San Blas Islands in Panama: one of the most underrated corners of Latin America

These islands should be on every traveler's bucket list for the reasons we mention here

San Blas Islands in Panama: one of the most underrated corners of Latin America

According to the most recent United Nations population estimates, there are 7.6 billion people on this planet and the number is going up at an incredible speed. Due to the increase in world population, globalization and advancements in transportation, new challenges have emerged. Our modern society has made it incredibly difficult for world travelers to find solitude and silence as most of the planet has been subjugated by humans. Nowadays finding remote locations where one can enjoy a bit of downtime without the hassle of technology and modernity becomes a blessing. One of those undisturbed places where tourists can loosen up and enjoy a serene, tranquil life is found in Panama, being a group of islands found in the NW part of the country, facing the beautiful Caribbean sea.

Leer en español: Islas San Blas en Panamá: uno de los rincones más subestimados de América Latina

The 378 islands dispersed around the San Blas archipelago which make up one of the most underrated and beautiful corners of Latin America should be on everyone’s bucket list.

These beautiful islands are a favorite vacation hotspot for the local elite and green living enthusiasts, and according to Rucksacks Ramblings the islands top the list of The 7 Places You must See in Central America, landing on number 1. The islands were also included in tops created by Travel and Leisure magazine and Popsugar.

Although indisputably splendid, the San Blas Islands still remain free from mass tourism models and big scale real estate developments. This outcome is partly because the majority of the islands remain deserted and uninhabited, and partly because the native community, known as the Kuna’s, who live on the larger islands, protect their patrimony by creating pollution-free parameters where mass real estate developments are prohibited. Due to strict regulations, the San Blas islands maintain a sustainable habitat where tourists can enjoy not only one of the most fascinating local cultures in the region, as well as an eco-friendly environment where tourists can enjoy the beauties of nature.

As the San Blas Islands promote conservation, visitors should expect limited accommodation options. The eco lodges which are 100% ecological friendly are built with products and items found on the island while the hotels are not the typical five-star luxury accomodation found in Panama City, offering limited services but spectacular panoramic views of the surrounding beach. Budget travelers can select between hostels and cabanas, both being eco-friendly, less expensive options, where travelers can either share their living space with other guests in rooms that recall college dorms or simply rent hammocks on the beach.

Although the environment-friendly paradise might not be the best option for extreme sports fans and lovers of resort-type activities, other options are available for visitors who select the San Blas Islands as their holiday destination. From visiting the Kuna communities, snorkeling through the crystal clear water at Isla Perro (Dog Island), hiking or enjoying a boat excursion around the islands, plenty of interesting options are available. The Kuna’s or Guna’s native communities (historically Cuna) are also excellent guides when it comes to local traditions, cuisine, folk art and bright molas. The indigenous population is a restricted community found in Panama, Costa Rica, and Colombia, and on the San Blas Islands the Kuna's live from fishing and fruit trade.


LatinAmerican Post | Adina Achim

Copy edited by Laura Rocha Rueda