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Ways to Experience San Blas Islands
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Reviewed July 28, 2012

Visited the San Blas on a sailing boat (on the last voyage of the Andiamo - another story entirely).

Tranquil and beautiful. The views from the boat changed continually during the day, easy to jump off and go snorkeling or just swim to an island and just relax and catch the sun. Daily deliveries of fresh lobster, fish or crab (we turned away the boat with the turtle…) – highly recommended and a highlight of Panama. Remember to bring your own alcohol and “snacks” with you – nothing is available on the islands and I would recommend you bring your own snorkel mask.

Date of experience: July 2012
1  Thank Peter S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed July 19, 2012

Steer clear of Andiamo. I too was on a 'tour' gone awry in July.
Save your money and find another sailing company that will sail and feed you!

My instincts were on alert when I couldn't pay the balance on PayPal and Mitzy insisted on coming to get the payment in cash the night before. Which she did on time.
And then when her last email came that said, "When you arrive tell the Kuna you are going to Isla Perro. Don't mention Andiamo."

I've traveled all over the world and understand hurry up and wait...

The web site is fantastic if only it was true.
We never put up the sail. We chugged to islands.

Aside from waiting for food that showed but was only ample for one dinner and a breakfast. If our fellow passenger hadn't bought lobster it would have been rice for dinner. We had PB & J's for breakfast the second morning. Mitzy told us she would refund us $110 per person and she disappeared when it came time to deliver it.

It was very disappointing to be lied to continually.

It's not worth your time and money. It will disappoint rather than enthrall.

Date of experience: July 2012
10  Thank Pamela325
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed July 12, 2012

WARNING: As of May 2012, Andiamo stopped paying its capitan, and currently the company owes over 10K in unpaid wages to various staff. During this time, owner Tony Santos (http://theandiamo.com/logwp/the-andiamo-crew/about-tony/) has conveniently “retired” from the company and denies any responsibility for mismanagement during his tenure. Mitzy, who handles the bookings, has made thousands of dollars disappear through a combination of negligence and disorganization. Your money is not safe in this company, and the boat can be arrested by Panamanian or Kuna authorities at any moment. DO NOT SAIL ANDIAMO.

Date of experience: July 2012
8  Thank love s
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed July 9, 2012

i have visited these amazing islands three times: 2004, 2011, 2012. the kuna are the original people of these islands and i hope they continue to keep control of their native land. the kuna are very friendly and warm people that live among these 300+ islands. several of these islands have main kuna settlements, while many of the other islands have a family or two living on the islands. many islands are inhabited. the water and beaches are easy access for swimming and snorkeling. the kuna prohibit scuba diving. you can experience the san blas islands by making sailing arrangements on a live aboard boat or stay on islands that have shelters...anything from a hut or tent. be prepared for basic accomodations. the current way to access the islands is 4x4 van services from panama city into kuna land to the coastal boat landing. there are several locations to access launches out to the islands and boats. this can be arranged by the the place/boat you will be staying at in san blas. you can also drive yourself. check ahead for parking availability/parking charges. the van service is about $30 each way. $6 fee to enter kuna lands and the launch boat to your island or sail boat is about $15-$20 each way. bring your passport and plenty of SMALL bills...one dollars and five dollars. as of july 2012 some piers charge you $2 to get onto a launch boat and even on some islands the kuna charge $2 to come onto the island. some islands are very clean and some have a lot of garbage washed up onto the beach. some islands have food and beverages available to buy. this is the place to buy molas and carved gourds from the locals. the kunas come up to your sail boat in their dug out canoes and show you their artisan products and also vendor boats sell fresh caught fish. this area is changing very fast. i hope the kuna keep out corporate commercialism!

Date of experience: July 2012
1  Thank likeah
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed July 9, 2012

Captain Alex's sailing cruises around San Blas islands was pretty good. We stayed with him and his pooch for 3 days and 2 nights aboard the Pacifica. It was clean and comfortable and at night, cool enough to sleep. However, during the day there was no wind so using the term sailing is a bit of a misnomer but the snorkeling was great. I recommend Dog Island where there is a sunken ship only about a few feet below the water so even the most inexperienced snorkelers can enjoy a captivating wreck. During the day be careful because the sun can burn quickly and there is very little shade available onboard.

Captain Alex is very flexible but not much of a talker. He tends to keep to himself for the most part which was fine with us as we were trying to capture some quality family time. His food is good if you like hotdogs, beef stew and grilled chicken with lots of fresh salad. We were lucky enough to also taste some fish he had caught a couple of days before. We also brought plenty of our own food so that we would have variety. I am glad we did as we were offered the same meal both days. Also note that the water Captain Alex has available for drinking is purified sea water and it tastes pretty bad. Thankfully we had brought some drinks with us but still not enough given the alternative to his water was nada.

I would recommend sailing with Alex as his prices are good compared to others I've heard. I would also recommend that you bring your own drinks and possibly extra foods that you like to increase the pleasure of your experience. There's some snorkeling gear on board that Alex is kind enough to share. Bring books too and extra towels as Alex provides one towel per person.

Date of experience: July 2012
2  Thank panamaone
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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