San Blas & Bocas del Toro
San Blas and Bocas del Toro are two magnificent archipelagos placed in the Caribbean area of Panama. First at the north-east side, second at the north-west side of the country. Perfect combination for a single trip.
San Blas archipelago or Reserva Indígena Kuna Yala is formed by a total of 365 islands and islets totally uninhabited except 49 of them, the bigger ones, where the independent Kuna indians live. Kuna people are a communal and matriarchal ethnic who knew how to keep their ancestral customs till nowadays. They have the control of the region, protecting their lands against mass tourism, maintaining them untouchable and virgin. San Blas is still a paradise to be discovered, pure and wild.
Bocas del Toro, also known as “the Caribbean Pearl”, is an archipelago composed by 9 islands and by more than 200 islets with beaches, mangroves and rain forests, offering the perfect combination of Caribbean spirit, nature and history with cultural traditions. By 1988 the Parque Nacional Marino Isla de Bastimentos was declared Marine National Park, the first of the country, protecting incredible beaches in front of the tropical jungle, marine seabeds full of life and spawning areas of some species of sea turtles such as green, carey or leatherback turtle.
The beaches founded in the Caribbean area of Panama have white sands and waving palm trees, pristine waters with reflections ranging from emerald green to turquoise, are full of sea stars and have some of the oldest coral reefs in the planet. You will have the chance to disembark in any of those uninhabited islands to take a walk on the beach, all for you, where only your foot prints will tell that you where there.
On board the best sailing catamarans you will access the more remote and secluded islands of San Blas. The captain will invite you to visit some Kuna settlements, that will surprise you for sure, and will encourage you to swim in the turquoise and peaceful waters around you. The chef will prepare delicious dishes containing lobster, crab or fresh fish, tropical fruits and some other local delights. No other concerns that plunging now or later.
In Bocas del Toro you will be accommodated in a quiet and luxurious ���aqua-lodge��� placed in a totally natural and virgin environment. Its exclusive cabins with private terrace, placed above the sea, will allow you a direct access to the crystalline waters and will make you observe the impressive sunset, interrupted only by playful dolphins. You will have an intimate and pure experience in a place of singular beauty where you can relax in comfort.
Diving and Snorkelling. The geographic characteristics of the region and the low population density favour the amazing biodiversity of flora and fauna of its waters. All the area is full of healthy coral reefs, crowded of tropical fishes and other resident marine species.
Kuna crafts. Kuna women create their typical crafts called Mola. Very colourful pieces of clothes with animals, plants or geometrical forms sewed on them. It is interesting to visit them and to learn about their culture.
Dolphin Sightings. At the Bahía de los Delfines, in Bocas del Toro, you will have the chance of observing dolphins almost 100% assured, as there are several dolphin families living in this area.
Water activities. Jet ski and water ski at Bocas del Toro.
Excursions in the rain forest. It is wonderful to walk inside the undisturbed jungle, where you are able to observe many bird species, frogs and some reptiles.
Surf. Only for experienced surfers. The most renamed place for surfing is Playa Bluff, at Bocas del Toro, but it is a dangerous area, as the waves break very close to the coral reefs.
Due to flight connections, to reach both of the archipelagos you need to have a technical stop at Panama city. You will have the chance to walk around the city that owns the important and famous Canal de Panama, which connects the Atlantic and Pacific Ocean. To reach San Blas and embark to your catamaran you will need to take a small charter plane. To enjoy the second part of the trip at Bocas del Toro, you will need to flight with another small plane.
Panama’s weather is tropical, with an average annual temperature of 28⁰C��and high relative humidity all year round. They usually have a dry and a rainy season. It is better to visit the country during the dry period, which goes from February to April and from September to October. The average seawater temperature is also 28���C, at both Caribbean and Pacific coasts.
Essential. Passport (valid and to expire not less than six months after entering the country), high protection sun cream, sun glasses, swim suits, hat or cap, mosquito repellent.
Languaje. Spanish is the official language.
Time difference. UTC -5:00, 6 hours less in relation to Spain (7h in summer time).
Currency. Balboa (PAB). Aprox. 1���=1���08PAB, 1$=1PAB. American dollars are used as often as balboas are.
Banks/ATM/Credit card. There is no ATM in San Blas. In Bocas del Toro there is one at Colón Island. None of the places it is possible to pay by card. We highly recommend taking enough money with you.
Electricity. Current here is 110/220V. Adaptor “Type A”, American style.