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May Jun 2015 Marina World

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  • Environmental
  • Marine
  • Marinas
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  • Pontoons
  • Colombia
  • Cartagena
  • Boating
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  • Boats
The magazine for the marina industry

MARKET REPORT: COLOMBIA

MARKET REPORT: COLOMBIA The Muelle de Los Pegasos in Cartagena is lined with alongside berths and marinas such as the Todomar CL Bocagrande facility. Photo: Jaime Borda Fotografía Aerea Waking up to its nautical potential From an area to avoid to a market to watch, Colombia is being transformed into a viable and attractive cruising region. Charlotte Niemiec (right) outlines how the country has addressed its murky nautical history and is now edging towards a successful future. As I pulled up outside the Cartagena Boat Show in March this year, the adjoining marina boasted a stampede of colour as luxury yachts jostled for space. Inside, exhibitors and visitors alike were abuzz with excitement. There’s something unique about Cartagena, where the majority of the country’s marinas are concentrated. A popular tourist destination on the Caribbean coast, its year-round warm, tropical weather and wealth of things to see and do contributes to the relaxed atmosphere of its annual boat show. The old, colonial walled town encloses a variety of markets, excellent places to eat and night entertainment. The beaches here are clean, with crystal blue water and five-star hotels lined up along the tourist sector of Bocagrande, a mini-Miami where families sunbathe during the day and eat by night to the sound of waves and Caribbean music. Colombia is a mega-diverse country, with huge differences in weather Cholon Isla Baru is one of Cartagena’s boating hotspots. Photo: Jaime Borda Fotografía Aerea and geography. It encompasses the Andes mountain range, Pacific and Caribbean coasts, vast plains shared with Venezuela, the Amazon rainforest, which spans nine South American countries, and the interior. It also extends to islands in both the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans. With such variety on offer, it should be a dream destination for boaters. The coastline comprises 1,642km along the Caribbean and 2,188km facing the Pacific. There are also 18,225km of navigable inland waterways, with four major river basins: Magdalena, Atrato, Orinoco and Amazonas, with an additional 1,800 lagoons and reservoirs, and 1,900 marshes. Colombia’s location is its great selling point. It is situated just below the hurricane belt of the Caribbean. In 153 years (from 1851 to 2004) there were 1,325 hurricanes and tropical storms in the region, but none affected Colombia. These conditions make it not just a calm place to cruise, but a sensible place for US boat owners to store vessels over the winter. Overcoming decades of stigma Despite its ideal location, Colombia has many hurdles to overcome if it is to be viewed as an attractive cruising destination. Popular objections to cruising Colombia’s waters include www.marinaworld.com - May/June 2015 25

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