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San Blas, Kuna Yala, Panama

Private Sailing in the Guna Yala

  • TAILOR-MADE

Duration

10 Days

Prices Start from

£3,600 ex. flights

Travel around Panama’s little-visited territories, utilising trains and private charter boats to reach the swashbuckling historic city of Portobelo and the paradisaical Guna Yala Archipelago. With the opportunity to see the Panama Canal and sail its Gatun Lake in search of endemic wildlife, this customisable itinerary is designed to give a comprehensive introduction to the secret places of Panama.

Key Highlights of this Itinerary

Snorkelling, Portobelo, Panama 1

Snorkel the Guna Yala

Sail and snorkel the Guna Yala, formerly the San Blas, in a private catamaran.

Kuna Woman Creating Molas, Panama 2

Meet the Kuna People

Visit with the Kuna people in their traditional villages and learn about island life.

San Lorenzo Fort, Portobelo, Panama 3

Visit Portobelo Bay

Visit Portobelo, an old historic centre for silver exporting with a brutal colonial past.

Gatun Lake, Panama 4

Gatun Lake Wildlife

Navigate around the artificial Gatun Lake by boat for excellent wildlife-viewing opportunities.

Why we like it

Unveiling some of the most visually stunning landscapes in vibrant Panama, this trip journeys from a city of striking contrasts to a collection of 365 turquoise-encompassed islands of a remote tribe-inhabited archipelago. Encompassing a memorable journey on the Panama Canal Railway, time spent perusing artefacts and period weaponry in Portobelo and days spent sailing the Guna Yala on a private live-aboard catamaran, this route is ideally suited to culture enthusiasts and those seeking a Robinson Crusoe-esque island experience. In a place where traditional tribal lifestyles remain and enchanting turquoise waters house stingrays and dolphins, we can tailor a bespoke trip that suits all activity levels and interests.

Don't forget, we will customise this journey to suit you.

Explore our suggested itinerary

  • Days 1-2
    Panama City
  • Day 3
    Panama City - Colon - San Lorenzo Fort - Portobelo Bay
  • Days 4-5
    Portobelo Bay
  • Day 6
    Portobelo Bay - Panama City - Guna Yala
  • Days 7-8
    Guna Yala
  • Day 9
    Guna Yala - Panama City
  • Day 10
    Panama City
Guna Yala Archipelago, Panama
Guna Yala Archipelago, Panama

Charter a Private Boat

Sail on a private catamaran through the Guna Yala Archipelago (formerly the San Blas Archipelago), dining on fresh produce cooked over the fire on desert islands and indulging in the exclusivity that comes with privately chartering a vessel in these waters. When not being welcomed in to the colourful villages of the tribal Kuna people, observe as they chop trees with machetes and fish with lines in what feels like a scene from Robinson Crusoe. Take to the clear waters to snorkel amongst tropical coral, swimming down to gaze at marblesque conches and golden-hued starfish – marine life is in great abundance here, and it is not uncommon to spot sharks, stingrays, flying fish, jellyfish, lobsters and dolphins.

Panama Canal Railroad from Panama City to Colon
Panama Canal Railroad from Panama City to Colon
San Lorenzo Fort in Colon, Panama
San Lorenzo Fort in Colon, Panama

All Aboard the Panama Canal Railway

Journey by rail to the nation’s north coast and the city of Colon, a traditional journey on original tracks that lead through tropical jungles and alongside the famed Panama Canal. After your adventure on the Panama Canal Railway, travel to Gatun locks in the company of a guide to witness the engineering marvel that raises and lowers vessels from and to the main elevation of the Panama Canal. Afterwards, take a boat trip around the enormous freshwater reservoir named Gatun Lake for excellent wildlife-spotting opportunities and an impressive view of the vast shipping container vessels that navigate through the waterway.

Old Customs House, Portobelo, Panama
Old Customs House, Portobelo, Panama

Pillaged Treasures of Portobelo

Few people make the effort to visit Portobelo, but it is a place worth experiencing for its swashbuckling history alone. Visit the Old Customs House Museum, once the building through which pillaged Latin American treasures were combed over before being transported back to the homeland. When not perusing the artefacts and period weaponry of this monumental historical site, perhaps travel to one of the white sand beaches reachable by boat to explore their dense vegetation and colourful reefs or sample local delicacies while gazing at the turquoise ocean.

Panama Cathedral, Panama City, Panama
Panama Cathedral, Panama City, Panama

Skyscrapers & Archaeology

Spend time in Panama City, the cosmopolitan capital of great contrasts where sparkling skyscrapers hover over the archaeological remains of ancient Panama Viejo. Explore this fascinating city on foot, wandering the narrow streets of the old quarter in the company of a local guide or perhaps taking a trip out to Amador Quays. We can arrange guided visits to Miraflores Locks for an insight into the history of the Panama Canal, as well as historical journeys through the colonial areas that were looted and destroyed by the notorious English buccaneer Henry Morgan in 1671. For a more authentic and unique experience, embark on a walking tour in the company of young people who herald from difficult pasts involving drugs and street gangs, and learn how tourism has transformed their lives.

Let’s chat

Speak to our experts

Our team is waiting to help you tailor a trip that will leave you with stories for a lifetime. Call us on

01285 601 784

Send us an enquiry

Or send us a quick email below and start your next journey.

Call us

I have always wanted to see the Panama Canal, but John’s suggestion of sailing in the Guna Yala was a fantastic addition that we had not considered prior to speaking with him.

Destination: Panama
Travel Expert: John

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