Motorized dugouts are the most common form of transportation in Guna Yala and the Darién, where most people travel via jungle rivers. Some of the better lodges in Guna Yala transport guests in small fiberglass boats, whereas the Tropic Star fishing lodge, in southwest Darién, uses more seaworthy vessels. Most visitors to this region go to either the Darién or Guna Yala, since direct travel between the two provinces is time consuming.
Boat transportation is included in the rates of all Guna Yala hotels. The company San Blas Sailing runs sailboat cruises to Guna Yala that combines visits to Guna villages with time on pristine outer islands, such as the Cayos Holandeses.
Several cruise lines, including CruiseWest, Holland America, Princess, Seabourn, Silversea, and Windstar make port calls in the San Blas Islands on select Panama Canal and western Caribbean itineraries; CruiseWest also sails to an Emberá village in the Darién. You'll be tendered ashore. The Guna levy a $5 tax on cruise visitors. It may or may not be included in the price of your shore excursion. The total absence of restaurants means that cruise visits are kept short—usually just under a half-day—with time to be back on ship for the next meal.
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