Responsible Tourism with San Blas Adventures

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WE BELIEVE IN ETHICAL TOURISM

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Here at San Blas Adventures, we’ve put a lot of thought, time, and resources into ensuring we practice responsible tourism. We’ve noticed that people who travel a lot tend to care about the places they visit and the people who live there, so most of our customers are enthusiastic and supportive of our responsible tourism practices and policies.

Responsible tourism in the san blas islands

Since 2009 the concept of San Blas Adventures has always been to work closely with the local community.
We have close relationships with many families and communities all throughout San Blas/Kuna Yala. Our adventure brings benefits to parts of San Blas that don’t usually receive tourism. This symbiotic relationship allows us to offer our guests an authentic experience of one of the most intact indigenous areas in the world, at the same time as bringing them an income and helping to preserve their culture.

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Traveling with a kuna team

As well as an international guide you'll be traveling with a full crew of local Indigenous Kuna. You'll have a kuna guide and the crew on our boats are all Kuna.

At San Blas Adventures we work on giving the opportunity to locals to grow and learn. They can become guides, boat captains, and learn English if they have the desire.

This means that you'll have a great opportunity to get to know some locals in a natural way. Even with the language barrier you can always find a way to share a laugh, or play a game of volleyball together. Watch out, they're good!

We build relationships with the local people

The indigenous people living on the San Blas Islands are called the Kuna. They have been on the islands for a very long time and have a rich history and culture that we admire and respect. The people at San Blas Adventures have spent years talking to the locals, getting to know them and asking for their input. We want to know if there’s anything tourists do that bothers them so that we can brief the groups of people we bring on our San Blas island-hopping trips.

We also want our customers to meet the locals as we feel that meeting the Kuna is meaningful part of any authentic visit to San Blas. The relationships we’ve formed with the locals allow us to bring our guests to parts of the islands that other companies can’t (or simply don’t know about).

We ensure the Kuna profit from us and our customers

It’s absolutely essential that the local people make money from us and all of the visitors who come to the San Blas Islands. Building relationships is important, but ensuring that a fair portion of the profit made from tourism in the San Blas Islands goes to its inhabitants feels like a no-brainer for us. We do this by paying the locals for their produce and their services, so it’s a business exchange, not a handout. Whereas most of our competitors make their guests sleep on sailboats at night, we stay in Kuna-made huts. We bring our guests to Kuna settlements, and we feed them with food bought from the Kuna. We also encourage our guests to buy drinks and other wares from them. We have negotiated fair rates for all of the services we receive from the Kuna and this is something we will always do.

Local food: farming and fishing

We want to buy food from the Kuna, to help their economy grow and to help support them in a long-term, sustainable way. While the island-dwelling locals need zero help fishing, we make sure to buy fish from them on a regular basis, ensuring their fishermen receive a fair price for their catch.

Kuna boats

As you know this trip is an adventure and we’ll really be living like kuna for the next few days. All our boats are run by Kuna. Not only that but they were built by kuna! the gas, fiberglas and mechanical work are all done by kuna. Just the motors were made by yamaha:)

This is a really big part of how we ensure most of you fare stays in San Blas, supporting the local community.

Responsible tourism means never being intrusive

Although we know it’s important that our guests meet the Kuna and that we are a great source of income for them, we also put a lot of care and thought into ensuring that our activities are never intrusive or bothersome. We do this by fostering a company culture of respect that we think is easy to instil in our guests. We’ve found that people keen on travelling to the San Blas Islands need very little convincing to be respectful to the locals. People passionate about travel are often respectful and careful, wherever they go!

Recycling and waste disposal on the San Blas Islands

As there are no local refuse disposal centers or areas to dump waste responsibly, trash is a big concern on San Blas. We are limiting the amount of plastic we bring on our trips and ensuring that our guests all do the same. We also have our own recycling system that we implement on all of the islands we visit. This ensures that we always leave the islands in the same state we find them — or better! We also make sure to support the local recycling initiatives. San Blas Adventures is working towards a zero waste goal and we believe we can do this if we keep up the good work!

Supporting local projects in Capurgana - Colombia

Also in Capurgana we have close relationship with the community. Some of our projects:

Building a playground for the children
Sponsoring the soccer team
Helping the soccer team get to other villages and cities to play.
Organise christmas for the kids and give gifts
Organise mother’s day event
Distribute pencils and notebooks for the kids
Sponsoring different community parties/event

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Journey Through the San Blas Islands

San Blas Adventures is the ultimate specialist travel company, providing guests with a completely unique way to experience the stunning San Blas Islands whilst travelling from Panama to Colombia or from Colombia to Panama. San Blas Adventures takes groups of peoples on an adventure through the San Blas Islands, starting either in Panama or Colombia.

We believe in giving you an island experience, not a boat experience, so we spend most of our time on the islands, showing off the beautiful beaches, villages, and meeting the local people. This means you’ll see as much of the San Blas archipelago as possible as you journey between Panama and Colombia.

San Blas Adventures is the ultimate specialist travel company, providing guests with a completely unique way to experience the stunning San Blas Islands whilst travelling from Panama to Colombia or from Colombia to Panama. San Blas Adventures takes groups of peoples on an adventure through the San Blas Islands, starting either in Panama or Colombia.

We believe in giving...

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