San Blas (Kuna Yala)

Comarca Kuna Yala is best described as an autonomous coastal region, ruled by the indigenous Kuna people.

Their territory includes a 232-mile strip of lush Caribbean shore and the 377 islands of the San Blas Archipelago.

Many of these islands are uninhabited, shaded by palms, and ringed with white sand and coral reef.

a perfect white sand, palm laden beach, surrounded by crystal clear Caribbean blue ocean, photographed during leisure travel to San Blas

Around 40 Nearby Kuna Islands

Approximately 40 other nearby islands are also home to densely-populated Kuna communities, where visitors can learn local traditions and purchase finely embroidered molas (finely sewn panel blouses).

The outlying islands are peaceful and pristine.

Some feature rustic, locally-owned lodges—small collections of cabins and over-the-water bungalows.

old canoe on crystal clear tropical waters of San Blas (Kuna Yala), Panama

Here you’ll find tranquility, hammock space, and astonishing sunsets.

Snorkeling, Birdwatching, Dancing and Hiking

During low season, I’ve enjoyed an entire island here to myself, snorkeling and birdwatching during the day and staying up late into the night—playing dominoes, singing, and dancing with my Kuna hosts.

Other activities include hikes to mainland waterfalls and shrines, sailing, sea kayak trips and fishing excursions.

Indigenous Kuna Woman with a pink shawl and green skirt, sitting on a bench in front of a reed wall in the San Blas Islands

Getting to Kuna Yala

Several airfields link Kuna Yala with Panama City. The most frequently used airstrips are located near El Porvenir, Playon Chico, and Achutupo.

Most flights stop in more than one location, and flight times typically last between 20 and 45 minutes.

Kuna Yala Yacht Cruises

Private, multi-day yacht cruises of the archipelago can also be arranged.

White Charter catamaran off the coast of the San Blas (Kuna Yala) Islands in Panama

Temperatures here are fairly constant year-round, with highs in the low-90s and lows near 75°.

Although Panama lies below the hurricane belt, rain is likely in Kuna Yala between May and November.

October tends to be the wettest month, with average rainfall of about five inches.

Some driftwood on a perfect white sand, palm laden beach, surrounded by crystal clear Caribbean blue ocean, photographed during leisure travel to San Blas (Kuna Yala)

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