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The pristine beaches, rich jungles and thick culture are some of the features that you will get to experience when visiting San Blas Islands. These group of islands is known to be a part of the self-sufficient territory of the ancient tribe of Kuna Yawa. The islands are located just off the Carribean coast of Eastern Panama.
San Blas is an untouched wonder where traditions and customs of the Kuna people are still flourishing making it a perfect cultural destination. The archipelago stretches out in the Gulf of San Blas composing of more than three hundred islands, less than fifty of which are completely resided by people. Since innovation especially in the field of transportation have not changed around here, the way to San Blas would feel like you were traditionally traveling like the modern world was out of reach.
This place is known to be the Mecca for backpackers who love to save because of its cheap accommodations and affordable seafood plates. The islands are not that enhanced with tourist facilities that will likewise make the trip a one-of-a-kind experience.
The drawback in visiting this place is the limited availability of electricity. However, some hotels and lodging establishments have their very own generators to cope with the limited power. It’s common that during the evenings, the islands are usually dark because of this except for the light that’s from the moon and stars. If you are truly the adventurous backpacker, you will find that this place’s simplicity and raw experience is what makes this destination spot unique and magnificent.
When you arrive at San Blas, you will have the pleasure of hopping onto boats that will take you to the scattered islands. Since the waves are peaceful by these areas, it’s safe to maneuver boats from one island to the other.
The islands are rich in wildlife since most of them aren’t even inhabited. Swimming and snorkeling through the waters are some of the most favorite activities of the visitors. Almost every island in San Blas has its own intricate beaches where you can just lay around and soak up the sun.
Snorkeling is the perfect activity here because the area is surrounded by some of the world’s antique well-preserved coral reefs. The best times to do so would be during the months of April to June. Dog Island, also known as Isla Perro, is one of the most popular spots for snorkeling enthusiasts. If you would be interested in it, it may be possible to spend more than one night on the island.
Because of the richness of the waters marine life and its antique features, scuba diving is currently not allowed in the area. However, fret not. You may also discover the cultures, livelihood and ways of living of the Kuna people. Their women wove fabrics with a variety of colorful geometric styles as well as animal art.
The islands Coco Blanco, Kagantupu, Yandup and Achutupu are some of the famous islands that are usually visited by the tourists here. Acuadup is a politically significant island to the Kuna leaders. Other than that, the island Chichime is also famous for its affordable accomodations and are mostly managed by the Kuna Indians.
If you are really betting on saving more than you can spend while visiting here, you can even just loan a hammock that will cost you only of about ten dollars. Some of the area’s islands are usually navigated by small plane flights departing from Panama City. Another means of transportation to the San Blas would also be by boarding a Kuna merchant ship that would usually voyage from Colon. Another accommodation choice apart from hotels and lodges would be by staying at the local Kuna village and mingle with the local people.