After visiting the Panama Canal and several port facilities and fulfillment centers, we had an after-party retreat in the San Blas Islands, home to the semi-autonomous indigenous Kuna Indians.
Getting to the islands from Panama City was an adventure in itself: 2 hours speeding on the Pan-American Highway + 1 hour of stomach-churning windy mountain roads to Port Carti + 1 hour of slamming soaking-wet motor boating to the island of Kuanidup. Anything that wasn’t sealed in a plastic bag went straight to the laundry line.
Kuanidup is about 30 meters in diameter surrounded by reefs with good snorkeling. I can best describe the experience as going to the beach and not being able to leave, for better or worse. We also boated to neighboring islands inhabited by the Kuna, including a town with a school and their congress, a dirt-floored building with elders on hammocks.
The two Kuna hosts on our island provided us with 3 meals a day which were all variations on a plain carbohydrate, some veggies, a unique delicious fish or seafood stew, and fresh fruit for dessert.
The quaint wooden huts made for cozy dwellings amid the foreign grass that felt oddly similar to AstroTurf. It was a great place to relax and be isolated from mainland matters.