2.1.1 Guatemala Port of Santo Tomas de Castilla

Port Overview

The Puerto Santo Tomás de Castilla  is located at East Coast Central America, Gulf of Honduras, Amatique Bay in Guatemala at  295 Km from Guatemala City.  The official UN/Locode of this port is GTSTC. It is also known as SANTO TOMAS , also called Matías de Gálvez port. Santo Tomás has become the busiest port of Guatemala, handling chiefly general cargo, while Puerto Barrios is limited to agricultural produce. It is the gateway for 60% of Guatemala's containerized cargo, and 65% of liquid bulk. Likewise, it is the export port for Nickel from the Atlantic coast of Guatemala. It is also the headquarters of the Guatemalan navy. Guatemala City is linked to Santo Tomás by highway, and air. Santo Tomás is a  medium-sized port. The terminal can handle dry bulk (grains and fertilizers), cruise ships, barges, and reefers, roll on roll off, liquid bulk and containerized cargo.  

The Santo Tomás de Castilla National Port Company is the institution responsible for managing and providing maritime port services, such as passenger embarkation and disembarkation, loading, unloading, transfer of merchandise and related services, also to facilitate trade logistics and operations

The Port of Santo Tomás has a fiscal area for liquid bulk, called the Free Zone for Industry and Commerce, also known as ZOLIC, which has 90% of the liquid cargo storage terminals for the aforementioned port.


Port website:    

Port Location and Contact



Province or District

Santo Tomas de Castilla

Puerto Barrios, Izabal

Nearest Town or City

with Distance from Port

Puerto Barrios

7.7 Km

Port's Complete Name

Puerto Santo Tomás de Castilla

UN/Locode:  GTSTC


 15° 41' 41" N


  88° 36' 59" W

Managing Company or Port Authority

Empresa Portuaria Nacional Santo Tomas de Castilla Guatemala C.A.

Management Contact Person

Kevin Gabriel Comas /

Phone: 502 7948-3060

Fax: 502 7948-3288

Nearest Airport and Airlines with Frequent International Arrivals/Departures

Airport Name: Aeropuerto de PUERTO BARRIOS

Airlines: TAG, Transportes Aereos de Guatemala (Charter) and Private planes

Port picture

  1. Cruise Terminal
  2. Customs bonded warehouse
  3. Container terminal
  4. Liquid bulk terminal
  5. Solid bulk terminal
  6. Industrial park

Description and Contacts of Key Companies

Proveedora Maya Tzutujil Ship Chandlers

Phone:  +502 3103-1379

Fax :     +502 4051-4410


Asistencia y Logistica Portuaria, S.A. Shipping Agency, Ship Chandlers and Container Terminal

Phone:  +502 2224-6400

Fax :     +502 2224-6422

MECO Ship Chandlers

Phone:  +502 3151-4848

Comercializadora Pahame Bulk Logistics, Port and Terminal Services

Phone:  +502 2224-6400

Fax :     +502 2224-6422

For more information on port contacts, please see the following link: 4.4 Port and Waterways Companies Contact List.

Port Performance

The maximum length of the vessels recorded to having entered this port is 244 meters. The maximum draught is 10.2 meters. The maximum Deadweight is 74,996 t.

Seasonal Constraints


Time Frame

Rainy Season


May to November

Major Import Campaigns


Other Comments

Major Export Campaigns from November to April

Handling Figures for 2021

Vessel Calls


Container Traffic (TEUs)


The types of vessels regularly calling at Puerto Santo Tomás are Oil/Chemical Tanker (29%), Container Ship (27%), Bulk Carrier (15%), General Cargo (7%), Crude Oil Tanker (5%).

Handling Figures Bulk and Break Bulk for YEAR 2013

Bulk (MT)

9,531,693 mt

Break bulk (MT)


Discharge Rates and Terminal Handling Charges

For information on port rates and charges, please see the following link:

Berthing Specifications

Type of Berth





Draft (m)


Conventional Berth


913.2 m (total)

Dock Berths 1, 2, 3: 2.50 m ± 0.25 m

Dock Berths 4, 5, 6: 2.70 m ± 0.25 m

Container Berth

5 (of 6 total)

152.20m each

10m to 10.30 m

Silo Berth

The grain terminal is located in Zone 1, with an area extension of 39,800 m², 75 m away from the wharf’s platform. The terminal counts with six silos with a storage capacity of 3,880 t and a 10,000 t warehouse capacity. It operates using a system of treadmills to load and discharge.

Berthing Tugs

4 (3,600HP)

1 Type “A” classification tug

Water Barges


Water supply YES

 Water Depth

Cargo Pier:       26 – 30 feet, 7.1 – 9.1 m.

Anchorage:       26 – 30 feet, 7.1 – 9.1 m.

Oil Terminal:      26 – 30 feet, 7.1 – 9.1 m.

Mean Tide:        2 feet

Channel:           26 – 30 feet, 7.1 – 9.1 m.

The maximum length of the vessels recorded to having entered this port is 244 meters. Maximum vessel length overall (LOA) is 229 m. The maximum draught is 10.2 meters.

Control Tower            

Located on channel 16 VHF


The access channel to the Port of Santo Tomas de Castilla is located in the entrance of the bay of Amatique (15° 57' 8" North 88° 37' 24’’ West), 2 km towards the West (15° 53 ' 36") it has a turn of 90º degrees. The channel has draught restriction of 11m, length of 10.7 km and a width of 90m

Maritime signalling

Buoys, beacons, leading lights (21 signals plus the Villedo lighthouse) (direction of N 4 degrees 53')

 General Cargo Handling Berths

Santo Tomás de Castilla has 6 berths, each one 152.20 meters long, making a total of 913.2 meters of berthing frontage. Of these 6 berths, all are multipurpose, which gives versatility and flexibility to port operations, being berth number 6, the one with the connections for unloading liquid bulk; Likewise, during the cruise season in the Guatemalan Caribbean, the pier assigned to attend to passenger ships is Berth 1.

Cargo Type

Berth Identification

Imports - Bagged Cargo

Berth 3,4,5,6

Exports - Bagged Cargo

Berth 3,4,5,6

Imports and Exports - RoRo

Berth 3,4,5

Other Imports

Please see below list

Berth Nº1 Maximum Draft: 10 m. Length: 152.20m. Most common uses: Passengers, containers, RO/RO, conventional vessels, general cargo

Berth Nº2 Maximum Draft: 10 m. Length: 152.20m. Most common uses: Passengers, containers, RO/RO, conventional vessels, general cargo

Berth Nº3 Maximum Draft: 10.30 m. Length: 152.20m. Most common uses: Solid bulk, containers, RO/RO.

Berth Nº4 Maximum Draft: 10.30 m. Length: 152.20m. Most common uses: Solid bulk, containers, RO/RO.

Berth Nº5 Maximum Draft: 10 m. Length: 152.20m. Most common uses: Containers, RO/RO, general cargo, perishable and refrigerated cargo

Berth Nº6 Maximum Draft: 10 m. Length: 152.20m. Most common uses: Liquid bulk

Port Handling Equipment

The port is own and administered by the Government. Most of the equipment is private own but administered by the Port Authority. The port has 5 mobile cranes, clamshells as well as hoppers and all the necessary equipment for loading and unloading products in containers and bulk.



Total Quantity and Capacity Available

Comments on Current Condition and Actual Usage

Dockside Crane


Container Gantries


Mobile Cranes


5 /104 ton on cable, and 30.5 MT under automatic spreader / each 

Five mobile cranes on tires with a capacity of 104 tons, whose characteristics are: in its maximum capacity under cables it is 104 metric tons; and its capacity under automatic spreader is 30.5 metric tons.

One crane out of service. No forecast to come back in operation. Repair date not defined. 20 September 2022.



4 /40 t

Operational. Four 40 ton Reach Stacker telescopic container carriers

RoRo Tugmaster (with Trailer)


39 /20 t

Operational. Two Tractor-trailers with a capacity of 20 tons. 36 wagons of 10 tons of capacity. Two wagons that support a capacity of 20 tons. One wagon of 40 tons of capacity. 27 Headers (4×2) with a capacity of 30 tons and one Header (4×4) with a capacity of 30 tons.

Grain Elevator with Bagging Machines




14 /35 t




01 forklift with forks of 16 tons and 03 forklifts of 04 and 05 tons, used to handle double pallets, also has 31 forklifts with forks of 04 and 05 tons; 01 forklift with 04-ton forks, which includes a bale handling equipment. Also 05 forklifts with forks of 03 tons; 01 forklift with 2.5-ton forks and 05 mechanical Pallet Jack.

Container Facilities

Terminal A for full containers: 10,680 m² / 768 TEU’s

Terminal B for full containers and reefers: 16,418 m² / 1,104 TEUs Terminal C for full containers: 16,400 m² / 1,174 TEUs

Container yard (Private Company Cobigua): 14,128 m² / 1,125 TEUs

Container yard (Private Company Almasilos): 4,000 m² / 200 TEUs

Container yard (Private Company Maersk): 16,400 m² / 1,176 TEUs

Container yard (Private Company Servicios Portuarios): 42,230 m² / 4,450 TEUs


20 ft

40 ft

Container Facilities Available


127,222.40 m2

Container Freight Station (CFS)


Refrigerated Container Stations

903 reefer plugs

Daily Take Off Capacity
(Containers per Day)


Number of Reefer Stations
(Connection Points)

803 reefer plugs

Container yard with electricity supply for refrigerated containers with a capacity of 1,408 TEUs (11,558 m2 of area). Currently there are 633 outlets in Patio No.4 and 10B, 4 Power Boxes with a capacity of 60 outlets, plus 1 of 30 for a total of 903 units.

Emergency Take-off Capacity


Off take Capacity of Gang Shift
(Containers per Shift)



Customs Guidance

When all necessary documentation is presented to the customs authorities and OIRSA,  the cargo release process will take an estimate of 5 or 6 days from the time the vessel arrives until cargo is release.   The Government of Guatemala has launched since May 2021 a new project with the Global Alliance for Trade Facilitation that will simplify, standardise, and digitise documentation and procedures at its major ports, with benefits that can ripple across its economy. Shipping companies, terminal operators, and captains will spend less time meeting administrative demands when ships arrive, dock at, or leave Guatemalan ports. For the public sector, the switch to automated processes will ease the controls performed by customs, health, agriculture, and immigration authorities and permit more effective coordination. The time saved by improving authorisation and inspection processes can allow ports to receive more ships and save operators as much as USD 3,000 in operational costs per hour for each vessel. Delays in port arrivals and departures stemming from incorrect paperwork and discoordination among several actors can cost ships their place at port berths and lead to late fees and time lost in loading or unloading cargo.

Santo Tomas de Castilla Customs

Inside the Puerto Santo Tomas de Castilla Maritime Port on the main street to the pier at kilometer 298 of the Central American highway CA-9 north, municipality of Puerto Barrios, Department of Izabal. Phone (502) 7960-0350 to 54

Services provided: Dispatch of merchandise (import, export and transit, authorization of tourist permits and their movements).

In the administrative area from Monday to Sunday from 08:00 to 22:00.

For more information on customs in GUATEMALA please see the following link: 1.3 Customs Information

Terminal Information


The general cargo handling berth is on the 810 m long. The “Commercial wharf” which is composed of four berths of 202.5 m is divided as follows: 1 berth for the handling of general cargo, 2 for general solid/liquid cargo, and1 multipurpose ramp (Ro-Ro). The depth is 11m BHZ.


The grain terminal is located in Zone 1, with an area extension of 39,800 m², 75 m away from the wharf’s platform. The terminal counts with six silos with a storage capacity of 3,880 t and a 10,000 t warehouse capacity. It operates using a system of treadmills to load and discharge. The treadmills’ output is of 1,000 t per hour. The mechanism is designed to handle different products simultaneously


The port has various storage facilities for containers, both reefers and dry cargo, full and empty, as well as storage space for vehicle. The storage area also includes space for stripping, re-stuffing and transhipment cargo of containers which have short storage time. There is a ramp and cover space for stripping of container and customs inspection. There is also an area for the loaded trucks to wait for customs inspection.

Storage Type

Number of Storage Facilities

Area (m2)

Bagged Cargo


28,738 m²

Refrigerated Cargo

Del Monte has a cold room inside the port facilities for their perishable cargo.

General Cargo


8,895.54 m²


The port has three stevedoring companies for the vessel operations.  They are unionized in the organization SINTRAPSATCA

Hinterland Information

Port Security

Port Santo Tomas de Castilla fulfils all the ISPS regulations. Vessels visiting Santo Tomas de Castilla have to fulfil the regulations and requirements of the ISPS code. It is prohibited within the port premises: washing, painting, welding, refuelling.


ISPS Compliant


Current ISPS Level
(Level 1 = Normal, Level 2 = Heightened, Level 3 = Exceptional)


Police Boats


Fire Engines


Jump to top