San Marte typically gets passed up by many cruisers headed north because it’s only another hour or two to the very popular Agua Verde (and there’s no SE protection at San Marte). That’s okay, let them cruise on, and we’ll keep San Marte more to ourselves. It’s gorgeous, quiet, and has excellent snorkeling/spearfishing along and around the point and associated reefs. During northerly weather, San Marte is one of your best choices along this coast.
There are numerous reefs and rocks for you to locate and plan around when approaching San Marte from any direction. From north, you must clear Punta San Marcial and the San Marcial reef. There is good open passage between, right down the center. If you choose to go outside, note that shoaling of the San Marcial Reef extends north and south 3/4 mile or more from the visible rocks with the light beacon. Give lots of room here. Coming from north OR south, one must plan for and avoid the large reef area that sits 1/4 mile SE from Punta San Marte and extends for a 1/4 mile or more ESE. in other words, make sure you’re almost 3/4 mile from the point, as we DO NOT recommend transiting between this reef area and the point, because…. there’s one more reef. Close in to Punta San Marte, and extending south from the point is another small reef that must be marked if you plan to come through this area in settled weather. Some are comfortable passing between this small reef and the point, but we prefer to go all the way around unless visibility and wave state are ideal.
Tuck right up into the protection of the point and anchor in 15-30 feet over good holding sand. The bottom does change color to imply depth that might not actually be there, which may discourage (along with the reefs) more boats from anchoring here, but that might be why we like it.
I’m embarrassed to say we’ve never been ashore here. There are a couple of small beaches, and we have some friends who managed to hike up along the ridge to the north that overlooks the anchorage and the point.
Grab your snorkel gear and explore the point and further north along the bluff. Excellent variety and number of game fish, reef fish, and occasional octopus. Note the current as you round the point, however, and plan around that.
Click image gallery above for more pics.