There are a couple of ways to travel between Panama and Colombia. You can fly, which is quite cheap, gamble with your life through the deadly Darien gap or sail to Colombia through the heavenly beautiful San Blas Islands. We choose the later and it was one of the best experiences in our 11 months of travel.
We met our crew in the little port town Porto Lindo and departed early in the afternoon with a few clouds and a little rain above us.
The original plan was to sail 3 days through the tropical San Blas Islands and 2 days sailing across open waters. Luckily our amazing crew and every one of the guests was able to extend this paradise for one more day.
The clouds and rain from our first afternoon disappeared and we woke the next morning to blue sky, turquoise water and 360+ Islands covered in palm trees and small remote communities. The weather stayed that way for the next 4 days in paradise, sun baking on white sand beaches, snorkelling on coral reefs, playing crazy drinking games, exploring the local villages, drinking Coco Loco, bonfires and fishing.
Our last 2 days of crossing the open ocean weren’t that bad at all. We were lucky to have calm waters but more importantly great company. Cheers guys!
How to pick the right boat?
Before we decided on our boat, we had read all those horrifying stories about boats sinking, captains being drunk, crazy weather and everyone getting sea sick. Our hopes and expectations were set pretty low. There are a lot of boats out there and dozen of companies to choose from, a party boat, a chill boat whatever you prefer. But be careful what you wish for….. we got pretty much exactly what we wanted! Great combination of relaxation and party, Captain Charlie, Chef Nathalie, little surfer dude Keenan and super cute puppy Maxi. And a great group of people from all around the world to enjoy the experience with.
We had been recommended to book with Blue Sailing and after researching all of their boats our choice fell to the Wild Card. A 60ft sailing beauty, specifically build for rough seas and better for avoiding sea sickness. So the initial fear of sailing was reduced after reading this important fact.
The cost of sailing is US $550, but expect some additional cost for the immigration and transport from Panama City.
How to pack and what to bring?
You’ll receive information from the company for how to pack and what to bring, but trust us, double up your alcohol choices. All 18 people in our group ended up short on alcohol. During the sailing you will have a chance to buy beers from locals tiendas on little islands or from local boat sellers. But don’t rely on it and of course it’s more expensive out there.
Food on the boat was absolutely delicious. 4 meals a days, lobster dinners, fresh caught sashimi, fresh fruit. If you do like to snack, bring some with you.
Sunblock, hat and sunnies are an absolute necessity. We were lucky enough to have amazing weather for 6 days but it reflected also on everyone’s bodies and I think my body has never been that burnt in my life. The boat itself does not have enough shade for that amount of people so be prepared to be exposed to sun a lot and protect yourself.
Dramamine seasick pills – seasickness will appear at some point, especially while crossing the open ocean. Do not underestimate it, you want to have a great time right?
We cannot recommend this experience more. If you’re travelling between Central and South America, don’t miss it.
Thank you Wild Card for very memorable trip.
Keen to see how much fun we had? Click here for video.