Guna Yala, Panama Vacation Guide
A visit to the San Blas Islands in the Comarca of Guna Yala is a win-win combination! Travelers can experience a living Indian culture in a tropical island paradise. You will experience the extraordinary beauty and peace on white sand Caribbean islands and at the same time live with and learn from the Kuna people.
Guna Yala means “Guna Territory” in Kuna language. This region along the eastern Caribbean Coast of Panama is also known as San Blas, a name the Spanish Conquistadores gave it and which is still used today.
Comarca means district and is somewhat similar to an American Indian Reservations, whereby the Kuna have their own authorities within their lands and live based on old traditions and customs. They support themselves selling millions of coconuts from the palms that dot their islands as well as selling their internationally renowned Mola handicraft – a reverse stitched embroidery. These Molas are hand-made and sold as wall hangings, pillow cases, and can be sewn on carry-bags, blouses, etc. If you don’t have the chance to personally visit with the Kuna, you will find Molas in most of the souvenir stores around Panama.
Guna Yala consists of a corridor along the Caribbean Sea that extends for approx. 125 miles (200 km) between the Colon Province to the west, and the State of Colombia to the east. Guna Yala includes some 365 islands that together form the archipelago and where most of the Kuna live today.
Some of these beautiful islands have been prepared to host travelers to enjoy the gorgeous white sand beaches and blue waters, and to gain an insight into the Kuna culture. Next to relaxation, visitors are offered various activities with snorkeling being one of the main attractions. Fishing is also quiet an experience when done as the Kuna do! But you can also walk, enjoy the natural beauty and wildlife, learn the secrets to Kuna cuisine or just relax. Don’t expect luxurious lodging, but a stay in harmony with nature.
Location and Map