Is San Blas a Tourist Trap?
Definitely not, but exercise caution when booking your sailing charter and get informed. Having a bad experience and being trapped while on a cruise can be annoying to say the least.
When traveling to such a destination as the San Blas islands and given the peculiarity of the area, many things can occur, one of them is being landlocked on an island that has the scent of a tourist trap and will most probably have music blasting through most of the day and night..
Why visit the touron-filled islands close to the land entrance and port such as the islands in Cayo Limon of Pelicano, Chichime, Banedup, Elefante when you can sail the outer cays including Dutch Cays and Coco Bandero thus avoiding any crowds and submerging in the sheer beauty of the tropical islands of San Blas.
In past post we have reviewed 2 interesting topics:
10 tips for avoiding being "trapped" in San Blas / tips for enjoying this Caribbean destination in Panama
come in by private plane (costs are down...)
make sure your San Blas tour has a fixed price
if your catamaran has technical issues and have to be reassigned, make sure you are upgraded or reimbursed the difference in cost of the two catamarans. Book with an agency with other boats to shift you to, instead of a sole operator/captain/catamaran with no other options if things go wrong
private sailing charter means private: no other guest on board
pick a sailing charter agency that meets this criteria
avoid the islands close to the shore
do not buy the first handcrafted products offered to you
make sure your food preferences are tailored to your needs, thus avoiding any "additional" food provisioning from your side
use of water toys including paddles, kayaks, sea bobs, dinghy, bbq should be included in the price and totally free
be able to change your itinerary if you are not content with the anchorages and activities chosen
There you have it!