+507-6807-2764 reservaciones@sanblasfrontera.com

Getting ready for your 3-day Island Hopping Trip – Boat from Colombia to Panama

11

Nuedi,

(or thank you in English) for making your reservation with us! We will soon be welcoming you to your 3-day island hopping trip from Colombia to Panama. In order to be best prepared, please read the following carefully:

Trip booked: Boat from Colombia to Panama – 3-day San Blas Island hopping

Start: Sapzurro, Colombia

End: Cartí, San Blas, Panamá*

*We organize the transport from Cartí to Panama City or you with independent, licensed drivers – Shared Pickup or 4×4 for 2-6 people, drop-off at your hotel/hostel in Panama City

To-Do: Please send us until latest 4 days before the trip (via email):
  • Full name of all guests, passport numbers and birth dates: to register all guests with the local government. Please do not send photos of your ID. Thank you for your understanding.
  • Any dietary restrictions or allergies

Your itinerary:

Itinerary subject to changes depending on changes in local regulations, pandemic situation and weather situation.

  • Day 1- Meeting point: 8am at the dock in Sapzurro, Colombia. Please make sure you have your passport stamped the day before in the immigration office in Colombia (exit stamp to leave Colombia)
  • Day 1 – Entering Panamá: Leaving Sapzurro, our first stop is after a short boat ride Puerto Obaldía in Panamá. Here, we have to get off the boat (including all luggage) and pass customs and the immigration procedure. We take care of the formalities while you can have a drink or snack at a local bakery (this can take any time between 30-120min, we do our best to get this done asap but depend heavily on the 4 different offices we have to visit). For this, we will collect your passports & passport copies – of course you will get it back once we are done in Puerto Obaldia. Before we can get back onto the boat, all luggage will be inspected.
  • Day 1 – Heading to San Blas: Once done, we get back into the boat and head towards San Blas. During the day, we will stop on several islands for some beach fun and lunch. Make sure to have beachwear and everything you will need throughout the day ready, your luggage will be stored away until the evening. In the late afternoon we reach our accommodation for the night. In the late afternoon, we arrive at our accommodation for the first night.
  • Day 2: leaving with the boat after breakfast and heading further towards San Blas. During the day, we will again stop in Kuna villages and on deserted islands for swimming & snorkeling. Tonight, we will sleep on an island in the Cartí region.
  • Day 3: last day exploring the islands in the Cartí region. Spend the day swimming, snorkeling, wandering around the beaches, relaxing… In the afternoon, we will head to the dock of Cartí, where our tour ends and from where you will be brought in a shared transport (SUV or pick-up for 4-6 people) to Panama City. Expect to arrive in Panama City at around 7pm.
  • Meals: three delicious, fresh meals a day (breakfast, lunch, dinner) are included, starting with lunch on the first and ending with lunch on the last day

Payment:

Payment method: Please pay the total amount to us in cash (US Dollars only). For online payment extra charges apply: PayPal (+15 USD per transaction), Bank Transfer (+40 USD per transaction).

Included: car ride from San Blas to Panama City to San Blas (incl. drop-off at your hotel), Boat transfer from Sapzurro, Colombia to Cartí, Panama through the San Blas Islands, accommodation (2 nights), meals (lunch, dinner, breakfast; starting with lunch on first and ending with lunch on last day), Visits to different islands and Kuna villages, Immigration support & fee at the border, Kuna guide

Not included: drinks/water/beverages (but can be brought or purchased), Kuna Yala entrance fee (20 USD per person and a fee for using the port of 2 USD per person; mandatory for all visitors to San Blas), Sunscreen, towels and personal items

What to prepare/pack:
  • Mandatory Masks in the car+boat
  • Passport: mandatory, it will be checked upon entering the Comarca of Kuna Yala (San Blas) and when crossing the border
  • 4 copies of your passport (main pages only): you will need all 4 copies for stamping in Puerto Obaldía (one for each office there) – alternatively get copies for 1 USD in Puerto Obaldia (no change, please set 1 USD bill aside for this); on one copy please write your occupation in Spanish (also required)
  • 1 copy of your vaccination scheme: necessary to show in Puerto Obaldia
  • Proof that you will leave Panama (flight ticket or similar) – entry requirements constantly change so we highly recommend checking specific requirements
  • Sufficient cash: in US Dollars to pay for the entire trip and entrance fee in cash, to buy drinks, snacks, souvenirs on the island (small bills of 1 USD and 5 USD highly recommended) – card payment is not accepted and there is no ATM in San Blas nor Sapzurro or Capurgana
  • Sun protection: for the island and the boat ride
  • Rain/water protection: fully waterproof, e.g. plastic bag, for you and your personal items during the boat ride (passport, camera, phone,…), 
  • Water to drink: Water/soft drinks are not included in the package, please bring sufficient or purchase on the islands
  • Snacks (e.g. breakfast for Day 1 since first served meal on Day 1 will be lunch)
  • Towels (no towels provided)
  • Swimming gear, Sandals/FlipFlops
  • Flash light
  • Portable Power Bank to charge your phone etc. (islands have very limited power supply)
  • Wetbag or plastic bag for your valuables in case of a wet boat ride or rain
  • Snorkeling gear

We recommend having a small, waterproof bag for the items you need during the car and the boat ride (passport, cash, camera, phone, swimming gear/towels, maybe clothes to change, rain/sun protection, water, other valuables, …) because your main luggage will be stored away during the car and the boat ride (at night, you have of course access to your luggage.) Also, wrap sensitive items that can easily break and protect them from getting wet in your main and hand luggage. The boat can take very hard hits from the waves! WE ARE NOT RESPONSIBLE FOR ANY DAMAGE THAT MIGHT OCCUR.

Important – Please read

§    Even though we stay close to the coast and do avoid open waters, the boat ride can get very bumpy and you will most likely get wet from the waves – please dress accordingly (waterproof and warm clothes, it can get very cold if you are wet and there is wind)

§    In the case of storms or strong winds resulting in high waves, we might have to delay the boat ride and postpone to another day. This is quite rare and more likely during summer time (December to March). In such cases we are not responsible for extra costs occurring for waiting times in Panama City, Sapzurro or on our islands

§    Unfortunately, not all our Kuna guides speak much English as to date it is still difficult to hire personnel on the professional level that we require who can also speak English. So far, this has never led to major problems. We ask for your understanding and hope you will consider this as part of your adventure

§    Baggage allowance: please let us know in case you have any extra luggage (bike, surf board,…) or more than two pieces of luggage (a large backpack and a carry-on are fine)

§    Please check the immigration requirements to Panama which are applicable for your nationality (including Covid regulations) and make sure you get your passport stamped in the immigration office in Capurgana the day before the tour. We recommend staying one night in Sapzurro (or more), and getting your passport stamped on the day after our arrival.

Other helpful information

Undoubtedly stunningly beautiful and home to a fascinating indigenous culture, the San Blas Islands deserve their place as one of the top places to visit. But, a growing number of tourists and a lack of waste management infrastructure threaten this fragile ecosystem. As a company, we are working on eco-friendly solutions to protect our home and minimize the environmental, cultural and economic impact. As a visitor, there are a few ways how you can also support us in these efforts:

Packaging: We kindly ask you to minimize the amount of packaging that you bring to the island. San Blas does not have a functioning waste or recycling system for packaging and you can help by taking packaging with you and properly disposing of it in the city. If you purchase drinks on the island, we recommend to purchase cans since those are the only things actively collected and recycled.

Respecting nature: Do not touch the starfish or take them out of the water. Starfish are very delicate and touching them can do severe damage. Also, please do not stand on or touch corals – evens slight touches can cause irreversible damage.

Open mind: These beautiful islands are home to a unique indigenous culture with a way of life that is different from most and one whose standards may be different than your own. We will be visiting Kuna villages and potentially stay in one. Please be respectful towards our people and their lifestyles. Understand that in some villages very strict rules apply, such as no alcohol consumption, being dressed respectfully (appropriate lengths for shorts/skirts, not going top-less,…). Bring an open mind and appreciate different lifestyles and you will have a wonderful time in this paradise.

Get in touch

Feel free to contact us at any time in case you should have further questions. We are looking forward to welcoming you in Kuna Yala (San Blas) soon!

Thanks and kind regards. 

Your team from
San Blas Frontera

About Us

A collection of inspirations, stories and tips about tourism, life and culture on and around the San Blas Islands in Panama.

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