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Departure & Return
If driving to San Blas with your own car, please ensure to arrive no later than 8:30am and in a SUV vehicle. All other cars will be turned around at the border crossing. Carti has 3 ports. Your lancha/boat and captain will be waiting for you in the Barsukun port. Contact us to arrange RT transport.
- Confirmation will be received within 48 hours of booking, subject to availability
- Not recommended for travelers with back problems
- No heart problems or other serious medical conditions
- Not recommended for pregnant travelers
- Not wheelchair accessible
- Departure time is between 5:00am and 5:45am from your Panama City lodging. If staying at Playa Bonita area, your departure time is between 5:00am and 5:15am.
- In San Blas Islands there are no ATMs - please bring cash. You can buy additional drinks, snacks, souvenirs etc.
- There are no electrical outlets in the bedrooms, only light. You can recharge your phones and cameras in the main house.
- Please be advised that San Blas is in the Kuna territory, which is an autonomous, Indian zone. The services are very basic and most cabins are minimalistic. The Kunas will be providing all touristic services, such as meal preparations, car and boat transportations, lodging, and tour guiding. We are proud to be working with this friendly tribe and with each booking we give back to the community, supporting their customs and their traditional way of life. We kindly ask you to respect this beautiful culture and their simple way of life, leaving your expectations behind and learning about their innocent culture.
- Aside from using generators for electricity, there are no amenities and utilities as you are used to from the city. Electricity only available between 6pm and 6am. Food is basic, yet freshly prepared such as fresh fried fish, mixed seafood, chicken or lobster (at extra charge) with salad, rice or plantains.
- Check out from your cabin on the island is at 8:00am. You are welcome to stay until 3pm with return to Panama City between 6-7pm, or leave in the morning returning to Panama City by 11:30am
- We will check the availability of the cabin and will send you a confirmation mail.
- PLEASE DO NOT FORGET TO BRING YOUR ORIGINAL PASSPORT. WITHOUT IT, YOU WILL NOT BE ALLOWED TO ENTER THE KUNA TERRITORY AND THE SAN BLAS ISLANDS.
- You are welcome to bring a cooler with your own drinks, potable water, snacks and beverages (fruit juice or alcohol). The driver will stop at a supermarket on the way to San Blas in order for you to purchase additional items.
- If choosing our transportation option, departure time is between 5:00am and 5:45am from your Panama City lodging. If staying at Playa Bonita area, your departure time is 5:00am.
- We recommend that you bring your personal hygiene items, such as towels, sunscreen, hats, mosquito repellent.
- “Tigo” is the cell phone company that has the best reception in San Blas.
- The boat transfer from the port to the islands may be bumpy with some sea spray. If you are sensitive to motion sickness, please prepare accordingly by bringing appropriate medication. You may also get wet, so please bring some water protection for your luggage and yourself
- PLEASE BE PREPARED FOR A 2.5 to 3 HOUR CAR JOURNEY EACH WAY OVER BAD ROADS WITH POTHOLES, SLOW CURVES AND OFF-ROAD SECTIONS! THERE IS ALSO A 25-30 MINUTE BOAT RIDE TO YOUR FIRST ISLAND WHICH CAN GET QUITE BUMPY AND WET. We feel that the islands are worth the long drive, but some travelers have complained about the roads and the fast boat ride from and to the port. While we strive to provide our guests the best service and an unforgettable experience in San Blas, we are not responsible for road and ocean conditions, and we would like you to be aware of this fact :)
- IMPORTANT SAN BLAS DISCLAIMER - PLEASE READ! While San Blas is a beautiful island archipelago with stunning beaches and clear waters, it also has its downsides, for which we would like to make you aware off. San Blas is very rustic without the amenities and standards you might be used to from home. Compared to places such as Tahiti and Maldives that are managed by international hotel chains, San Blas has remained autonomous without the influence of outsiders. When visiting San Blas, it should be viewed as a cultural experience where guests live with the Kunas and respect their traditions and ways of living. No aircondition No Wifi No luxury facilities Electricity only available between 6pm and 6am Water is a precious commodity in San Blas. It is either brought in by boat or pumped from the island well. Oftentimes pumps can malfunction and cause water outages. Beds and mattresses can be uncomfortable All services will all be handled by the indigenous Kuna. While Tao Travel 365 strives to provide the best service possible and train the Kuna in customer management, some of the below services are often out of our control. Car transportation (the ride to San Blas takes 2.5 to 3 hours, with 1.5 hours over slow, curvy roads with potholes. For those with motion sickness, please prepare accordingly) Boat transportation (depending on weather and ocean conditions, the 20-40 minute boat ride might be bumpy and wet with ocean spray). Island cabin management (cabins are very rustic and facilities, such as showers and bathrooms are often “home-made” with PVC pipes. Some guests have complained that sheets are old). Island kitchen (meal plans are repetitive and food might taste bland) Trash is a worldwide problem and unfortunately San Blas has not been spared from the ever increasing issue. During certain tides and ocean and wind conditions plastic trash from throughout the Caribbean ocean accumulates on the beaches of San Blas. While the local Kuna are working hard to collect the constant trash washing up on their beaches, guests will nevertheless find evidence of plastic spread out on the island. During the wet months (April - December) or during windless days, all of San Blas experiences sandflies, which are little blood-sucking flies that leave itchy marks. Please ensure to bring natural insect repellent and prepare to return to Panama City with a few itchy memories. Due to the complexity of the logistics involved with each reservation in San Blas (arranging cars, boats, cabins and meals), we kindly ask our guests to adhere to the itinerary schedule sent to them in advance of their trip to San Blas. For any changes in schedule, you must first contact our office and we will attempt to accommodate your request. Please note that additional fees may apply. We kindly ask our guests to lower their expectation when visiting San Blas and to focus on the beautiful paradise that San Blas has remained despite the effects that modern society has ceased to them. The Kunas are very gentle and kind people, but can also be somewhat shy at times. When approaching them with a smile and an open heart you will be guaranteed an innocent, happy smile in return.
- The use of drones is prohibited in San Blas. Heavy fines are imposed on those who disobey the law.
- Most travelers can participate
- The road to San Blas is very curvy with lots of hills and off-road sections. If you are sensitive to motion sickness, please prepare accordingly by bringing appropriate medication.
- This tour/activity will have a maximum of 14 travelers
- OPERATED BY Tao Travel 365
- For a full refund, you must cancel at least 7 full days before the experience’s start time.
- Any changes made less than 6 full days before the experience’s start time will not be accepted.
- For a 50% refund, you must cancel 3–6 full days before the experience’s start time.
- If you cancel less than 2 full days before the experience’s start time, the amount you paid will not be refunded.
- Any changes made less than 2 full days before the experience’s start time will not be accepted.
- Cut-off times are based on the experience’s local time.
- This experience requires good weather. If it’s canceled due to poor weather, you’ll be offered a different date or a full refund.
- This experience requires a minimum number of travelers. If it’s canceled because the minimum isn’t met, you’ll be offered a different date/experience or a full refund.
Learn more about cancellations.