The most exiting is now KITE SURFING: we have special boats for that!
The activities in San Blas are numerous and are based on 3 major points:
The aquatic activities and the observation of the underwater fauna and flora
The discovering of the culture and traditional life of the Kuna community
Time for relaxation, the good mood and outdoors life quality
Sailing in San Blas is a real treat as the distances are short. (From 1-3 hours per day of sailing or more if you ask). Most of the boats (except perhaps the Liberty III) sail very well and captains love to teach the basics of how to navigate for beginners and allow “pro” to navigate alone. For those interested in making the route, San Blas has hundreds of traps but … the captains always have one eye on the way discreetly! Feel free to guide the boat, to lift the sail, etc. but never try to rent a boat without a crew in San Blas: none is available. At any rate, the advices of the captains are really valuable and save you the time to find the best shelter or the best place for snorkeling. Communication with the Indians is also easier: speaking in Kuna is a real plus! Each night is spent at anchor: anyway, San Blas has no marina!
The best time to sail is when the winds blow from December to April. On the other hand, from June to October, winds are weaker but the visibility is better. There is almost no current at this time; the water is clearer and it’s the best time for sub-marine hunting and snorkeling. And of course, less sailing boats! Rates are also more attractive at this period!
Once anchored the boat, and thanks to the supplied equipment on each boat (mask, snorkel and fins), the snorkeling is truly accessible for all: for beginners with 3 feet deep to 100 feet down for the professionals. Note that the Kunas do not allow scuba diving and there are no decompression equipments aboard the boats. However, spear fishing is allowed and hunting enthusiasts will appreciate the variety of fish. If you do not fish, most captains will do it for you: Most meals are based on the catch of the day.
Animals are also numerous and very interesting to observe: bird watching includes seabirds but also river birds, more numerous. Marine life is represented by eagle rays, barracudas, sea stars, nurse shark, but also the clown fish, parrot fish and thousands of small fishes of all colors.
The Coral of all colors is also of great interest in the animal kingdom: San Blas offers magnificent “falls” from 3 to 100 feet, excellent for snorkeling or spear fishing. One of the most popular activities is to go up the rivers: with the dinghy of the yacht (inflatable boat or kayak) or a Kuna canoe, guests enter the Rio Diablo (or Carti) and slowly penetrates the rainforest with bird songs; sudden movements at the top of the bamboos and sometimes even the distant roar of monkeys, a closer spider monkey or sometimes a Toucan. Access to the river may be limited depending on the season (if there is little rain or after rain in the mountains for example).
Swimming in turquoise waters is just surreal! It is like a pool but with no “Clorox” and real starfish are on the carpet made of white sand! It’s a real pleasure to enter to the refreshing water in the morning, by the back of the boat, while the others are still asleep.
Kids always like shallow waters to play, swim and have fun: each of the 1000 beaches of San Blas offers a depth of less than 3 feet of sand where children can play safely most of the time with their new Kuna friends.
“Kayaking” is the best way to get to a desert island, a favorite reef, but also to practice a sport: most sailboats have a two-seat kayak (please consult the website on the fleet section.) The ocean kayak is a real independence for a couple and a good toy for children.
Walking on the white sand beaches of San Blas, on one hand with the quiet turquoise waters and on the other hand with coconut palms, is really relaxing and gives a real sense of freedom: can you imagine walking around an island without having to dodge a towel and bodies!
Two hours before sunset, it is usually time to play beach volleyball, the captain will put the net between two palm trees and the game will begin against the local Kunas. Generally they win: they may be short but they are really good at it!
While sailing, the captains will fish and that could be the catch of the day! However, they have another chance when the boat is anchored.
Spear fishing is excellent for those who know the sport. If you’re one of them, feel free to bring your spear gun to participate in the dives with the captains. Fishing is very important: it is the basis of the meals!
When it’s time to eat, we take it seriously: cooking is something important aboard all the yachts. According to their nationality, each crew will introduce you to some specialties, but the basics are always fresh fish, lobsters and the famous giant crabs of San Blas. The boats are supplied directly from Panama City with fresh tropical fruit, fresh vegetables, the best meat in the city, etc … While on board, drinks are included: Chilean or Argentine wine red or white, purified water, local beer, coca cola, local rum, fruit juice … Please read the conditions on board for more details. If you enjoy fine cigars or refined drinks, please bring them with you (you can buy them in Panama City).
Most of the guests like a relaxing holiday: there is no special recipe but note that hammocks, pillows for outdoors, good arrangement within the cabin, a floating mattress and so on … are good tools to sleep, read, remake the world or just close your eyes and feel the gentle sun tanning your relaxed body …
The Kuna world and its traditions is a very important aspect in the San Blas Sailing trips: thanks to your captain / guide, you will have access to the famous traditional villages but also to remote households. You will be invited to the best places where they create molas (as Lisa in Mormakeutupu and Venencio in Mamardup ). The best is to access the page of the Kuna Indians to learn more about this ancient culture and strong traditions.
You will be surprised at the traditional villages with children always playing happily around you, old women and their hard look, the younger women waiting for the slightest chance to begin to laugh and casual men.
One thing is certain: in San Blas, the adventure is always there!