We sought out to visit the 360 pristine islands of San Blas, we wanted a diverse experience, not just one island, so we decided on a boat. We were two couples and we booked Pantalasa. This is the part of the review I am absolutely destroyed to type: It was one of the most memorable three days we have ever spent on vacation, and we don’t want anyone to know about this wonderful boat and these amazing people, but I promised Judit that I would write an honest review, so I have to be honest. Arriving at Pantalasa, a 50-foot sailboat is half the adventure: A drive from Panama City to San Blas Dock over mountain and hill that is half roller coaster, half Grand Prix, a water taxi ride that lasted 45 minutes, and meeting Judit and Nacho for the first time with a comically laughable amount of luggage – seriously, just ask them – we were epically over packed. The sailboat is an immaculate haven and we spent three amazing nights sleeping under a million stars with trade winds keeping us cool, the cabins were comfortable and wonderful. I am not going to say that Judit and Nacho went out of their way to impress us because I can only imagine that they treat all of their guests equally well – we had three solid amazing meals, with cold wine and beer, and fresh caught seafood, every day. We looked forward to every meal and every bite, and we even begged for some of the recipes. Our hosts know the Kuna Yala communities and their people’s customs and cultures, and they were both a delightful combination of historian, adventure guide, chef and sailor. We had a local artist visit the boat with her Mola’s, we shopped off a local floating grocery. Our adventures took us snorkeling to see a massive array of colorful fish, Rays, Starfish and a Sunken Boat; we anchored near islands that we can truly say were postcard worthy. My significant other was in the water from sun up to sun down. We visited a local Kuna Community for dinner on the last evening of our stay. One member of our party had a bit of an issue with mobility, Judit provided assistance in a guided snorkel and even ensured that disabilities weren’t a roadblock to enjoying the sea, the Pantalasa has a little boat to transfer those less mobile to and from the islands, as well as snacks and beer/soda. We had many laughs and shared some great stories, and took a nap or two underneath the sails in the afternoon after a few cold Balboas. We fell in love with our new friends, my September sister, Judit and the whistling Skipper, Nacho. We will go back to visit San Blas, and will only go with Pantalasa. Our only regret is not staying more than three days. Next time we will stay much longer, and we hope our new friends will welcome us as openly as they did the first time….especially with a lot less luggage, but we will still bring Beer, Whiskey and Floaties!
We have spent a week in Panama. The first two days we visited Panama City, the old town and Panama Channel, a very interesting visit for all the family. The third day, we started our little adventure, crossing the jungle with a confortable SUB that picked us up in the hotel in Panama City, everything perfectly organized by Judith and Igancio. When we reached San Blas (Kuna Yala for the inhabitants there) someone was waiting for us to reach Lola, the fantastic sailing boat where we spent four days and nights. We had never had such and experience before and we definitely recomend and will repeat. Our kids (11 and 8) loved living in a boat, everything was amazing for all of us. Turquoise water, thousends of colourfull fish, turtles, stingrays were swiming pacefully around us and... dolphins.... Everyday pods of dolphins would join for our sailing... Days flew by in the sailing boat, with time for swiming and snorkeling, sunbathing, eating the delicious meals Judith and Ignacio prepared for us, reading and enjoying the views of this magnificent land, just like in paradise
We had a lifetime experience this end of the year and the start of the new one with Pantalasa.
Judit and Ignacio are the main reason that made this trip a success. Constantly cheerful, they made us feel like home since the first moment we arrived. There were a lot of laughs, improvised "drums" concerts with the cooking pots and delicious food. I couldn't anticipate that I would eat those delicious meals in such a remote place, in the middle of nowhere.
Moreover, San Blas is a dream come true. We enjoyed every single minute that we spent there. Snorkeling in cristalline waters, sailing to dreamy islands and observing the stars at night (few times in my life I have seen so many stars).
I would highly recommend this experience.
I'm a normal guy, not used to sailing. When we decided to go on a boat for 4 days, I got a little bit scared. Seasickness, boredom, lack of space, problems sharing with others... Fortunately, none of the above happened, instead it was one of the nicest experiences of my life. Let me be clear about it: I didn't know Ignacio and Judit before arriving and when I left, somehow, I felt that I was leaving some friends behind.
Now the practical stuff. Not too much sailing, only to move from one island to the other. For my taste, absolutely balanced. The place, San Blas, the least visited area. Beautiful as heaven. The paradise islands a child would paint. Wonderful snorkling (all provided). Food on the boat. Great. Ignacio is a very talented cook and, as you can imagine, fresh fish or lobsters. All served with nice wine. And last, they are very friendly and know how to empathize with the customers needs. If you want to read, they will leave you alone, if you want to chat they will offer interesting topics to discuss.
Many thanks for such a delightful experience Pantalasa.
"Our experience with Pantalasa was positive from the first interaction. Judith is a master at communicating and coordinating logistics. She answered my questions and helped arrange transportation to and from the sailboat, which is part of the adventure. Once on board with our three kids, ages 16, 14, and 11, Judith and Ingacio did everything they could to deliver a wonderful experience for us. We spent our days lounging on the boat, skorkeling, and exploring majestic desert islands in the unspoiled Kuna territory. We felt safe and comfortable on the boat as they both have extensive sailing experience and know the local area very well. They created a custom itinerary that gave us just the right amount of timing actually sailing and relaxing at anchorage. We used their snorkel gear and kayak to goof around getting from the boat to the islands. They also arranged a fresh fried fish lunch on one of the islands prepared by a Kuna family that was a highlight. In a world of big hotels and countless tourists, sailing in San Blas is a refreshing experience. Going with Judith and Ignatio, who are so welcoming and friendly, will ensure you have a wonderful trip."