The lure of the tropical islands of the San Blas brings many of visitors from around the world each year, but not so many that it spoils that “deserted islands” feel. The islands have a range of hotel options available for visitors. From home stays with a Kuna family to simple, rustic hotels to more costly version of an upscale hotel, there is a choice of accommodation if you want to visit these beautiful islands.
For hotels in the upscale price range, The Coral Lodge is a good pick if you’re not willing to ‘rough it’. Located near the Comarca de Kuna Yala, this hotel with little cabanas built over the water, is popular with among tourists. You will be staying in a place surrounded by the rain forest as a backdrop and pristine white sand beaches. You will be able to watch the sea with amazing sunrises and sunsets from the private balcony of your cabana. The rooms are air conditioned and are very tastefully decorated in rattan and teak furniture. Fresh seafood, Latin, Kuna and Caribbean food is on the menu served in the Coral Lodge restaurant.
The Dad Ibe Island Lodge is another popular San Blas hotel, consisting of a few basic authentic cabins with private balconies and hammocks on the beach where you can enjoy the gorgeous views of the surrounding sea. You are surrounded by quiet deserted beaches and coconut trees. Each room has a shower and toilette. Three meals with lots of seafood and fruit each day are included in the price. It’s not luxury accommodation, it’s basic, but worth the price. The Kuna who own the Dad Ibe Island Lodge are very helpful, friendly and provide good service.
Another popular San Blas Hotel is the Kuna Niskua Lodge. It’s actually more of a hostel, five minutes from El Porvenir airport on Wichub-Wala island. There is no beach here but they will take you to other islands nearby where you can enjoy the beach, snorkel, diving etc. Accommodation is basic and comfortable, consisting of 10 bungalow rooms, most of which have a private bathroom. There are hammocks for you to relax in. Electricity is solar panel generated and available only after 6:00 during the evenings. The Kuna Niskua Lodge offers friendly service, is clean and very reasonably priced for a budget hotel. You will have lots of opportunity to meet the Kuna Indians here and explore the neighboring islands.
Cabanas Wailidup consists of small cabins built on stilts with wooden floors and private bathrooms. There is also a restaurant and bar.
Hotel San Blas:
The Hotel San Blas is located on the island of Nalunega where a community of about 300 Kuna people live. It is not far from the El Porvenir airstrip. The 31 hotel rooms are very simple with few pieces of basic furniture and electricity available only between 6:00 to 10:00 p.m. Their telephone number is: + 262-5410.
Cabanas Coco Blanco:
Located on Ogobsobudup Island or “Coco Blanco” Island, the Cabanas Coco Blanco consists of four small cabins built of bamboo and thatched roofs with private bathrooms. To make reservations, the phone number is + 6700-9427 and the email is cocoblanco (at) centrodereservas (dot) net.
The Ukuptup Island (“Sand”) Island cabanas consists of cabanas resting on stilts over the sea, just 5 minutes from El Pouvenir.
Located on the Isla Kuanidup, the Cabanas Kuanidup has simple cabins, shared bathrooms and no electricity. Kerosene lamps will light your way in the evening.
The Cabanas Veronica, formerly called Robinsons Cabanas, is closer to Rio Sidra airport than the airport at El Pouvenir. The Cabanas Veronica consist of simple cabins.
The accommodation on the San Blas Island charge a price which includes the room, food and some activities. Some of these hotels have websites where a room can be booked online or through email or telephone communication.
The San Blas hotels range in price from budget to luxury. There are no world wide chain hotels on the Islands. It is very undeveloped and therefore unspoiled. The hotels in San Blas are owned by the Kuna people and are all prime examples of eco-tourism at its best.
Don’t expect 5 star luxury hotels here because you won’t find it. Traveling to the San Blas Islands is an escape to unspoiled beaches, great fresh seafood, relaxation and various activities such as fishing, snorkeling, diving and swimming. It is very ‘rustic.’
Recommended activities on the San Blas Islands include touring a Kuna village and a boat tour to the other nearby islands. The San Blas Islands are paradise vacation, a romantic getaway, a family adventure vacation. You won’t find a Best Western in Paradise.