If you don’t have the time for an over night visit to the San Blas islands, then think about a San Blas day tour. The San Blas island chain is made up of hundreds of small palm fringed islands. This is a pristine habitat that is inhabited by the indigenous Kuna Indians that should be included in any visit to Panama.
Limited availability from December to April – Please book in advance
The San Blas day tour begins with transportation from Panama City to Carti in one of the Kuna operated, 4×4 shared people carriers. They can take up to 7 passengers and can be a squeeze at times. This is the only transport available into the San Blas for a San Blas day tour. The pick up in Panama City is between 5.00am and 5.30am. The journey to Carti on the San Blas island mainland is around 2-3 hours through Panama’s spectacular jungle highland. In Carti you will be collected by one of the Kuna day tour operators we work with.
During your San Blas day tour you will normally visit two islands including Isla Perro and the ship weck where there are ample opportunities to snorkel the wreck and surrounding reefs or just relax in the shallows. There may be an opportunity to visit one of the Kuna Yala communities, these island towns are often dirty and not that pleasant. You would normally get a basic breakfast on arrival, but this has been skipped in the past, we advise you to have a light breakfast before leaving and maybe take a snack, banana, bottle of water with you. You will receive a traditional Kuna Yala meal for lunch.
The day tours of the islands will finish around 2-3pm, when you will be transported back to Carti on the mainland to meet with the 4×4 transport back to Panama City, you will arrive back in Panama City between 6 and 7pm normally. Be aware that all times given are approximate and the itinerary may vary slightly from the one given. The cost includes 4×4 transport to and from Panama City, Boat tour, Boat man/guide, breakfast (Not always), lunch, community visit (Not always), beach islands, snorkeling. Additional costs are Kuna Yala taxes and some San Blas beach taxes $10-14pp (These are payable in cash on route and on Isla Perro).
The San Blas islands are one of the few desert island habitats that has not been engulfed by large corporations and the resorts they are affiliated with, as foreign investment is prohibited in the Kuna Yala region. With this you need to understand that their service levels might not meet up to what you would expect, they have their own culture and often clients find the lack of interaction and normal guide practices a little hard to deal with. You just need to be aware that they will be courteous and freindly but that is about it.