Ships visiting the San Blas Islands must anchor up a good distance from the main island and tender into port. The tender wharf is located right in the middle of the island's market and beach area.
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The San Blas islands are a bit of unspoiled paradise. The Kuna indians live on these hundreds of tiny islands just off the coast of Panama. They dress just as you would expect with the women wearing the family capital in the form of gold around their neck, in their ears or in their nose.
Life is still very simple here: most of the houses have electricity but no plumbing.
It is possible to visit the villages of the Kuna Indians, or to explore the jungle on the mainland.
The women are fascinating to look at. Most have pierced noses and some have a tattooed line down the middle of their forehead and continuing over their nose. It seems as if each woman wears gold in some form. They make great photo subjects, but don’t try to take their photos without the necessary dollar for the privilege.
It pays to compare your cruise line shore excursions here.
The native people wear very colorful traditional clothing and make and sell beaded jewelry and molas, which are creatively stitched squares and articles of multilayered cloth that can be very elaborate and take weeks to make. They also incorporate the mola craft into clothing, shirts and other various articles which can be purchased.
Panama uses the Balboa and the US Dollar as its currencies. The balboa is equivalent to the US dollar and has exactly the same value, but in reality the Balboas only exist as coins that are equivalent to the US coins.
Languages Spanish (official), English 14% note: many Panamanians bilingual.
Shopping hours vary, but most of the stores and shops open from 9:00 am to 6:00 p.m. and some even up to 10:00 p.m. from Monday to Sunday.
Holidays in Panama
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