San Blas Islands
San Blas Islands
4.5
09:00 - 18:00
Monday
09:00 - 18:00
Tuesday
09:00 - 18:00
Wednesday
09:00 - 18:00
Thursday
09:00 - 18:00
Friday
09:00 - 18:00
Saturday
09:00 - 18:00
Sunday
09:00 - 18:00
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See what travellers are saying
  • traveltam12
    41 contributions
    Worth the trip for 1 night and one time.
    When people say tropical island..this is what they mean. It is beautiful and the local people are lovely. However its important to note a few things. If you do a day trip you won't be given exact timings for how long you'll be on each island..at one we was waiting with backpacks on for a boat which never showed for 40 mins..its time that could have been used to relax or explore. The road is horrendous. Several cars had to pull over for people to be sick infront of us. The lack of communication meant that there was no time for water or toilet breaks before rushing of the boat into a vehicle for the drive back..luckily I took the initiative to at least change out of my wet bikini into dry clothes at the last island so I wouldn't be travelling back in sticky wet sandy clothes for several hours. Personally if I was going again I would stay at least one night as the journey is long and intense and there is little time to fully switch off and enjoy. However now I've been and seen them I probably wouldn't do the journey again. Lovely islands but not that dissimilar to islands in the Philippines and Thailand that are more accessible. Worth it for the first time though.
    Visited January 2023
    Travelled as a couple
    Written 3 January 2023
  • Dynamicjohn
    Tampa, Florida313 contributions
    Amazing experience
    This area hasn’t really been discovered by tourism yet. The Kuna people run the area so you have to bring your passport. It’s like entering another country! The water is like nothing you’ve ever seen! The snorkeling was fantastic and the people were very friendly. If you ever go to Panama put the San Blas islands on your list to see!
    Visited February 2023
    Travelled as a couple
    Written 8 February 2023
  • Karnesha S
    Atlanta, Georgia13 contributions
    Beautiful beaches difficult ride
    These were some of the most beautiful beaches I have ever seen in all of my travels across the world. The sand was white and water was blue and clear. HOWEVER the journey to get here was intense. It was a 2 hour ride to get to the reservation with one hour being extremely bumpy and scary going up high in the mountains. We then took a 1 hour boat ride which was TERRIFYING and uncomfortable. We slammed into the seat of the boat over and over. My head was hurting, my knee, it was very scary and uncomfortable.
    Visited February 2023
    Travelled with friends
    Written 16 February 2023
  • David Lewis
    Frankfurt, Germany963 contributions
    Paradise, but very remote
    We were recommended the San Blas Islands by pretty much everyone we met and took the plunge. We opted for the day trip as we were told the accommodation on the islands was fairly basic due to the tribe that call the islands home. We were picked up from our Panama City hotel around 5.30am and drove 3 hrs by 4x4 to the small village on the coast where we took the 40min boat ride to the islands. Lunch was served on the island, a basic prawn and rice dish with soft drink or water. Had around 2 hrs on the last island for beach and snorkeling, then headed back by boat to the mainland around 3.30pm, followed by the 3hr plus drive back to Panama City. An interesting day out if you are in Panama but very happy we did not stay overnight.
    Visited March 2023
    Travelled as a couple
    Written 25 March 2023
  • Maria
    4 contributions
    Amazing sea
    Wonderful experience. We went on a Tuesday so not too many people there, just for one day. Amazing blue and warm waters. Only 4x4’s can manage the road which is hard, full of curves and goes up and down. Is a 3 hour drive so you need to go around 5:30am. By 9:30 am we were already on the boat that takes you to the islands. By 3 o’clock you need to be back on the car. Is an indigenous reservoir with their own laws so they open at 7 am and close at 5 pm. You will be checked at 2 or 3 points of security so do not forget your passport. Accommodations were very rustic so not to many people there sleeping. Is expensive to get there but is worth the money. Entry to the “comuna”, lunch, boat rides, snacks and other fees were included in the price we paid. If you want to see something different and typical from Panama, then San Blas Islands (GunaYala) is the place to go. I would not recommend this trip for families with small children. The road makes you stomach sick.
    Visited March 2023
    Travelled as a couple
    Written 1 April 2023
  • ellaharvey
    Arlington, Virginia18 contributions
    This tour should be on the TOP of your list!!
    A MUST do if you’re visiting Panamá. The islands are absolutely gorgeous . I’ve visited several San Blas islands with Guna Yala Explorer and have not been disappointed yet. They are very professional, accommodating and the trip is always smooth with them form early morning pickup, ride to the port when you catch the speed boat , visit to several islands and lunch included. My favorite island to eat lunch is isla hierba. Take a few extra dollars for water and pack snacks and if you’d like to add something to your lunch you can do so as well such as lobster or your choice.
    Visited September 2023
    Travelled with family
    Written 14 October 2023
  • Sarah W
    Ohio34 contributions
    Guna Yala San Blas Overnight Stay
    I went and stayed the night with my friend at walidup island on over the water cabanas. The views are amazing and the island was well kept. We did the tour of the islands during the day it was a fantastic day and night would suggest. However, I camp normally and I would say this was a bit below my comfort level. There was power from 8-6 which was nice because it had power and lights. I would say to bring a net to sleep in the bugs are BAD.
    Visited October 2023
    Travelled with friends
    Written 22 October 2023
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4.5
1,178 reviews
Excellent
827
Very good
169
Average
61
Poor
47
Terrible
74

Sarah W
Ohio34 contributions
Oct 2023 • Friends
I went and stayed the night with my friend at walidup island on over the water cabanas. The views are amazing and the island was well kept. We did the tour of the islands during the day it was a fantastic day and night would suggest. However, I camp normally and I would say this was a bit below my comfort level. There was power from 8-6 which was nice because it had power and lights. I would say to bring a net to sleep in the bugs are BAD.
Written 22 October 2023
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

ellaharvey
Arlington, VA18 contributions
Sep 2023 • Family
A MUST do if you’re visiting Panamá. The islands are absolutely gorgeous . I’ve visited several San Blas islands with Guna Yala Explorer and have not been disappointed yet. They are very professional, accommodating and the trip is always smooth with them form early morning pickup, ride to the port when you catch the speed boat , visit to several islands and lunch included. My favorite island to eat lunch is isla hierba. Take a few extra dollars for water and pack snacks and if you’d like to add something to your lunch you can do so as well such as lobster or your choice.
Written 14 October 2023
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Azar R
Ottawa, Canada9 contributions
Sep 2023 • Family
Don’t let the 2+ hours of driving or the early pick up prevent you from going to San Blas. Every second was worth it! These islands are beautiful, the water clear and warm and snorkeling a must!
Written 25 September 2023
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

shar_at_mac
Toronto, Canada30 contributions
May 2023 • Family
Went there for the one-day trip (island hopping and snorkeling). Booked through Viator (Tripadvisor booking site, prices were similar to Expedia, Viator communication and service was amazing, can chat with them via WhatsApp too in case you only have wifi access). Make sure to book round trip transportation with them to the port as some options don’t include it (the ride is about 3hrs one way, need to leave Panama City at 5:30am, they’ll stop by a large supermarket where there is a cafe shop , also take passport and cash with you for police checkpoints). If going with anyone that gets easily nauseated , you might want to reconsider as it literally feels like a small rollercoaster but the scenic drive was worth it ( also saw sloths and toucans on the way). When we got to the port , it started getting windy/rainy so the boat ride was very bumpy to the islands ( about 30min) so check weather before booking. As a note getting on and off boats is tricky and can be difficult as no step ladders are avail and need to climb out of the boat , manageable for most. Once we got to the islands , things cleared up and weather was amazing - smooth beach sand , kids had a blast collecting sea shells and i was enjoying the beers they were selling :) . Island hopping was fun , got to see a sunken ship while snorkelling , didn’t see any starfishes though . Lunch was served , it was fairly good (let them know dietary restrictions while booking ).
Written 5 June 2023
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Maria
4 contributions
Mar 2023 • Couples
Wonderful experience. We went on a Tuesday so not too many people there, just for one day. Amazing blue and warm waters. Only 4x4’s can manage the road which is hard, full of curves and goes up and down. Is a 3 hour drive so you need to go around 5:30am. By 9:30 am we were already on the boat that takes you to the islands. By 3 o’clock you need to be back on the car. Is an indigenous reservoir with their own laws so they open at 7 am and close at 5 pm. You will be checked at 2 or 3 points of security so do not forget your passport. Accommodations were very rustic so not to many people there sleeping. Is expensive to get there but is worth the money. Entry to the “comuna”, lunch, boat rides, snacks and other fees were included in the price we paid. If you want to see something different and typical from Panama, then San Blas Islands (GunaYala) is the place to go. I would not recommend this trip for families with small children. The road makes you stomach sick.
Written 1 April 2023
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

David Lewis
Frankfurt, Germany963 contributions
Mar 2023 • Couples
We were recommended the San Blas Islands by pretty much everyone we met and took the plunge.
We opted for the day trip as we were told the accommodation on the islands was fairly basic due to the tribe that call the islands home.
We were picked up from our Panama City hotel around 5.30am and drove 3 hrs by 4x4 to the small village on the coast where we took the 40min boat ride to the islands.
Lunch was served on the island, a basic prawn and rice dish with soft drink or water.
Had around 2 hrs on the last island for beach and snorkeling, then headed back by boat to the mainland around 3.30pm, followed by the 3hr plus drive back to Panama City.
An interesting day out if you are in Panama but very happy we did not stay overnight.
Written 25 March 2023
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Karnesha S
Atlanta, GA13 contributions
Feb 2023 • Friends
These were some of the most beautiful beaches I have ever seen in all of my travels across the world. The sand was white and water was blue and clear.

HOWEVER the journey to get here was intense. It was a 2 hour ride to get to the reservation with one hour being extremely bumpy and scary going up high in the mountains. We then took a 1 hour boat ride which was TERRIFYING and uncomfortable. We slammed into the seat of the boat over and over. My head was hurting, my knee, it was very scary and uncomfortable.
Written 16 February 2023
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Gottagosumware
British Columbia, Canada270 contributions
Jan 2023
I read Jeremy K's review, and he describes it pretty well. Beautiful? yes, Unique? Yes. We did stay on a catamaran, and you don't by-pass the "travelling" part of the trip by doing so. I would only recommend visiting if you can afford to fly in. It was quite pricey when I checked it out, but the shared SUV & panga ride is a lot of effort, and quite uncomfortable. Our 3rd row passengers actually got car sick. The islands of Chiriqui are just as nice, and not nearly as difficult to get to. btw, the Molas that are sold in San Blas can also be purchased at almost every gift store, and also in the airport.
Written 9 February 2023
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Dynamicjohn
Tampa, FL313 contributions
Feb 2023 • Couples
This area hasn’t really been discovered by tourism yet. The Kuna people run the area so you have to bring your passport. It’s like entering another country! The water is like nothing you’ve ever seen! The snorkeling was fantastic and the people were very friendly. If you ever go to Panama put the San Blas islands on your list to see!
Written 8 February 2023
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Jeremy K
Teaneck, NJ42 contributions
Jan 2023
To reach the 'port' from panama city there first is an hour and a half ride to get to the turn off into the reservation. Then there is a 2 hour, pothole-ridden ride which needs to be done in a 4 x 4. Somewhere in the middle of the ride you have to present passports and pay money to continue (apparently because it's a reserve and it's run by the indigenous people (Gunas) and because some backpackers/travelers use that as a means to get to Colombia?).
When you finally get to the shore its very 'third world' with gross bathrooms that you have to pay money for yet they do not necessarily have soap or toilet paper.

The port is, again, run by indigenous people and seems disorganized. The boats you get on are very rudimentary wood and fiberglass skiffs. The 35 - 40 minute boat ride on the ocean to our first island was very uncomfortable with wooden seats getting pelted most of the time with seawater so that I was soaked by the time I reached the first island. The first small island was decent with nice sand beaches and they had snorkel equipment there (initially they charged us $5 per set but we reached our tour operator by phone and he clarified that this was supposed to be included in the cost of the trip which was not cheap.)
The next island was not very picturesque but there were primitive cabanas.
The boat ride back was even more harrowing. We had to switch to a larger boat so that they could ferry some of the indigenous people to their islands. They repeatedly had engine trouble as well. All of this got us back to the 'port' an hour and a half late so our poor driver who had been waiting for us had to make the harrowing drive through the pothole-infested roads of the mountains mostly in the pitch dark.
I would recommend that if anyone is considering going to the San Blas islands they should find an operator that at least has a more comfortable boat or catamaran. rather than using the indigenous people's transportation.
Written 19 January 2023
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

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SAN BLAS ISLANDS: All You Need to Know BEFORE You Go (with Photos)

Frequently Asked Questions about San Blas Islands