June 2012
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Travel – San Blas Islands, Panama – a group of 378 islands out of which only 49 are inhabited

The San Blas Islands are a group of 378 islands out of which only 49 are inhabited. They are an archipelago off Panama, lying off the north coast of the Isthmus. To its east is the Panama Canal. It has been home to Kuna Indians who are part of the Kuna Yala tribe along the Caribbean coast of Panama. These tribes welcome tourists very warmly into their ancestral home. Their official language is Tule but Spanish is prevalent in schools. Tule is the spoken language of Kuna Yala tribes.

Attractions of San Blas islands, Panama

Beaches: From snorkeling, to scuba diving, to sunbathing, to swimming to relaxing, these are some of the most famous attractions of these island beaches.
• Dog Islands: These islands are famous for snorkeling. One can find a variety of tropical fish in these waters.
• There are tiny islands with beaches that are used for sunbathing or swimming.
• Isla Pelicanos: This island’s beaches are soft with white sand and clear with shallow water over a coral reef making it perfect for snorkeling. One can see tropical, colored fishes. The waves are calm and gentle here.
• The island of Achutupu: This Island has the best beaches for scuba diving. It is here that off of the coast one can see a shipwreck of a Colombian cargo boat and is also a popular dive spot. The beaches have transparent turquoise waters.
• Kagantupu, Wichubwala, and Coco Blanco: These have secluded beaches with white sand and palm trees lined up.

• Thatched Hut Village: Touring through a Kuna village where one can see their huts, lifestyle, and costumes is a must on these islands visit.
• Mola Shopping: The Molas that are created by The Kuna is great for look out as well for buying.
• Pargue Soberania: This is about 15 minutes away from Panama City and is a hiking place. The hiking trail goes through the rainforests with caves and lakes and bird watching.
• The Panama Canal: This canal is about 77 km (48 miles). It is a shipping canal located in Panama; this canal joins the Atlantic Ocean and the Pacific Ocean and has been the key for maritime trade. The canal is one of the largest engineering projects of the times. The route is via the Drake Passage and Cape Horn at the southernmost tip of South America.
• Panama Viejo: This was once the gateway city for the Spanish conquest of Latin America. There are ruins of the battles which were fought with the English pirate Henry Morgan in 1671. There is a museum with Spanish exhibits near the site. One needs to know Spanish or take a guide for translation for understanding as most of the exhibits are in Spanish.
• Casco Viejo: This is an established Spanish colonial city setup in 1671. This city was established after the downfall of Panama Viejo in battles and until the 20th century, this city was Panama City.
• Panama Canal Rainforest: The Panama Canal rainforests are one of the pristine rainforests in the world. The Soberania National Park is about 30 minutes away from Panama City and 45 minutes from the international airport. This is a base for ecotourism.

Best time to visit / climate:
The best time to visit these islands is from April to June and November to December. This time of the year is great for snorkeling and scuba diving, as the water is warm, clear, and calm. From January to April is the dry season and a perfect time for sun bathing.

Location on Google Maps:

View Larger Map

Lonely Planet Panama Panama AdventureMap (National Geographic) Fodor’s Panama, 2nd Edition

How to get there:

By plane
There are daily flight services from Panama City to El Porvenir via Air Panama. Air Panama also services Achutupu, Corazon de Jesus (Rio Diablo/Nargana), and Playon Chico.

By boat: There are boat options from Colombia.

Sailing boats are to/from Colombia/Cartagena.
Cargo boats leave to/from Carti Island and Porvenir Island (San Blas Island/Kuna Yala) to Puerto Obaldia into Colombia and motorized boats take only 5 to 6 hours.

By land: The road into San Blas Kuna Yala is vastly improving and is accessible all year round. A bridge has been opened. One can drive from Panama City to Carti in the San Blas Islands.

Places to stay (hotels / restaurants along with website / contact numbers):

Hotels at tripadvisor
Restaurants at wikitravel
Hotels at wikitravel
Hotels at corallodge
Restaurants at Panamatrails
Hotels and restaurants at vcarious

Blogs / Sites about San Blas islands, Panama

Blogs and reviews at travelpod
Blogs and reviews at travbuddy
Blogs and reviews at the lonely planet
Blogs and reviews at blogtopsites

Images and photos of San Blas islands, Panama

Images at google search
Images at tripadvisor
Images at igougo
Images at galenfrysinger

Videos of San blas islands, Panama

San blas islands

San blas islands

Travel San Blas Panama

Sailing from San Blas, Panama to Hobbies, Honduras

EPIC Sailing, San Blas Islands Panama


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