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San Blas Islands & the Guna Indians

From: $600
3 days • Level 1 (Details)
    
San Blas Islands & the Guna Indians
Without a doubt the best preserved of all of the indigenous cultures of the Americas is the Guna. The Guna people are so determined to protect their heritage that they have maintained their autonomy. In Guna Yala (the land of the Guna), known to the rest of the world as the San Blas Islands, an indigenous independent Congress still rules. Comprised by some 365 islands, less than 60 of th em are inhabited. Turquoise waters surround white-sand beaches dotted with palm trees and thatched-roof Guna villages.

Your home base on this cruise extension is Yandup Lodge, owned and operated by a Guna family where the accommodations are basic but comfortable in traditional Guna-style huts.
read more Without a doubt the best preserved of all of the indigenous cultures of the Americas is the Guna. The Guna people are so determined to protect their heritage that they have maintained their autonomy. In Guna Yala (the land of the Guna), known to the rest of the world as the San Blas Islands, an indigenous independent Congress still rules. Comprised by some 365 islands, less than 60 of them are inhabited. Turquoise waters surround white-sand beaches dotted with palm trees and thatched-roof Guna villages.

Your home base on this cruise extension is Yandup Lodge, owned and operated by a Guna family where the accommodations are basic but comfortable in traditional Guna-style huts.
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Day 1 - Arrive Yandup - Beach, Snorkeling, Culture & Rainforest

Day 2 - Exploration in San Blas

Day 3 - Return to Panama City


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Day 1 - Arrive Yandup - Beach, Snorkeling, Culture & Rainforest

Early this morning you are picked up at the lobby of our hotel and transferred to Albrook Airport. Depart by small plane to San Blas and arrive at Playon Chico where a representative of Yandup Lodge will meet you. Yandup Lodge is located about 15 minutes from the airstrip via dugout canoe in the center of the Guna Yala reserve. A half mile from the Ukupseni community or Playón Chico and just under a mile from the tropical forest and the airport, Yandup is a paradise island that has its own little beach and is surrounded by coral reefs and calm, crystal clear water. Yandup belongs to a small archipelago, where you can even go swimming from one island to the other, crossing channels of various depths. Owned and operated by a Guna family, the accommodations are basic but comfortable in traditional Guna-style huts with cozy beds, ceiling fan, private bathrooms and a hammock on the front porch. Family-style meals are served in the dining room overlooking the Caribbean. There is no hot water on the island. Electricity from solar panels is available 24 hours at 110V and small generators provide even larger electricity voltage.

After settling in and having breakfast, choose to visit beautiful islands where you can snorkel in the crystal clear waters of the Caribbean and relax on the beach or to hike in the dense tropical forest to a nearby waterfall where you might take a refreshing swim. Here you can observe varied vegetation, including some agricultural forest farms. Return to the lodge to relax at one of the hammocks before having lunch. In the afternoon you will have more tour options followed by dinner.
ACCOMMODATIONS:
Yandup Lodge
MEALS:
breakfast, lunch and dinner

Day 2 - Exploration in San Blas

Your choice of excursions continues, with options such as more snorkeling, beach time, rainforest walks, sailing around the island in a typical Guna dug-out canoe or sailing in a boat through mangroves near the island to an area that seems like a natural swimming pool due to the clear water and the fact that it’s surrounded by islands and coral reefs. You can opt to visit neighboring Guna villages to learn about the Guna way of life and their traditional ceremonies, and stop by a traditional cemetery or arts and crafts market. Visit the communal house of “Sahilas” (Guna chiefs) where decisions in favor of the community are made, advice on all aspects of life is offered and the local laws are enforced. Learn about the construction of the typical Guna house, the economy, the traditional “mola,” and the processing of sugar cane into the local drink.
ACCOMMODATIONS:
Yandup Lodge
MEALS:
breakfast, lunch and dinner

Day 3 - Return to Panama City

After breakfast take the short ride aboard a dugout canoe to the airstrip to board the plane back to Panama City. You will be met and transferred to your hotel upon arrival.
ACCOMMODATIONS:
n/a
MEALS:
breakfast

Itinerary Notes

The San Blas & Guna Indians trip is designed to be a trip extension and may only be booked in conjunction with our Panama small ship cruises, our longer Panama tours or as part of a custom Panama tour. We apologize for any inconvenience this may cause.

Arrival & Departure

The San Blas Islands and the Kuna Indian Adventure begins and ends in Panama City. A pre and post hotel night is required. Please plan flights to arrive one day prior and depart one day after the outlined itinerary from Tocumen International Airport.
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Departs Any Day:
Prices listed are per person for double occupancy, unless noted otherwise. Contact the experts at AdventureSmith Explorations to book a departure.

$600 - Per Person 2014

2014 rates apply December 1, 2013 through November 30, 2014.
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Included

All lodging, land, air and water transportation as specified, all airport/hotel transfers when arriving and departing on the stated arrival and departure dates of the group, meals as specified in the itinerary, one bottle of water per meal, hotel taxes, entrance fees to National Parks, museums and places of interest in effect at the time of booking unless otherwise specified, lcoal guide services, 2 excursions per day.

Exclusions

Airfare to Panama, Panama City hotel, excess baggage charges, 7% tax, port fees, tourist card ($5), gratuities to transfer and naturalist guides, items of a personal nature such as alcoholic beverages, snorkeling equipment (can be rented at Yandup Lodge for a small fee), and insurance of any kind. Note that the local Guna staff speaks fluent Spanish and little English.

Weight restrictions apply to luggage in commercial and chartered flights within Panama. A maximum of 30 lbs (11 kg) of checked luggage and 5 lbs (2.5 kg) of carry-on per person is allowed. Arrangements can be made with your hotel or Ancon Expeditions to store luggage that will not be needed while away from the city. Excess baggage charges assessed by commercial carriers are the responsibility of the passenger.

Room Configuration

Rooms may be booked as a single for a $150 supplement. Extra nights are available at $160 per person, double occupancy.

Payment & Cancellation

In order to confirm this trip, a deposit of $500 is required at the time of booking. A Reservation Form, which includes a release of liability, must be completed and signed by all travelers. The balance of the trip price is due 90 days before the departure date. Guests who must cancel their trip for any reason must do so in writing. Cancellations are subject to the following fees, based on number of days prior to departure:
Up to 91 days - 50% of deposit
90 to 31 days - 50% of total trip cost
30 to 0 days - 100% of total trip cost

Terms & Conditions

This trip is subject to AdventureSmith Explorations Terms and Conditions. Please read this information carefully and call us if you have any questions. A packing list and extensive pre-departure and travel insurance information is sent upon confirmation.

Travel Insurance

Protect your travel investment with insurance. Our partners at Travelex Insurance offer a variety of plans and policies to fit every trip and budget. You must purchase your travel insurance policy within 21 days of booking your trip for it to cover pre-existing medical conditions. Learn more about travel insurance or get a free quote.
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