(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 Panama to Colombia. In order to be best prepared, please read the following carefully:
Start*: Cartí, San Blas, Panamá
End: Sapzurro, Colombia
*We organize the transport from Panama City to Cartí for you with independent, licensed drivers – Shared Pickup or 4×4 for 2-6 people, pick-up from 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.
- Name and address of your hostel/hotel in Panama City – in case of a private address/AirBnB please also send a phone number/WhatsApp
- Any dietary restrictions or allergies
Itinerary subject to changes depending on changes in local regulations, pandemic situation and weather situation.
- Pickup at your hotel: between 5-5:30am (drivers usually start with pickup in Casco Viejo and Caledonia area, then move along Highway 1/Carretera Panamerica towards Tocument to leave the City, pickup time will vary accordingly)
- Arrival in San Blas and start of the tour: at around 8-9am (port of Cartí). From here, ca. 20-35min boat ride to the first island. We will stay on this island for the night and explore nearby islands throughout the day. Spend the day swimming, snorkeling, wandering around the beaches, relax…
- Day 2: leaving with the boat after breakfast and heading further towards Colombia. During the day, several stops in Kuna villages and on deserted islands for swimming & snorkeling. 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.
- Day 3: leaving after breakfast. One final island stop for some beach time and lunch. After lunch we go to Puerto Obaldia to get your exit stamps for leaving Panama. 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).
- Meals: three delicious, fresh meals a day (breakfast, lunch, dinner) are included, starting with lunch on the first day
Payment method: Please pay the total amount to the driver that picks you up in Panama City in cash (US Dollars only). For online payment extra charges apply: PayPal (+5% of trip amount per transaction or: payment via “Friends & Family option”), Bank Transfer (+40 USD per transaction).
Included: Boat transfer from Cartí, Panama to Sapzurro, Colombia 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
Arranged by us: car ride from Panama City to San Blas (incl. pick-up at your hotel), to be paid with total trip
What to prepare/pack:
- 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)
- 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 Colombia which are applicable for your nationality (including Covid regulations, see here) and make sure you get your passport stamped in Capurgana latest 24h after having arrived to Colombia. 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