San Blas Day Tour
If you don’t have the time for an over night visit to the beautiful San Blas islands, then think about a one day tour to San Blas. The San Blas island chain is made up of hundreds of small palm fringed islands. This is a pristine habitat that is inhabited by the indigenous Kuna Indians that should be included in any visit to Panama. On any day of the week you can be a part of one of Panama’s most beautiful areas. During the tour you will visit a Kuna Yala community and 1-2 beautiful beach islands. The San Blas day tour includes breakfast, lunch, transport from Panama City and boat transport around the islands.
The San Blas day tour begins with transportation from Panama City to Carti in one of our air conditioned, 4×4 shared people carriers, they can up to 7 passengers and can be a squeeze at times, but this is the only transport available into the San Blas. The pick up in Panama City is between 5.00am and 5.30am depending on your location. The journey to Carti on the San Blas mainland is around 2-3 hours through the jungle highlands, with some spectacular views of Panama’s rain forest. On arrival in Carti you will be collected by your guide for the San Blas day tour you booked.
A visit to the Carti community will start the tour where you will take breakfast, usually bread, nutella, coffee, sometimes fruit. Then you will head to Isla Perro for beach time and snorkeling. With this San Blas day tour you will also visit Isla Aguja for lunch and beach time in the afternoon, before heading back to Carti for the return trip to Panama City. For small tours of two people and when the seas are too rough, this tour will not go to Isla Perro but to Hook island instead. This is a quiet islands with a nice clean beach and some great snorkeling, it is next to Isla Aguja and means you would get more beach time than usual.
In Wichub Wala and Carti you will be able to wander the dusty streets and have an insight into town life for the Kuna Yala people. The Kunas have some beautiful handicrafts, namely the “MOLA” which is a stitched cloth with images of local wildlife in fabulously rich colours, almost all the women are adept at this craft and as you wander the streets of Wichub Wala, you will see a variety of offerings from most households.
Once you have immersed yourself in Kuna traditions and culture you will then be transported to the stunning beach islands that the San Blas is famous for across the world. The San Blas islands are one of the few desert island habitats that has not been engulfed by large corporations and the resorts they are affiliated with, as foreign investment is prohibited in the Kuna Yala region. Both the EL Porvenir Tour and the Carti tour will take you to Isla Perro, with some stunning San Blas beaches where you can go swimming and snorkeling in the crystal clear turquoise waters. Just off Isla Perro is an old ship wreck that attracts many species of fish and is an excellent spot for snorkeling enthusiasts.
Lunch will be taken around midday with all the tours and normally consists of traditional San Blas ingredients such as coconut rice, fresh fish(with Aguja Island & Carti Day Tours), Chicken (with El Porvenir) and a small salad, and beans. You can take along some snacks if required, they are also available on some islands. Feedback tells us that the food on the El Porvenir day tour is extremely basic and not very good so take that into consideration.
The day tours of the islands will finish around 2-3pm, when you will be transported back to Carti on the mainland to meet with the 4×4 transport back to Panama City, you will arrive back in Panama City between 5 and 6pm. Be aware that all times given are approximate and the itinerary may vary slightly from the one given.
The cost includes 4×4 transport to and from Panama City, Boat tour, guide, breakfast, lunch, community visit, beach island, snorkeling. Additional costs are Kuna Yala taxes and some San Blas beach taxes $8-10pp.
Note: The tour with Aguja Island includes Carti tax, beach and community tax. The only tax you’ll need to pay should be the Road tax of $6pp.
5.00/5.30 – Leave Panama City by 4×4 Transport
8.30 – Arrive in Carti San Blas
8.45 – Launcher to island/Breakfast
9.30 – Visit Kuna community
10.30 – Visit a Beach Island
12-1 – Lunch
15.00 – Return to Carti
15.30 – Leave Carti by 4×4 Transport
17.30/18.00 – Arrice back in Panama City