Experience the unique beauty of both the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans during a voyage through Panama. Perfect for exploration aboard a private charter yacht, this destination not only offers you the opportunity to travel through the stunning San Blas and Las Perlas islands, but also the once-in-lifetime experience of transiting the iconic Panama Canal in between the two archipelagos. Take your pick or explore them both: The San Blas Islands are a chain of 365 islands that extend over 160 kilometers along the Caribbean Coast from the Gulf of San Blas to the Colombian border. Over 80 percent of these picturesque islands are uninhabited, providing pristine cruising and peaceful solitude. The Las Perlas Islands located on the Pacific Ocean side of Panama offer similarly unspoiled landscapes with a mix of modern and exciting environments.
GULF OF SAN BLAS
Meet your yacht at Red Frog Beach Island Marina and enjoy sweeping views of the cobalt sea kissing the lush green jungle landscape. Situated in the islands of the Caribbean Sea, the protected waters invite you to begin your journey on the water. After exploring the resort and tranquil property, get settled into your yacht and sail away from the sun swept beaches toward Bocas Town.
Known for the strong surf, Boca Town provides amazing ambient sounds of water crashing onto the beach both day and night. When you wake up in the morning, indulge in breakfast before walking along Starfish Beach, so named because the golden beach and turquoise waters are home to giant orange starfish that cover the shore. Finish the evening sipping a glass of wine while watching the beautiful sunset in the distance.
After a longer trek east, you’ll reach the remote and natural San Blas Islands. Although only a short trip from Panama City, the islands will transport you to a time long ago. Run by the Kuna tribe, the islands are autonomous provinces with minimal interference from the national government. They have maintained their own economic system, language, customs, and culture throughout the years. Each island is ruled by a chief and tribal societies have passed down traditional dress, legends, music, and dances for generations. Often, you’ll see the graceful handiwork of their wooden canoes and patchwork sails on the water. Called “cayucos” in the native language, the vessels complement the aquatic landscape.
LAS PERLAS ISLANDS
Situated on the Pacific Coast of Panama and containing 200 islands and islets, this island chain was discovered by Spanish Conquistadors in 1503; they named them the “Islas de las Perlas” due to the abundance of pearls found here. Best known for the deserted white sand beaches, exquisite scuba diving, and delicate ecosystems, each unique island offers the chance to revel in peace and privacy.
Be sure to visit the nature reserve of Isla San Telmo located on the southern end of the islands. Anchor off the coast and launch the water toys; you can play for hours thanks to the almost nonexistent swell. Find delight in observing the unique wildlife on the islands including scarlet macaws, howler monkeys, and over 700 species of colorful fish. Another can’t miss destination is the remote and mostly unknown Islas Secas. This idyllic location boasts incredible marine life. Move seamlessly by foot or boat to access the endless ocean wilderness. Snorkel or dive amidst the aquatic wonders of the Gulf of Chiriqui, discover the biodiversity of Coiba National Park, or swim waters that often host migrating humpback whales. For a more thrilling adventure, spend the afternoon flying through the jungle on a zip line excursion. After seeing the beautiful sites from above, take a tour of a coffee farm where you can sample some of the best coffee in the world.
This 50-mile-long artificial canal that divides Central and South America allows you to easily transit to a variety of picturesque coastlines. Considered one of the man-made wonders of the world, this engineering marvel is over 100 years old and since opening, over one million vessels have transited the canal. It was even expanded in 2016 to allow for larger vessels. It takes approximately 8 to 10 hours to pass through the Gatun, Pedro Miguel, and Miraflores locks. Rising 85 feet above sea level, this truly unique experience will be the highlight of your trip.