10 Tips for Booking a Yacht Charter in San Blas
Be prepared for you next catamaran vacations and observe the following recommendations. We’re the locals, we know what we are talking about.
Know what you are getting into: San Blas is definitely a special place that is mostly yet to be discovered, even by experienced travelers and sailors. This is not your typical catamaran charter destination. The labyrinthic sailing grounds with the hundreds of tiny islands, a strong and peculiar local indigenous culture and the tropical weather are a few of the unique factors that set aside this destination from other known and more developed charter destinations in the world. No big bars playing loud music, no social scene, no bling and no tourist "attractions". San Blas is only unspoiled nature, crystal clear waters, mild winds and a welcoming,relaxed and totally safe atmosphere.
Be very specific with your requests and charter personalization. Even though at a first glance, all islands might look similar, the truth quite the opposite and this region offers a vast amount of possibilities depending on your interests. Sports enthusiasts, travel buffs, nature lovers, family vacationers, event organizers all fit and are welcomed in San Blas, but again, the more precise you are with the info you send us, the better.
Predisposition is key: stay open to the experiences presented to you and do not judge. The right mood and approach will catapult you to a realm where all is in an unique and magical order and where everything works one way or the.other. "Ahorita ahorita" literally means "little now", our times are no longer valid in San Blas. Do not attempt to import our culture here, it does not work. The sooner you give up and let your guard down, the better.
Respect the Guna culture and local ways and traditions; the only reason San Blas still exists and the level of preservation is because of the Gunas and their eagerness to protect their ancestral land. Other islands in the Pacific side of Panama have not been that lucky and numerous hotels have been established thus contributing to the destruction of what once was and absolute paradise. The Caribbean islands of the San Blas cannot be sold to foreigners which keeps away any sort of development that would damage the ecosystem. Do not raise your voice, stand back, listen and watch the magic unfold.
Transfers in and out are key to a successful Catamaran Cruise in San Blas: During this past years and thanks to a slight improvement of infrastructure and the reconditioning of the airstrip, things are much easier and little by little accessing the region is starting to be less of a struggle especially if you fly in on a 40 minute private flight from Albrook local in Panama City. We provide all transfers in and out of San Blas.
Food is basic yet delicious and is mostly composed of sea delicacies brought in by the Guna indigenous. Fresh lobster and other crustaceans and local fish of various types are the highlights of our menu. Make sure you notify us of your food preferences and allergies with your reservation. We love to adapt and consider that cuisine is a extremely important factor. Food for picky eaters is programmed if required.
Bring a cap, a hat, rashguard and sun lotion. Catamarans have plenty of shaded area, but for guests not used to an intense sun, being prepared is a factor to take into consideration. No shops where to buy any of this in San Blas. You must bring all that in yourself.
Local currency is the USD, and there is no need to bring in large amounts of money since there is nowhere to spend it apart from traditional handcrafts sold by locals or the occasional beer ashore in one of the huts managed by the island owners. Dutch cays and specially BBQ island along with the Pool offer this possibility. Tipping etiquette for the catamaran crew is 15-20% if you consider they went that extra mile. Payment of that amount can also be done directly through us via wire or credit card.
No mosquitos at the catamaran but ashore is a different story and there might be some if you wonder deep into some islands and walk around shaded areas. Do bring some mosquito repellent, not too much, do not exaggerate, there is no need.
Heat throughout the year means that booking a catamaran with air conditioning is recommended. . Weather in winter is fine but air conditioning is definitely worth it if any in your group is sensitive to heat or humidity.