Travel Tips - San Blas Islands - Comarca Gunayala (English)

For imitators we have briefly summarized the details of the planning here. As an alternative to booking directly via the island, almost every hostel in Panama City offers packages. For example, the "El Machico" https://www.elmachicohostel.com from $110 including transfer, accommodation, three meals, etc..

Planning / Booking:

By phone, WhatsApp and email. Details about the Cabañas Naranjo Chico can be found on the net at https://sanblaskunayala.com. The island can also be found in the Lonely Planet "Central America on a Shoestring".


Outward journey with private shuttle for $50 per person, return journey for $25 per person, each in a comfortable off-road vehicle. The boat transfer is included in the price of the overnight stay.

We departed for the outbound trip very early at 05:30. This helps to get through without traffic chaos. We arrived around 11 o'clock. Including shopping on the way (water, fruits, snacks, etc), photo stop and transfer to the boat.


On the island there are beach bungalows, bungalows by and on the water, the latter with terrace (our choice). In the end, we have chosen the most expensive option for the three of us and would do so again. The two water bungalows are facing west and the stunning sunsets can be enjoyed wonderfully.

With a small discount, we paid $110 per night per person.

Towels and bed linen were included in the price and were changed after two nights.


There is one excursion per night. We left around 10:30 (no guarantee...) and returned for lunch at around 13:00 - 14:00. On some islands a tax of $2-$3 has to be paid. We usually visited several snorkling places and islands per excursion. On the boat we were always together with other guests.


3 meals a day are included in the price. There was enough food, lunch and dinner were very rich. The menus consisted of fresh fish, lobster, crab and other fresh seafood as well as chicken meat. As a side dish there were always fresh vegetables with some salad that was well washed as well as rice, potatoes or yuca and platanos. For dessert fresh fruits were served from time to time.

The breakfast consisted of home-baked/fried rolls with egg, there was always hot water for coffee (instant coffee) or tea with creamer.

Beer can be bought for $2, also wine is organized for $20 per bottle. We were given a total of 2 gallons of water. Hot water was always prepared spontaneously for us.

The family has simple refrigerators, which are minimally cooled with ice and solar power. There is no freezer.

Packing list:

Of course very individual, but in any case sun cream, mosquito repellent, silk sleeping bag according to hygienic requirements, malaria prophilaxe, water as needed (for brushing teeth...), snacks, beer, wine and other spiritual drinks, biscuits and chocolate, snorkel/diving goggles/fins, disinfectant, ...

Electricity / electricity / internet / telephone:

Sockets for charging the batteries and other electronic devices were available in the lounge. In the bungalows there is enough light in the evenings, but no socket.

Sporadically a little bit of internet reaches the island. It is barely enough for phone calls, but the connection is very unstable. Therefore: Switch off the phone, relax and enjoy...


Very simple shower with sun-warm water. Shower water is treated and has to be brought to the island by the locals. Depending on your needs, take additional water with you. Recommendation: 1.5 litres per person per day. We had bought two six litre containers.

Taxes, further costs and payment:

Be sure to clarify before the trip.

We paid $2-$3 per island and person on the excursions. On "entry" into the comarca we had to pay $20 in cash and per person and in the port we had to pay a one-time fee of $2. Best to pay in cash, the terminal for credit cards on the island did not work for us. We were able to withdraw and pay the balance on the way back at an ATM.

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