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San Blas Snorkeling: Where to Find Crystal Clear Waters and Other Expert Recommendations

The best snorkel and most abundant sea life can be found in the locations which are furthest away from river mouth such as the Pool in Dutch Cays, Coco Bandero Cays and Bapurgana, all these locations are an easy reach from the landing strip at Corazon de Jesus.

The Panamanian region of San Blas is celebrated for its gorgeous islands and breathtaking white sand beaches filled with coconut trees. Crystal clear waters are the norm and snorkelling in the San Blas islands is considered one of the best activities in which to engage in while on a catamaran charter.

Although the clear waters prevail throughout most of the sailing itineraries, the possibility of encountering murky waters is real if you plan to visit the communities closer to shore such as Rio Sidra, Soledad Miria, etc.

Muddy rivers in San Blas region
Muddy rivers in the San Blas region.

These communities are what we call the deep San Blas and although it is highly advisable to visit them due to their cultural uniqueness, they are in the vicinity of multiple river mouths and the sediment-rich waters carried to the sea by the rivers greatly reduce visibility of the waters making it impossible to snorkel.

The landing strip at Corazon de Jesus in where you flight to San Blas will take you is also besides a river mouth and not a place to snorkel or go for a swim. Luckily, Coco Bandero Cays and other amazing locations are only a 20 minute easy sail

Landing strip area in Corazon de Jesus
Landing strip area: Corazon de Jesus.

On the contrary, sailing to the outer islands and cays gives you the opportunity to explore the reefs teeming with life and clear waters. The top 5 snorkelling spots in San Blas for crystal clear waters are

  • the Pool

  • Coco Bandero

  • Bapurgana

  • Green Island

  • Cambombia

Dutch Cays in San Blas islands
Dutch Cays San Blas, Maoqui island, close to the Pool.


In order to preserve the fragile ecosystem, please observe the following recommendations by our experts when snorkelling in San Blas:

  1. Avoid touching anything in the water and that includes sea stars

  2. Do not sit or walk ove corals.

  3. Utilize biodegradable sunscreen

  4. Do not feed the fish.

  5. Don't take anything and don't abandon anything. If you lose your mask or fin, please retrieve it if possible


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