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The stunning San Blas archipelago is an idyllic group of over 400 palm-fringed islands ringed by white-sand beaches and surrounded by the clear, turquoise waters of the Caribbean Sea.

Reached by small plane from Panama City, many of the islands remain completely uninhabited with only a handful occupied by the indigenous Kuna Indians, who gained self-rule from the Panamanian government in the 1920s.

Kuna villages

Kuna villageThe Kuna villages are dusty affairs packed with bamboo thatched huts on tiny cayes (islands) with barely enough room to manoeuvre.

A visit to these unique islands involves not only an opportunity for relaxing and fabulous snorkelling but also the chance to integrate into the community and learn about the fascinating cultural traditions the Kuna struggle to uphold. The women’s colourful intricate costumes are particularly intriguing.

Coupled with the simple magical beauty of the islands, this ethnographic experience is a real highlight of any trip to Panama: even though accommodation is basic we recommend spending at least a couple of nights here.

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who's been there

Audley Travel specialist Corina

Start planning your tailor-made trip to San Blas Islands by contacting one of our Panama specialists

Suggested itinerary featuring San Blas Islands

This sample itinerary will give you an idea of what is possible when you travel in San Blas Islands, and showcases routes we know work particularly well. Treat this as inspiration, because your trip will be created uniquely by one of our specialists.

Map of San Blas Islands

Places & hotels on the map

    Places near San Blas Islands

    Accommodation choices for San Blas Islands

    We’ve selected a range of accommodation options for when you visit San Blas Islands. Our choices usually come recommended for their character, facilities and service or location. Our specialists always aim to suggest properties that match your preferences.