Prices starting at $150 pp p/ day
San Blas Islands
Sailing trips and sailing holidays in San Blas islands with differents boats for all group sizes, tastes and budgets. You just need to tell us what the dates and what do you like to do and eat, everything else we will arrange for you. We will pick up you from your hotel in Panama City and bring to the paradise of Kuna Yala you don't need to worry about nothing. Aboard, our captain and crew will make everything to you have a life time experience in on the most beautiful places in the world, visiting places like Dutch Cays (Cayos Holandeses) and Coco Bandero.
Why choose Coco Sailing?
Coco Sailing is a crewed charter company with sailboats operating in San Blas islands at the caribbean coast of Panamá and also at Paraty/Ilha Grande, Brazil. Founded by two young brazilian sailors, we created the company with the idea of being different from others. We want to provide a unique experience in order to inspire and transform our guests' lives. So we offer more than a hosting on a sailboat, we offer the experience of life aboard, surrounded by the pristine San Blas environment and interacting with the elements of nature in an integrated manner.
We've been in San Blas (locally called Kuna Yala) for 6 years and that makes us really know the best spots for snorkelling, surf, kitesurf, fishing or simply relax at the beach. For a unique and lifetime experience, come sail with us. The other boats, also available, are sailboats where the owners offer unique sailing trips too. The captains are world cruisers, so they know a lot about life on board.
Why choose San Blas?
The San Blas islands, located on the northest coast of Panama, are "untouched pearl" of the caribbean sea. The Kuna indians' land has more than 340 white sand and crystal clean water islands and can be described like the "paradise on earth".
The Kuna Yala territory (as the Kunas indians call San Blas) are a totally autonomous area, controlled by the indians. Those islands are not yet discovered by the massive tourism industry and fully in control of the native Kuna’s.
The Kuna people protects their lands against massive tourism and keeps them healthy and beautiful. This makes the San Blas islands of Panama unique if you are searching for untouched nature and culture.
How to get to San Blas from Panama city
We arrange the transfer from your hotel in Panama City all the way to the boat in San Blas. This trip is made by 4×4 cars driven by Kuna people. They will pick you up at your hotel around 5:30 AM, (2h30 drive to Carti, San Blas) and then you’ll take a power boat to our sailboat (30-45 minutes), arriving here at approximately 10 AM. You may also fly (plane or helicopter) to the islands (contact us for further info).
San Blas Weather
The weather in San Blas can be divided into two main seasons. The first of them considered as the "high" season, starts in December, with the arrival of the the "Aliseos" winds. During this period from December to April, the Aliseos winds blow strongly and the climate remains sunny. This is considered the best season for sailing, kite surfing and surfing.
The other station, known as the rainy season (or "low" season), starts in May and runs all the way through November. Despite being called "low season", this time of the year is not so rainy. Usually, the rains disappear quickly and most of the day is sunny. At that time, there is a little wind and consequently a few waves, being the perfect season for snorkelling, paddle board and kayaking.
Who is the San Blas people?
The Kuna people are one of the most interesting and well preserved indigenous cultures of the Americas. Known as the "Pygmies of America" (because of their short stature), they have several unique habits. In general, they are very happy and friendly sociaty, being that many only speak the kuna language. The Kuna society is a matriarchal society where property and money always belong to women.
Womans in general are highly respected. One of the most traditional festivals of the Kuna culture happens when the Kuna girl has her first period. When this happens, a big party known as "chica forte" occurs on the little girl's island for a few days.
San Blas has a limited offer of accommodations. Several Kuna families offer space for camping or rustic huts. But the best way to get to know the islands is through the sailboats. With our sailboats, you will have the freedom to get away from mass tourism and to know the most distant and preserved places.
What is the itinerary?
The route starts at 5:30 AM, a car will be picking you up from the hotel where you are staying, and then you'll travel along 160 kilometers from Panama City to the region of Kuna Yala, in about 3 hours time. You'll arrive to Carti at 9:30 AM and there, a taxiboat will be waiting to take you on a tour of 40 minutes through the San Blas islands to Lemon Cay (Banedup - Chichime), where our the anchored sailboat will be waiting for you. Aboard of our vessel, the crew will be waiting with a delicious welcome cocktail with homemade snacks and natural juice, beer and Coca-Cola.
From the first moment of arrival you'll have 1 hour to settle into the boat and get to know the first island. Then, the sailing and discovery adventure begins. Every day, preferably in the morning, we'll be moving to a new island and sail between 5 to 20 nautical miles (1 to 3 hours), depending on the interests of the guests and the weather conditions. Once you arrive at a new island, you'll always have time to go meet the place while the crew prepares a delicious lunch, provided with 100% natural ingredients like lobster, fresh fish, octopus, crab and conch, always accompanied by fresh vegetables and delicious sauces.
After lunch, we take a time to relax and embark on a tour to snorkel between the coral reefs. The captain, who is a snorkelling instructor, will be present at each and every evening, helping you enjoy in the safest and most pleasant way. Upon return to the boat, will be waiting for another delicious snack with natural juice and cocktails, while delighting one of the most amazing and natural sunsets of the world. Then, we'll have a few hours to relax and take a freshwater shower before dinner. The following days will continue to go on with the same routine, visiting several islands.
The final itinerary is tailored with the guests aboard the sailboat, in the interests of these.
*This is an example of itinerary, there are variations according to the interests of boats and crew.
General Information about San Blas
The official currency of Panama is the Balboa. Since 1904, one Balboa equals one US Dollar and since then, the US Dollar has legally circulated in Panama. In other words, in practice, the currency used day-to-day in Panama is the US dollar, which is also legal. For this reason, Panama is considered a dollarized country and was the second economy in the continent to become a dollarized economy. Currently, there are Panamanian coins that have the same weight, dimension and composition of the coins used in the USA (1, 5, 10, 25 and 50 cents). Panama also has its own $1 coin. For paper money, only the US Dollar is used (there are no paper Balboas).
In the San Blas islands, the exchanging options are few and limited to a few local restaurants, handicraft sales and vegetable and seafood local shops. Any of this places accept credit or debit cards and all transactions are made in US dollars. There are no ATM machines on the islands, so you need to bring all the money from Panama City.
Medical care in San Blas islands is poor. The most populated islands like Nargana or Carti have basic health posts operating normally without doctors (just nurses). The closest hospital is located in Panama City, and in case of serious accident, the only way to get to a hospital is by helicopter. All Coco Sailing vessels are equipped with first aid kits, and the crew is well trained for emergencies.
None Vaccinations are required for entry unless you live in or recently traveled to a country where yellow fever is present. For children (3 months to 7 years), a polio vaccination certificate is required. Vaccinations for typhoid, hepatitis A, diphtheria, and tetanus are recommended.
In the most part of the time for Coco Sailing trips you'll be far away from mainland and mosquito bites are not a concern, but in Carti and some islands close to mainland is recomendable the use of insect repellent. Dengue, yellow fever and malaria are uncommon in San Blas islands, but could happen, so it's best to prevent the risks.
Despite the fact that Panama is a poor country, the biggest part of the touristic spots are relative safe. San Blas Islands are a place that the country, local autorities (Congresso General Guna) and the culture of the Kunas make sure to be an almost complete crime free zone. The boats can always be left open and you can walk around without any concerns.
Our fleet are well maintened and the crew is very experienced with hospitality, seamanship and first aid procedures.