San Blas Islands ~ Kuna Yala

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Sometimes the rain in Vancouver just seems endless.. grey, dreary days where the moist air chills you to the bone.  Those are the days that I inevitably end up googling “Best Beaches in the World” and start planning imaginary vacations.

Over the years, one of the places that kept popping up on these lists were the San Blas Islands, or Kuna Yala – home of the Kuna people.  It’s an archipelago of 378 islands and keys in the Carribean Sea, located just off the northcoast of Panama. The Kuna people have governed the area autonomously since the 1920s, and maintain their own language, economic system and cultural traditions in the area.  They are currently one of the only indigenous groups in the world to maintain self-governance over their land.

SanBlas-2These incredible beaches just seemed to good to be true – a boat trip through these tropical islands just seemed like one of those journeys that couldn’t be missed.  And so last July,  Daryl and I planned a trip to Panama and Colombia to check them out.

We arrived in Panama City and booked a 4 day trip with Darien Gapster to travel through the islands by speedboat, camp on deserted islands, and sleep in hammocks in indigenous villages..

Our trip was incredible… we met amazing people, ate delicious crab and lobster each night, and island hopped through coral reefs and deserted beaches.

Here’s a link to a Youtube video clip, in case this is a trip you’ve been dreaming of as well… http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-hhmou5ugqw&feature=youtu.be