amazing Guna yala (San Blas islands)

Bareboat Charter in San Blas Islands. Amazing 365 islands trip

With bright turquoise water, remote islands, and bright sunny days, San Blas is a sailor’s dream. The islands off the coast of Panama have been a well-kept secret, but more and more adventurers are seeking out its beauty. So, if you’re a sailor, it might be one of your top destinations to explore. But before you go looking for a bareboat charter in San Blas Islands, there are a few things you need to know.

 

Sailing around the islands requires a deep, deep knowledge of the intricate coral reefs and sandbanks. Sailors have to be able to perform technical maneuvers to drop anchor and make it back in one piece. For the safety of everyone, we don’t offer bareboat charters, and neither do any other companies (if they do, that’s a red flag).

In this article, we’ll explain exactly why we don’t offer a bareboat charter in San Blas Islands. We still want you to experience the incredible region, so we have another wonderful charter option for you!

catamaran san blas
panama charter san blas

Why We Don’t Offer a Bareboat Charter in San Blas Islands

We know how special sailing trips are, especially when you’re the captain of the boat. As you well know, the ocean is unforgiving, and San Blas is not the place to have an emergency. The region consists of more than 365 islands and cays that are very remote. Only 49 of them are inhabited by the local tribe, the Kuna, and there’s minimal infrastructure and zero marinas. So, when sailing in the San Blas Islands, you are completely alone and vulnerable to weather conditions. If something breaks down, and you need a new part, well, too bad. You are guaranteed not to find it on any of the islands.

^

Non updated shoals and rocks on chart plotters

^

culo de pollo (strong and short wind)

^

Shallow water

Of course, having solitude is one of our favorite parts about sailing–and probably yours, too. But here in the San Blas Islands, things can go wrong quickly if you’re unfamiliar with the area. Most of the islands and cays are surrounded by shallow waters, shoals and coral reefs. One wrong move and your hull will be scraping the floor, damaging the coral reef and the vessel, and potentially putting you in danger. There’s no better way to kill the mood than running aground on a remote island where help is far, far away–piña coladas will have to wait.

Let us give you an idea of how fast things can change while sailing the region. A notorious short burst of wind occurs around the islands, and the locals have named it Culo de Pollo. The winds famously reach speeds of 50 knots and wash sailors onto the rocks, where their boats and trips get ruined–not ideal!

So, even if you did find a way to book a bareboat charter in San Blas Islands (which isn’t possible), your abilities to visit certain places would be massively limited by the myriad of coral reefs. You’d miss out on some of the best spots to experience, and that’s what the trip is supposed to be all about, right?

Bareboat Charter in San Blas Islands with A Professional License

Even if you have a professional boating license, a bareboat charter still won’t be possible. It’s not because we, and other companies, don’t believe you’re a qualified sailor. No, no, no, it’s because every year, we see experienced sailors who know the area well damage their vessels and sometimes even lose them to the ocean. It’s an expensive risk we can’t take, nor do we want to put anyone in harm’s way!

So, what can you do if a bareboat charter in San Blas Islands isn’t possible?

san blas islands private charter
san blas way of life and culture

The Best San Blas Islands Charter Option

Well, we do have good news for you! You can charter a lovely catamaran with a captain who lives and breathes the San Blas Islands. He or she will be able to shimmy the vessel through tight sections and bring you to some of the most gorgeous locations you’ll ever see. The captains are aware that many people wish they could be sailing on a bareboat charter in San Blas Islands, so some of them will allow experienced passengers to help with the sails. Not all captains will do this, but you can verify before booking your trip. And maybe–just maybe–you’ll even be able to touch the helm!

 

Your chances of finding a captain who is willing to let you help are high since there are plenty of catamarans to book on our website. Private charters are available, so you’re more than welcome to be the only passenger on the boat if solitude is what you’re looking for.

A catamaran charter includes a small crew consisting of a captain, a private chef, and sometimes an additional deckhand (depending on which vessel you choose). On the boat, you’ll be able to kick back, relax, and take in the stunning beauty around you. There will be opportunities to go kayaking, snorkeling, paddle boarding, and much more. Once you anchor at an island or cay, your captain will take you to shore on a dinghy, where you can explore, have a BBQ, and sit by a bonfire. Sounds pretty nice, right?

Once you’re a few hours into your trip, you’ll see that not being able to do a bareboat charter in San Blas Islands isn’t so bad after all.

Benefits of a Classic Catamaran Charter

On a classic catamaran charter, you won’t have to worry about one single thing except deciding what fun activities you want to do. The San Blas Islands are truly fascinating, not just because of the beautiful scenery. Your captain will take you to the best locations and ensure you get the full-on cultural experience as you visit inhabited islands where you can see how the Kuna people live. Not to mention, having a private chef onboard ain’t too bad!

tourism panama by boat

Final Thoughts: Bareboat Charter in San Blas Islands

We wish we could offer a bareboat charter in San Blas Islands, but for everyone’s sake, it just isn’t possible. Luckily, our classic catamaran charters are world-class, and you’ll see a side of the region not many people get to experience. If you have any questions, we’re more than happy to help guide you through the booking process. Enjoy your trip!

Rate Catamaran San Blas