San Blas Islands, Panama
The San Blas Islands of Panama is an archipelago of 365 islands off the north coast of the Isthmus, east of the Panama Canal. Only 49 are inhabited by the fiercely independent Kuna Indians. The most interesting are Achutupu, Kagantupu and Coco Blanco.
The Kuna Indians, who run all the islands have maintained their own economic system, language, customs and culture, with distinctive dress, legends, music and dance. The economy of the islands is based on coconut sales, fishing and tourism, and they offer travelers good snorkeling and swimming.
The San Blas offers a large array of sights and activities including incredible seascapes, colorful reefs and islands, to the abundant sea life in its waters and wildlife on the mainland. There are continuous festivals and gatherings occurring at villages that visitors can witness to get a glimpse of the culture. Numerous Kuna villages offer visitors multiple opportunities for various glimpses at the daily lives of the Kuna.
Things to See and Do
* Village tour
* Marine and wildlife
* Diving & snorkeling
* Beaches & Swimming
* Hiking in the rainforests of Kuna Ayala
Cruise Season – Jan - Dec
Currency - Balboa, U.S. dollar (PAB, USD)
Language – Spanish
Population – 820,000 approx
Land Area - km2
Electricity – 2 perpendicular flat pins USA style or with a round pin below
Time - GMT minus five hours
International Country Telephone Code – +507
Travel Links – There are currently daily flights from Panama City to El Porvenir via Air Panama. Air Panama also services Achutupu, Corazon de Jesus (Rio Diablo/Nargana), and Playon Chico. As of Sept. 2009, Aeroperlas provides service to Corazon de Jesus and Playon Chico. Currently both airlines fly from Panama City daily at approximately 6:30 AM.
Access is also available by boat from Colon, Portobelo or Nombre de Dios.