Adventure, Conservation and Education

EcoCircuitos is specialized in educational travel experiences. Our guides are experts in their field and provide in-depth insights and understandings from culture and history to biodiversity. These understandings foster authentic travel experiences as well as responsible encounters between travelers and nature, biodiversity and local people. Contact us and experience the real #Panama.

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Sailing in the San Blas Island, the Guna Archipelago

San Blas Archipelago, also known as the region of Guna/Kuna Yala, is formed by 365 coral islands and remains one of the best-kept secrets in the Caribbean for sailing charter. The best and most privileged way to discover San Blas is by sailing among its white sand islands and beautiful turquoise waters. Come on board and discover it with us!

Day 1: Arrival to El Porvenir in San Blas at 6:35 in the morning. We will pick them up for embarkation on our sailboat to start the charter. We will sail to Cayo Limon. Snorkel on a sunken ship covered in multicoloured coral and surrounded by crystal clear waters. Anchor at this idyllic spot to enjoy sunset and spend the night.

Day 2: After breakfast, we set sail to Salardup. Stroll on a small island, inhabited only by a Kuna family in charge of the cocunut palms. Swim and snorkel among the nicest coral reefs. Delicious fresh fish and seafood barbecue aboard.

Day 3: We will pull up the anchor and set sail to Coco Bandero, a group of extremely scenic islands, described by many, as the most beautiful in all of San Blas, with their white sand beaches and pristine waters.

Day 4: We will set sail at noon and enjoy a couple of hours of sailing among the islands of San Blas, we may fish on our way to Wichuwuala, where we will visit a small Kuna villag to discover their traditions and craftworks.

 Day 5: Guest’s disembark soon in the morning in El Porvenir, to take the flight back to Panama City.

 Note: Itinerary may be adapted by the skipper to weather conditions and, as far as possible, to the guests’ preferences.

Price per person: $740.00 for a minimum of 4 passengers traveling together.

Prices include:

– Rental of the boat with crew

– Boat and passenger’s insurance

– Fuel and water tanks

– Sheets

– Dinghy with outboard engine

– Snorkeling gear

– Fishing gear

– Meals on board based on fish, seafood, fresh local vegetables and fruits

– Drinks on board in reasonable consumption (water, sodas, fruit juices, beer, wine

and local rum)

 

Prices do not include:

– Fly tickets and transfers to San Blas

– All expenses outside the boat

– Local taxes: 10 USD per person approx.

 

Some suggestions:

Climate:

– Tropical weather, below the Caribbean hurricane zone, with temperatures between

28 and 33ºC (80-90ºF). Seawater temperature around 28ºC (82ºF)

 

What to bring:

– We recommend to pack lightly in soft luggage for storage reasons. Most of our

guests tend to pack more than they end up using. Life on board is casual, so bring

some shorts, summer cotton clothes, a long sleeve shirt and long pants, bathing suit

and towel, cap or hat, sunglasses, a light rain jacket, sandals or reef runners and sun

protection.

Day Adventure and Cruise arrival in San Blas with EcoCircuitos

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The San Blas Archipelago and surrounding sea are the main attractions in Guna Yala—an indigenous comarca (autonomous territory) stretching more than 200 km (120 miles) along Panama’s northeast coast—but the traditional culture of the Kuna is a close second. The comarca is composed of a thin strip of land dominated by a mountain range called the Serranía de San Blas and the 365 San Blas Islands that dot the coastal waters. Although much of the world still refers to this region by its former name, San Blas, you’ll endear yourself to residents by using the name they give to their home, Guna Yala. Note that you may also see it spelled Kuna Yala, but Guna leaders voted to change the spelling from Kuna to Guna in 2010.

On January 13th we had the visit of the Variety Voyager small Cruise Ship to the islands of San Blas and EcoCircuitos Panama organize a day of adventures with our team and our local guna guides.  For more information of day tours, mini groups and incentives, please contact us at info@ecocircuitos.com

How much chocolate do the Guna people eat?

guna peopleFrom STRI.org

Jeffrey Barnes, STRI short-term fellow from Dawson College in Quebec asked household heads in Panama’s indigenous community of Aligandi if they had Siagwa (cacao), and answers varied “from a simple yes or no, to an enthusiastic demonstration of their hidden stash” of cacao beans; the source ingredient for chocolate. Others showed Barnes a bag of processed cocoa powder.

Barnes found the Guna (or Kuna) people hold cacao in high esteem. It is an essential component of countless ceremonies. But, likely due to plant diseases, consumption of Siagwa beverages has remained low since mid-century. In Aligandi, a Caribbean island community, consumption of locally derived cacao beverages is less than one cup per week.

Barnes’ findings contrast with studies suggesting Guna consume up to four or five cacao beverages daily. This may have been true in the 1950s, but not today, Barnes contents. High consumption of locally derived cacao has been publicized as key to the cardiovascular fitness of the Guna and used to highlight health benefits of chocolate.

In evaluating household consumption of cacao, Barnes proposes a novel method that might help nutritionists to refine their understanding of indigenous diets – a practice that Barnes argues is easier said than done.

Kuna Yala – Forests, Culture, amazing Islands and Beaches

The Paradise on Earth

Anne Kehmeier

Early in the morning we left Panama City to begin our one-day adventure in Kuna Yala, also known as San Blas. We went by car to Kuna Yala, which was one of the best choices during the trip as the countryside is marvelous and the route is very interesting. We passed through the impressive forests and crossed several small and big hills which created feelings close to rollercoaster rides. The route was very fascinating; we were almost the only car as far as the eyes could see. It felt like a world disconnected from the rest of the planet. After the three hour ride we arrived at the pier where we met the local guide. We boarded a motor boat and started our trip around the amazing archipielago of San Blas or Kuna Kingdom. Firstly, we visited a small village of Carti. We got to know many local kuna people and explored the village and learned about their daily life on the island. We visited for example the school, the library and saw the museum of culture of the Kuna people and so we experienced the friendly attitudes and curiosity of the local people. It was very exciting to see how the Kuna people organize their lives, for example by designing the traditional Molas, made by the Kuna women, which are really beautiful. We continued our trip to one of the other paradisiacal islands where we enjoyed the pure and white sand and the ocean of dazzling turquoise and clear water, a paradise barely describable. We had the opportunity to swim and relax a bit in the wonderful water and to explore the nearby coral reefs close to the island. After this small break we kept on with the trip and crossed the ocean to different other islands. After arriving at the island El Perro or Achu we had nice and traditional lunch in a locally Kuna owned restaurant. The lunch consisted of a delicious meal of fresh fish, coco rice, salad and patacones (fried plantain) and fresh watermelon as dessert. In the afternoon we had some time to enjoy the tranquility and beauty of the island. We also had some time to explore the small island by walking around and by taking some amazing pictures. Then, after this wonderful day in paradise, we headed back to the pier and started the way back to Panama City.