Terms and conditions
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Hello, thanks for booking with San Blas Adventures!
To fully enjoy this trip, it's very important that you get acquainted with the trip preparation information, the route, any additional costs and how to get to the departure port for the trip.
Please find below our FAQ website link, the Summertime document link and our company's Terms and Conditions and Liability Release.
To finish your booking process please confirm by replying to this email that you agree, have read, understood and agreed to the FAQ page , the Summertime document and the Terms and Conditions below:
* By booking our trip you understood, accepted and agreed on our FAQ, Terms and Conditions and Liability Release
TERMS & CONDITIONS
Baggage allowance & extra baggage:
Each guest has a baggage allowance of one large backpack and one small carry on bag.
Extra: If you would like to take something extra please check with us before booking to confirm that we have space.
- Extra backpack $30
- Surfboard $30
- Kite board $30
- Bicycle $100
Note: The extra charge covers the extra weight on the boat and does not cover damages. You should take care of your gear on the boat. If something breaks it’s your responsibility.
Surfboards: We suggest you sit at the front of the boat and watch your board. Take charge of taking the board on and off the boat yourself and storing it somewhere it won’t get damaged for the night.
Passport - Immigration - stamps
Stamping out of Colombia: You will do this in the immigration office on the main street of Capurgana after the meeting the day before the trip . It is totally free and easy.
*Canadian nationals have to pay a 160.000 pesos entrance fee to Colombia. If you didn’t pay this entering the country they may charge you as you leave.
Stamping into Panama: We do this on the first day of the trip and all costs are covered by us. This stop will take at least 45 mins, and can take much longer depending on the mood of the officials at time, so you will need a little patience.
You will need 3 copies of your passport to give to immigration.
Passport: You will need your passport for immigration the day before the trip in Capurgana to stamp out of Colombia, and on the first day of the trip to stamp into Panama. You’ll also have to show it to Panamanian officials as you leave San Blas in the jeep on the last day.
What’s included ?
- 4 days - 3 Nights
- Boat travel between Carti, Panama & Sapzurro, Colombia
- Boat travel from Carti to Sapzurro or Sapzurro to Carti (depending on trip direction)
- Meals, from lunch on the first day to lunch on the last day
- Tour Guide
- Kuna Yala entrance fee
- Islands Fees
- Panama Immigration fees
- Snorkelling equipment
- Beach equipment
- An unforgettable experience!
Do I have to pay island or immigration fees ? No. We take care of your stamp in or out of Panama, your entrance fees for Kuna Yala & island fees for each island. On the Colombian side stamping in is free* and is done in Capurgana.
*Canadian nationals have a 160.000 pesos entrance fee to Colombia. You will need 1 extra copy of your passport.
Rules & Respect for the Kuna:
Our relationship and your experience
After many years of operating in San Blas we have developed very close relationships with the local indigenous community, the Kuna. Being able to share this experience with you, and share you with them, is an integral part of our trip and what really sets us apart.
Throughout the trip you will be meeting locals who work with us, communities that we work closely with, and villages where we buy supplies like fish/seafood, rums, & ice, etc. We highly respect the communities in our route and we plan our trips so we don’t exhaust the villages with our visit.
Most of our crew are from these villages and we are welcome there.
As an individual you are welcome to go around villages to talk with and meet the locals.
Photos: Photos are a big deal in Kuna Yala, some will ask you 1$ for taking a photo of them, some will completely refuse. In all cases you will need to start a conversation with them first and then ask for a photo.
Kuna children will go after your camera and make your photography a dream! However, you will still need to ask their permission and if their mother or father is around, you will need to ask permission from them.
Coconuts: The San Blas islands are coconut plantations planted by the Kuna. Every coconut, no matter where you find it, has an owner whom you need to find and pay before going crazy banging it on rocks and whatever you can find to try and get it open. Kunas have machetes and they will open it for you.
Village Rules: Always wear a shirt in villages, Ask before taking pictures. Sometimes the Kuna may charge you 1$ for picture. Please don’t offer alcohol to the Kunas, particularly rum, the reaction is not fun for anyone! You can bring things for the Kuna kids. Some suggestions are: books, pens, volleyball, basketball, football, any game.... It’s better to give these kinds of things than sweets.
What is Not included?
- PERFECT WEATHER & SEA CONDITION - NO GUARANTEES
- ACCOMMODATION BEFORE & AFTER THE TRIP
- ALL TRANSPORTS BEFORE AND AFTER THE TRIP
- ALCOHOL, DRINKS, WATER
- SNACKS BETWEEN THE MEALS
- FINS (snorkel and mask are included)
Summertime: December to April
Summertime… and the livin’ is breezy! “Summer” in San Blas is from December to April and means blue skies, hot days and strong winds. Due to weather conditions at this time of year there are a few things we do differently that you need to take into consideration before booking with us.
Weather : During these months there is a strong wind that comes almost constantly from the north-east. This means that the sea can be rough, sometimes too rough to travel in. For the same reason, at this time of year, few sailboats travel to Cartagena as the open ocean stretch can be too rough, particularly outside Cartagena. Our trip is along the coast, mostly within the protection of islands and reefs, however there are sections where we are exposed to rough seas. We operate at this time of year with extreme caution. Safety always comes first and it’s possible we may delay or cancel a trip, before or during the trip. We will always keep you up to date and informed on sea conditions and possibility of delays or cancelation.
Differences to be aware of:
Voyages: Due to the winds our travel times can take longer and you’ll get wet.
Delays and flights: It’s important that you do not have a flight or anything pressing at the other end. The trip could be delayed before it begins or we may have to wait a day or more on one of the islands to let weather pass (this can be a great extra experience, if you’re not in a rush, more time on the islands!). The longest we’ve been delayed in the past is 4 days. Deposit is refundable in the case of delay.
Extra costs: if we do get stuck on the islands there will be an extra cost of $30 a day for food and accommodation. We suggest you bring around $150 extra money on top of the recommended amount, in case there are delays.
Book early: Being high season and windy season together there are many travelers and few boats so get in sooner rather than later!!
To give you an idea of the frequency of delays, in general we are delayed 2 – 6 times throughout the entire high season and delays in the past have been anywhere from 1-4 days.
Cancellation: (This is extremely rare, however we have to have a policy)
If the trip is cancelled due to weather before the trip we will refund your deposit.
In the very unlikely event that the trip is cancelled during the trip and we have to return we will refund $80 per day for the days of the trip remaining and provide transport back to the start point.
Once the trip has started there are NO REFUNDS
If you decide to cancel/leave the trip, during the trip, because of a delay or any other reason there is no refund and you will need to pay for boat transport back to the start/end point.
We will warn you before the trip of the likelihood of delay. If you’re worried about a flight after the trip it’s better to cancel and take another transportation.
Bicycles and motorbikes
- Bicycles: Before booking check with us that we have space to take a bike on the trip date you want to travel. Cost: $100
- Motorbike: Sorry, we cannot take motorbikes.
- Pregnant women? We do not bring pregnant women on our trip to avoid possible complications with the pregnancy due to the bumpy ride on the boat.
NO DRUGS ON BOARD!
Be 100% sure you have NO DRUGS with you on the trip. At some point the authorities may check all your luggage, in which case they will find whatever you have and you will go to jail for a very long time, like 10 years! Not fun. Rum on the other hand is legal and lots of fun!!
** The army will check all your luggage at the Panamanian immigration – Be 100% sure you don’t have any drugs, they will find it and you will go to jail for 10+ years**
Payments & Cash
We require $120 USD per person deposit to confirm your reservation. This is payable through our online booking system at
On rare occasions if a guest for some reason cannot make the booking online we can take deposit with PayPal. *there is an additional 7% charge for PayPal payments.
Paypal full payment:
We are able to take a very limited amount of full booking payments with PayPal per trip. Usually 1-3 per trip. This will be available on a first come first serve basis. *there is an additional 7% charge for PayPal payments.
You do not need to be registered with PayPal to pay your deposit. Instructions on how to pay can be answered by email.
Your remaining balance is due before the trip in cash in dollars. WHY?
Our trip is through a very remote part of the world. Part of what sets us aside from other routes & tours through San Blas is how closely we work with the communities and how much of our adventure is provided by the locals including our crew, boats, accommodation, food, and the beautiful places we spend time at each day. It is necessary for us to receive balances after deposit in cash in order to pay for each service provided by the Kuna.
Prepare for no cash machines :
Remember, there are NO CASH MACHINES, NO BANKS & NO ATM´s between Necocli and Panama city, in San Blas, Capurgana & Sapzurro. We suggest taking money out a few days before the trip to avoid last minute problems. You’ll be changing countries during our trip and Panama is in dollars.
Make sure to exchange enough dollars in a major city before the trip.
Our trip is all inclusive, except for drinks.
How much money you need will depend on how much you drink and if you buy extras like Kuna art!
Delays and flights
Delays: It’s possible at any time of the year that a trip can be delayed
Low season Sep - Nov: On rare occasions in the low season we may delay a trip one or two days if there are not enough people booked.
Random events: Sometimes in Panama, Colombia or in San Blas there are events (like a strike) that can stop everything. In this case there’s nothing we can do but wait.
Refunds due to delays: If a trip is delayed for any reason and you are no longer able to make the trip we can refund your deposit.
Flights: We suggest you leave a few days leeway in your travel plans and particularly if booking flights after the trip. This way you’ll be relaxed if something happens out of the ordinary.
If you do have a flight booked directly after the trip understand that there is always some risk you might not make it. Of course if you let us know we will do everything we can to help you get you to your flight on time.
Bookings are transferable to another date or direction free of charge if we are notified at least 10 days before departure *subject to availability.
3-10 days before the trip = fee of $20 per person in the booking
1-2 days before the trip = Fee of $40 per person in the booking.
*This doesn’t apply for health, or other emergencies with proof. In that case send us an email with the document showing why you had to rebook.
Cancellation and Refund Policy
IF YOU WISH TO CANCEL YOUR SPOT ON A TRIP SCHEDULED:
If you cancel you may be eligible for a refund depending on how many days before the trip you cancel:
More than 30 days : FULL REFUND
8 - 30 Days (DAYS INCLUDED) : 50% REFUND
*7 Days or less : NO REFUND
*We will not refund any deposit amount if you have cancelled less than 7 days before your scheduled departure.
Refunds will be mostly done with PayPal or through our booking online system.
IF WE CANCEL OR DELAY A TRIP : We only cancel a trip if there is a severe weather warning or if the Marin office does not give us clearance to travel. On rare occasions we may delay the trip a day or so if we don't have enough people to run the trip or if for some unforeseen reason we cannot leave on the day scheduled.
If our trip cannot proceed on the scheduled departure date, we will reschedule in the next day/s. In that case we will let you know sending an email explaining the delay. We issue full refunds if a trip date is moved or cancelled due to weather or any other reason.
We will issue a full refund if we cancel the full trip. If we cancel the full trip, you can also join the next departure if there is an available seat and if that works for you.
*By Booking the trip you accepted our FAQ, the terms & conditions and liability & release
HEALTH AND SAFETY
All travelers must have their own health Insurance.
Having a personal insurance is not a mandatory requirement,but, we strongly recommend you to subscribe to an insurance policy to protect you.
We are an adventure company traveling in a very remote area.
We do as much as we can to avoid accidents. Our crew are trained to respond in emergency situations and look out for dangers but no matter how much we take care accidents can happen in this environment. It is still up to our travelers incentives to look after themselves and avoid mishaps.
Life jackets: Will be provided and it’s important that you wear them at all time while on the boat.
Safety in the water:
Stay in a depth and distance from the island you are totally comfortable with. Only go snorkeling with at least one other person. No swimming at night. At night you can get in the water close to the island but not swim around off the shore.
What happens in an emergency? Some of the village islands throughout San Blas have clinics with doctors trained in western medicine. Most issues can be dealt with at these clinics. In worse cases we would have to make every effort to get an injured person to Panama City.
Allergies: If you know you allergic to something and could need an epi pen, please make sure you have it with you!!! This could save your life.
Do I need a Travel & Health insurance? This is not mandatory but we strongly recommend all travelers to have their own Travel & health Insurance. Remember that you will be traveling in remote islands. We recommend travel-insurance policy that covers loss/damage/theft of personal belongings and medical insurance that covers travel and water sports. We cannot be responsible for such incidents on the trip.
*By booking you accept our terms and conditions and liability release
Property Loss/Damage Policy: You are responsible for and must take care of your own property.
In the transport before and after the trip:
Take care of your personal stuff during the transport before and after the trip, make sure you don't forget anything inside the vans, buses or jeep you travel with. If you forget something it will be lost and almost impossible to get it back.
On the islands: Every time before leaving an island, getting on, or off the boat, make sure you have all your stuff packed and don't forget anything on the islands, phone, towel, sunglasses,... You will almost definitely never go back! and you’ll probably never get back what have left behind.
Your responsibility: We can not be responsible for your personal items left behind, missing, lost or damaged. The best is to take care of your stuff.
NOTE : Remember that you will be traveling in remote islands. We strongly recommend you to get a travel-insurance policy which covers your personal items lost, damaged or stolen.
Transport Before & After the Trip Policy
Third party transport: Although we help you organize transportation from Cartagena to Necocli, or from Panama city to Carti, Carti to Panama City, all vans hostels, and boats are not a part of San Blas Adventures or our services. We do our best to choose the most professional, organized and punctual providers. If some part of the trip does not go as planned, please be patient. you can call your guide with any problems during the travel.
Our trip: Remember our trip is a speed boat island hopping trip starting in Sapzurro and ending in Carti or vice versa. All transport outside of this trip is 3rd party and not part of our tour.
Why 3rd party transport is not included:
There are many reasons why we do not include transport before and after the trip.
1: To give guests flexibility in their travel plans before and after the trip.
2:Running our tour in this remote part of the world is a logistical monster. It’s more than enough for us to run and be responsible for.
3: We cannot control the transport provided. We really have minimal control over the quality of the service and the actions of the providers. They are the way they are.
4: Our boat transport is run by Kuna and they have limits to where they can take their boats. That’s why the tour starts in Sapzurro and not in Capurgana.
Just like before a flight your taxi is not included to the airport.
We help by giving information and helping to organize transport before and after the trip however these extra services are not part of our tour and ultimately they are your responsibility.
Not always perfect: We do our best to work with the most professional providers available to us, however the fact is that in this part of the world even that best could be well below what you might find in a 1st world country.
On rare occasions these third party services may: be late - unorganized - drive too fast - drive too slow - have a car that’s not in the condition you’re used to - be unfriendly - make you wait somewhere or pick people up you think shouldn’t be in the car... Maybe even a chicken if you’re lucky! That’s life in this part of the world.
Complaints about 3rd party transport: Please do not complain about the third party transport or let it bring you or others down if your experience is not perfect. You have to understand that there is NOTHING WE CAN DO. That’s why we let you know here about all the things that can happen. In saying that it doesn’t mean that you’ll definitely have a bad experience. 95% of the time it’s fine. Obviously if something extreme happens then we want to know. However, ultimately complaints should be taken up directly with the provider in question.
Only bring good energy on our trip please!
Extra service from us & not mandatory: The transport we help organise before and after the trip is totally not our transport and organising it is an extra we do to help make things easy for you. You’re completely welcome to organise your own transport and make your own way to the start point of our trip.
Personal belongings: We can not be held responsible for any property loss or damage during these travel with 3rd party providers. However, in the case something does happen, we will communicate with the transport provider and do our best to assist you.
Price changes: We do our best to keep our information up to date but 3rd party providers can change their prices from day to day. All prices are subject to last minute changes and our information may not be 100% up to date. If you see our information is not up to date please let us know.
AGREE AND ACCEPT OUR FAQ?
By booking our trip you understood, accepted and agreed on our FAQ, Terms and Conditions and Liability Release
SAN BLAS ADVENTURES - LIABILITY RELEASE
Recreational Activity Release of Liability, Waiver of Claims, Express Assumption of Risk and Indemnity Agreement
Express Assumption of Risk Associated with Recreational Activities.
At San Blas Adventures – San Blas Adventures .S.A.
By accepting this release I hereby affirm and acknowledge that I have been fully understand the inherent hazards and risks associated with the recreational activity generally described as boat trip and outdoor adventure tour of which I am about to engage in. Inherent hazards and risks include but are not limited to:
1. Risk of injury from activity during the tour, on the boat, on the islands, in the water and with equipment utilized is significant including the potential for permanent disability and death.
2. Possible water damage or damage of any kind may occur to my personal belongings and electronics.
3. This activity takes place outdoors and therefore includes risks associated with exposure to elements, excessive heat, impact of the body upon the water, injection of water into my body orifices, encountering objects either natural or man- made, exposure to animals, sea life, corals and rocks which may bite, sting, cause infection, cut or puncture my skin in an unanticipated manner causing injury and/or death.
4. My own negligence and/or the negligence of others, including but not limited to operator error and guide decision making including misjudging sea condition, weather, route and schedule.
5. Attack by or encounter with insects, sea life, or land animals.
6. Accidents or illness occurring in remote places where there are no available medical facilities.
7. Fatigue, chill, and/or dizziness, which may diminish my/our reaction time and increase the risk of accident.
8. Accident, sickness, injury or death related to any kind of transport before, during or after the trip.
*I understand the description of these risks is not complete and that unknown or unanticipated risks may result in injury, illness, or death before, during and after the trip. Release of Liability, Waiver of Claims and Indemnity Agreement In consideration for being permitted to participate in the activity(ies) described above the related activities, I hereby agree, acknowledge and appreciate that.
I understand that the transport provided during this trip is provided by the Kuna people and is not the responsibility of San Blas Adventures. Also, all transport before or after the trip is provided by external providers and is not the responsibility of San Blas Adventures.
1. I HEREBY RELEASE AND HOLD HARMLESS WITH RESPECT TO ANY AND ALL INJURY, DISABILITY, DEATH, or loss or damage to person or property, WHETHER CAUSED BY NEGLIGENCE OR OTHERWISE, the following named persons or entities, herein referred to as releases.
2. To release the releases, their officers, directors, employees, representatives, agents, and volunteers, and vessels from liability and responsibility whatsoever and for any claims or causes of action that I, my estate, heirs, survivors, executors, or assigns may have for personal injury, property damage, or wrongful death arising from the above activities whether caused by active or passive negligence of the releases or otherwise, before, during or after the trip. By booking the trip, accepting or executing this document, I agree to hold the releases harmless and indemnify there in conjunction with any injury, disability, death, or loss or damage to person or property that may occur as a result of engaging in the above activities.
3. By entering into this Agreement, I am not relying on any oral or written representation or statements made by the releases, other than what is set forth in this Agreement. This release shall be binding to the fullest extent permitted by law. If any provision of this release is found to be unenforceable, the remaining terms shall be enforced.
This release shall be binding to the fullest extent permitted by law. If any provision of this release is found to be unenforceable, the remaining terms shall be enforced.
BY ACCEPTING THIS DOCUMENT I CONFIRM I HAVE READ THIS RELEASE OF LIABILITY AND ASSUMPTION OF RISK AGREEMENT, AND I FULLY UNDERSTAND ITS TERMS, AND UNDERSTAND THAT I HAVE GIVEN UP LEGAL RIGHTS BY ACCEPTING IT, AND I ACCEPT IT FREELY AND VOLUNTARILY WITHOUT ANY INDUCEMENT.
AGREE AND ACCEPT OUR FAQ? By booking our trip you understood, accepted and agreed on our FAQ, Terms and Conditions and Liability Release