Adventure travel in San Blas, sailing and 2021 offers! San Blas is lobster heaven. If you go snorkelling the chances are high that you will see them hiding in their little shelters.If not you can buy one from the Kunas and have it cooked to perfection by a local for $6. Not $60 like you’ll have to pay in a fancy restaurant in Europe. $6 in San Blas.
Your San Blas adventure starts early in the morning. A friendly driver will meet you at your Panama City lodging between 5:15am and 5:45am and safely transport you and up to five other guests to the Port of Carti. Relax and start enjoying during the 2.5-3 hour journey through the spectacular jungle highlands. Oftentimes we encounter wildlife, such as monkeys and sloths on the road and will gladly stop the car to give you opportunities to admire these beautiful animals and to take photos. Our drivers will also stop at a grocery store in case you want to purchase any items, such as snacks, water or fruit. When arriving at the port your “lancha” boat and San Blas trip tour guide will be waiting for you, ready to commence the San Blas tour. The 30-minute boat ride to the first island may be a little bumpy and, depending on ocean conditions, there may be some ocean spray. All of our boats have ample space and feature sun protection that will make this journey more comfortable. See extra info on Darien Jungle Expedition.
If you truly want to get off the beaten track and have a taste of adventure, a trip to the San Blas Islands might be just what you’re looking for. Postcard perfect islands with palm trees and crystal-clear water gently lapping the white-sand beaches is what this area is all about. However, you need to be prepared to bring out your inner Robinson Crusoe, as the accommodations are generally on the rustic side. The only way to visit these idyllic islands is to book a package with the local indigenous Guna people, which includes transport to, from, and around the islands, accommodation, and three basic meals a day. This is a totally off-the-grid type of trip, so prepare accordingly.
Few locations include Sendero Los Quetzales near the small town of Cerro Punto is one of Panama’s most beautiful trails. The 9 km (5 miles) route starts east of town and takes between four and seven hours. The trail winds through the cloud forest of Parque Nacional Volcan Baru and follows the Río Caldera, crossing it several times en route. It ends in the mountains above Boquete. The trail can also be hiked in reverse, but it’s entirely uphill from Boquete. Because the trail is not well marked it is recommend to hire a guide or join an organized tour.
With 365 islands in total, island hopping is a must during a visit to the San Blas Islands. Companies like Cacique Cruiser specialize in adventures through the archipelago. You can opt to stay as long as you would like in the islands, as most of them have family-run casitas, which are open to travelers to the area.
San Blas is the most stunning place I’ve been to – no exaggeration. It’s just the most amazing turquoise water mixed with blue and the sand is perfectly soft and white. There are starfish by the dozens below and with the addition of the unique Guna people living on the islands like they did hundreds of years ago, fishing with line, and chopping down trees with their machetes, it’s just an adventure that you won’t want to miss. It brings people from all over the world – but it’s not mass tourism here. It’s still pretty and quiet and while we sailed around we barely saw another soul. This is mostly because people think it’s hard to reach and don’t add it into their Panama itinerary.
San Blas adventure travel destinations are a hot thing right now. Can you take your luggage to San Blas? Nope! You need to leave your luggage behind in Panama City an pack a day-bag for San Blas. If you are in these small planes, you cannot take a big bag, you can’t fit it into these packed tourist Jeeps, and you can’t take it on the small boats out to the islands. Both our original “hotel” (really just a bed over the sand) and our sailing company told us no luggage. You could get by with a backpack 48L or less I suppose. Definitely no rolling luggage! We left ours at our hotel in Panama City when we checked out. They are used to this. Discover more info at San Blas Adventures.