Zealand

I liked the place so much, I decided to swallow the hook and build a marina!

-- S/V Walkabout, United States

After wonderful eight weeks in Ecuador we are now ready to move on.

We are looking back to a most enjoyable time in Puerto Amistad and wish you all the best for the future development of your marina.

Many thanks and all the best!

--S/Y Saadine, Germany

"Puerto Amistad para servirle!"   Much more than an advertising slogan... It's beautiful truth!

Thank you Maye and Tripp. We really enjoyed our stay in Bahía from December 26, 2004 to March 12, 2005. We wish you the best for your life and your business. 

Muchas gracias tambien a Carlos y Roberto!

-- S/V Slow Motion, Switzerland

We have had a great two weeks in Bahia. It's been good to be here at the beginning of a fantastic project. Thanks to all the staff and the management for all their help. 

The world is a small place and we shall return.

S/V Tacks, Ireland

Bahía, an excellent and interesting place. Look for fossilized shark's teeth on the beach to the South. They're BIG!

Good times all around. Too bad I didn't get to see the grand opening. I wish you the best.

S/V Dreamland, United States

Thank you for still taking time to be very good hosts - even while you're so busy getting your marina built. The service has been excellent. We will spread the good news on Bahía.

S/V Citation, Canada

Pat and I are very thankful for your assistance, support, and congeniality - but most of all for your continued kindness and humor.

We wish you the best in making Puerto Amistad a center of attraction for locals and visiting cruisers. We were glad to see it in it's establishment stages and look forward to visiting again after it's completion.

Thanks and we'll spread the word of Puerto Amistad and staff.

--S/V Crusader, United States

Thank you all for your warm welcome when we came in unexpectedly. We'd like to stay longer but can't change our plans. Puerto Amistad is one of the few places we'll recommend to our friends and without any doubt is going to have a great future.

--S/V Pura Vida, Germany

Once again thanks a lot for your advice, friendly words, enthusiasm, etc. etc. We found Bouskoura in a perfect state when we returned from our inland trip. You're doing a lot of good work. A perfect job! Hope all things will succeed for Puerto Amistad. We enjoyed it very much and we're thankful to meet people like you both and your wonderful staff.

--S/V Bouskoura II, Holland

First five months and back for another month. Bahía and her folk are wonderful, friendly, and quite welcoming. Thank you for a wonderful experience and lovely memories!

--S/V Perigrinata, Canada

From June, 2004 to May, 2005 we left "Incognita" in the safe hands of our new friends Tripp and Maye. It has been a wonderful experience, great location to leave your boat for extended visits to the SA continent. The marina is developing at a rapid rate and we wish Puerto Amistad continued success in the coming years. Tripp "The Man" and Maye "Our Smiling Angel." Thank you so much for all of your help during our time here. The word is out. This is "THE" place. Stay healthy and happy.

--S/V Incognita, Canada

It's kind of sad: we leave tomorrow for Patagonia and leave you guys behind. Not only that: we will miss your wedding celebration and party. That hurts most!

You are creating a good place here for sailors. We will make promotion for you. There will be many more Germans, so beware of them :)

Thank you so much for your hospitality. We hope to see you again in a couple of years. And then we hope you have a big family. OK Maye?

--S/V Ludus Amoris, Germany

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