San Blas (Guna Yala)

dsc001581The beautiful islands of Guna Yala (more commonly known as San Blas) and the vibrant Guna culture has turned Guna Yala into one of the most popular destinations in Panama.  This 365 island archipelago provides the perfect mix of postcard beauty and unique cultural exploration.

We offer transportation and hotel booking right here at Luna’s Castle. Let us help you plan the perfect Island escape. Jeeps to San Blas are available every day, leaving between 5:30AM-6:00AM from Luna’s Castle.

The jeep ride costs $30 one way or $60 roundtrip and takes between 3-4 hours.  The road can be rough depending on the time of year.  The jeep drops you off near the island of Carti, where boats will transport you to to your island. The boat costs from $20 – $30 round trip. When the jeep enters the Guna Yala territory there is a $10 tax that goes to the indigenous population. In addition there is a $3 dock tax when you leave the port to head to your island.

You can also fly directly from Panama City for around $45-$60 each way. Once on the island, accommodation costs between $20-$45 per day and all meals are included in your stay.

There is an extensive description of the San Blas accommodations available at the Luna’s Castle reception desk.san-blas1

Sign up for the jeep by 7pm the night before you want to go, with a $5.00 deposit at reception or concierge.

 

Where to stay?

Carti Islands:

These islands are located about 10 minutes from the mainland. The Carti community is composed of 4 islands SUIDUB, YANDUB, TUPILE, COIBITA. This is a great option for those wanting to live alongside a Kuna Community.  The majority of the other lodging options are located on deserted islands, usually with only one Kuna family.  Carti is one of the only places where you can live in an actual Kuna village.  There is also a great Kuna Museum located in SUIDUB.   These islands don’t have a beach, but they will definitely help organize a daily trip to one of the surrounding islands, full of beautiful beaches.

Carti Cabins:

CartiThese 4 cabins are located in YANDUB.  You will have your choice between hammocks or beds. Because there is no beach on this island, they include daily trips to white sand beaches.  One trip is free, unless you stay more than three nights, in which case they would take you on another complimentary tour.  You would be able to pay extra if you want to go somewhere every day.

Details:

Private Cabins: There are three cabins with a 2 person capacity, costing 25 dollar per night (each person)

Dorm bed: capacity for 6 people in 1 cabin cost 25 dollar per night (each person)

All prices include: 3 meals, 1 tour (if you stay more than 3 days you can have another tour), trip to the museum

Transportation to mainland: included in the daily rate.

Bathroom: Latrine style

Electric light: Yes

Snorkeling: No, but can request a tour to a place with good snorkeling.

Diablo Island: (Kuna name NAIDUB)

DiabloThis island is located about 25 minutes from Carti, and offers simple accommodations in either hammocks or air matresses. The island is administrated by the same owner of Carti Cabins and is an excellent beach island offering good snorkeling in a shipwreck next to the island Diablo Island is surrounded by other small islands including the popular PERRO Island, so if you wish to change the view you will have very nice options.

Details:

Private Cabins: There are two, two-person cabins which cost 50 dollar per night (per person)

Dorm beds: There are two, five-person cabins.  They cost 40 dollars per night (each person)

All prices include: 3 meals

Transportation to mainland $30 round trip

Bathroom: Toilet J

Electric light: No

Snorkeling: Yes

Iguana Island: (Kuna name ARIDUB)

iguanaLocated about 15 minutes from Carti, this is one of the few 100 % beach islands. In other words, the entire island is surrounded by white sand beach. The owners keep the island very clean. This island is great for those that want to go camping, or for couples that don’t want to stay on a crowded island.

Details:

Private Cabins: 3 cabins, with a 3 person capacity in each one.  Cost: $50 per night (per person)

Dorms: $35 dollars per night (each person)

Includes: 3 meals (mostly lobster and seafood)

Transportation to mainland: $20 round trip

Tours: The tours are not included.  The price depends on the place you want to go

Bathroom: Toilet

Electric light: Yes

Snorkeling: Yes

The Robinson Islands:

This group of islands is definitely one of the most popular places to stay in San Blas. Very much the prime “backpacker” option. The three islands are called SENIDUB, NARASGANDUB, KORKIDUB.   They are located 45 minutes from the mainland, and all offer nice accommodation at affordable prices.

Dorms: $20 (per night per person)

Private cabin: $50 (max 2ppl)

Tubasenika

Tubasenika is the first island in the chain, and offers a very social atmosphere. The small size off the island helps assure that you will have a very easy time meeting other people. There are two accommodations on this island, Senidub Cabins and Frank’s Cabins.


Senidub Cabins:

sanidupThere are private cabins with beautiful ocean views and dorms located in the center of the island.  They have a small store if you want to buy some small groceries or Kuna souvenirs.

Details:

Private Cabins: capacity of 10 people in 3 cabins, costing $62 dollar per night (1 or 2 person)

Private Cabins include: 3 meals

Dorm beds: capacity of 14 people in 3 cabins costing $26 dollar per night (per person)

Dorm price includes: 3 meals, ($10 additional if you want to eat lobster)

Tours: Tours are not included.  The price depends on the place you want to go It costs around $10 to go to PERRO island (per person)

Transportation to mainland: 20 dollar round trip

Bathroom: Toilet

Electric light: Yes

Snorkeling: Yes

Volleyball: Yes

Frank Cabins:

FrankIf you are a big group and you need a place to stay, Frank Cabins is your place. They offer private cabins and dorms, also hammocks in the outside area.  They also have a small store where you can buy some small groceries, beer, bottles of rum and Kuna souvenirs.

Details:

Dorms: $26 (per night per person)

Private cabin: $62 (for 1 or 2 person)

All prices include: 3 meals

Tours: Tours are not included.

Transportation to mainland: $20 round trip

Bathroom: Toilet

Electric light: Yes

Snorkeling: Yes

Volleyball: Yes

 

Narascandup   (Spanish translation: Naranjo Chico)

This island is run by an indian called Iron, his customer service is focus on couples and families that want to spend time on a nice island and beautiful cabins. He is really good making tours to another islands to vistit the indians culture and  we will guarantee that he will treat you with an excellent service!

IMG-20140704-WA0001Details:

Private Cabins: $35 dollars per night (per person)  3 meals a day include on the price

Dorms: $30 dollars per night (each person) 3 meals a day include on the price.

Transportation to mainland: $20 round trip

Tours: The tours are not included.  The price range will be between $15 – $30 per person depending how many people are going on the tour.

Bathroom: Toilet

Electric light: Yes

Snorkeling: Yes

 

Narasgandub (Kuna translation: Orange Island)

This is the largest of the Islands, located second in the chain.  There are two different accommodations on this island. INA and ROBINSON.

Ina Cabins:

InaThis is very popular for midsize groups and true backpackers who are looking for an affordable price, hammocks, and the backpacker vibe.

Details:

Private Cabins: There are three, 2-person cabins, costing $25 per night (per person)

Dorm beds: There is a capacity for 18 people in 5 cabins, costing $22 per night (per person)

All prices include: 3 meals

Tours: There is an additional cost depending on where you want to go.

Transportation to mainland: $20 round trip

Bathroom: Toilet

Electric Light: Yes

Volleyball: Yes

Robinson Cabins:

robinThese cabins have an excellent social area. Another good backpacker option.

Details:

Private Cabin: There are 7, 2-person cabins, costing $25 per night (per person)

Dorm beds: There is a capacity of 15 people in 5 cabins, costing $20 per night (per person)

All prices include: 3 meals

Tours: There is an additional cost, depending on where you go

Transportation to mainland: $20 round trip

Bathroom: Toilet

Electric Light: Yes

Kuanidup Island (Kuna translation: Defender of the kuna people)

KaunidupThis island will give you an experience like you’re at a house backyard BBQ, but right on the beach at the same time.  It is a great island for families and couples that want a very nice accommodation.

Details:

Private Cabins: capacity of 18 people in 3 cabins, costing $95 per night (per person)

Dorm beds: capacity for 9 people in 3 cabins costing $95 per night (per person)

All prices include: 3 meals, 1 tour

Transportation to mainland is included.

Bathroom: Toilet

Electric light: Yes

Ukutupu Island (Kuna translation: Sand Island)

This island is a located in El Porvenir, right near the airport. There is no beach on the island but they do offer beach tours.  The lodging feels more like a simple hotel.

Details:

Rooms: There is 60-person capacity spread over 20 rooms, costing $55 per night (per person)

All prices include: 3 meals, 1 tour

Tours: There is an additional charge, depending on where you want to go.  It costs around $40 to go to the Robinson islands. (group price)

Transportation to the mainland is included.

Bathroom: Toilet

Electric Light: Yes

Nubesidub Island (Kuna translation: Dove Island)

This island is perfect for couples or families that want to stay away from crowded islands, with 3 cabins very well decorated, they keep the island very clean and it´s 100% beach

Details:

Private Cabins or Dorms: Cost $60 per night per person

All prices include: 3 meals all fish (fresh catch of the day), 1 daily tour to the Rio Sidra Comunity or visit other islands

Transportation to mainland round trip is included
Bathroom: Toilet
Electric Light: Yes