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Are there any Sharks in the San Blas Islands?

The presence of slow-moving always-friendly nurse sharks is not uncommon in the waters of the San Blas islands. Chances of being attacked in San Blas by a shark are 0. With no shark attack on record, sailing the San Blas islands is a safe and memorable experience for family and friends.

The abundance of marine life in the archipelago of Kuna Yala is not only in the form of coral fish, turtles and dolphins but also various species of sharks.

Friendly nurse sharks in San Blas islands
Shark friends in the San Blas islands

The nurse shark remains the most spotted shark in the region and probably the only one you will get to see if you do not venture to the outer reef or open seas. Nurse sharks are slow-moving bottom dwellers with a large head, two rounded dorsal fins, and rounded pectoral fins. Another popular name for them is "sleeper sharks" and this is because they are calm creatures of the ocean.

Don’t miss the opportunity to swim with them!

Nurse shark females are somewhat bigger than males, averaging between 7.5 and 9 feet. This shark species can live up to 24 years. While newborn nurse sharks are speckled, adult nurse sharks are coloured a light or dark brown. Additionally, its mouth is full of rows of tiny, serrated teeth that are ideal for breaking apart hard-shelled prey.

These nurse sharks often approach our catamarans in San Blas to feed on the remains of fish and lobster that our onboard chef discards into the surrounding sea.

Video feeding fish scraps to our shark friends

Nurse sharks are not aggressive and usually swim away when approached. Do not miss the opportunity to jump in the water and interact with them while we feed them. Bring your Gopro or underwater camera if you have one.

For the adventurous sailors and spear fishing enthusiasts there is always opportunity to swim with other types of sharks and although they are not abundant in the archipelago, other species, such as reef and bull sharks may seldom be seen in the open waters outside the reefs and far away from our anchorages and frequented islands.

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