SAN BLAS Islands – A paradisiacal archipelago

L 'San Blas Archipelago was our first 4-day stopover on our Panama tour. We were from the 27. to 30. December there and were thrilled!

The SAN BLAS Archipelago

After seeing photos on blogs, I dreamed of staying on these islands in an indigenous community. The archipelago of Guna Yala ou San Blas is an autonomous Indian territory in the Caribbean Sea of Panama. Guna Yala has more than 360 islands that stretch over 400 kilometers. In addition to the postcard landscapes, you can make contact in this archipelago and discover the culture Guna. With a tropical climate and a constant breeze, these islands are always sunny.

Here are some pictures of the swimming pool and thePELIKANS island in theSan Blas archipelago.


The Piscina on the SAN BLAS Islands


SAN BLAS and the community of Gunas or Kunas

These 50 Indians San Blas want to perpetuate their cultures despite contact with the modern world. They were already present in the archipelago before the arrival of Christophe Colom. They live in community, independent and do everything to respect their tradition. I had read these women Guna They put on their traditional dress only in front of tourists and as soon as they left, they put on pants and a tea shirt and left the islands to reach their home.

This is completely wrong. For 4 days on DE MAR ACHUDUP, I can confirm that the Gunas who kindly welcomed us to their island are Indians who do not play the comedy. The women are dressed traditionally all the time: Mola, skirts with skirts, ankle and bracelets, golden rings in the nose, red scarves. They live on their island with their families in huts like those rented to tourists. In some families, the more westernized men than the women leave their island to work in the fields in corn or yuca plantations, others fish, transport tourists on excursions or trade with neighboring islands.

Certainly the Gunas take advantage of making money from tourism, but it is a people who are concerned about their traditions and far from everything that is said about them.

They greeted us a bit cold at first, but very quickly, with a few funny anecdotes, we managed to get a few smiles and a kind of mutual respect was established. Despite our curiosity we had the feeling that they did not want to discuss with us. They stayed behind and we respected the distance they wanted to keep.

All we learned from them was Victor, the facilitator who took care of the management and logistics of tourists and explained it to us.

SAN BLAS ISLANDS Community of Kunas or GunasCommunity of the Kunas or Gunas ISLANDS OF SAN BLASSAN BLAS ISLANDS WOMEN Kuna

How to go to SAN BLAS?

We drove there on the road from Panama City:

5h30 Departure from our hotel by Pic Bis to the pier to go to the San Blas Islands with our private driver Oziel GONZALEZ. Tel.+ 507 6004 4721 or + 507 6576 6663

The trip takes 2h30 with 1h30 very bad road through the mountains and forest. At the entrance to the Caribe region there is a checkpoint where you have to pay an entrance fee of 20 USD per person.

We drive to Puerto Dibin, where we wait almost 2 hours before going on a "lancha"! The management of boats is a disaster! The tourists are divided on one side, then on the other, some luggage protected and others not, the last arrivals go before the first… The registration documents go from hand to hand and do not return to their issuer… C ' is a mess.

10h00 Sea transfer to the island DE MAR ACHUDUP

10h50 Arrival on the island and installation in our cabin

Where to sleep in SAN BLAS?

The Gunas offer traditional accommodations in rustic huts made of natural materials. These are thatched huts with palm roofs in the sand. Simply equipped with beds and a luggage rack, there is no air conditioning or toilets inside. There is electricity in the cabins from 6pm to midnight. In addition, there is the possibility of charging electronic devices during the day at the bar. The sanitary facilities are shared outside.

The strength of these accommodations is their location. In fact, the cabins are located right on the beach under the coconut trees overlooking a beautiful lagoon. A hammock awaits you for a long nap in the sun .

In such a heavenly place we quickly forget the lack of comfort and like to live like Robinson Crusoe!

Otherwise, here is the Demar Achudup hut where we slept for 3 nights: More information about booking

SAN BLAS archipelago lodgeInterior hut archipelago of the island SAN BLAS ACHU DE MAR

What do we eat at SAN BLAS?

If you book the hotel, you must have full board as there are no other restaurants on these tiny islands.

The Gunas Prepare simple dishes with products of the day's catch, accompanied by the famous coconut rice typical of the region. For a little change there is chicken from time to time. Please note that full board does not include drinks. Coke, beer, water and sodas are sold on site for 2 USD.

Optionally, for 10 USD you can order a commodity lobster that they prepare with a garlic sauce.

Lobster meal in the SAN BLAS Islands

What to do in SAN BLAS?

Discover a quiet, simple life cut off from time. Take your time to bask in the sun, read a good novel, play chess, watch birds, especially the many pelicans.

Main activities at SAN BLAS

Swimming, snorkeling especially in " the pool "And excursions to other islands likePelican Island, the Perro Chico Island orPerro Grande Island. To goIsland of Los Holandeses (one of the most beautiful), you have to pay extra because it takes 1 hour from Lancha to get there, and 1 hour to return.

At night, viewing the stars in the sky without light pollution is a real spectacle to enjoy SAN BLAS then gently fall asleep to the sound of the waves .

How long at SAN BLAS?

We were there for 4 days or 3 nights. But as I like to discover, move, go . Have to admit that 4 days is a bit much. To make the most of it and not get bored, a short stay of 1 to 2 nights is more than enough, except for those who need a lot of rest.