10 Reasons Not to Travel to San Blas
Crowded islands with 24 hour loud music, reefs with poor marine life and not so friendly locals are a few of the undesirable aspects you may encounter if you do not choose the appropriate catamaran charter itinerary, conditions and ultimately the best San Blas islands sailing Company.
Luckily San Blas is many miles and the islands affected by tourism are only a few near the land entrance, the rest remains completely wild and practically untouched.
Not all in San Blas is deserted islands filled with coconut trees, white sand beaches and friendly locals. Like all other Caribbean destinations, there are the typical annoyances that can ruin your stay in the San Blas islands
Crowded and instafamous Dog Island or Isla Perro is not one of our stops due to the activity. Zoom in and checkout the number of people.
We have hundreds of posts of how beautiful the islands are, the interesting and well preserved culture, the real eco lives and amazing ways of the Gunas, state-of-the-art catamarans with all the extras and the freshest local food.
Now it is time to be critical and dig into a few of the reasons San Blas is not the perfect place if wrongly approached, afterall, we are here to say the truth of what is considered the best Caribbean sailing charter destination, yes, way better that the BVI, Bahamas and the rest of the Caribbean hotspots!
Top 10 Reasons Not to Travel to San Blas
Transfers in and out: you think traveling to the Cays is an easy reach from Panama. It is not, specially if you choose a road transfer that even though it is advertised as a 2 hour ride, it can take 4 hours and the winding mountain road is hard on some guests prone to sickness. There are ways to minimize this road transfers to San Blas effect and that is by choosing a private road transfer instead of a shared one. Flying in is the best and most comfortable way to reach the catamarans in San Blas.
Culture: be prepared for a cultural shock, not in Panama but once you step in Guna Yala. "Ahorita" literally means "little now" so just relax and take it easy, we’ll get there. Look around, you have embarked in an unique journey and your senses will explode if you just let your guard down.
Weather: tropical weather means high temperatures and humidity. The combination of the two can ruin the catamaran charter for those of you who are sensitive to heat, specially from April to December. We have catamarans with air conditioning ready to sail the San Blas islands. Take good note and act accordingly. Bocas del Toro, the other sailing destination in Panama also has tropical weather but due to the geography, the climate is much harder.
San Blas, unlike visiting the Canal, Casco Viejo cannot be seen in one day and can only be accomplished in longer stays. It makes no sense to rush while on a catamaran charter in the San Blas islands.
Price: renting a fully crewed private catamaran that is probably worth above the 700K market value and including all the provisioning, fuel, gas, etc doesn’t seem cheap. We will not go into detail of what our running expenses are, but understand the higher costs of a healthy, competitive and dedicated sailing charter company in the most secluded and inaccessible part of the Caribbean where everything must be bought from outside (US or Panama), with no repair facilities and no marinas where to refuel or take care of basic maintenance.
Motion sickness: having our sailing areas in San Blas located behind the main reefs and sheltered from the waves does not mean there will be no rolling at all. At times with some weather, the movement of the catamaran can cause motion sickness to sensitive guests. Larger catamarans with bigger widths do not accompany the waves as much as smaller ones. Booking a large catamaran in San Blas, even for a couple or reduced groups can be an excellent choice.
Mosquitos are not present while on the catamaran cruise but rather in the shaded parts of the islands and at the waiting locations both at the road entrance and at the San Blas airports in Corazon de Jesus and el Porvenir.
Packing light is needed and it is very hard to only include a few things in your suitcase when traveling the world. For a small fee we can keep your stuff in our base in Panama as long as you do not leave any valuables inside thus making it easier to fly with light luggage
Marine LIfe: You do not want to go spearfishing behind the reef in open water without the proper knowledge and experience. Trust us on this one, you don’t. Fish blood while in open waters outside the reef means you will have a couple of sharks around in no time. Simply snorkeling in San Blas and no underwater fishing is totally fine inside and outside the reefs and the only shark you will see are the friendly nurse sharks that do not even bite but rather use suction to hunt for their prays, mainly lobster and small fish, in the crevices.
The best San Blas Sailing Company specialized in catamarans is not easy to spot. So be on the look out for imitators that for example are not specialized in the San Blas islands, offer monohulls and other types of boats, do not communicate in proper english or articulate their conditions in a sloppy way. Also be on the lookout for not 100% responsiveness and not proactive laid back guest relation managers that are not on top of every detail. Our blog posts and our approach to what a real charter company should be is being copied and there is nothing we can do to prevent that . So please keep your eyes open for imitators. You will soon see a duplicate of this very same post somewhere else... ;) Secret note to the other editors copying our posts: "get a life, dude!"
Catamaran Adventures San Blas