1. What kind of trip is that?
We are talking about a boat ride with speedboat hopping the San Blas islands.
There may be bad weather, ROUGH sea and heavy rain . You ‘ll probably get wet and splashed. It is not mandatory but we strongly recommend all travelers to have their own TRAVEL & HELATH insurence. Remember you ‘ll traveling in remote islands.
Considering the class of trip you are gonna jump in , make sure all your stuff is 100% WATERPROOF !!! Basically you have to put all your things in plastic bags and seal with tape. After make sure to protect your main bagagge with 2 strong rubbish( trash) bags and tape on. We suggest to split your stuff in two bagagges .The Big one where you keep all you won’t use during the trip. Remember make sure they are 100% WATERPROOF. The Small one instead with all the things you will need during the journey.
Here below some ideas for packing.
- all your electronics (fully charged) camera ,phone, laptop sealed in plastic bags
- all your important documents passport ,credit cards , money
- 4 copies of your passport
- medcine (EpiPen if you are allergic)
- toilet paper
- shower gel
- change of clothes
- swim suit
- jumper or a sheets to sleep in
- 1 gallon of water
- mosquito repellent
- sun block
- mask and snorkel
They will be available in each islands. Here below some ideas of prices
- Breakfast 3/4 $
- Lunch 5/8 $ depending on the meal
- Dinner 5/8 $ depending on the meal
- Drinks 1/2 $ sodas beer water
- Island fee 1/2 $ depending on the island
- Accomodation 5/10 $ hammocks or bed
Note We suggest you to bring some extra snacks anyway. Remember you “ll traveling in a remot area .
Necocli is the last place you ‘ll see an ATM until Panama city so make sure you have enough money before arriving to Capurgana.
Here below some idea of money you ‘ll need
- BUS Medellin – Necocli around 70000 pesos
- BUS Carteguena-Monteria around 60000 pesos
- VAN (porta a porta) Monteria-Necocli around 30000 pesos
- BOAT ride Necocli – Capurgana around 75000 pesos
- DORMS in Capurgana around 30000 pesos
- MEALS in Capurgana around 15000 pesos
- TRIP to San Blas 210 $
- ISLAND daily cost in San Blas 25/30 $
- JEEP service Carti-Panama city 30 $
- DRINKS 50$
- SOUVENIRS Kuna art 30$
- reserve in case of emergency 100$
Note 1 If you plan to stay in Capurgana few days before the trip we calculate a daily cost of 80000 pesos (meals/accomodation) as there are NO ATM make sure you bring enough money.
Note 2 San Blas courrency is the same than Panama. Change pesos for dollars in Cartaguena or in Medellin to get a better rate. Try to ask for small change ( 5 /20 $) as to make payments easier during your journey in San Blas.
5. Rules in kuna Yala
Respect is a keyword ! Kuna Yala is basically part of Panama and they have the same laws as in the City, however in each Community the Sailas who are the chiefes of the village can make few extra rules .
Here some of them
- You have always to wear a T-shirt on while you are in the village
- You are Not allowed drinking beer or any alcohol walking down the streets
- Community fee is 2 $ per person
- Photo fee is 1$ per camara to be allowed taking pictures of the community (not of the people)
- You have always to ask before taking picture of the Kuna people . Some of them will refuse anyway
- You are Not allowed taking coconuts from the islands. You can buy it for1$ each
- You are Not allowed giving any presents to the children. There is a person in charge to receive the presents and giving to the children later
6. Toilets and Showers
The bathrooms in San Blas are really rustic! We are talking about the classic dropping indigenous Kunas toilet and a bucket shower with fresh water coming from the river of the main land
Summertime is from DICEMBER TO MARCH . During this part of the year the weather is really good! hot days, no rain, blue sky and strong wind. Unfortunately the sea becomes ROUGH so sometimes we have to delay the trip. Remember don’t book any flight if you decide to travel in this season of the year you might miss your flight!!
Wintertime generally known as the rain season is from APRIL TO NOVEMBER. This time of the year is actually really good to travel in San Blas, short rain and the sea is CALM.
8. Health and Safety
Its really important to keep in mind the remote islands where you are travelling. Safety its another keyword. Use a life jacket all the time during the boat ride. No swimmimg at night. Only go snorkeling with at least one other person. If you know you are allergic make sure you have a EpiPen with you. Keep an eye on jellyfish, sea urchins and reef shark. Watch out the coconuts when you standing down a palm tree (coconuts kill more than shark!!) In case of emergency there are clinics with doctors trained in western medcine. We strongly suggest all travelers to have their own travel & health insurance.
If you plan to travel in the San Blas islands don’t waste your time and money in the big cities as Medellin or Cartaguena and comes to visit Capurgana instead. We suggest at least 4 days before the trip. Based on our experience we reccomend the route from Colombia to Panama as to spend more time in the nicest islands which are in front of Carti( Panama).
- hostal La Luz de oriente
- hostal Capurgana
- hostal Ector house
- hostal Villa Maria
- hostal La Bohemia
- hostal Mamallena
- hostal Magnolia inn
- hostal Los Mostros
- hostal Villa Vento
- hostal Casa Areka