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Safety First, Then... The Best Time of Your Life!

Experience the best of San Blas without worrying about safety or the qualifications of the crew. Focus your attention on the best that the San Blas Islands and our sailing charter can offer. Get incredible life lasting photos from picture-perfect Caribbean islands, snorkeling, sunsets and incredible night skies.

Top Reasons to sail with us!

Sail Panama to Colombia

The sailboat trips last a total of 5 days. You will spend three days sailing the San Blas Islands and a two day sail Panama to Colombia. Some …
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Testimonials

Funny captain

"Absolutely amazing! Funny captain, good chef and a lot of fun!"

Tim Arts
05/07/2015 on Sophia VI

5.0
2017-05-18T22:58:01+00:00

Tim Arts
05/07/2015 on Sophia VI

"Absolutely amazing! Funny captain, good chef and a lot of fun!"

Great captain

"The trip through San Blas is amazing no matter what but Andre made the trip unforgettable. Great captain, great dude!"

Michael Young
09/06/2015 on Sophia VI

5.0
2017-05-18T22:48:40+00:00

Michael Young
09/06/2015 on Sophia VI

"The trip through San Blas is amazing no matter what but Andre made the trip unforgettable. Great captain, great dude!"

Gorgeous Voyage

"The crew made a gorgeous voyage into something extraordinary.André, Ezekiel, Nico created an amazing atmosphere of family for my daughter, dog and I. We learned a bit about sailing, navigation, the sea, cooking, music, and friendship from these guys.I wish I could do it again!"

Mark Trinitapoli
25/10/2016 on Sophia VI

5.0
2017-05-18T22:31:59+00:00

Mark Trinitapoli
25/10/2016 on Sophia VI

"The crew made a gorgeous voyage into something extraordinary.André, Ezekiel, Nico created an amazing atmosphere of family for my daughter, dog and I. We learned a bit about sailing, navigation, the sea, cooking, music, and friendship from these guys.I wish I could do it again!"

Relaxed, Safe & Chilled!

Relaxed, Safe & Chilled!
"Hands down the best experience i have had on my trip. Great food, relaxed environment, safe and chilled to take in all that San Blas had to offer."

Tess Kienhuis
Melbourne, Australia
25/02/2014

5.0
2016-11-08T19:14:14+00:00

Tess Kienhuis
Melbourne, Australia
25/02/2014

Relaxed, Safe & Chilled! "Hands down the best experience i have had on my trip. Great food, relaxed environment, safe and chilled to take in all that San Blas had to offer."

One of the best experiences ever

"This sailing trip has definitely been one of the best experiences ever. I would highly recommend doing it. I would most definitely sail with Santana & Gisbert again. Felt very safe, and also he is an amazing cook!! A huge highlight of our trip!"

Jasmin Dimov
01/04/2014

5.0
2016-11-08T18:50:27+00:00

Jasmin Dimov
01/04/2014

"This sailing trip has definitely been one of the best experiences ever. I would highly recommend doing it. I would most definitely sail with Santana & Gisbert again. Felt very safe, and also he is an amazing cook!! A huge highlight of our trip!"

Horror stories

"Gisbert treated us so well. We would later find out how lucky we got with our trip. We met several travelers who took different boats, professing horror stories of bad crews, drunken captains, broken vessels, cramped quarters and bad food."

Ryan Pinkard
Sailed in 2015 on Santana

5.0
2016-11-08T20:31:22+00:00

Ryan Pinkard
Sailed in 2015 on Santana

"Gisbert treated us so well. We would later find out how lucky we got with our trip. We met several travelers who took different boats, professing horror stories of bad crews, drunken captains, broken vessels, cramped quarters and bad food."

Probably the best meals

Probably the best meals
"We would definitely recommend Mintaka.. They run a tight ship, have a nice boat, take small groups, and probably have the best meals of any of the backpacker boats sailing this route"

John & Heather
19/05/2014 on Mintaka

5.0
2016-11-08T19:59:31+00:00

John & Heather
19/05/2014 on Mintaka

Probably the best meals "We would definitely recommend Mintaka.. They run a tight ship, have a nice boat, take small groups, and probably have the best meals of any of the backpacker boats sailing this route"

Amazing times!!

"Amazing times!!"

Brayds Wardrop
24/05/2014 on Mintaka

5.0
2017-02-03T18:13:08+00:00

Brayds Wardrop
24/05/2014 on Mintaka

"Amazing times!!"

Super friendly crew

"Really nice food, super friendly crew and incredible islands! I want to go back!! Thank you guys :)"

Anna Jantke
12/01/2016 on Sophia VI

5.0
2017-05-18T22:51:09+00:00

Anna Jantke
12/01/2016 on Sophia VI

"Really nice food, super friendly crew and incredible islands! I want to go back!! Thank you guys :)"

Well, kept, clean & brilliant food

"Cannot recommend Santana highly enough! Gisbert and the crew where FANTASTIC!! Santana is well kept and clean, the food is brilliant...there's not much more to say other than book with Santana!!"

Nicky Falleni
14/06/2016 on Santana

5.0
2016-11-08T20:36:35+00:00

Nicky Falleni
14/06/2016 on Santana

"Cannot recommend Santana highly enough! Gisbert and the crew where FANTASTIC!! Santana is well kept and clean, the food is brilliant...there's not much more to say other than book with Santana!!"

Fun and special memories

"Being on the Mintaka was an unreal experience. Our journey couldn’t have been as special without our awesome comrades whom we shared some fun and special memories. We learnt so much about sailing and boats, picking Manfred and Petra’s brains and prying into their fascinating life of living at sea."

Nicky Falleni
14/06/2016 on Mintaka

5.0
2017-02-03T18:34:28+00:00

Nicky Falleni
14/06/2016 on Mintaka

"Being on the Mintaka was an unreal experience. Our journey couldn’t have been as special without our awesome comrades whom we shared some fun and special memories. We learnt so much about sailing and boats, picking Manfred and Petra’s brains and prying into their fascinating life of living at sea."

Loved every second

Loved every second
"Great food, best Captain and good vibes! Loved every second of the trip!"

Natascha Tamara
29/05/2016

5.0
2016-11-08T20:54:10+00:00

Natascha Tamara
29/05/2016

Loved every second "Great food, best Captain and good vibes! Loved every second of the trip!"

Best trip ever

"Best trip ever! Great Captain, great crew! Couldn't rate it higher"

David Keen
13/06/2016 on Sophia VI

5.0
2017-05-18T23:00:22+00:00

David Keen
13/06/2016 on Sophia VI

"Best trip ever! Great Captain, great crew! Couldn't rate it higher"

Highlight in my seven months

"I had a feeling this trip would be a highlight in my seven months of travel and it did not disappoint. I made the right choice with Mintaka"

Sarah
2013 on Mintaka

5.0
2017-02-03T18:27:56+00:00

Sarah
2013 on Mintaka

"I had a feeling this trip would be a highlight in my seven months of travel and it did not disappoint. I made the right choice with Mintaka"

Amazing

"Just finished sailing after 5 days and it was amazing! Best crew that made the experience and formed a family on the boat that continued in Panama! Freshest food and exploring the islands day after day was the best week ever! Thank you so much Captain André and Nico!"

Monisha Pearl
03/11/2016 on Sophia VI

5.0
2016-11-13T04:35:13+00:00

Monisha Pearl
03/11/2016 on Sophia VI

"Just finished sailing after 5 days and it was amazing! Best crew that made the experience and formed a family on the boat that continued in Panama! Freshest food and exploring the islands day after day was the best week ever! Thank you so much Captain André and Nico!"

A great experience

A great experience
"Thank you for taking care of us and giving us such a great experience. The food was delicious too! Wish i could do it again."

Kaela Zade
07/04/2016

5.0
2016-11-08T20:47:45+00:00

Kaela Zade
07/04/2016

A great experience "Thank you for taking care of us and giving us such a great experience. The food was delicious too! Wish i could do it again."

Amazing trip

"Amazing trip through San Blas and Andre was an amazing captain. One of the highlights of my SA trip."

Dane Cullen
09/06/2015 on Sophia VI

5.0
2017-05-18T22:55:47+00:00

Dane Cullen
09/06/2015 on Sophia VI

"Amazing trip through San Blas and Andre was an amazing captain. One of the highlights of my SA trip."

Good times!

"Amazing experience from start to finish - good crew, good captain, good times!"

Mitchell Pilat
09/06/2015 on Sophia VI

5.0
2017-05-18T22:53:23+00:00

Mitchell Pilat
09/06/2015 on Sophia VI

"Amazing experience from start to finish - good crew, good captain, good times!"

Awesome adventure

"The staff was extremely helpful and nice. They actually prepared custom meals for me (vegan) and another passenger (gluten free) which were really delicious. The boat is loaded with fresh fruits and vegetables. They have the best bread in central America!"

Kate Bridge
04/04/2016 on Sophia VI

5.0
2017-05-18T22:35:54+00:00

Kate Bridge
04/04/2016 on Sophia VI

"The staff was extremely helpful and nice. They actually prepared custom meals for me (vegan) and another passenger (gluten free) which were really delicious. The boat is loaded with fresh fruits and vegetables. They have the best bread in central America!"

A great boat

"I loved my time at the San Blas and really thanked myself for choosing this boat trip instead of the scary and shady boarder crossing. I would definitely recommend to take this trip if you are in the area and the Mintaka is a great boat to experience this tropical paradise!"

Luba
26/11/2013 on Mintaka

5.0
2017-02-03T18:31:43+00:00

Luba
26/11/2013 on Mintaka

"I loved my time at the San Blas and really thanked myself for choosing this boat trip instead of the scary and shady boarder crossing. I would definitely recommend to take this trip if you are in the area and the Mintaka is a great boat to experience this tropical paradise!"

Probably the best meals

"We would definitely recommend them and give them a good review. They run a tight ship, have a nice boat, take small groups, and probably have the best meals of any of the backpacker boats sailing this route"

John Widmer
19/05/2014 on Mintaka

5.0
2017-02-03T18:23:45+00:00

John Widmer
19/05/2014 on Mintaka

"We would definitely recommend them and give them a good review. They run a tight ship, have a nice boat, take small groups, and probably have the best meals of any of the backpacker boats sailing this route"

Great boat, fantastic food

"Absolutely amazing! Great boat, fantastic food and the scenery is second to none, San Blas is gorgeous! Also Gisbert and Luis are friendly, helpful and accommodating, though at the same time safe and responsible"

Elliott Howard
Sydney, Australia
09/06/2013 on Santana

5.0
2016-11-08T19:34:43+00:00

Elliott Howard
Sydney, Australia
09/06/2013 on Santana

"Absolutely amazing! Great boat, fantastic food and the scenery is second to none, San Blas is gorgeous! Also Gisbert and Luis are friendly, helpful and accommodating, though at the same time safe and responsible"

once-in-a-lifetime experience

"Ahh! Manfred, Petra, you are the invisible foundations upon which these once-in-a-lifetime experiences are built upon!!"

Rob Eggleshaw
14/05/2014 on Mintaka

5.0
2017-02-03T18:10:08+00:00

Rob Eggleshaw
14/05/2014 on Mintaka

"Ahh! Manfred, Petra, you are the invisible foundations upon which these once-in-a-lifetime experiences are built upon!!"

I ❤ all the photos

"I ❤ all the photos...the experiences, the vibes, the crew!! I can't keep looking at the pictures, I can't wait to be back again there!!!⛵!!!"

Mary Jesu
12/10/2016 on Sophia VI

5.0
2017-05-18T22:41:20+00:00

Mary Jesu
12/10/2016 on Sophia VI

"I ❤ all the photos...the experiences, the vibes, the crew!! I can't keep looking at the pictures, I can't wait to be back again there!!!⛵!!!"

Epic trip

"This was an epic trip. I could not have asked for a better experience or a better crew to do it with!!"

Duane Jefferis
10/06/2015 on Sophia VI

5.0
2017-05-18T22:46:04+00:00

Duane Jefferis
10/06/2015 on Sophia VI

"This was an epic trip. I could not have asked for a better experience or a better crew to do it with!!"

A highlight of my trip

"Great boat, comfortable sleeping, amazing food, great spots, and the captain even took a different route to other boats to make the open water crossing more comfortable! A highlight of my trip."

Kate Cassidy
03/03/2014 on Santana

5.0
2016-11-08T19:23:53+00:00

Kate Cassidy
03/03/2014 on Santana

"Great boat, comfortable sleeping, amazing food, great spots, and the captain even took a different route to other boats to make the open water crossing more comfortable! A highlight of my trip."
5.0
26

Frequently Asked Questions

1. What is included in the price?
5 days & 4-5 nights inboard the sailboat – The distribution of time depends from where you depart, but normally includes at least 2,5 days in San Blas Islands and 1,5 days sailing between Panama and Colombia 3 meals per day, fruits, coffee/tea & drinking water is included in the price
2. What is NOT included in the price?
Alcoholic drinks. In some cases, the Kuna Indians cover a one-time fee of 20 USD per passenger. this Kuna Natural Park Fee is not included in the price. Transport to and from the departure port. If the boat departs/arrives in Portolindo, Portobelo or Porvenir in San Blas you need to arrange transport.
3. We are a couple – will we get a double bed?
Normally you will be able to get a double bed. Only in the case that you are the last couple booking, all other double beds are occupied and there are only singles you will get a single bed each. However, this is very rare as there is usually single travelers and plenty of double beds.
4. Can we get a private cabin?
On Mintaka, the first guests, who ask will get the separate single cabin at no extra cost. Still, you may secure the cabin on Sailboat Mintaka with three berths by booking all three berths – 790 USD per person (if a couple).

On Catamaran Santana there it depends on how full the boat is. If there are available spaces on board the captain may be helpful in arranging a private cabin for you. Still, you may secure the cabin with three berths by booking all three berths – 750 USD per person (if a couple).

Sailboat Quest has 4 double cabins and 2 single beds in the common area.

5. The rainy season – When is it and is it raining all the time?
No, it is rarely raining all the time. The rainy season lasts roughly from May to mid-December, but it varies in intensity in this period.

Mild Rainy season

In May to August and November to mid-December we have what we can call the mild rainy season. In this period one can expect a shower per day a couple of times a week. A shower normally lasts from 15 minutes to an hour.

Heavy Rainy season

September and October are normally heavier rainy season, but still, there is no reason to despair. The worst rainy periods normally mean one or two showers per day. However, one can be unlucky and get a streak of a few rainy days in a row, but one cannot say when this will occur. The rainy season is normally heavier in Panama than in Colombia.

Reliable online weather prognostic

Your local weather provider from home might be unreliable for the weather in this region as they are not able to distinguish a shower a day from raining the whole day and therefore project only rain when in fact it is sunny 90 % of the time. The most accurate weather service we have found in this region is Accu Weather.

6. The windy season – When is it?
The windy season is also called the dry season as there is no rain at all. It lasts from mid-December to end of March and is characterized by a constant strong wind from Northeastern directions. This generates more waves and generally more movement on the sailboat. Mono Hull sailboats have an advantage in these conditions have they can sail closer up against the wind.

The captains are very experienced and used to this weather, but the trip could be delayed due to necessary course changes.

Normally it is less uncomfortable to sail from Cartagena, Colombia to Panama than to sail from Panama to Colombia in the windy season.

7. Will I get seasick?
Some people are more prone to seasickness than others. The captains report about 10% of the travelers get seasick.

Read our article “5 Tricks to Prevent Seasickness”

8. How can I prevent seasickness?
You should buy the medicine Mareol (in Colombia) or Viajesan (in Panama) against seasickness. This medicine is most effective if taken 2 hours before you start traveling. If you take it when you start feeling sick it is not very effective. In addition, ginger has always been an old remedy for seasickness and actually proven to help in studies. 1-2 gr of ginger per day could also help a lot.

Read our article “5 Tricks to Prevent Seasickness”

9. Do I have to deliver my passport for immigration?
You will have to submit your passport for the immigration. The immigration is in Colombia handled by an agent. Normally you will have to submit your passport to your captain early on the day of departure.

Also, when you arrive in Colombia you must account a few hours for immigration. It is recommended not make any travel plans for the first 24 hours after arrival in Cartagena.

10. Can we drink alcohol on board?
Yes, but alcoholic drinks are not included in the price. You are free to bring your own. We still advise travelers to drink with caution as you will live much closer to other people than you have probably ever done in your life. Although you might want to have a party, there might be others who want to relax.

Sailboat Mintaka offers cold beer in cans for US$1.00 and Chilean wine for US$9.00.

Easy drinking on anchor

We advise the travelers to stick to easy drinks such as beer and wine and leave the hard liquor for the after-party in Cartagena or Panama. This way everyone can enjoy the fantastic experience of sailing and the nature of the San Blas Islands.

No drinking on open sea sailing

When you are making the open sea sailing you are forbidden to consume alcohol. It is also forbidden to drink alcohol in the hours before the crossing.

The sailboat captain has to be in control of all passengers during sailing and be sure they will react promptly to his commands if needed. The sailboat captains will normally indicate when you cannot drink more alcohol.

11. Are we insured?
The sailboats and passengers are insured for life and person, not for personal belongings. You should have your personal belongings covered by your private travel insurance. We suggest Nomad Travel Insurance as they are specialized in backpackers needs.

12. Can I get a discount if I work on the sailboat during the Panama/Colombia crossing?
All sailboats and catamarans on our web page have captain and crew on board. We can therefore not offer any discounts on the sailing fare.
13. Do you own these sailboats & catamarans?
No, none of the agents offering various sailboats and catamarans own these boats. We only facilitate the contact between the sailboat captain/owner and the traveler. The sailboats/catamarans are privately owned and the captain/sailboat owner is fully responsible for the trip.

Still, we are very strict on what sailboats & catamarans we do cooperate with. We have worked with many sailboats/catamarans and some we have let go as we did not feel they met the standard we expect from our sailing partners.

Our philosophy is to work with few, but sailboats & catamarans who over time can deliver a reliable, safe and solid sailing service.

14. Can you recommend a sailboat that is not on your web page?
Unfortunately, we cannot make comments negative or positive about other sailboats that are not on our web page simply because we do not know them well enough. We advise the following steps to choose your sailboat/catamaran:

– You should do research and have an idea of good/bad sailboats/catamarans before you get to Panama City or Cartagena, Colombia to avoid vendors in the streets
– Google sailboat/catamaran name and sailboat captains name together
– Google sailboat/catamaran name and sailboat captains name separately
– The best is to follow a recommendation of a fellow traveler, who has a good experience on one of the sailboats.

15. Drug policies on board San Blas Sailboats?
Drugs are absolutely 100% forbidden on board all our sailboats! By bringing drugs you put the livelihood of your captain at risk as the sailboat will be confiscated, the guilty guest and the captain can end up in prison and the holidays of all passengers will be ruined. Remember that you are in the drug smuggling zone and cost guards are frequently checking sailing vessels.