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Panama City, and Kuna Yala (Guna Yala) in the San Blas Islands

Panama City, and Kuna Yala (Guna Yala) in the San Blas Islands

Old Mar 12th, 2018, 04:43 PM
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Panama City, and Kuna Yala (Guna Yala) in the San Blas Islands

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Old Mar 12th, 2018, 04:47 PM
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My wife and I recently took a short trip to Panama to attend a friends wedding, and had the fortune to meet Alex who lives with the Kuna (Guna) Yala tribes people in the San Blas islands. So we took the opportunity to visit the Kuna Yala people; a truly memorable experience. THis is the first part of my posting; hope you enjoy it enough to visit the San Blas islands and the Kuna Yala people.

Decided to go to Panama to attend Sara Zomer’s wedding and to take a little time and visit Panama. Arrived at 4PM, to 33C (91F) weather, perfect for us as we were coming from 5C (41F) weather. Landed and took an Uber to our hotel in Panama City to change and freshen up. First stop was at the Atlantic & Pacific Co Restaurant at the Miraflores locks on the Canal, for Sara’s Pre-wedding dinner for family and out-of-towners. This restaurant is right on the lock, where we ate great seafood and saw equally great close-up views of the huge container ships crossing the locks. The locks are a truly incredible marvel of engineering feats and a great view, especially at night.

Panama City, and Kuna Yala (Guna Yala) in the San Blas Islands-panama-feb-2017-image-001-1024x768.jpgGreat patio of the Atlantic & Pacific Co. restaurant overlooking the Miraflores locks

Panama City, and Kuna Yala (Guna Yala) in the San Blas Islands-panama-feb-2017-image-002-1024x768.jpgMiraflores locks closed up and water levels raised, to allow another ship to enter

Panama City, and Kuna Yala (Guna Yala) in the San Blas Islands-panama-feb-2017-image-003-1024x768.jpgHuge container ship going through Miraflores locks

Panama City, and Kuna Yala (Guna Yala) in the San Blas Islands-panama-feb-2017-image-004-1024x768.jpgJust past the Miraflores locks

Panama City, and Kuna Yala (Guna Yala) in the San Blas Islands-panama-feb-2017-image-005-1024x768.jpgand on its way to the open seas. Note the width of the Panama Canal (Panamax) which is the width the ships were built to, so they could navigate the Panama Canal.

Next day was sightseeing in Panama City; so we bought the subway (metro) pass, loaded it up, and used the subway to get to Casco Antiguo (or Caco Viejo), the old original town of Panama City. Got off at the Cinco de Mayo station, and started walking to the old town. On the way, there were multiple barber shop, so I had to get my $1 haircut from the street barber, after bargaining him down from his $2 asking price

Panama City, and Kuna Yala (Guna Yala) in the San Blas Islands-panama-feb-2017-image-006-1024x768.jpgObligatory haircut stop

Since Fodors Forums limits the size of the content; feel free to check out the rest of the blog post at Panama City ? Ali Karim Travelog

Last edited by alikarim; Mar 12th, 2018 at 04:50 PM.
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Old Mar 14th, 2018, 04:13 PM
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NExt day, we spent a little time checking out Panama City, and then moved north of the canal to the Westin Hotel where the wedding party was staying; and where Sarah's wedding was going to take place; before we moved onto San Blas and the Kuna Yala experience.

As before, below is the write up, and since I cannot put the full bog page here due to Forum limitations, I have the full post link at More Panama City and Playa Bonita, Wedding ? Ali Karim Travelog

.......The next day, we went for breakfast to Manolo’s; a local eatery near our hotel, recommended by the staff. Had fresh Papaya juice and excellent vegetable omelets. Then checked out of the hotel and caught an Uber to Playa Bonita, at the hotel where Sara’s wedding was to be, later that evening. Playa Bonita is on the Pacific coast, and is about a 20 minute drive from Panama City, and to get there, we crossed the Bridge of the Americas, which is a major bridge that spans from South America and North America.

Panama City, and Kuna Yala (Guna Yala) in the San Blas Islands-more-panama-city-and-playa-bonita-wedding-image-001-1024x768.jpgBridge of the Americas; connecting North America to South America

After checking into the hotel, we used the time to enjoy strolling on the beach, and using the hotel pools and facilities.

Panama City, and Kuna Yala (Guna Yala) in the San Blas Islands-more-panama-city-and-playa-bonita-wedding-image-002-1024x768.jpgWestin Playa Bonita

Panama City, and Kuna Yala (Guna Yala) in the San Blas Islands-more-panama-city-and-playa-bonita-wedding-image-003-1024x768.jpgMore Playa Bonita

Panama City, and Kuna Yala (Guna Yala) in the San Blas Islands-more-panama-city-and-playa-bonita-wedding-image-004-1024x768.jpgSea shells at Playa Bonita

Panama City, and Kuna Yala (Guna Yala) in the San Blas Islands-more-panama-city-and-playa-bonita-wedding-image-005-1024x768.jpgLonely at low tide

Then got showered, and changed. Dress code for men was tropical causal (khaki pants, linen shirt and Panama hat). So, walked a short distance to Casa Naga, where the venue was. Casa Naga is a very grand place to host events; the 18ft entrance has pools and fire pits, outside, and when you enter, you see the Pacific Ocean on the other side, and you can see all the ships waiting to enter the Panama Canal in the distant horizon. Inside, they also had pools of water cascading down to an outdoor garden area, with more water/pool areas. The garden was laid out with multiple tables, and the on one side was the DJ area, another side was the food/desert and a couple of drink stations.

Panama City, and Kuna Yala (Guna Yala) in the San Blas Islands-more-panama-city-and-playa-bonita-wedding-image-006-1024x768.jpgEntrance to Casa Naga

Panama City, and Kuna Yala (Guna Yala) in the San Blas Islands-more-panama-city-and-playa-bonita-wedding-image-007-1024x768.jpgGarden wedding; waiting for guests to arrive

Panama City, and Kuna Yala (Guna Yala) in the San Blas Islands-more-panama-city-and-playa-bonita-wedding-image-008-1024x768.jpgGarden wedding; waiting for guests to arrive

Panama City, and Kuna Yala (Guna Yala) in the San Blas Islands-more-panama-city-and-playa-bonita-wedding-image-009-1024x768.jpgWedding toast; let the party begin

Very nice and romantic. Great Casa Naga & wedding video at https://vimeo.com/203317794
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Old Mar 14th, 2018, 05:36 PM
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Originally Posted by alikarim View Post

Since Fodors Forums limits the size of the content...
What limitation are you talking about?
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Old Mar 14th, 2018, 07:36 PM
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Originally Posted by ibobi View Post
What limitation are you talking about?
The size of the posting; I assume the length/number of words or MB limitations is somehow restricted as I do get a message to reduce the size of my post
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Old Mar 15th, 2018, 04:57 PM
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Originally Posted by alikarim View Post
The size of the posting; I assume the length/number of words or MB limitations is somehow restricted as I do get a message to reduce the size of my post
I think I relieved the setting a bit. Try it out if you still have more to post!
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Old Mar 16th, 2018, 10:09 AM
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Continuation of the wedding (full blogpost is available at More Panama City and Playa Bonita, Wedding ? Ali Karim Travelog ); It was here at the wedding party that we met Daniel (groom)’s sister Alejandro and her husband, Luchin, and their 2 kids. We learnt over conversation that Luchin was a native Kuna Indian, living in the San Blas Islands; which was a place we had wanted to visit but had not planned anything yet. What a lucky meeting. Luchin was planning to go back to his Island the next day, so we asked him to organize a stay for us at his island, Nalunega; which he graciously agreed to do.

Panama City, and Kuna Yala (Guna Yala) in the San Blas Islands-more-panama-city-and-playa-bonita-wedding-image-010-1024x768.jpgNot so lonely, with hundreds of birds

Panama City, and Kuna Yala (Guna Yala) in the San Blas Islands-smooth-gliders-1024x414.pngSmooth Gliders

Panama City, and Kuna Yala (Guna Yala) in the San Blas Islands-more-panama-city-and-playa-bonita-wedding-image-012-1024x768.jpgAdmiring the view one

We then moved back to Panama City later that day, and since no visit is complete without a visit to the Fruit & Vegetable market, we headed out to the Market, which our Uber driver pointed out was “muy economico”; my kind of place

Panama City, and Kuna Yala (Guna Yala) in the San Blas Islands-more-panama-city-and-playa-bonita-wedding-image-013-1024x768.jpgOutside Panama City hotel

Panama City, and Kuna Yala (Guna Yala) in the San Blas Islands-more-panama-city-and-playa-bonita-wedding-image-014-1024x768.jpgAt the Fruit & Vegetable Market

Panama City, and Kuna Yala (Guna Yala) in the San Blas Islands-more-panama-city-and-playa-bonita-wedding-image-015-1024x768.jpgHabanero’s anyone?

Panama City, and Kuna Yala (Guna Yala) in the San Blas Islands-more-panama-city-and-playa-bonita-wedding-image-016-1024x768.jpgAny guess?

Panama City, and Kuna Yala (Guna Yala) in the San Blas Islands-more-panama-city-and-playa-bonita-wedding-image-017-1024x768.jpgPineapple city

Panama City, and Kuna Yala (Guna Yala) in the San Blas Islands-more-panama-city-and-playa-bonita-wedding-image-018-1024x768.jpgOranges and Lemons

Panama City, and Kuna Yala (Guna Yala) in the San Blas Islands-more-panama-city-and-playa-bonita-wedding-image-019-1024x768.jpgPapayas galore

Panama City, and Kuna Yala (Guna Yala) in the San Blas Islands-more-panama-city-and-playa-bonita-wedding-image-020-1024x768.jpgAll kinds of roots, including the popular Yuca

Panama City, and Kuna Yala (Guna Yala) in the San Blas Islands-more-panama-city-and-playa-bonita-wedding-image-021-1024x768.jpgMarakuja or Passion fruit

Panama City, and Kuna Yala (Guna Yala) in the San Blas Islands-more-panama-city-and-playa-bonita-wedding-image-022-1024x768.jpgEverybody was out shopping at the Fruit & Vegetable market, young and old

Panama City, and Kuna Yala (Guna Yala) in the San Blas Islands-more-panama-city-and-playa-bonita-wedding-image-023-1024x768.jpgEverybody was out shopping at the Fruit & Vegetable market, young and old

Panama City, and Kuna Yala (Guna Yala) in the San Blas Islands-more-panama-city-and-playa-bonita-wedding-image-024-1024x768.jpgBananas and Plantain

Panama City, and Kuna Yala (Guna Yala) in the San Blas Islands-more-panama-city-and-playa-bonita-wedding-image-025-1024x768.jpgI believe these are cashew fruit

After getting our fill of coconut water, and tasting all the fruit, we headed back for the hotel, and after freshening up, we went back to the hopping Mercado de Mariscos from dinner of Red Snapper, fried yucca (mogo) and hot sauce one again. When we got there, Michael Jackson was performing there for the partrons ; what luck

Panama City, and Kuna Yala (Guna Yala) in the San Blas Islands-more-panama-city-and-playa-bonita-wedding-image-026-1024x768.jpgMichael Jackson performing at the Mercado de Mariscos

Panama City, and Kuna Yala (Guna Yala) in the San Blas Islands-more-panama-city-and-playa-bonita-wedding-image-027-1024x768.jpgLocals enjoying fresh seafood meals at Mercado de Mariscos

Panama City, and Kuna Yala (Guna Yala) in the San Blas Islands-more-panama-city-and-playa-bonita-wedding-image-029-1024x768.jpgDinner; fried red snapper and fried yucca

Then headed back to the hotel for an early night, as we were heading out to San Blas Islands at 5AM the next morning

Nalunega and Kuna (Guna) Yala next
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Old Aug 28th, 2018, 11:11 AM
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Panama is so beautiful! The ceviches and pesado frito are the best, also the tamales. San Blas Islands is a paradise. Panama is a must in a travel destination bucket list! Thanks for those images, they made my day.
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