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Are the San Blas Islands Clean?

Yes, the San Blas are clean for the most part, but like the whole Caribbean, some areas can accumulate plastic and other types of debris that is left behind by insensible visitors or that washes ashore and has its origin in other parts of the Caribbean.

Catamaran Adventures San Blas exists not only to offer a dream catamaran vacation but also to put our grain of sand and contribute in different aspects focused in preserving the last and true Caribbean Paradise of the San Blas islands.

San Blas catamaran charter zones. Is San Blas Clean?
San Blas catamaran charter zones

The 3 day cleanup action starting July 5th 2024 will be the first of a series aimed at both cleaning the islands affected by trash and producing a study for further preventing accumulation of plastics and other types of garbage in San Blas.

"Specific types of plastic products may require up to 1,000 years to break down in garbage dumps. Everyday plastic bags, for example, take approximately 150 years to decompose. Plastic containers, made from PET or PVC, might need at least 450 years to biodegrade."

Nowadays, more and more shorelines across the world are affected by accumulation of plastics and other types of waste. Some of the debris found scattered on the beaches might be of local origin but others may have drifted from other areas or even countries and continents.

Sea turtle with plastic bag around its mouth. San Blas islands trash affects marine life.
Plastic is at times confused for jellyfish by sea turtles

We’ve done it before, like other conscious sailors, we have cleaned certain spots of the San Blas islands and have contributed to a healthier ecosystem in many ways. This time we, along with 5 volunteers will go beyond our previous cleanup actions and orchestrate a 3 day cleanup on the islands and spots most affected by accumulation of waste.

San Blas clean shores. Lets collect the trash in San Blas and keep the pristine nature of this Caribbean paradise.
Clean shores in our islands

Our aim is not only to collect the most amount of trash possible in order to recicle what’s possible and appropriately dispose of the rest in Panama City, but also to conduct a waste audit to understand where the trash accumulates and its origin.

Only by understanding the source of the problem, will we be able to take the necessary actions to prevent further deterioration of pristine ecosystems like the San Blas islands. Furthermore, with the knowledge gained, we will propose certain guidelines and procedures to the local authorities for them to implement in the communities.

Trash in San Blas
Island in San Blas affected by trash

What we know so far:

  • The islands affected by accumulation of trash are not many and they are not included in our itineraries.

  • Sea currents and wind direction are a big factor and result in some islands taking most of the hit.

  • Plastic, bottles, cans and other types of trash are in part originated outside of the San Blas but there are some alarming exceptions we will expose in our study.

Cleanup Goals

  1. 1000 kg of waste collected

  2. Transfer and recycling of all garbage in Panama

  3. Planting posters with information in each cleaned spot

  4. Study of the trash collected

  5. Proposal to the Guna Congreso and authorities

Our team of 10: Join us!

Captain:  Filled position

Cook:  Filled position

Deckhand:  Filled position

6 Volunteer: Vacant, Apply  Here Land Coordinator and Supervisor in Panama: Vacant, Apply  Here

We are looking for volunteers and sponsors. Feel Free to spend 5 days on board our catamarans and engage in our July cleanup operations. Please contact us for that matter


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