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Top 5 Islands Not To Visit In The San Blas

Some of the more than 350 islands in the San Blas region can be affected by overtourism, specially during high season, weekends and national holidays. Islands to avoid are: Isla Perro, Franklin's, Isla Robenson, Isla Perro Chico, Banedub, Pelican island and at times Chichime.

isla Perro on a normal day

Just how much tourism is too much? For years the San Blas islands and because of their geographical location and lack of any communication infrastructure were totally isolated from any outsider. For decades no tourism flow led to the total preservation of the Kuna identity and authentic way of life. An inadequately maintained and basic dirt road from Panama City to a small port at one of the river mouths was all there was. Continuous land slides and different issues kept transfer companies and basically all tourist agencies away. Back in the day, a visit to the San Blas was more like a quest which could go wrong at any time, one that could last a whole day and not to be undertaken if meteorological circumstances were not completely favourable.

That all changed with the new road and runway. Overall improved communication infrastructure gave way to the development of tourism and in the following years, the San Blas islands closest to the shore and road access felt the pressure derived from outside "interference" in the form of masses of local Panamanian day tourists. If you are looking for a truly unique and delightful vacation, one that will stay with you for ever, best is to avoid any island within Cayo Limon or Lemon Cays.

Which of the San Blas Islands are the best?

It depends of what you are looking for, but not to be ignored are those islands within Dutch Cays, Coco Bandero Cays and Cambombia area. And that is where our catamaran sailing holidays take place.

Our main method to determining which of the San Blas Islands are the best and retain the authentic taste required to be qualified as one of the islands to visit is to perceive when the local indigenous population orients its everyday activities too much toward tourists and has to adapt to the streams of visitors. Clear indications of a saturated island can be detected if we see fishermen stop fishing, grandmothers stop weaving molas and children are nowhere to be found. Loud music and a festive ambiance often accompanies the loss of uniqueness.

Our main goal in our sailing charters in San Blas is to provide an unique and glorious vacation in the most idyllic of the San Blas islands.

What are the best island in San Blas?

  • BBQ island or Turtle island

  • Maoqui, Maqui island in Dutch Cays

  • Coco Bandero

  • Cambombia

  • Bapurgana

Secret spot in Coco Bandero

Maqui island, (Maoqui): Dutch Cays

In future posts we will go through all this islands so that you get a glimpse of what we have to offer.

You may also want to read our post What Not to Do in the San Blas Islands

Visit Catamaran Adventures San Blas for info on San Blas sailing and our special ways and standards of the best San Blas tours.


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