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San Blas Island and Snorkel Tour - Visit the islands + Lunch + Drink + Snorkel

star-4.58 reviews
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Warsobtugua, Panama
San Blas Island and Snorkel Tour - Visit the islands + Lunch + Drink + Snorkel

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Free cancellation
Up to 24 hours in advance. Learn more
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Safety measures
icon14 hours  (approx.)
Hotel pickup offered
Mobile ticket
iconOffered in: English and 1 more
Good for avoiding crowds

Operators have paid Viator more to have their experiences featured here

Overview

Visit one of the most beautiful islands in the San Blas archipelago but don’t stop at looking at the views - immerse yourself in them on a snorkeling tour. You’ll be taken to a quiet beach away from the crowds where you can swim and snorkel in warm waters among tropical sea life. Even take a close-up look of a sunken wreck. Learn about indigenous Guna culture and enjoy a tasty seafood lunch.
  • Snorkeling gear is included
  • Lunch of seafood, fish, or chicken will be provided
  • Entrance fees to the San Blas Islands are included
  • Optional round-trip transport is available
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Shared boat/lancha transportation all day
Snorkel Equipment (snorkel and mask)
One beverage: Bottle of water, soda or beer
All Island Taxes (entrance to each island)
Lunch
Guna Entrance Fee paid to border patrol ($22 for Internationals, $7 for Panamanian residents)
This operator has two meet-up options available. You can either meet at the departure point below or select a location for pick-up.
Carti Parking and Boat Terminal , F23C+W2C, Warsobtugua, Panama

If driving to San Blas with your own car, please ensure to arrive no later than 8:30am and in a 4x4 vehicle. All other cars will be turned around at the border crossing.

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This activity will end right where it started.Please be ready and wait in the lobby of your building between 5:00-5:45am. If you have provided a WhatsApp number in your booking, the driver will communicate with you if he is encountering delays or cannot find your location.
  • Confirmation will be received at time of booking
  • Not recommended for travellers with back problems
  • No heart problems or other serious medical conditions
  • Not recommended for pregnant travellers
  • Not wheelchair accessible
  • Confirmation will be received at time of booking.
  • Departure time is between 5:00am and 5:45am from your Panama City lodging. If staying at Playa Bonita area, your departure time is between 5:00am and 5:15am.
  • You are welcome to bring a cooler with your own drinks, potable water, snacks and beverages (fruit juice or alcohol). The driver will stop at a supermarket on the way to San Blas in order for you to purchase additional items.
  • PLEASE DO NOT FORGET TO BRING YOUR ORIGINAL PASSPORT. WITHOUT IT, YOU WILL NOT BE ALLOWED TO ENTER THE KUNA TERRITORY AND THE SAN BLAS ISLANDS.
  • Please be advised that San Blas is in the Guna territory, which is an autonomous, Indian zone. The services are very basic. The Gunas will be providing all touristic services, such as meal preparations, car and boat transportations, lodging, and tour guiding. We are proud to be working with this friendly tribe and with each booking we give back to the community, supporting their customs and their traditional way of life. We kindly ask you to respect this beautiful culture and their simple way of life, leaving your expectations behind and learning about their innocent culture.
  • We recommend that you bring your personal hygiene items, such as towels, sunscreen, hats, mosquito repellent.
  • In San Blas Islands there are no ATMs, please bring cash. You can buy additional drinks, snacks, souvenirs etc.
  • “Tigo” is the cell phone company that has the best reception in San Blas.
  • Infants need to sit on laps
  • This tour/activity will have a maximum of 14 travelers
  • PLEASE BE PREPARED FOR A 2.5 to 3 HOUR CAR JOURNEY EACH WAY OVER BAD ROADS WITH POTHOLES, SLOW CURVES AND OFF-ROAD SECTIONS! THERE IS ALSO A 25-30 MINUTE BOAT RIDE TO YOUR FIRST ISLAND WHICH CAN GET QUITE BUMPY AND WET. We feel that the islands are worth the long drive, but some travelers have complained about the roads and the fast boat ride from and to the port. While we strive to provide our guests the best service and an unforgettable experience in San Blas, we are not responsible for road and ocean conditions, and we would like you to be aware of this fact :)
  • IMPORTANT SAN BLAS DISCLAIMER - PLEASE READ! While San Blas is a beautiful island archipelago with stunning beaches and clear waters, it also has its downsides, for which we would like to make you aware off. San Blas is very rustic without the amenities and standards you might be used to from home. Compared to places such as Tahiti and Maldives that are managed by international hotel chains, San Blas has remained autonomous without the influence of outsiders. When visiting San Blas, it should be viewed as a cultural experience where guests live with the Kunas and respect their traditions and ways of living. No aircondition No Wifi No luxury facilities Electricity only available between 6pm and 6am Water is a precious commodity in San Blas. It is either brought in by boat or pumped from the island well. Oftentimes pumps can malfunction and cause water outages. Beds and mattresses can be uncomfortable All services will all be handled by the indigenous Kuna. While Tao Travel 365 strives to provide the best service possible and train the Kuna in customer management, some of the below services are often out of our control. Car transportation (the ride to San Blas takes 2.5 to 3 hours, with 1.5 hours over slow, curvy roads with potholes. For those with motion sickness, please prepare accordingly) Boat transportation (depending on weather and ocean conditions, the 20-40 minute boat ride might be bumpy and wet with ocean spray). Island cabin management (cabins are very rustic and facilities, such as showers and bathrooms are often “home-made” with PVC pipes. Some guests have complained that sheets are old). Island kitchen (meal plans are repetitive and food might taste bland) Trash is a worldwide problem and unfortunately San Blas has not been spared from the ever increasing issue. During certain tides and ocean and wind conditions plastic trash from throughout the Caribbean ocean accumulates on the beaches of San Blas. While the local Kuna are working hard to collect the constant trash washing up on their beaches, guests will nevertheless find evidence of plastic spread out on the island. During the wet months (April - December) or during windless days, all of San Blas experiences sandflies, which are little blood-sucking flies that leave itchy marks. Please ensure to bring natural insect repellent and prepare to return to Panama City with a few itchy memories. Due to the complexity of the logistics involved with each reservation in San Blas (arranging cars, boats, cabins and meals), we kindly ask our guests to adhere to the itinerary schedule sent to them in advance of their trip to San Blas. For any changes in schedule, you must first contact our office and we will attempt to accommodate your request. Please note that additional fees may apply. We kindly ask our guests to lower their expectation when visiting San Blas and to focus on the beautiful paradise that San Blas has remained despite the effects that modern society has ceased to them. The Kunas are very gentle and kind people, but can also be somewhat shy at times. When approaching them with a smile and an open heart you will be guaranteed an innocent, happy smile in return.
  • The use of drones is prohibited in San Blas. Heavy fines are imposed on those who disobey the law.
  • Most travellers can participate
  • The road to San Blas is very curvy with lots of hills and off-road sections. If you are sensitive to motion sickness, please prepare accordingly by bringing appropriate medication.
  • This tour/activity will have a maximum of 15 travellers
  • OPERATED BY Tao Travel 365
You can cancel up to 24 hours in advance of the experience for a full refund.
  • For a full refund, you must cancel at least 24 hours before the experience’s start time.
  • If you cancel less than 24 hours before the experience’s start time, the amount you paid will not be refunded.
  • Any changes made less than 24 hours before the experience’s start time will not be accepted.
  • Cut-off times are based on the experience’s local time.
  • This experience requires good weather. If it’s cancelled due to poor weather, you’ll be offered a different date or a full refund.

Learn more about cancellations.


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Reviews

4.5
star-4.5
8 reviews
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Reviews by Viator travellers

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Showing 1-7 of 8 reviews
star-4
Great!
Anae_G
, Aug. 2022
Overall this was a great experience! The trip from the hotel to the pier was long and bumpy, which they let you know prior to picking you up from the hotel. On the way up we stopped at a market and a landing with a view to take pictures. Once we got to the pier we’re introduced to our tour guide and you get a chance to use the bathroom (under a $1 like in Paris). From there we island hop! The guide tells you how long we stay at each island/the pool, and they also take pictures along the way. They do serve lunch (not especially seasoned) and provide snorkel equipment. The ride back seems faster than the way there, but expect to find yourself in traffic. This was a great experience and I’m glad the people of the San Blas islands shared this with us.
star-4
Like a dream...but is this the right thing to do?
Muhammad_F
, May 2022
I have given this tour 4 stars, because I felt like it was well organized, accurate and a lot of fun. The guides and drivers were great and being amongst the islands feels like you are in a completely different world... BUT, I think there are much deeper issues with what is going on with San Blas and these tours. The litter and general condition of these paradise islands is, at times, horrendous. Strolling up to a picture perfect tropical island and seeing bottles, crisp packets and face masks everywhere made me very uncomfortable, and I felt like I was part of the problem frankly. I don't think we have figured out how to experience these islands in any kind of responsible way, and it felt exploitative to the Guna people. Of course, they must benefit from the tourism, but something seems very wrong with this.
icon Response from Host , May 2022
Dear Muhammad, we are happy that you enjoyed your tour and found our service exceptional. Unfortunately, the plastic bottles and other plastic waste that can be found on the beaches of San Blas is related ocean currents washing up waste to the shores of San Blas. The Kunas clean their island daily and tourism inspires them and helps them to keep their islands clean and recycle plastic waste. Unfortunately waste is a worldwide problem and we are grateful you are aware of it when encountering plastic products on a daily basis. Unfortunately, in countries such as Panama, Colombia and Venezuela (where most of the trash stems from) people are not as educated and aware of this issue and discard their waste into the streets (which ends up in the ocean and on the shores of tropical beaches). We work closely with the Kunas and we guarantee you that they are not being exploited or taken advantage of in any way. On the contrary, we are supporting their communities (with donations, fees collected at the border crossing, taxes paid to islands and with employing their services) and we continually educate them on the trash issue at hand, which they try to alleviate with recycle bins on their islands and with daily trash cleanups. Thank you again for joining us on our tour and we hope you will be back soon for another beautiful stay in the islands.
star-4
Beautiful beaches but an arduous journey
Eric_J
, Mar. 2022
I have mixed feelings about this tour, which is why I gave it 4 instead of 5 stars. On the plus side, I want to say that the staff on the tour were great and did everything they could to make the trip enjoyable. In addition, the San Blas Islands are gorgeous; I've never seen such turquoise water, and it was very enjoyable to hang out on the beach in the water or in a hammock by the beach. The lunch was also very good. The main negative is that you have to spend a lot of time traveling to get to the fun. We were picked up at 5:15am and did not get to a beach until 10am. Overall, we spent about 14 hours on this excursion, of which about 6 hours was beach time. Overall, I am happy that we went on the tour because the islands are so beautiful and would recommend to a friend that they take the tour if they are okay with the travel-to-fun ratio but I would not do this tour again. If I wanted to visit the San Blas Islands again, I would look into catamaran tours that visit the islands.
1 traveller found this review helpful
star-4
Mostly good tour of San blas
Jen_M
, Feb. 2022
Overall I liked this tour. It’s a really long day, so be forewarned of that. I booked the English tour, and even though it wasn’t a huge deal, my driver to the pier didn’t speak one word of English. Because of a very big delay getting there (I didn’t get on the boat until 10 am, which was meant to be 8:30) he wasn’t able to update me on what was happening. Luckily some girls in my car spoke Spanish and could translate. Once we got to the pier, it was absolutely chaotic. I got put into a group, but there was not much communication as to what was going on. Overall the islands are absolutely stunning. The included lunch was decent. We visited all the places we said on the itinerary which was nice since we were delayed. I just wish there had been better communication in general. I had to ask the main boat-wrangler (not really a guide so to speak) on which island we had arrived to at every place we visited. Overall a nice way to be able to see the islands. Just be aware it’s a long days journey, I was picked up at 4:50 am and dropped off at 8 pm.
star-5
Added the pick-up and...
Remi_L
, Nov. 2021
Added the pick-up and drop-off option. Driver was Billy who was very friendly. Drives fast, but not unsafely, so I wouldn't sit in the back row of you get travel sick. The drive through the forests includes tougher terrain, but he drives slowly here with the windows open. We were able to stop a couple times to take some pictures of the jungle scenery and look out for animals. Islands are absolutely gorgeous. I think a day trip was enough because by the end I was all sunned out and in need of a good shower. Got to experience snorkeling around a shipwreck which had plenty of fish, big and small, and some coral. Visited 2 islands and 2 mid-sea pools. Included food was okay, not that tasty but still good and filling. Didn't really need any extra snacks. Bit expensive for the experience but I'd say it is well worth it. The islands are at risk of rising sea levels so who knows how long this natural beauty will be around for.
star-5
Great experience.
desireejames7
, Feb. 2020
It was a wonderful experience. I definitely recommend the tour. The islands were beautiful and hour guide was warm and fuzzy.
star-5
A great experience
cdpkirk47
, Feb. 2020
Love swimming in the natural pools and the snorkeling lunch was delicious and the guide was marvelous

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