Puerto Barú


Puerto Barú in David is located in the District of David, Township of Chiriquí. The project is located within lands that are private and titled since the 1920s, and which are also known as Puerto Cabrito. This site was also used in the 1960s for the movement of citrus products and exports, hence the Puerto Cabrito name. The project seeks to give continuity to that historical vision and serve the needs of the province of Chiriquí and western region of Panama.
The greater maritime connectivity there is at the national level, the better. It is for this reason that as a Project we promote the vision of having different ports to serve different needs, which include Puerto Armuelles, Pedregal, and also Aguadulce. Puerto Barú in David, specifically, aims to provide continuity to the Cabrito area, where the terminal will be built, which has a strategic location about 10 kilometers from the Inter-American Highway and close to the Enrique Malek international airport.
This idea was envisioned 50 years ago for a critical export project due to the characteristics of the site for a terminal. This is a terminal oriented to the movement of agro-products, the improvement in logistic connectivity for the city of David, and the reception of tourism vessels such as Mini Cruises. In relation to Pedregal and Puerto Armuelles, these are complementary ports, since Puerto Armuelles is more suited for bigger vessels that Puerto Barú cannot receive due to its deepwater port characteristics, while Pedregal focuses more on fishing activity.
Puerto Barú in David will be a multipurpose terminal to serve handysize vessels, with the capacity to transport bulk and containerized cargo. This will make it possible to manage agricultural goods, fertilizers, grains and other products that are part of the production dynamics of Chiriquí and the region. It will also have a pier to receive mini-cruises and yachts, so that passengers and crew can disembark at the port and take advantage of the tourism offer in the western region of the country.
The Project is an investment from a group of North American businessmen in alliance with Panamanian professionals who possess vast experience in the logistics and maritime sectors, and who have confidence in the development opportunities of Chiriquí and its human talent. For further reference.

This is a fully private investment project developed on private land.

The port complies with all the authorizations and steps established by Panamanian Law, with entities such as the Panama Maritime Authority (AMP) and the Ministry of the Environment. In January 2023, the Category III Environmental Impact Study was presented to the latter office and the public consultation forum was held on March 9, 2023.

The project plans to start construction once all the necessary authorizations are received from the competent authorities. The construction phase of the terminal which includes the port infrastructure, the road access, the navigation access, and the tourist pier and the rest of the facilities, will take an estimated 24 months of construction. For this reason we forecast the beginning of operations of Puerto Barú in David towards the second half of 2026.

Social and Economic Impact

The port will be built on private land, without affecting state or third-party property, so it will not be necessary to relocate anyone. This also considers the independent access to the project, which will not pass through any existing community, since today these lands are only used for cattle ranching between the site and the Pan-American highway.

Additionally, the Project is helping to promote the formal associativity of neighboring communities through the figure of Community Base Organizations (OBC), which are legal figures that allow the communities to organize under a legal structure to be able to participate in future training programs for direct employment opportunities and future service provision.

The project is committed to working hand in hand with local authorities such as the community boards of the Townships of Chiriquí, Pedregal, David, and Boca Chica, as well as with the Municipality of the District of David, and entities such as the Firemen Department and the National Police. Initiatives are being worked on to be implemented together with the authorities to reinforce security in the area, improve access to drinking water for the communities, and implement better garbage collection and disposal systems.

Being the most important logistics investment in Chiriquí of private capital, Puerto Barú in David projects to inject dynamism into the regional economy, not only with the generation of direct jobs, but also indirect and induced, both during its construction and later with its operation.

Preliminary analysis has estimated about 1,200 direct jobs during construction and then 900 jobs during its operation, in addition to over 500 indirect jobs as a result of the collateral activities that the terminal will generate.

An investment amount of $250 Million dollars is expected for the construction phase, which would represent a direct economic injection for the province of Chiriquí and western Panama.

One of the main and most immediate impacts will be in tourism, where this unit of business alone will generate 300 jobs as a result of the facilities that the port will provide.

Puerto Barú in David will have the capacity to receive mini-cruises and yachts, and it is estimated that around 40 mini-cruises arrive in the Chiriquí Gulf area each season, carrying an average of 450 passengers and up to 100 crew members. This would represent the entry of more than 20,000 new tourists to the province by sea that to-date are arriving in the Gulf of Chiriquí, but are not being provided with any type of service.

To date, the project has been presented directly to more than 5,000 citizens over the last two (2) years; citizens who today endorse the project, and who are part of our database as active participants in the project consultation process.

Additionally, the Public Forum of the project registered the largest participation and duration of a public forum for a Category III project in the last 5 years, in the entire Republic of Panama. (700 citizens on attendance lists).

At the level of organized civil society, the project has received more than 40 declarations of formal institutional support, from institutions such as the Panama Maritime Chamber, CAMCHI, COEL, CECOMRO, Industrial Union, ARPA, Community Board of the Township of Pedregal, Communal Board of the Township of Chiriquí, National Federation of Artisanal Fishing Organizations of the Republic of Panama (FENAPESCA), among others.


The project’s consulting team, Planeta Panamá Consultores, is led by Dr. Manuel F. Zárate. Under his direction, more than 25 qualified professionals with a track record have participated in the preparation of the Category III Environmental Impact Study.
Additionally, the project began preliminary studies by the team more than three years ago (3) years to obtain an Environmental Viability (April 2022) as a milestone prior to presentation of EsIA, and thus guarantee compliance with all current environmental regulations.

As part of the responsible commitment to the ecosystem, Puerto Barú in David has allocated more than 25% of its private land for mangrove conservation. This initiative covers four essential points: an Ecological Corridor, a Buffer Zone, a Garden Botanical and Forest Protection. These additional efforts demonstrate environmental integrity of the project, actively contributing to the preservation and restoration of valuable ecosystems local. In addition, planning includes international-level considerations, aligning with the International Maritime Organization, Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and standards international s the environment.
This dedication reinforces Puerto Barú’s commitment to responsible environmental practices, ensuring a positive impact on the biodiversity and general health of the surrounding ecosystem.

The project will have potable water extraction on private land through deep-well technology with a depths of more than 250 meters. In this way, the project will guarantee that it will not be connected to the existing supply networks that supply the neighboring communities.

The project is located 3 kilometers from a Solar Park, where it will supply its energy needs through Renewable Energy solutions for green infrastructure certification.

Navigation legislation in national waters will be followed and respected as established by the AMP in conjunction with the IMO. These are the same controls that exist in Bahía de Panamá for the accesses and exits of the Panama Canal.

In its entirety, the project will generate a net annual saving of 64,000 tons of CO2 at the national level, due to logistical efficiency on the movement dynamics of cargo in the West of the Country.

We are going to deepen the natural channel of the river through a non-invasive procedure that It only sucks up clay, silt and sand from the bottom.