Sail on the Caribbean Sea among the San Blas Islands

A fascinating change of scenery in the heart of the Guna population

  • Expedition / Adventure
  • Family & Friends

Sail on the Caribbean Sea among the San Blas Islands

Discover the San Blas, an archipelago of around 370 islands and islets in the Caribbean Sea. These islands, which belong administratively to Panama, are inhabited by the indigenous Guna (or Kuna) population who manage and preserve their territory from mass tourism. This autonomous population has its own laws, norms and values, which is why the national government rarely intervenes. During your all-inclusive cruise, you will discover paradisiacal landscapes and turquoise waters particularly renowned for snorkelling and scuba diving.

Cruise Highlights

  • The underwater diversity of the Holandes reef
  • Meeting a Guna family
  • A visit to Panama City

Itinerary of your cruise

More than a simple cruise, Roberto, your skipper, offers you a true cultural journey to the heart of the Guna population. The daily stops will allow you to discover the Gunas villages and meet their inhabitants, who will be delighted to share their ancestral customs with you. The last day will be dedicated to the visit of Panama City with a lunch in the old town.


DAY 1: Welcome in Panama
Upon arrival at Tocumen International Airport, you will be met by your driver who will drive you to your hotel located in downtown Panama City (approximately 30 minutes). After dropping your luggage in your room, you can go out and stroll around this very lively area. You will have no trouble finding a nice little restaurant for dinner (we recommend El Trapiche, El Prado or La Taberna 21). You sleep at the hotel.

DAY 2: Panama City - San Blas: Rio Diablo - Coco Bandero (approx. 45 min flight and 1 hour sailing)
After your breakfast, a pick-up will be waiting for you in front of the hotel at 7:15 am to take you to the airport (national). At 8:00 am you will board a private flight** to join the San Blas. You will land at Corazon de Jesus airfield (around 8.45am), where your skipper, Roberto, will be waiting for you. You board the catamaran and meet the rest of the crew (all Gunas) who will show you your cabin. Roberto will give you a quick briefing on the boat and your itinerary. You raise the anchor and set sail for the beautiful islet of Coco Bandero. This heavenly spot with its turquoise waters is perfect for swimming and exploring the sea bed. You can also go kayaking between the islets. Dinner and overnight at anchor.

Day 3: Coco Bandero - Holandes Reef (West) (approx. 2h)
Enjoy breakfast to relax and take in the view. Roberto raises the anchor and sets sail towards the large coral reef of Holandes. You will anchor to the west of the reef, in the area known as "the pool", which is 2 to 3 metres deep*. This area is very popular with snorkelers and divers, as the marine life is very diverse. Depending on the conditions, you will have lunch on the beach of a small island called "Barbecue Island". In the afternoon, the crew will be delighted to show you the archipelago and what it hides... Dinner and overnight at anchor.
*Note: from May to November, it is possible to explore the outer part of the reef on the ocean side.

DAY 4: Holandes Reef (West) - Holandes Reef (East) (approx. 1hr)
This morning you leave the anchorage and head to the eastern end, Holandes Reef. You will meet a Guna family who will introduce you to the preparation of coconut rice (scraping the coconut, cooking the rice the Guna way...). Afterwards, you will have the pleasure of tasting this delicious meal and discussing their way of life. In the afternoon, you can explore the reef by kayak or walk along the beach in search of unusual shells. Dinner and overnight at anchor.

DAY 5: Holandes Reef (East) - Chichime Atoll (approx. 2 hours)
Roberto hoists the sails and sets sail for Chichime Atoll. This island is considered by many to be one of the most beautiful in the San Blas. Many sailors and sailing enthusiasts meet here regularly to share their adventures at sea and have a bonfire on the large beach. The beach is home to a few backpacker huts and a small local bar, ideal for chilling out while watching the sunset. There is no doubt that you will enjoy the friendly atmosphere of Chichime. Dinner and overnight at anchor.

DAY 6: Chichime Atoll - Cayos Limon - Kuanidup (approx. 2 hours)
The crew sets sail for the island of Kuanidup. During the sail, you will pass through the Eden Passage and the Cayos Limon. When you arrive in Kuanidup, the landscape may look familiar. Indeed, the author Antoine has illustrated the front page of his book "The most beautiful island in the world" with a photo of Kuanidup beach. Once ashore, you will explore this beach and its few huts. Your afternoon will be devoted to a visit by motor boat to the island of Rio Sidra and its village. You will meet its inhabitants and have the opportunity to buy the famous "molas" (a form of textile art that expresses the cultural identity of the Gunas people) from the locals. Dinner and overnight at anchor.

Day 7: Kuanidup - Salar - Rio Diablo (approx. 2h sailing and 45 min flight)
For this last day at sea, we have designed a full day full of discoveries. After breakfast, you will sail to the beach of Salar particularly known for its beauty and the kindness of its inhabitants. You will have lunch with the inhabitants on the beach. Back on the boat, the crew sets course for Rio Sidra. You will then travel up the Rio Diablo in a motor boat and discover the wildlife and the surrounding rainforest, as well as the traditional Guna cemetery. You may see monkeys, toucans, tapirs, crocodiles... At the end of the day, you will visit the 2 village islands linked by the Friendship Bridge. Dinner on board or on land (in this case not included) and overnight on the boat.

DAY 8: Rio Diablo: Corazon de Jesus airfield - Panama City
After an early breakfast, you will go to the Corazon de Jesus airfield, to take your flight which departs at 9am. You will land in Panama City around 9:45 am, where your driver will be waiting for you. You will visit the Miraflores Canal locks and have lunch in the old colonial city. You will end the day with a visit to the colonial district. The driver will take you to Tocumen International Airport for your return flight.

**Please note: Domestic flights are not guaranteed between 1 May and 1 December. Your transfers will be made by shared car/minibus (approx. 2hrs 30mins) and by boat bus (approx. 30mins).

Panama Ciy  Rio Diablo  Coco Bandero  West Holandes Keys  East Holandes Keys  Chichime Atoll  Cayos Limon  Kuanidup  Salar  Rio Diablo  Panama City

The itinerary may be changed without prior notice due to technical or weather conditions.
The photographs and visual products presented have no contractual value.

Contact us to receive the availabilities and prices for this offer

Frequently asked questions

  • What happens in case of cancellation?

    In the event of cancellation, you must notify your GlobeSailor consultant as soon as possible. Regardless of the cause, the following cancellation fees will be charged: up to 90 days prior to departure: 30% /// from 89 to 60 days: 50% /// from 59 to 30 days: 75% /// from 29 days to departure: 100% of your booking.
    We advise our clients to subscribe to a cancellation insurance with Ouest Assurance :
  • What payments do I need to make to confirm my reservation?

    To confirm your booking, you need to inform your GlobeSailor consultant who will place an option for you while your deposit is being collected. The booking will only be considered final once we have received your deposit (by bank transfer, Paypal or credit card) of 50% of the booking amount. A 100% deposit will be required for all bookings made within one month of departure. The balance must be paid at the latest 45 days before the date of embarkation.
  • What is the currency used in Panama?

    The official currency is the Balboa but this currency does not exist in practice (except for the coins which have the same size and weight as the American ones) because the only real currency in Panama is the USD which has been in circulation since 1914! The exchange of the euro is not advantageous in Panama and it is advisable to leave with USD, especially in small denominations for the purchase of handicrafts from the Amerindian communities of San Blas. Notes higher than USD 100 are not accepted.
  • What is the time difference with Panama?

    Panama is at GMT -5.
    In winter in Paris, when it is noon, it is 6am in Panama (-6 hours).
    In summer in Paris, when it is noon, it is 5am in Panama (-7 hours).
  • Who is your crew?

    You will be sailing with Roberto. This Italian skipper has over 25 years of sailing experience in both the Mediterranean and the Caribbean. Roberto has been sailing the San Blas since 2004. He knows the most charming corners of the archipelago and takes pleasure in showing them to you. He speaks Italian, Spanish, English and some French.
    Your hostess/cook Helena is Spanish. She has 2 years of experience in the kitchen in different restaurants and with different types of food. Her "fusion" cooking is an unforgettable experience, where she will use the basic products available in San Blas.
  • Does the boat operate only with the sails?

    It depends on the weather. When the winds are strong, the skipper will use the sails to sail silently. On days with calmer winds or to reach the stopovers on schedule, the skipper may need to use the engine. The engine is also used when entering and leaving the marinas. We cannot guarantee a minimum time of using the sails. The skipper will do their best to use the sails as much as possible and involve passengers in manoeuvres.
  • When is the best time to sail to the San Blas?

    The best time to sail is during the trade wind season, when the winds blow from the north (December to April). From June to October, the winds are lighter, but the visibility underwater is much better. You can snorkel, dive and fish.
  • Who takes care of the air transport to Panama?

    Your air tickets can be booked by the GlobeSailor team. You just need to specify this to your consultant when booking your cruise.
  • What are the recommended vaccinations for travelling to Panama?

    For your cruise to Panama and the San Blas Islands, we advise you to check your universal vaccinations (DPTD, Hepatitis B) and to vaccinate against :
    - typhoid, hepatitis A and B ;
    - Yellow fever (highly recommended);
    - possibly rabies
    Before your trip, we advise you to consult the "advice to travellers" section, "health" tab on the France Diplomatie website:
  • What documents do I need to travel to Panama?

    It is advised to check with the consulate of your country of origin for more information on formalities.