The archipelago of San Blas is also called paradise on earth. Bright blue water, white beaches, countless palm trees. Plus beautiful snorkeling and diving sites among the coral with an impressive underwater world. Partially inhabited by the Kuna Indians, the San Blas Islands are definitely recommended to add to your itinerary.
Your visit to San Blas will mainly consist of relaxing on the beach, swimming, snorkeling and/or diving in the crystal clear waters. And picking coconuts and drinking, and enjoying the views and beautiful sunsets. Chances are you’ll be unreachable online, which will make you completely relaxed. That’s all you need to do on San Blas, too.
It is good to know that there is little to nothing on the islands. At most, you can buy a coconut, a drink or a snack from the locals. There are no other stores, ATM or other amenities.
How do you get there and back?
You can travel to the San Blas by means of a multi-day tour. Several tours are offered online from the mainland of Panama where you can also choose the number of days. Also, you can indicate a preference where you want to stay. Several tours are available. In doing so, you can choose between sleeping on the islands in a hut or in a hammock. The number of days and which islands you go to is also tunable. It’s good to figure out in advance what your preferences are and which tour will suit you best.
You can also explore the islands of San Blas by sailboat. You can do so with a multi-day tour where you sleep on the sailboat and visit several islands and eventually return to the mainland. Some tour companies offering multi-day tours are San Blas Adventures, San Blas Dreams and Panama San Blas tours.
In addition, you can also cross to Colombia from Panama or vice versa by sailboat. From Panama you will first visit several islands of San Blas and sail to Colombia via open sea. Since Panama and Colombia do not have a border crossing that can be crossed by land, this is a unique way to travel to the other country. If you go visa versa, you’ll make the crossing first and end your trip with a few days of island hopping on San Blas. Blue Sailing is the organization that offers these tours, among others, and comes highly recommended. Would you like to make the crossing from Panama to Colombia or vice versa by sea? Keep in mind that in the high season, from December to April there is more wind there are more waves. Between May and October there is almost no wind and the sea is quite calm. It is often said that the crossing from Panama to Colombia is more unsettled than the other way around due to stronger currents. However, it is better to consider the time of crossing than from which country you are going.
For both a multi-day tour and the crossing, expect to pay around €100 per person per day, which often includes transportation, food and drink, accommodation and other necessities.