San Blas Island Travel : 20 Tips for your Sailing Holidays

The region of Kuna Yala definitely is a mind-blowing destination and relatively easy to discover, but do take into consideration these insider's tips to help guarantee a successful sailing vacation not only in San Blas but also other locations in Panama.


20 useful tips for traveling to the San Blas islands in Panama

  1. Book way ahead. Catamarans in San Blas are scarce. Good ones, we mean...

  2. Consider travel insurance such as Allianz travel insurance or simply go to SquareMouth to compare the different insurance companies available

  3. Medical insurance with a wide coverage is a nice add on to any travel insurance

  4. Get your vaccines and booster shots or have a PCR test before flying in

  5. Avoid crowded places in Panama. San Blas has no crowded places, so you are good there

  6. Pack very light, you really do not need anything in San Blas

  7. Bring a hat/cap, suntan lotion and sunglasses

  8. Take along any medicine you use regularly, there are no pharmacies in San Blas

  9. Avoid land transfers into San Blas and fly in if possible. Alternatively choose a private road transfer

  10. Do not come to San Blas to party and drink, you will be extremely disappointed

  11. Come to San Blas with an open mind this way you will avoid the cultural shock

  12. Patience is key: " ahorita" means "little now" expect delays, "T.I.P" This is Panama...

  13. Do some research on the Kuna indigenous prior to your trip

  14. Communicate your food preferences well ahed, also allergies or any other issue worth mentioning

  15. Buy yourself a Digicel sim card in any of the many convenient stores in Panama’s streets for your internet access in San Blas, it is cheap and convenient. Top up with an internet plan and you are set to go.

  16. Mosquito repellent of your choice for land incursions

  17. Do not expect the newest models of catamarans. No marinas and repair facilities means less boats in San Blas than anywhere in the Caribbean , also means that captains must handle the maintenance on their own. If you need the newest catamaran, go to the BVI but do not expect a similar experience of that offered in San Blas. No hotels to be seen, a pristine environment, more that 35o islands to explore and the unique Kuna culture make San Blas the last and only True Caribbean Paradise.

  18. Stay more than a couple of nights if possible, it starts getting interesting starting 4-5 nights

  19. Read the cancellation policies of your flight agency and tour operator and ask to clarify if in doubt

  20. Tipping is 5% to 15% depending on the effort shown by the crew

Enjoy your stay.

Catamaran Adventures San Blas