We want to go on a snorkeling trip this winter on the Caribbean side of Panama.
There are all inclusive cat sailing charters in the San Blas Islands. Many islands are not inhabited. The charter includes shore excursions to Guna villages. Does anyone have experience doing this? The photo on the Zenith charter website looks like there are lovely corals and great visibility. There is no scuba allowed. The crew of the catamaran speaks Spanish, Guna, and English.
We are also considering the area around Bocas del Toro and Isla Bastimentos National Park. I have found some claims regarding good snorkeling. Does anyone have experience snorkeling in this area of Panama?
We are very experienced and spoiled by our Philippines snorkeling trip three years ago.
We need to book somewhere soon. Thank you.
Hi GDW, we wanted to let you know that there is a post about chartering a sailing catamaran to explore the San Blas Islands in Panama. It is a little dated, but gives you their impressions from 2015.
We hope you get some helpful answers!
I have lived in Panama for five years. Sad to report that the snorkeling in Bocas Del Toro has gone very downhill since I first snorkeled there in early 2018. I returned there in January 2022. I had a great captain who knew all the used-to-be-great spots. Found little coral, few fish, and few sea creatures. The one good place for coral is Coral Caye in a marine reserve. I am not in Panama right now but would be happy to give you the name of the boat captain once I get back in the office.
Regarding sailboats in San Blas Islands, I have not yet gone there but plan on going in 2023. I have had a lot of communication with Sonia Richart of Aquatrip Okumé. She and her husband Charles have a sailboat and come highly recommended. There is no lodging in the San Blas Islands so a sailboat is your only option. San Blas reportedly has the best snorkeling in Panama.
Hope this helps.