Catamaran Sailing from Colombia to Panama

It’s the final week of my suggested travel bucket list for you 🙁 Not to worry though, I’ve still been traveling and I will have some more posts for you as well as some tips for how to make the most of your travel and how to get the best travel deals.

Anyway, back to the bucket list. In no particular order, my top 10 suggestions for your travel bucket list are:

  • Kayaking and swimming in the bioluminescent bay in Vieques, Puerto Rico
  • Seeing the millions of monarch butterflies in Michoacan, Mexico
  • Desert safari off-roading, camel riding, and dinner show in Dubai, UAE
  • The Grand Canyon in the USA
  • Superman zip-lining in the cloud forests of Costa Rica
  • Machu Picchu in Peru
  • Ruins of the city of Ephesus in Turkey
  • Helmet diving in the Caribbean
  • Crossing the Andes
  • Sailing from Colombia to Panama through the Sand Blas islands

This week I’ll talk about sailing from Colombia to Panama on a catamaran.

Instead of flying back to Panama to wrap up my journey at the end of last year, I decided to sail there on a 52′ catamaran from Cartagena, Colombia. The journey was 5 days and took us through open ocean as well as through the San Blas islands on the Caribbean coast of Panama.

For more details and info about how to do it yourself, check out my original post about the experience and take a look at this video of the journey:

Sailing from Colombia to Panama

While I am an avid traveler and am pretty relaxed about most of traveling’s annoyances, sometimes I hit the wall and cannot deal with another airport. That’s how I felt when it was time to leave Colombia to head back to Panama so, instead of a quick flight, I opted for a 5 day sailing aboard a 52′ catamaran and stopping in the San Blas Islands.

The first time I was in Panama I heard quite a bit about San Blas but never made it out there and, as a former cruise ship worker, I love being out on the open ocean so I thought the sailing would be a great way to see the islands while giving me a welcome break from the airport.

I booked through http://colombiapanamasailing.com/ aboard the Santana and then headed off to Cartagena to meet the ship. Now, I am not a backpacker but this was a backpackers’ sailing so it was quite a bit more rugged than I am used to but I had an amazing time. While I was sailing solo, I especially recommend it for couples as the open ocean and sunrises and sunsets are gorgeous and romantic. The living quarters are cramped and there is nothing to do but enjoy the view, swim, tan, and snorkel so be sure to bring a good book, but if you like the water you will have a fabulous time relaxing on this trip because you are completed disconnected.

You start in Cartagena and meet the boat’s captain and the other passengers the day before you set sail. Then your journey begins with 2 days of sailing before you arrive in the San Blas islands and get to swim, snorkel, and explore a number of different islands in the area as well as a ship-wreck. The last morning you’re up early and dropped off in Puerto Lindo where you can catch a bus to Panama City.

Check out the video below to get a quick taste of the ship and the sailing:


 

Cartagena, Colombia

After many months of travel and visits to Medellin and Bogota in Colombia, I was completely sick of airports and wanted a different option for heading back to Panama  so I opted for a sailing between Cartagena, Colombia and Puerto Lindo, Panama on a catamaran. I’ll talk more about the sailing next week but in order to join the ship I had to go to Cartagena, Colombia. This week’s video is a quick look at the coastal city.

Cartagena is on the Caribbean coast of Colombia and, like many Caribbean and pseudo-Caribbean former Spanish colonies (like San Juan Puerto Rico or Panama City, Panama) it’s broken down into the historic district full of old Spanish architecture and defensive fort remnants and the rest of the city, which is more modern. I found the people in Cartagena to be welcoming and friendly, however, it seemed like a tourist trap to me. At risk of offending the people from Cartagena, I didn’t see what it had to offer that was much different than any other Caribbean port city and, having traveled in the Caribbean extensively because I used to work on cruise ships, I think there are nicer places to visit. I met plenty of travelers that were enamored with the city, however, so you’ll have to see it for yourself to decide. To get a quick preview, check out the video below for a look at the historic area.