San Blas – Panama’s Hidden Gem. By Philipp Hauptmann

When I first got to Panama, I knew next to nothing about the country. After some
adventurous and crazy weeks traveling in Central America, what I was looking for, was a
remote place in the Caribbean to relax and do some landscape photography – the fewer
people and the more basic the accommodations, the better.

So I asked my Panamanian friend to book transportation and we went to a place that I had
never heard about before and that would eventually blow my mind.
About a two hour drive north-east of Panama City, off Panama’s Caribbean coast line, there lies the San Blas archipelago. With its 365 tiny islands, crystal clear water and perfect
weather, it has everything that comes to your mind when you hear the word “Caribbean”.

We stayed in a tiny tent that we brought, on an island so small it took me exactly 46 seconds to circle it. Apart from us, there was an Indian family living in three huts, some benches, a kitchen, a bathroom and most importantly a few awesome hammocks between palm trees.


San Blas is geographically part of Panama but self-governed by the Kuna, Indians that
originally came from Columbia and settled in Panama in the early 19 th century. They still live the traditional life and keep the San Blas archipelago as pristine as possible – no hotels or mass tourism allowed.


Sunsets on the archipelago are simply mind-blowing. In the evenings we just laid down in the sand and watched the sun set and the stars come out. It was nearly too picturesque to be real.


During daytime, we went on tours going around the archipelago in a small fast boat and
stopped by various islands. We took pictures of starfish and snorkeled at a wreck, played
volleyball on a beach white enough to blind you and finally had tons of fresh seafood. It felt like paradise. If you ever come to Panama, you have to check out this hidden gem of the Caribbean!

You can follow more of Philipp’s amazing travels here.

You can also follow his amazing photography on his Instagram too!