Wild Card & Sovereign Grace, Colombia To Panama
From Cartagena, Colombia
Please carefully read all the details below if you are interested in taking one of our trips from Colombia to Panama on Wild Card or Sovereign Grace. Along with general itinerary and preparation information there are a number of ‘frequently asked questions’.
Booking & Payment
You can book directly with us via this website. A deposit of US$50.00 per person is required which is deducted from the total cost.
The final balance is then to be payed directly to your captain in CASH US$ or Colombia Pesos. We cannot accept PayPal or other electronic payment for the final amount.
What is included in the cost?
- Five nights aboard the boat
- Three main meals per day
- One fresh lobster/seafood dinner in Guna Yala
- Drinking water & Ice for your own beverages*
- All standard immigration agent and port authority fees
* Drinking water is supplied however many people who have been travelling are not accustomed to the taste of fresh water stored in tanks. You may want to considering taking your own.
What is not included in the cost?
- Guna Yala entry taxes $20pp, cash USD only
- Alcoholic drinks, sodas etc
You will normally leave Cartagena in the late afternoon/early evening. The exact time will be confirmed by the cptain the day before. The boat will be anchored in the bay near ‘Club Nautico Marina’ in Mange. Around 5 – 7 minutes by taxi from Getsemani, the main hotel and guest house area.
The length of the trip and what islands you will visit will depend on the weather and the anchoring conditions. You will likely visit 3 groups of islands with a total trip duration of about 5 nights total before departing in Puerto Lindo, Panama
Some occasions we may need to leave certain areas earlier than planned, or even stay longer. On all trips we will endeavour to spend 3 days within The San Bas Islands.
DAY 1 – Depart Cartagena late afetrnoon/early evening. Night at sea
DAY 2 – All day and night at sea
DAY 3 – Arrive San Blas early morning
DAY 4 – San Blas
DAY 5 – San Blas, night coastal sailing
DAY 6 – Finish trip in Puerto Lindo
Pre Departure Meeting
A pre-departure meeting will be arranged for all passengers. This will take place at Hostel Mamallena (Media Luna, Getsemani) at 7pm the night before departure. Please make sure you attend this meeting as final details regarding the departure time and meeting place will be given as well as full details regarding current immigration procedure. If you cannot make this meeting you must notify us in advance otherwise your place aboard the boat will be given to a standby passenger.
Passport drop off/Immigration Cartagena
The crew will either take your passport at the pre-departure meeting or ask you to leave it at a nearby agency office at 09:00am the following morning.
You should separate your belongings for the trip into a smaller bag as your large backpack will be stowed and difficult to reach. Here are some suggestions of what to bring along in your smaller luggage
- Sun protection
- Swimming costume
- A couple of T-Shirts & shorts, sandals etc
- Spending money $US (small denominations) Plus $20USD for Guna Yala Fee
- Snacks, juices/soda, alcohol
- Light jacket/sweater
It is very rare that there are any issues resulting in a delay however we advise passengers not to make any plans to leave Cartagena without two to three days free at the end of the trip. Poor weather, mechanical issues or administrative problems with port officials or immigration could all potentially cause a change to the planned departure or arrival day. Over the last several years this has affected less than 5% of all departures.
San Blas, Guna Yala
Guna Yala is an autonomous territory or ‘comarca’ comprised of approximately 350 islands off the Caribbean coast of Panama. The inhabitants of the San Blas Islands, as they are often called are indigenous people with their own laws, language congresso and distinct culture.
Wild Card has been sailing in the region for almost ten years, running popular backpacker sailing trips to between Colombia and Panama. The boat has a great relationship with the the inhabitants of the islands he visits who always provide a warm welcome when the boats drop anchor.
Frequently Asked Questions
What are the sleeping arrangements like?
Both boats have a limited number of small private double cabins. These are normally reserved by couples well in advance. The rest of the berths are made up of single and doubles in shared cabins. There is very limited privacy on a sailboat. If you are not comfortable in a normal hostel dormitory situation then you should consider if the trip is right for you.
If there are not enough couples on board single passengers may be required to share with another passenger. We recommend booking well in advance to secure a standard berth.
You will be travelling in a tropical climate. Fans are provided in sleeping areas however it still might get hot. Hatches may need to be closed for safety reason when the boat is sailing limiting the amount of fresh breeze entering the boat.
What do we do each day?
What ever you want (to an extent!) Beach parties, bonfire, vollyball, interacting with the Kuna, snorkeling, swimming, relaxing and coco locos (rum & coconut) on the beach. We have plenty of snorkel sets and we will take you to some of the islands best spots for marine wildlife and reefs. If you want to go ashore to the beach or village just ask and we will take you across by motorized tender if you don’t want to swim.
Will I have to show immigration an onward ticket on arrival?
Panamanian immigration are notorious for changing their rules regarding proof of onward travel. As things currently stand passengers arriving with Wild Card or Sovereign Grace do not need to show any proof of onward travel or pay any entry. Wild Card and Sovereign Grace are full commercial vessels registered in Panama, and therefore passengers are excluded from paying any additional costs.
Please not this is only applicable for passengers travelling on passports which would not normally require a visa to enter Panama.
Will we actually be sailing?
This obviously depends on the wind first and foremost. plus any safety concerns the captain may have. At certain times of year the simply isn’t enough wind, other times it may be blowing in the wrong direction or even too strong. The comfort of all passengers aboard is paramount at all times.
Can we bring our own alcohol?
Yes. You can bring your own alcoholic beverages and we will even provide block ice to keep them cool. For safety reason the Captain may restrict the consumption of alcohol outside on deck while the boat is under way in open seas between the Islands and Cartagena.
Do you take bicycles and motorcycles?
Bicycles go FREE if we have the space to take them.
Unfortunately we do not offer motorcycle shipping from Colombia at present, only from Panama. Customs, coast guard and port officials in Cartagena have so far failed to provide any assurances that it is legal to ship from Colombia in this manner. There are no inspections or safeguards by them to protect either the boat or motorcycle owner nor a clear and adequate customs procedure.