The San Blas islands are a group of islands in the archipelago de San Blas, located in the Northwest of Panama facing the Caribbean Sea. There are 378 islands within the archipelago and they are scattered around in an area of about 100 square miles. If you leave the Golfo de San Blas by boat you will enter the Caribbean Sea. The majority of the 378 islands have no inhabitants, but on the larger ones you will find the gentle native people known as the Kuna’s. These people can be found on the larger inhabited Islands; Aguja Island, Guanidup Island, Chichimei, Yandup Island and El Porvenir
The San Blas Islands are the number #1 vacation destination in Panama and probably in Central America. This is because the Islands are not yet discoverd by the massive tourism industry and fully in control of the native Kuna’s. The Kuna’s protect their lands against massive tourism and keep them healthy and beautiful. This makes the San Blas Islands of Panama unique if you are searching for untouched nature and culture. You will sleep in eco-friendlyaccommodations made by the Guna’s Indians from natural materials which they found on the Islands and in the jungle. The most common way to get around in the San Blas archipelago is bysailing from island to island, but you can also book flights from Panama City to the airports located on El Porvenir, Playon Chico, Achutupu, Ogobsucum or Corazon de Jesus in San Blas. Driving toGuna Yala (San Blas) is also possible, you will have to take a 4×4 jeep from Panama City to Carti.
The native people living on the Islands of San Blas call themselves Kuna’s or Guna’s. The district/region in Panama where you can meet the native inhabitants is officially named after them; Guna Yala or Kuna Yala. The Kuna’s are community of proud people that have their own laws, norms and values that go with their culture, which is by the way totally different than the traditional Panamanian culture. Since the last headcount of all the Kuna Indians an estimated 300.000 live in Panama, Costa Rica and Colombia, only 50.000 live on the San Blas Islands. When you visit the San Blas Islands don’t forget to try some of the traditional Kuna food.