A trip to San Blas Islands from Panama City

Between us

If you have checked our Wander List on Panama City, you already know that Panama reserves you great surprises.

From Panama City you can escape the city for 48 hours in the archipelago of San Blas. That's an experience you will never forget. You can easily find tours that will take care of everything.

While in Panama City, you can embark for a trip to San Blas Islands. Follow this adventure through this photo series.

 

San Blas Islands escape - A photo series


6 AM

As the sun rises, a SUV comes to pick me up at the bottom of my friend's building in Panama City. We are 6 people in the car.
I have no idea what to expect, my friend just told me it'll be awesome.

Sunrise over Panama City bay


Breakfast in the middle of Panama countryside

8 AM

We stop in the middle of the Panama countryside to a "breakfast".

The place and the food are not really convincing and I prefer to play safe and eat the banana I took in my backpack. Our driver doesn't waste any minute and swallows two large tacos.

 


9 AM

Passport please!

San Blas is a semi-autonomous indigenous territory and has a border. So you have to bring your passport to be able to enter.



10 AM

After a 4 hours car trip in the Panama countryside hills, we arrive at a beach where small boats are waiting.

First contact with San Blas locals. First real sensation to be on the other side of the world.

San Blas locals

The boat ride takes 45 minutes. Yes you have to deserve your desert island.

Our pilot seems concentrated.

The boat stops 15 mins after leaving to refill at a station, just like a car


11 AM

We arrive on the small island that will be our base camp. It's so small that you can do a full tour in a 7-minute walk.

The island is managed by locals. They have been using the tourism potential of the San Blas archipelago over the past few years.

A woman cooks some fresh fish directly from the ocean, and some rice. Basic meets delicious.

A man cuts coconuts with a machete. Want some fresh coconut water?

Our hosts are locals from San Blas

That feeling to be on the other side of the world.

Want some fresh coconut water?


2 PM

The San Blas archipelago is composed of around 365 islands and cays, of which only 49 are inhabited.

Our boat pilot brings us to visit a few of them as well as some natural pools.

Natural pool in the middle of San Blas islands

An old boat sunk just next to this Island.

One of the 49 inhabited islands of the San Blas archipelago

Even if we see some private island with very nice wooden houses, on many small islands installations are very rudimentary in the San Blas archipelago.

Gasoline storage


5 PM

Back to our tiny (and tidy) island. Time to just rest, read, and appreciate the view and the moment. It's a bit cloudy as the evening comes.

I explore the island that will be our world tonight.

I finally discover what will be my house for tonight. I'm in love. If you want to feel like Robinson Crusoe, you will be served.

On the island, doing the dishes take a whole new dimension.

My house for tonight

My bed


7 PM

We hear the bell that tells us to gather at the camp. It's already time for dinner. The 10 people of the group are here. Time to share with people from all over the world: American, Dutch, Mexican, Spanish, and obviously French :)

For $4 more, you can have a crayfish they just captured for dinner instead of the fish. It worths it!


11 PM

What a day!
After dinner, we all stayed on the beach and shared some wine that people brought.

Time to sleep now. I want to wake up early to catch the sunrise.


5 AM

Waking up for the sunrise was the best idea ever. Beautiful. Unforgettable.


11 AM

Already time to leave. It's tough to leave this paradise. But I have to go back to Panama City.

 On the road, we stop again in small villages in Panama's countryside.