Guna Yala Explorer
Guna Yala Explorer
4.5
Cultural ToursHistorical & Heritage ToursBoat ToursNature & Wildlife ToursDay Trips
5:00 AM - 6:00 PM
Monday
5:00 AM - 6:00 PM
Tuesday
5:00 AM - 6:00 PM
Wednesday
5:00 AM - 6:00 PM
Thursday
5:00 AM - 6:00 PM
Friday
5:00 AM - 6:00 PM
Saturday
5:00 AM - 6:00 PM
Sunday
5:00 AM - 6:00 PM
About
Guna Yala Explorer its owned and operated by 100% Guna Indigenous Staff. We have high knowledge of San Blas Islands, culture & History. We offer Day tours and differents options of Hostal & cabins.
San Blas Islands, Panama

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Tours and Tickets by Guna Yala Explorer

Most Recent: Reviews ordered by most recent publish date in descending order.

Detailed Reviews: Reviews ordered by recency and descriptiveness of user-identified themes such as wait time, length of visit, general tips, and location information.


4.5
4.5 of 5 bubbles308 reviews
Excellent
266
Very good
22
Average
6
Poor
8
Terrible
6

Chinitagirl
Usakos, Namibia3 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Jan 2020 • Friends
The highlight of our visit. This company has the best boat of the area and English speakers staff. We visited the indigenous community.

After looking for different companies to take the tour to the San Blas Islands.

We decided to take the Full Day Tour with Guna Yala Explorer.

First of all, Osiris the girl who attends the whatsapp, excellent communication with her and especially in English. We visited Isla Pelicano from the netflix series, another additional island, the natural pool, and as a last point we visited the indigenous community, in which Blanco explained in detail all about its culture and history.

All the staff was very helpful. If you are looking for the best organized tour in San Blas Islands, do no hesitate to contact Osiris, is the best travel advisor of the area.

Thanks, Joel, Osiris, Blanco, Karin , edgar and our captain
Written January 18, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

MiriamA
7 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
May 2021 • Family
Guna Yala Explorer exceeded my expectations! Communication was prompt and answered the many questions I had. Joel and Osiris arrived on time for pick up. The island was beautiful with very calm turquoise waters. During the boat ride to the island, you’ll get a chance to pass by other islands and communities.
Our lunch (fried fish) was delicious.
We relaxed on the beach, in the water, a post-lunch nap on the hammock, then back in the water. During our visit, overnight stay wasn’t allowed yet due to COVID restrictions but I was able to check out the beautiful cabins.
Thanks so much to the Guna Yala community for giving us the opportunity to visit their island and to Guna Yala Explorer for making it happen. Highly recommended! Can’t wait to visit again.
Written June 7, 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

marilena57
Sao Paulo521 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Mar 2015 • Couples
wonderful islands. paradise. but the trip to get there is not for everyone. the 4 x 4 that is used is not comfortable specailly if you sit at the very back. the winding road can make you sick. the driver does not speak. the boat that takes you to the island is unconfortable and if the sea is rough it can hurt your back. check what is included. I was told if more people came with us we would pay $165, if only us $185. there were 4 other people in the car but they charged me $185. they said the entrance to the park was included but we had to pay $20 at the kuna land border.
Written March 30, 2015
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

panamex
Los Alamitos, CA25 contributions
3.0 of 5 bubbles
Apr 2015 • Couples
We called to arrange tour through hotel, and got a good rate. it seemed to be low season for bookings. Our travel to boat dock was a 4x4 truck on a very bumpy long road. If you get car sick, take medication. once, we got to water, we took a small boat on a very choppy water. If you get seasick, take medication. i do get seasick, but it was a fast boat and the boat was open and i got drenched. The guide took us to one island and did not take us to the other two islands we were suppose to visit. He left us on the island and appeared to arrange our lunch arrangement. We were disappointed we did not get to other islands. i saw other guides asking their group if they wanted to go visit other islands. Beautiful islands.
Written April 21, 2015
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Hetal S
18 contributions
2.0 of 5 bubbles
Dec 2018 • Family
This review is to warn people with motion sickness that the ride to San Blas islands is pretty rough in terms of up and down the mountainous drive on road which is full of potholes and it takes approximately three hours to get to the banks of Caribbean Sea followed by an extremely bumpy ride in a small boat to San Blas islands which can take anywhere between 45 minutes to an hour. Unfortunately there is no genuine approximation of time by the local people every time you ask them they will say anything is within 20 minutes so please be aware if you have a predisposition to motion sickness be ready to be drugged up or sick. Although I must say that it is one of a beautiful geological wonder so if you are a fan of ocean and adventure this site will not disappoint you.
Written January 6, 2019
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Remy’s World
Las Vegas, NV53 contributions
2.0 of 5 bubbles
Apr 2018
This was the one part of our trip that I was really looking to, but was heavily disappointed. I booked with this company due to the rave reviews, but please think twice.

Two days before our scheduled tour, I emailed the company to ask for confirmation regarding the pick-up time and got no response. So, the night prior, both my husband and I contacted them via WhatsApp and only one of us got a response late in the evening. Initially, the response said that they were full and could not accommodate more guests and I had to remind them that I had already booked the tour several months ago and it was paid in full. Then, they told us that our scheduled tour (including visit to the village) is now canceled and that we will not be having a English-speaking guide and no visit to the village. The owner then sent us an audio message saying that she is ill.

Finally, after telling us the pick-up time is 5:30 AM, we received a text from the driver at 5 AM saying that he is one minute away from our hotel. Imagine the panic we were in as we were trying to get ready. I texted him back to say we were told 5:30 AM and we would be there by 5:30 AM. Again, very poor communication with this company.

I sympathize with illness, but felt that this is quite unprofessional. Yes, people become ill, but there should be: 1. back-up plans in place to accommodate paying guests and 2. we should be offered alternative dates when the village tour can be accommodated. Neither was done in our case.

The food on this tour is very simple. People say it’s “good” but I beg to differ. You get one plate of fried whole fish or fried chicken with rice and a few pieces of iceberg lettuce salad. We saw photos of people getting shrimp or lobster, but this was not offered on our tour.
Written April 2, 2018
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
Dear Mr. Liang. I do not understand why you LIE, if it is true you book with time, I will NEVER cancel the tour. and told you that we do Not have spaces for you. Sorry for the Missunderstanding, You never told me who we are by whatsapp. I explained that for health reasons the guide in English that you requested could not attend to them since she was sick (I sent her a voice message) with my hoarse voice of the flu that I had for those days. You never begged us for your spaces, You had everything totally coordinated with US, for reasons of HEALTH I could not attend. In the San Blas Islands There are no guides in English, there are very few companies that provide this service. I got sick, and I really regret not having attended your tour. You were even given back the extra money you had paid. ( WE REFUND MONEY FOR THIS CASE) From what I see you were expecting to visit islands with restaurants like in Cancun among others. About the Driver, he always is 30 minutes before in all the Hotels. I told you the we are going to Pick up between 5:00- 5:30 a.m ( shared between 6 persons) Thankful for your comments, that helps us to better communicate with our future visitors who do not speak fluent Spanish.
Written April 3, 2018
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

Isabella D
Isabella D
Orlando, Florida, United States4 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Sep 2013 • Couples
We are so pleased that we chose Guna Yala Explorer for our trip in San Blas Islands I booked online.

All the arrangements were made by email with quick responses. Our driver Max met us just outside of our Hotel. This is a great tour for visitors who want to learn about San Blas Islands from the locals. I contacted Joel several months ago and made arrangements with him to conduct a day tour We loved the entire tour and would not hesitate to use him again. I highly recommend Joel and Guna Yala Explorer Day Tours.
Written October 7, 2013
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
Dear Isabella: Thank you for choosing us during your day tour in San Blas Islands. We are proud to offer the best in service, and we are delighted to read you were able to experience the Day Tour We hope to continue serving you. Come see us again!
Written June 4, 2014
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

Suraj111
McKinney, TX14 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Mar 2018 • Family
We did a day trip with Guna Yala Explorer to San Blas Islands and that was the highlight of our 5 day trip to Panama. We contacted them through Whatsapp and once we were in Panama, we gave our hotel address and confirmed our booking through Whatsapp. Thanks to the earlier reviews about the trip to San Blas, we knew what to expect.
Our driver showed up early around 5:30/6 am in a 4x4. There were already a couple in the car and along with 3 of us, we had ample space. We paid the driver the charges in cash. When the car stopped for the necessary supplies pickup at the Rey supermarket, we took the seasickness pill. That helped us a lot and we didn’t feel sick at all during the drive as well as the bumpy boat ride. The driver was very considerate since couple of us were in the last row and he drove very carefully at the hairpin bends and the turns. Once we reached the dock, there were many people just waiting for their boats to take them to the island. But our driver kept in touch with us and once the boat was ready, off we went. We were about 8-10 people in the boat and the ride was bumpy but fun. We dropped off a few people who were going to stay longer at one of the islands. Then we went to the 1st island of the trip. Crystal clear blue water, white sand, it was picturesque ! We checked with the Guna Yala guide who was with us in the boat about the plans and she said we would be there for couple of hours and have lunch there. She spoke good English and we had no problem communicating with her. Based on GB_Williams recommendations, we had got the Sawyer 20%Picaridin from Dicks for the sand flies and it really kept them out. We had brought our snorkeling gear so we snorkeled for a bit. The water was so clear we could see the bottom 3-4 feet down. Lunch was staple Panamanian diet, fish, rice and veggies. They cut a pineapple for desert. It was awesome. Next we went to the natural pool and it was mindblowing. The shade of water in the pool was totally different than that of the surrounding ocean. And imagine, you are wading through waist high clear water in the middle of the ocean. The sand below was white and soft. After being there for an eternity, we went to the 3rd island with a sand bar. There we were able to see a starfish. Since it has been advised not to touch it or lift it above water, we just took pictures of it. There were nice rustic shacks right on the water which looked right out of a postcard.
We found Guna Yala Explorer to be efficient and professional and we had a great time. I highly recommend spending the day at San Blas and doing it with Guna Yala Explorer.
Written June 4, 2018
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Stewart R
Texas171 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Jun 2017 • Family
The Guna Yala province is one of the most beautiful places on earth and Guna Yala Explorer helped make our day trip a fantastic experience. We went as a family with small kids and they did such a great job of helping us coordinate everything. We had to switch our dates at the last minute due to a transportation issue and they were so professional and kind in getting things changed around so we could still make the day trip happen. I cannot say enough good things about the Guna Yala Explorer staff. Joel drove us to and from Carti and I enjoyed getting to know him along the way. Many people are afraid of the drive into the Guna Yala province, but it is not that bad and Joel made the trip very safe and enjoyable. The scenery during the drive to Carti is spectacular!

Bambi hosted us and was our guide and he was also great. We visited 3 islands, including a stop at a community island where we got to spend about 25 minutes learning the Guna culture and shopping for authentic Guna crafts and Mola designs. The beaches are pristine and the lunch was fantastic. We even asked one of the Guna on the island if he could bring down some fresh coconuts and he prepared them so we could drink the juice on the beach and eat the coconut meat. The whole day was like paradise. Our family enjoyed everything about the islands and the people. Next time we need to stay for 2-3 days out there. Highly recommend Guna Yala Explorer to anyone - plan in advance.
Written June 15, 2017
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Erik V
281 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Feb 2017 • Couples
Me & my girlfriend decided to visit the San Blas Islands at the last minute & we were really happy that we were able to go with Guna Yala Explorer. We joined a family from Brazil so the owner Osiris actually came along so she could explain everything to us in English too, even though there was also an English guide - that's above & beyond. We chatted a lot in the car ride there & back so we really came away with a fantastic understanding of the Kuna culture (Osiris is Kuna herself) & the islands.

We were picked up from our accommodation at 5:30am, the van was very comfortable but a bit chilly from the a/c. When we arrived we got a bottle of orange juice & a gourmet sandwich that was absolutely delicious.

Then we took a boat through the mangroves to the first island, where there was a community of Kuna people living - a local English-speaking guide took us around, we met some of the inhabitants, visited a home & community spaces & a museum/shop. Here you can also buy Kuna art for a lot cheaper than elsewhere in Panama.

Then we went to Icodub Island, which I believe is the most developed in San Blas. We had about 3 hours here to ourselves, which was just the right amount of time to relax, swim, snorkel (the reefs are actually pretty good & we saw many squid) & have lunch. I read many reviews of small portions on San Blas but I had a whole large fish + 2 sides and a coke (you are given many options to choose from for main & sides).

Then we took a long boat ride to a Natural Pool with starfish - this was amazing to see & one of my highlights, never seen anything like it! There were so many starfish together in a group & the water was so clear.

Finally, we stopped at Dog Island for 1hr+ which was another beautiful spot. There's a shipwreck here with many fish & coral around it, the snorkeling is excellent. Snorkel rental is $6, you can bring your own if you have it.

Back at the pier, local fishermen sell huge lobsters & crabs, you'll definitely want to snap some up if you have access to a kitchen.

All in all, it was one of the best tours we have ever taken - especially for Central America, the level of professionalism & customer service with Guna Yala Explorer was very high. We got an excellent breakfast & lunch and taken to the best islands for beaches & Kuna culture and we had 2 English guides - awesome value for money. It's a long day but you see & do a lot without feeling rushed and it's definitely worth it, the San Blas Islands are the best part of Panama.
Written March 10, 2017
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

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