Friday, March 9, 2012

Thoughts Running trips into the tropical Paradise Kuna Yala

Kuna Yala is a semi-autonomous indigenous territory in the Caribbean Coast of Panama. It is made of a thin band of coast and 365 Islands, mostly of very small size. A stunningly beautiful location, with many logistical difficulties on many different levels.
Running multiday sea kayak trips in this tropical paradise has sure been very interesting and challenging. The place´s remoteness makes access difficult. Getting a group of up to 12 people, all of the necessary gear, supplies and food there was not easy. Not to mention guiding them and overseeing the safety and enjoyment.

Not only do you need the necessary Kuna permits, and constant on site negotiation to pull the whole thing together but also the orchestration of the right and reliable people to work with you. You need to use lots of motorized transportation in whatever it takes, SUVs, airplanes, helicopters, boats and you do it in the most respectful way. Additionally the dry season, although dry is also characterized by a presence of strong winds (trade winds) which occasionally land locked the crew and guests. Among other challenges experienced was a constant presence of stowaways, constant breaking and damaging of equipment, and communication glitches with the kuna. It's paradise for the guests, but for me, I have to say, I sure got tired.

For kayaking trips in the San Blas area, click here


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