Guna Yala, formally known as San Blas, can be considered a Panamanian Paradies. This blog will further explore why the islands are considered a paradise and why one should visit and further explains the Guna tribe and the people who inhabit the land. Additionally, suppose one is planning to travel to the Guba Yala islands. In that case, it is essential to purchase travel insurance, and therefore one should look at travel insurance companies’ online reviews to better understand previous customers’ experiences. Furthermore, if you are looking for guided tours, then tripster has a wide variety of tours and excursions.
Where are the Guna Yala islands situated?
If you have never heard of the Guna Yala islands, they are an archipelago just off Panama’s eastern coast. With over 300 islands, 49 of which are inhabited by the Guna tribe and over 51 communities. Reaching the Guna Yala islands can be done within a day. One will first fly from Panama city to one of the coastal towns, where a sea boat or taxi will take you to the Guna Yala islands, where you can be in time to have a mid-morning swim in the crystal waters.
What is Guna Yala known for
Guna Yala is known for its beautiful beaches, adventurous tourism, traditional cultural tourism, bird watching, hiking, and sea kayaking, to name a few. The culture and history that these islands encapsulate make it a destination that one must visit at least once in their life. It perfectly combines tropical and historical components with so much natural beauty and ancient practices.
Why you should visit the Guna Yala islands
Besides the gorgeous beaches and the stunning wildlife, there are a few other reasons to visit the Guna Yala islands, namely, exploring the islands. With over 300 islands, there are many abandoned and uninhabited islands to explore. Moreover, when exploring, one might come across thatched houses that were once homes to the Guna tribe’s ancestors. Additionally, Guna Yala has one of the most preserved coral reef systems globally and, therefore, has a variety of wildlife that you can snorkel with. It is important to note that scuba dividing is not permitted. In addition to this, one can explore the history, tradition, and cuisine of the Guna people. Often the Guna people open their homes to tourists and charge a small fee to cook them meals made from the island produce. Moreover, one can even partake in the process of their meal by catching their fish using traditional techniques while being observed by a guide.
The Guna tribe
There are roughly 62,000 members of the Guna tribe who inhabit the Guna Yala islands. The Guna people still live as their ancestors did, in small wooden shacks covered with palm leaves, hammocks hanging, and smoldering pieces of firewood. One of the Guna people’s traditions celebrates gender equality and gender fluidity. Furthermore, the Guna people have been welcoming tourists for decades. Although they are very welcoming to visitors, the Guna people are solely independent. With economic success and self determinization being fundamental values, they have flourished in the trades of fishing and clothing manufacturing. Additionally, some of the Guna people sell their traditional art to tourists as another way to earn money and educate people on their culture.
The Guna Yala islands are home to not only the Guna tribe but an abundant array of wildlife and sea life. With well-preserved coral reefs, one can swim among fishes. Moreover, one can explore the islands and learn about the Guna people’s traditions and heritage.