Booking & Payment
Five nights accommodation onboard
All meals, tea, coffee and water
One fresh lobster/seafood dinner
Standard immigration agent and port authority fees
Entry visa/fees to Panama
Guna Yala Congresso taxes $20USD
Alcoholic drinks, sodas etc
Please be aware that you may find our services advertised online with various agencies. These companies are totally independent booking agencies and have no control over our boats, crew or service in general, which has been around for many years before most of these agencies and other boats. The other services that they may advertise and reviews you may find online about them are in no way way related to Wild Card Sailing.
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 before finishing the trip in Puerto Lindo
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, departing for Puerto Lindo in the afternoon or early evening of final night. This part of the trip averages 8 – 10 hours but again can be affected by wind, sea and currents.
Pre – Departure Meeting – 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
Day 1 – You will normally leave Cartagena in the late afternoon/early evening. The exact time will be confirmed by the captain the day before at the meeting. 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.
You will probably at the Carulla Supermarket nearby to give everyone a final opportunity to buy last minute supplies. After boarding the boat dinner will be served and you will start the trip towards San Blas
Day 2 – You will awake at sea and spend the whole day negativing westwards. Depending on currents you might arrive to San Blas late this evening, anchoring overnight in a remote area.
Day 3 – This will be the first full day in San Blas. Most likely in one of the more tranquil anchorages in the outer section of the islands.
Day 4 – Another full day in San Blas. This time you will head further west to anchor at another popular location
Day 5 – The final day in San Blas before heading towards Puerto Lindo. You will visit one or two different locations before setting off towards the coast in the late afternoon or early evening.
Day 6 – You should arrive to Puerto Lindo early in the morning and will be free to leave the boat after breakfast
Transport To Panama City After The Trip
Group Transfer $25 Per Person
Private group bus transport will be available to Panama City from Puerto Lindo. They can make multiple drops at downtown hostels/hotels
The captain can arrange this in advance.
Public Bus $10
Public transport to Panama City takes up to 5 hours. Departures are limited
You will need to go to Colon before changing to a Panama City express bus
Frequently Asked Questions
The crew will do their best to cook tasty meals for anybody who is Vegetraian/Pescatarian or Vegan, however they will need to know with as much advance notice as possible. Gluten free meals are also possible however options are extremely limited, so you should consider taking some snacks for yourself.
Unfortunately it is simply not possible to prepare separate meals for you if you have a dislike for certain foods. You should also think about taking some snacks in case you do not like what is on offer.
If you have a genuine allergy, such as nuts, lactose products, shellfish or anything else then you should take appropriate measures, we can not guarantee that meals will be free from ingredients or products that may cause a reaction.
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.
Beach parties, bonfire, volleyball, meeting with the local Guna indians, snorkelling, swimming, relaxing and coco locos on the beach are some of the possible activities.
We have plenty of snorkel sets and we will take you to some of the islands best spots for marine wildlife and reefs.
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.
We remind everyone to be sensible regarding the amount they drink. We want everyone to have a good time and try to confine partying and drinking to the boat and uninhabited island areas so there are no negative impacts on the local indigenous communities.
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.
Refunds & Cancellations
CANCELLATION BY PASSENGER
If you need to cancel your trip for any reason you should notify us at the earliest possible opportunity. Refunds of your reservation deposit will only be issued if we are able to replace your space aboard the boat with another full paying passenger. A refund will not be applicable if the space is filled by a third party agency where a commission is required to be paid
CANCELLATION OR DELAY BY OPERATOR
In very rare cases your trip may need to be cancelled or delayed in advance owing to events including but not limited to; mechanical failure, sickness or unavailability of crew, unsafe sailing conditions, local protest/industrial action, government department closure (Immigration or Port Authority)
If your trip is delayed by more than 48hrs before departure you will have the opportunity to cancel your booking with all pre-paid reservation deposits refunded in full. If departure is delayed by less than 48hrs the trip will go ahead with a revised itinerary and finishing date to compensate for the delay. Therefore no refund or compensation will be applicable.
Any delays occurring after the start of trip will be managed by the captain after consulting with all passengers. For example is the trip cannot be completed in full.
The crew will either take your passport at the pre-departure meeting. It will be given to the captain’s agent who completes all the paperwork for departure, including immigration formalities. Passports are then returned directly to the captain.
You shouldn’t need to visit the immigration office yourself
Preparation Before Leaving
– Be sure you have all cash ready before departure to pay the final balance
– Make a photocopy of your passport bio page
– Separate your luggage into two bags. One small ‘day pack’ for what you will need for the time on the boat and your main bag/backpack which will be stowed away. The larger luggage should be protected with plastic trash bags
– You should consider taking sea sickness pills much early on departure day for them to start working in advance. Dramamine is recommend.
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
- Photocopy of passport
- 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
Immigration In Panama
The captain will either do this for you or assist you at the office.
Tourists from many countries do not normally need to to pay a fee for a long term stay however you will need to print an onward travel ticket from Panama to show immigration officials.
It is very rare that there are any issues resulting in a delay however we advise passengers not to make any plans to leave Panama 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.
Illegal and inappropriate activities
Illegal drugs are not permitted, including marijuana. All passengers and luggage will be searched by police before boarding the boat. If any illegal substances are found, you will be refused passage and no refunds will be issued
You can bring your own alcoholic beverages. For safety reasons the Captain may ask you to restrict the consumption of alcohol in any situation that is deemed unsafe.
If at any time during the trip you feel the actions of another person is unsafe, threatening or inappropriate it should be reported IMMEDIATELY to the captain. This includes actions of fellow passengers, crew and members of the public or other tourists on the islands
We are unable to adress incidents after the trip.
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.
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.