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Traveling from Panama to Colombia

M M
Vancouver, Canada
5 posts
1 review
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Traveling from Panama to Colombia

Hi,

I will be in Panama January 2014 and have been told I must have a forward ticket showing I am leaving Panama within 6 months. I would like to sail from Panama to Colombia through the San Blas Islands. Does anyone have recommendations for a company to book through? I am backpacking and on a tight ish budget.

Thanks!

Boquete
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29 posts
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1. Re: Traveling from Panama to Colombia

Not sure what to say here. You can give it a try without a forwarding ticket, but if pressed, go ahead and purchase a refundable ticket home and then you can always cancel it if not needed.

One word of warning about sailing to San Blas - Charters are not permitted unless it is being facilitated by the Kuna, so be very careful who and where you book. Here's a good link about it: www.mamallena.com/sailaroundsanblas.html

Boquete
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29 posts
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2. Re: Traveling from Panama to Colombia

Meant to also mention that Mamallena also does charters to Columbia. There are plenty of tour operators to Columbia that a quick google search will give you plenty of other options.

Central America
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1,932 posts
30 reviews
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3. Re: Traveling from Panama to Colombia

Still some pretty sketchy and over loaded boats running this route...chose carefully.

Brisbane, Australia
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1 post
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4. Re: Traveling from Panama to Colombia

Me and my wife just finished travelling with Gypsy Moth through the San Blas from Panama to Columbia and it was awesome! Sim (the owner) has a great set up, is very friendly and helpful, and is a master chef with more food than you could eat! Even with a little bit of rough weather, he made the trip very enjoyable and comfortable, so I would have no hesitation recommending Gypsy Moth and Sim to anyone wanting to do this trip.

Edited: 18 November 2013, 19:16
Medellin, Colombia
7 posts
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5. Re: Traveling from Panama to Colombia

Yes. You need proof of $500 USD cash, credit cards will do, and proof onward ticket to enter Panama from Costa Rica. Some travelers I met were asked to show a print out of their bank statements as proof too.

I just crossed this land border via bicycle this past month. There is no ticket for the sailboat to use as proof since you are paying at the hostel or booking agency in Panama City. I was researching boats too to cross the Darien Gap. When you get to the hostels in Panama City, they will be able to help you out. I ended up flying instead since I got sick.

If I will do it next time around, I might head to Colon or Portobello where a lot of the captains might be and try to cut a deal directly with them. It might require waiting around a bit for a few days and hanging out at a bar to see what boats are in the area.

Also, if you are on a budget check out the bulletin boards at the yacht club near the Amador Causeway since sometimes captains are looking for crew.

Auckland, New...
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1 post
10 reviews
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6. Re: Traveling from Panama to Colombia

My wife and I went on gypsy moth in November 2013, from panama to Colombia and from the moment I saw captain sym's lucious blond locks whisping in the sea air, I knew it would be a good trip. The boat was really nice and clean, food was amazing, especially the Argentinian steak and sym has done this trip a lot so we went to some really good spots around San blas, including snorkelling a few reefs and a shipwreck. Would definitely recommend gypsy moth as I know there are some dodgy boats that do the trip.

CDY
Medellin, Colombia
Destination Expert
for Panama City
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3,687 posts
97 reviews
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7. Re: Traveling from Panama to Colombia

Haha - more bogus posts from sailboat charters, these posters really need to spruce them up a bit to be believable.

You can buy a fully refundable tiket and then cancel once inside Panama, just make sure there are no hidden fees, Copa charges $50 to refund a fully refundable fare

Edited: 18 January 2014, 12:51
chitre
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145 posts
87 reviews
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8. Re: Traveling from Panama to Colombia

Here at Miami Mike s Hostel ,Chitre, Panama we are booking people for boats to COlombia

9. Re: Traveling from Panama to Colombia

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Central America
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10. Re: Traveling from Panama to Colombia

Or just fly. Airfare wars now and fares are cheap. We just flew Avianca round-trip Medellin for $125 per person.

Much less expensive than the charters and you don't have to worry about end up on some of the dodgy boats that work this route.