The Mintaka offers quality: well maintained, very safe, comfortable, clean and professional operated by a German couple: Manfred & Petra. They are probably one of the most experienced crew in the backpacker fleet. Their names stand for continuity and reliability.
ABOUT THE BOAT
- 46ft. aluminum sloop that was custom built for Manfred and Petra
- Fits up to 8 guests and is never overcrowded
- Very well maintained, very safe, comfortable and clean
- Fans under deck
CAPTAIN & CREW
- Professional and friendly German couple: Manfred & Petra. Manfred, the captain and chef engineer, and Petra, the first mate and chef, are married for almost 40 years
- They have well over 35 years sailing experience, 21 years alone on Mintaka, where they live constantly. Both have the same sailing license and a license for personal safety and the safety of the boat
- The Caribbean is their cruising ground for over 8 years, 3 years between Colombia and Panama. They sailed almost 100.000 nautical miles in the North Atlantic Ocean, the Mediterranean sea, Red Sea, the Indic Ocean and the South Atlantic Ocean
- Languages spoken are German, English and Spanish
ABOUT THE TRIP
- 5 days, 4 nights
- Enjoy paradise, unlimited fresh drinking water and Petras amazing food!
- 3 days between the islands of San Blas- every night a different anchorage. Manfred and Petra know the area well and will take you to the best islands and snorkeling spots
- 2 days on the open sea to Cartagena
- Accommodation onboard
- 3 meals per day & fresh fruit
- Water, coffee & tea. Ice tea during the day
- Use of snorkeling equipment
- Use of fishing gear
- Lobster (if the season allows is)
- Please don't bring big plastic bottles on the Mintaka
COST & PAYMENT BREAKDOWN
- $550 per guest for the boat trip from its starting point. $50 of this must be paid as a deposit to reserve the trip
- $22 Guna territory entrance fee
- Approximately $10 - bus 1 way between Panama City and Portobelo, Panama
- The price is exclusive alcohol beverages (e. g. one can of cold beer is US$ 1.00 on board or in the islands
THE DEPARTURE POINTS & ARRIVAL LOCATIONS
- The boat departs from the public dock in Portobelo, Panama. To get there guests must pay for ground transportation. The least expensive is the public bus from Albrook Bus Terminal in Panama City(see COSTS)
- The boat arrives at Club Nautica marina in Cartagena. From there guests can easily take a taxi to main areas
Guests must meet the boat crew no later than 8pm the day before the trip at the bar of Restaurant & Hostel “El Castillo” in Portobelo. Guests are able to stay at the hostel the night before the trip for free. When you travel by public bus, please ask the bus driver to stop at the Restaurant “El Castillo”. The Restaurant “El Castillo” is about 1 1/2 kilometers before Portobelo and about 150 meter after the only police station. Restaurant “El Castillo” is directly located on the only road to Portobelo and directly on the water front.
The arrival in Portobelo, one day before the sailing trip with Mintaka will begin, can become very important. The only road to Portobelo had been blocked several times due to landslides or strikes.
BE PREPARED WITH THE FOLLOWING
- 2 copies of your passport
- the cash you need to pay the balance of the ground transport, entrance fees, small boat to the sailboat, and the balance due on the sailboat trip.
- A high protection sunscreen
- A tight-fitting T-shirt to snorkel
- prepare a small bag with all you need during the trip
- we ll put your big case in an other storage without access
- A mosquito repellent for nights without wind and evenings ashore
- A sweat shirt or a light raincoat for the night
- A towel
- The boat supplies a mattress with sheets but no blanket
- bring your snack, sweets, sodas, beers etc.
- If you get motion or sea sickness, we highly recommend that you buy motion sickness tablets from the pharmacy
INFORM US AND THE BOAT CREW IF ANY OF THE FOLLOWING APPLY
- You have health problems or conditions the crew should be aware of
- You can’t swim
- You have allergies to certain foods
- Mintaka is an independent boat which we represent as a guest service agent, because they are busy sailing and taking care of guests. Since we do not own and operate the boats we do not control the schedule, and cannot be held responsible for delays cancellations by the boat, or actions of the crews aboard the boats. However, in the event of a delay or cancellation we will provide guests with other available options, or refund their deposit payment. And if a guest registers a fair complaint or suggestion with us we will communicate with the boat and advocate for the guest in an effort to reach an amicable resolution.