MOST ACCOMMODATIONS AND RESTROOM FACILITIES IN GUNA YALA ARE BASIC AND RUSTIC. Please be sure you are well informed about the facilities of the island you have chosen to ensure your expectations are met.
There are no luxury options in Guna Yala. No islands offered here have air conditioning, some offer solar or generator power in the rooms and fans, others do not. Most accommodations are built on sand, the quality of the mattresses is mediocre.
The nicest accommodations available are private huts over the water with private restrooms and patio available in the upgraded version of our El Tranquilo package or our Limon y Sal package. These need to be requested and booked well in advance. The Limon y Sal package also requires guests to purchase a flight through Air Panama because the island is too far to reach by boat efficiently.
The restrooms are shared amongst all island guests unless your booking specifically states that you have a private restroom.
Yes. Although, breakfast is not included the morning of pick up. This is what our packages include for meals:
Some dietary restrictions such as vegetarian or vegan can be met but meals will be basic and limited options. If you have very special dietary requirements contact us, we may suggest you bring some of your own food. The options in the islands are limited.
Guests are responsible for providing their own beverages. These can be purchased at the market on the way out of Panama city or in the islands. You have the chance to buy drinks on most of the islands (water, beer, soda etc.) and the Guna’s are also selling little homemade souvenirs like bracelets for example. Prepare and bring small bills (US Dollars are accepted).
The months of May through November reservations are usually available on short notice. But we still recommend booking Private huts at least 2 weeks in advance. The months of December through April are very busy and we recommend booking both dorm beds and private huts with as much advance notice as possible. Trips are open for booking through the end of the year but we only guarantee prices 3 months in advance.
If you do not have all the information required for the online reservation (i.e. pick up location, passport numbers etc), fill the box with 0’s and write us when you have the details sorted. We must have all required information no later than 6 pm the evening before departure.
THERE ARE 2 RESERVATION TYPES
Your total owed to the driver should be the balance on your receipt + entrance fees of $22 per foreigner/ $7 per Panamanian. The driver will have a photo of your receipt.
Important: Credit card payments will not be accepted for the payment of your trip balance unless you have booked the Full Payment On Credit Card option in advance. If you have already booked the Deposit Payment Only option but need to pay in full with a credit card please contact us at least 24h before your trip, we will change the booking but a 4% fee is added for all full payments on a credit card.
Good question. Yes. Make sure you get enough cash in Panama city before the trip. We suggest that you bring some cash for purchases in the islands, as there is no ATM and credit cards are not accepted. If you are not sure what is included in the cost of your trip contact us. Remember that you are responsible to purchase your own beverages. Drinking water is provided for guests of El Original, Original Chill, Coconut Express.
Sorry, we wish we control the weather but we can’t. We do not offer refunds or discount for rain or bad weather unless a trip is canceled by us for safety reason. May through October are months where it can rain very often, and November through April can have high winds that make the seas rough. The weather changes often in the islands, our experienced guides and hosts do their best to keep guests dry, but the islands are a very rustic area and guests must be prepared accordingly for changing weather conditions. Click here for more information about cancelations and refund policies.
We operate trips and accept reservations every day, all year. We accept reservations until a trip is full or 6 pm the day prior to departure. If you’re having trouble making your reservation, here’s a step by step guide:
We love discounts just as much as everyone else, although there are some restrictions by the Guna Community, such as: “In Guna Yala guests age 11 and older are charged as adults”. Here’s the general info:
There’s a thing about taking pictures, nudity, and pets among others that are part of the Guna culture, so please take a moment to read what you shouldn’t do while on the islands. After all, we are guests here:
The use of:
Is totally prohibited. As well as doing things such as:
As noted above use of Drones are prohibited in Guna Yala, and filming that is used for any public purpose (even if not monetized) requires a permit from the Guna government. These permits are difficult to get and take a long time. As a visitor, you are welcome to take photos of nature and public areas. If you would like to take pictures of the Guna people please ask for their permission first. Some Gunas will charge you $1 per photo, some might completely refuse because they don’t want their picture online. So please respect this. The Guna kids love to be in pictures but please also ask them first too. If their parents around ask them for permission.
The evening before the trip we will send you a message by Whatsapp or email with a specific pick up time for your location as well as a reminder of important trip information. Here’s a breakdown of the transport on each day:
AT TIMES THE BOAT RIDES WILL BE WET AND BUMPY, sometimes very wet (this is part of the adventure). Make sure to protect all your valuable items such as phone, camera etc. There is not always a dock to help guests in and out of the boat. Guests must be in good enough physical condition to board the boats from the beach.
The weather in Guna Yala is hard to predict and changes quickly. I can be sunny, cloudy, calm, windy, raining and/or thunderstorms all in one day. We do not give refunds or discounts if the weather is not to your liking, although here’s what we know by experience:
The beds in dorms don’t have any mosquitos net because there are not many mosquitos on the islands. Most of the bug bites that do occur in the islands come from sand flies. When it is not windy occasionally sand flies can be present and annoying. The sand flies are not so dangerous but they do bite. Generally, they bite feet and ankles when you are in the sand. We do our best to avoid islands where this is a problem, but San Blas is a very rugged and natural place so not everything can be avoided. The best thing the guest can do to protect against bugs is to: