The San Blas Archipelago
Formerly known as the Malutas Archipelago, the islands are home to many of the Kuna indigenous people of Panama, the Archipelago stretches along the North Eastern shore of Panama in the Caribbean Sea. It is incorporated in the politically autonomous Kuna Yala, a self governed territory of the Kuna people.
The group is made up of over 360 different islands, many of which are uninhabited – some sources claim that a mere fifty of this string of islands are in fact inhabited. The Kuna people are known for their independence have come to embrace the tourism potential of their islands, and prove to be very welcoming and entrepreneurial hosts to the foreign tourists, other activities of these people include fishing and coconut ‘farming.’
This region is almost entirely only accessible by plane or water, and an ideal outing would be chartering a yacht or plane to explore the more popular islands of Coco Blanco, Wichubwala, or Kagantupu – although there are so many islands, one might as well explore some others to find the ideal location for your trip(s). The crystal clear waters and white palmed lined beaches make a sure treat for any visitor and diver. The eco friendly nature of Coral Lodge nearby these islands makes for the ultimate in romantic getaways.
Life in the San Blas Islands has changed very little, as the Kuna are a close society preserving their heritage and customs. One may have the chance to visit one of their villages where you will be able to get one of their famous molas, which is a hand woven item usually worn by the woman, another famous item that can be found here is the unique lapis lazuli necklaces and jewellery. A lot of their history and rituals are combined in their molas and make an ideal memento or gift from you Panama visit. You may be lucky enough to see the Sahila performing their traditional song and dance for their villagers.
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