San Blas Islands
San Blas Islands
4.5
9:00 AM - 6:00 PM
Monday
9:00 AM - 6:00 PM
Tuesday
9:00 AM - 6:00 PM
Wednesday
9:00 AM - 6:00 PM
Thursday
9:00 AM - 6:00 PM
Friday
9:00 AM - 6:00 PM
Saturday
9:00 AM - 6:00 PM
Sunday
9:00 AM - 6:00 PM
Top ways to experience San Blas Islands
The area
Best nearby
We rank these restaurants and attractions by balancing reviews from our members with how close they are to this location.
Attractions
3 within 10 kms
See what travelers are saying
  • David Lewis
    Frankfurt, Germany970 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
    Traveled as a couple
    Written March 25, 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
    Traveled as a couple
    Written April 1, 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
    Traveled with family
    Written October 14, 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
    Traveled with friends
    Written October 22, 2023
  • ibeauty411
    3 contributions
    Heart opening and humbling experience!
    I read the negative review and feel the need to educate the ignorant that probably thought they were visiting some luxurious island to be glamping. The San Blas Island is in the Guna Yala tribe region of Panama. They are autonomous and very primitive. Their only source of income is the tourism and artisanal work they do. I booked my tour online and not aware of the situation, but then I understood why they charge .25 cents to use the restroom at the port where you take the boat to the island. They have toilet paper and the bathrooms are clean, at least they have a flushable toilet and not a portable bathroom. The car drive was a little scary, they have to cross the mountains to get to the beach area, because they live remote from the city, and for obvious reasons. I spoke to one of the tribe members who had just purchased a boat with 12k he got from his father who had just retired. He is a 32yo Guna member who has to support his whole family. They are the only ones that can have a business in the area, but sadly they have not gone to business school. They are trying to to their best with the knowledge they have. He rents the boat to those who are more stablished and only makes $60 a day. Remember Panama uses mostly dollars and the prices are not as low like most Latin countries. We visited two islands and the natural pools. The water is absolutely gorgeous, like a paradise. the food wasn't bad, fried fish, plantains, coconut rice and for dessert, they had the sweetest pineapple I ever had. I enjoyed the experience and mostly learning something new about a culture that frankly seems to be abandoned by society. I will go back to San Blas any day with an open mind and an open heart. I really loved the experience.
    Visited February 2024
    Traveled with family
    Written February 16, 2024
These reviews are the subjective opinion of Tripadvisor members and not of TripAdvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

Most Recent: Reviews ordered by most recent publish date in descending order.

Detailed Reviews: Reviews ordered by recency and descriptiveness of user-identified themes such as wait time, length of visit, general tips, and location information.

Popular mentions

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ibeauty411
Miami Beach3 contributions
Feb 2024 • Family
I read the negative review and feel the need to educate the ignorant that probably thought they were visiting some luxurious island to be glamping. The San Blas Island is in the Guna Yala tribe region of Panama. They are autonomous and very primitive. Their only source of income is the tourism and artisanal work they do. I booked my tour online and not aware of the situation, but then I understood why they charge .25 cents to use the restroom at the port where you take the boat to the island. They have toilet paper and the bathrooms are clean, at least they have a flushable toilet and not a portable bathroom. The car drive was a little scary, they have to cross the mountains to get to the beach area, because they live remote from the city, and for obvious reasons. I spoke to one of the tribe members who had just purchased a boat with 12k he got from his father who had just retired. He is a 32yo Guna member who has to support his whole family. They are the only ones that can have a business in the area, but sadly they have not gone to business school. They are trying to to their best with the knowledge they have. He rents the boat to those who are more stablished and only makes $60 a day. Remember Panama uses mostly dollars and the prices are not as low like most Latin countries. We visited two islands and the natural pools. The water is absolutely gorgeous, like a paradise. the food wasn't bad, fried fish, plantains, coconut rice and for dessert, they had the sweetest pineapple I ever had. I enjoyed the experience and mostly learning something new about a culture that frankly seems to be abandoned by society. I will go back to San Blas any day with an open mind and an open heart. I really loved the experience.
Written February 16, 2024
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.

Tina C
11 contributions
Jan 2024 • Family
This was a Wonderful trip , we rented a sailboat for 4 nights and sailed around the Islands, it was just wonderful, our captain was amazing and fun, , the water was amazing , th food was amazing, the Kuna people everything ,, I HIGHLY recommend visiting the San Blas Islands,, never knew it existed and it was a hidden gem. the car ride is 2 hours from city (is fine) and the boat ride out was treacherous , 45 minutes (but this is depending on weather so .. other than that five star adventure
Written January 26, 2024
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.

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 October 22, 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 October 14, 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 September 25, 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 June 5, 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 April 1, 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, Germany970 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 March 25, 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, GA14 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 February 16, 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, Canada277 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 February 9, 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

According to Tripadvisor travelers, these are the best ways to experience San Blas Islands: