The former San Blas islands are without a doubt the most beautiful destination in Panama. The islands, some 360 in total, are inhabited by the Guna Indians. This tribe still lives entirely according to ancient traditions. Guna Yala is an autonomous region within Panama. Their leader, the Sahila, is both their political and spiritual leader. At San Blas, you’ll have the unique opportunity to learn more about the ancient Kuna culture.
When you dive into the ocean from San Blas, you enter a beautiful underwater world full of colorful tropical fish, octopus, lobsters, starfish, and rays. You can even find anemones with anemone fish / clownfish and small pieces of coral here! Diving is prohibited here, but snorkeling and swimming is allowed everywhere. When you go on a tour, everything you need for snorkeling, fishing and surfing is available. A motor boat can drop you off on different islands, so you can explore the best underwater spots.
Day 1: Around 6 o’clock in the morning you will fly to the San Blas Islands in about 55 minutes. Upon arrival, a motor boat takes you to Yandup Island in about 10 minutes. This island is surrounded by coral reefs and has a small white sandy beach with crystal clear, blue water. You will stay at the Playón Chico community and besides the 8 simple cabanas built in Guna style, the island is uninhabited. On this first day, you will do two tours, one in the morning and one in the afternoon. The exact activities depend on the weather and on your wishes. Furthermore, you can enjoy the beautiful views, take a swim or relax in one of the hammocks.
Day 2: Today you can participate in one of the tours by the lodge and learn more about the Guna culture. In addition, you can, of course, swim, snorkel and enjoy the island life.
Day 3: Early in the morning you will leave for the boat transfer to the airport in Playon Chico. At 7 o’clock in the morning, you will fly back to Panama City.
Beautiful islands! The excursions were very nice and the food was excellent, but sometimes portions were limited (nothing grows on the island). The mosquito nets do need to get replaced. All in all, do not expect luxury, but a truly special experience!
A stay on the Guna Yala islands is absolutely unique. However, do not expect luxury: you go back to basic in paradise. There is no hot water, but fortunately, you do not need that with the wonderful temperatures. All ingredients for the meals are flown in, so there is not much variation. Do look around you however, it is almost impossible not to enjoy the beauty and simplicity of life on these islands!