The San Blas archipelago is located off the Caribbean coast, east of Colon, and is made up of 365 islands that range in size from tiny ones with a few coconut palms to islands on which hundreds of Kuna Indians live. Only about fifty are inhabited. The Kuna rule the San Blas Territory with internal autonomy, and have tightly preserved their language and cultural traditions over the centuries despite influences from European colonies. View more
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The San Blas archipelago is located off the Caribbean coast, east of Colon, and is made up of 365 islands that range in size from tiny ones with a few coconut palms to islands on which hundreds of Kuna Indians live. Only about fifty are inhabited. The Kuna rule the San Blas Territory with internal autonomy, and have tightly preserved their language and cultural traditions over the centuries, despite influences from European colonies. In addition to their own language, Spanish is widely spoken and many men work on the mainland, but live on the islands. The women wear costumes with unique designs based on local themes, geometric patterns, stylized fauna and flora.
The island of El Porvenir is one of the main seats of government for the Kuna Indians. Many Kunas from the other islands came to settle on El Porvenir, bringing with them their traditional arts and crafts, including the famous molas. These intricately hand-sewn designs are made by the women of the tribes as part of their blouses and dresses. With the increased tourism, molas are now a favoured souvenir and craft item for visitors.
Please Note: There are no organised tours available. Walking is over uneven ground and distance is at guest's discretion, the pathways are not accessible for guests who utilise a wheelchair.
Going Ashore in San Blas Islands
The ship is scheduled to anchor off Carti Island. Guests will be taken via the ship's tenders to the island where they can explore the small settlement on foot. There are no structured facilities, but guests may wander through the narrow pathways lined by wooden dwellings.
Local women sell souvenir items, in particular the intricately stitched and colourful molas used on blouses, bags and T-shirts. U.S. dollars are readily accepted. If you are planning to take photographs, be sure to bring a supply of dollar bills ashore with you.
Tenders operate continuously and guests may return to the ship at any time.