Fodor's In Focus Panama
El Porvenir Review
Though it is technically the provincial capital, this island is practically uninhabited. It has a police station, an office of the Guna congress, a rustic hotel, and an airstrip, which makes it the arrival point for many travelers. Guides from lodges on nearby islands meet the flights. There are two small islands nearby that hold traditional Guna villages and rustic lodges, and are visited by cruise ships: Wichub Huala and Nalunega. These islands are fascinating to explore, but their lack of sewage systems means the sea around them is unsafe for swimming. However, there are several uninhabited, white-sand cays a short boat trip away that are idyllic swimming and snorkeling spots.
Nalunega. The slightly larger island of Nalunega lies just to the south of Wichub Huala. Like Wichub Huala, it has a collection of huts and cement structures, including the archipelago's original lodge, the rundown Hotel San Blas, founded in 1972. This a good place to see how the Guna live, and where you can purchase handicrafts. Nalunega.
- Address: El Porvenir
- Location: El Porvenir, Cartí, and Río Sidra
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