San Blas Adventure…
Darien Gapster is a fast launch offering a fun, safe, and economical means of transport between Panama & Colombia including a 4 day tour through the Islands of San Blas.
DSC-1873- Come with us and experience the best San Blas has to offer & bridge the Darien Gap between Panama & Colombia
For many years there have been sail boats offering a service to backpackers, sailing between Panama and Colombia, visiting the San Blas islands. Generally they spend 3 days in the islands and 2 days crossing the ocean between Cartage na and San Blas!
Now there is a new option!
- 3 days in San Blas
- All food in San Blas
- Snorkeling gear
- Tents and sleeping mats
- Immigration and island costs
- See more of San Blas
- See more of Colombia
- Short travel times
- Spend more time on the islands
- Meet the Kuna people
- Save money
- Big group – Big Fun!!
Our trip is a 4 day fun filled island hopping tour through San Blas. We’re all about being on the islands, being in the water and experiencing the unique culture of the Kuna people.
We stay one night in a village island with a Kuna village where we have a great connections with the locals.
We take you to camp one night on a spectacular deserted island surrounded by an reefs rarely visited by foreigners. Camp fire!!
There are some other stops along the way, but we’ll save those as a surprise.
“The New Route”
The route we have chosen is the one that makes the most sense for those wishing to see San Blas and travel between Panama and Colombia. The San Blas runs all the way down the Panamanian coast line from Porvenir to Sapzurro meaning with us you see it all. We’re always in sight of the coast and are protected by reefs and islands most of the way (no ocean passage). Besides that, as a traveler, Sapzurro and surrounding bays Capurgana, La Miel & Aguacate are gravy! Undiscovered, undeveloped, isolated, ridiculously picturesque Caribbean beaches. This is the hidden paradise we’ve been looking for!!
Imagine 400 Caribbean islands, most of them uninhabited, with white sandy beaches, and crystal clear water, stretched out over 100 miles, controlled by a self governing indigenous people. The Kuna… San Blas’s real name is Kuna Yala! It’s these people who have preserved the islands from mass tourism, preserved their
culture, and it’s these people who make San Blas… Kuna Yala, a special place.
On our journey we aim to give you the best all round experience of all Kuna Yala has to offer. We take you through the full archipe lago! To meet the people, to stay on the islands, and to snorkel some of the worlds most amazing sites. Then we take you to one of Colombia’s best kept secrets, Sapzurro…. I´ll let you find out about that one for yourself.
Darien Gapster is a fiberglass ocean going launch of local design modified by us to make it the cool cruising machine it is. Seats have cushions, a nice recline and plenty of leg room. We have a roof and roll down isinglass sides to protect you from the elements. On a nice day we cruise at up to 35 knots (rapido!!) and our average sail time is 1.5 hours. On top of that we have a sweet sound setup with plenty of good tunes or you can plug in your ipod and DJ from your seat.
Our crew has years of experience both in local navigation and in tourism. We’re real mariners and people people! On this journey our main goal is to provide a safe, fun and memorable journey for you through one of the worlds most preserved treasures.
Here is a review from one of our guests written 14th July 2010.
The Darien Gapster is a great way to get to Colombia. It’s a great alternative to a sailboat for the following reasons;
- you spend a minimal amount of time on the boat meaning you see more of the San Blas islands. You camp on the islands in tents with air mattresses so you can get a good nights sleep (ear plugs are useful though!). On the sailboats I hear the sleeping quarters are pretty cramped, and by camping on land, rough seas are not an issue.
- the boat takes you to Sapzurro, a small, beautiful Colombian village on the border with Panama that is inaccessible by car. This is a perfect introduction to Colombia, and by far the nicest border town I’ve seen on my trip! From Sapzurro you can visit other towns by lancha or by walking, these include La Miel (in Panama), Carpurgana (to go through immigration), or other villages further down the coast. You can extend your time here or in any of the other villages too.
- to get to Cartagena or any of the other big cities in Colombia you have to take a lancha from Carpurgana to Turbo. This is a beautiful way to see the Colombian coastline and a lot of fun as it’s a speedboat. From Turbo you can get buses to Cartagena, Medellin or anywhere else in the country really. It cost about 50 dollars to get to Cartagena and was a full days travel. Adam from the Gapster sorted it all out for us though, so you’re by no means stranded in Sapzurro.
The Darien Gapster is run by guys who love doing this trip and it shows. We were introduced to Kuna families and villages (one village where they hardly see tourists – you can tell because they have nothing to sell you). We visited deserted islands too, and some of the most amazing reefs for snorkelling I’ve ever seen – manta rays, sharks, and much more.
We were fed well (I’m a vegetarian and was very well catered for). Always a good idea for people to bring snacks and alcohol though.
The trip is so much cheaper than the sailboats and yet you see just as much of the San Blas islands and have none of the discomfort from travelling lo ng distances on a boat.
I enjoyed the whole experience and would highly recommend The Darien Gapster, as a great alternative to the longer sailboat trips but also as a great boat run by great people who really want you to have the best time possible.
Hope this helps you and please recommend to your customers.
- December 2009