To make a reservation for one of our tours, please complete the booking form on the respective tour page in 4 simple steps.
Step 1: Select your tour date
On the booking calendar, select the date of your tour. If booking an accommodation, please select the date range (from/to).
Step 2: Select the number of guests
On the drop down menu, please select the number of adults and the number of children.
Step 3: Select extra items
Select any extra items specific for your tour.
Step 4: Payment and Booking Request form
On the next screen, please fill out the booking form. Depending on the tour you are booking, this will either be a payment form, which asks you to enter your payment details on our third party, secure payment portal (Stripe or Paypal) or to leave your booking request details, in which case we will get back to you within 24 hours to confirm availability.
It depends on the tour you want to take. Some of our tours can be booked 10 hours booked the night before, while for others we need a few weeks notice so we can customize it to your needs and create your perfect vacation getaway. However, we will do our best to accommodate your schedule. If a tour is not available when you want to take it, please contact us and we will see what arrangements can be made.
Some of our tours require special planning, customizing, and contacting third-party providers. Please fill out the Booking Request form with your reservation details and we will usually get back to you with availability information within the hour.
We aim to respond to your tour request as quickly as possible. We will usually respond to you with tour availability information within 1 to 24 hours.
Yes, we offer online payment through a secure Web server. Payment is currently accepted via all major credit cards and PayPal. Please select “Stripe” payment method to pay by credit card or PayPal to send funds through PayPal.
For select bookings that require us to verify availability with our providers, we will email you an invoice with your tour confirmation, which includes payment instructions.
- 1 month and more, we will refund 100% of your deposit
- 21-30 days before, we will refund 50% of your deposit
- 11-20 days before, we will refund 25% of your deposit
- 1-10 days before, we won’t refund your deposit
- More than 90 days before first day of charter 100% refund
- Between 89 to 60 days before first day of charter 70% refund
- Between 59 to 30 days before first day of charter 50% refund
- Between 29 to 15 days before first day of charter 30% refund
- Less than 15 days to day of charter 10% refund
Yes you can. We kindly ask you to give us as much notice as possible so that we can accomodate your change requests. We strive hard to make all of our clients happy and try to win your continued business and referrals to your friends and family.
In general, unless otherwise stated for the particular tour, we require a minimum 50% deposit at the time of booking in order to reserve your tour. The remainder is due by either one of two options:
Option 1: Pay remaining 50% by credit card or Paypal at least two days in advance
Option 2: Pay the remaining 50% in Cash on the Day of your tour
We accept: VISA, MASTERCARD, AMEX, Paypal and CASH.
For payments made online, we charge a 3% booking fee.
Unfortunately no. We accept all major credit cards, Paypal, ACI and wire bank transfers and crypto payments.
If you have a booking that has been impacted by COVID-19, you may still be eligible to change or cancel your booking if:
- You are impacted by the travel and/or disease control restrictions implemented by your local authorities or the authorities in your destination of travel.
- You are a medical professional and must perform duties in connection with the COVID-19 outbreak.
- You have been diagnosed or are suspected of being infected with COVID-19 by health authorities.
In any of these cases, you may cancel your booking with a 100% refund, less service, payment processing or convenience fees.
PLEASE NOTE AN OFFICIAL COVID-19 TEST WITH POSITIVE TEST RESULT IS REQUIRED. HOME TESTS ARE NOT ACCEPTED.
To visit Mexico, you must bring the following documents:
- A valid passport or travel document. There is no need for a minimum period of validity of the passport (for example 6 months); but this document must be valid during the length of your stay in Mexico.
- A properly completed Multiple Migratory Form (FMM). This form will be provided to you by the airline or at the port of entry. You can also complete this form online. Please click here: https://www.inm.gob.mx/fmme/publico/en/solicitud.html
Please keep it in a safe place and do not lose it. You will be asked for this document at your departure from Mexico.
- Mexican immigration officers at the port of entry may request additional documents depending on the purpose/activity of your trip.
- Tourism: Hotel reservation, return tickets, etc.
- Business: Letter in Spanish from your foreign company indicating that you are their employee and that you will not be paid by a Mexican company.
- Technicians: A copy of the contract for the transfer of technology, patents and brands, purchase of machinery and equipment, technical training of personnel, or any other related to the production process of a company established in Mexico.
- Students: Letter of invitation or acceptance from any institution pertaining to the Mexican national educational system to take courses, conduct a research project or undertake academic training for a maximum period of 180 days.
You can stay in Mexico for up to 180 days on a typical tourist card. The immigration officer will usually list 30 or 60 days for the amount of days you are allowed to visit. If you need want to stay longer than the number of days written on your tourist card, you will need to apply for an extension.
Updated December 14th, 2020
The Government of Mexico does not requires a COVID-19 test to enter the country. However, certain health screening procedures at airports are in place (such as temperature checks).
The United States and Mexico entered a joint initiative March 21 restricting non-essential travel along the U.S.-Mexico land border to prevent the spread of the COVID-19 virus. Non-essential travel includes travel that is considered tourism or recreational in nature. The restrictions are in place until at least January 21, 2021. Please see the Embassy’s fact sheet for more information.
Travelers entering Mexico by land from the United States may be denied admission if the purpose of their visit is considered non-essential. Travelers should carry evidence of the essential nature of their visit and evidence of their resident status in Mexico, if applicable.
For more information, please read here.
When planning travel to Mexico you should consider the weather and seasons so you can make informed decisions about where to go and what to pack. Many people automatically assume that the weather throughout Mexico is always hot, but that’s not the case. Mexico is a large country and its weather can vary greatly from one destination to another.
The weather in Mexico is determined not only by latitude but also by altitude. Mexico has tropical forests, dry deserts, fertile valleys, and snow-capped mountains. Since Mexico’s terrain is extremely varied, so is the weather. On the coast, the climate is generally balmy year-round, but some months are rainy and others dry, and Mexico City can have days that are quite chilly, and nights that are downright frigid.
In Chiapas, and specifically in San Cristóbal de las Casas, the wet season is overcast and the dry season is partly cloudy. However, the weather is usually very agreeable all year round. Over the course of the year, the temperature typically varies from 43°F to 73°F and is rarely below 39°F or above 79°F. The best time of the year to visit San Cristóbal de las Casas for warm-weather activities is from mid March to mid May.
As you travel to the beaches, close to Tapachula, the weather is usually hot and oppressive year round. Here, the temperature typically varies from 70°F to 91°F and is rarely below 67°F or above 94°F. The best time of year to visit Tapachula for hot-weather activities is from early December to late March.
In Oaxaca, the wet season is overcast, the dry season is partly cloudy, and it is warm year round. Over the course of the year, the temperature typically varies from 47°F to 87°F and is rarely below 42°F or above 93°F.
The best time of year to visit Oaxaca for warm-weather activities is from late February to mid May, while visitors to the beaches of Oaxaca will find the perfect weather from mis November through mid April.
Quintana Roo (Playa del Carmen) Weather:
In Quintana Roo, the summers are short, extremely hot, and partly overcast; the winters are warm and mostly clear; and it is humid year round. Over the course of the year, the temperature generally varies from 64°F to 97°F and is rarely below 53°F or above 105°F.
The best time of year to visit Quintana Roo for warm-weather activities is from mid November to mid March.
Mexico is a vast country with very distinct regions, climates and ethnic cultures. Over the course of time, each region has developed its own traditional way of cooking, using different spices and ingredients.
North of Mexico – famous for its meat dishes especially beef and wheat in the form of flour tortillas
Oaxaca region – known for its savory tamales, tortillas and celebratory moles. For the more adventurous gourmet-minded, we recommend you to try the famous fried ants (“Chicatanas”) or crickets (“Chapulines”).
Yucatan – tropical fruits infused cuisine, such as the Sopa de Lima, a chicken and tortilla soup made with the distinctive local limes.
Mountainous regions of the west – known for the famous birria (goat/beef/mutton/pork in a spicy tomato-based sauce)
Pacific Coast & Baja California Peninsula – seafood (mariscos) dominates the cuisine
The three main staples in Mexican dishes are corn, beans and chillies (hot peppers), which have all been used for centuries before the Spanish arrived. Corn is consumed in a variety of forms, but most importantly as a tortilla (a thin, round pancake made from corn dough). Tortillas are also used to make tacos and quesadillas, popular throughout the country. Avocado, tomatoes and rice also feature heavily in Mexican dishes.
Mexico adheres to four main time zones, while most of the country observes Daylight Savings Time.
- Zona Sureste (‘Southeast Zone’) covers the state of Quintana Roo has GMT -05:00 year round, which is the equivalent to the U.S. Eastern Standard Time.
- Zona Centro (‘Central Zone’) covers Mexico City, Guadalajara, Monterrey and Oaxaca. For most of the year, it has GMT -06:00, which is the equivalent to the U.S. Central Time. The state of Oaxaca does not observe daylight saving time.
- Zona Pacífico (‘Pacific Zone’) includes the states of Baja California Sur, Chihuahua, Nayarit, Sinaloa, and Sonora, which adhere to GMT -07:00, or the equivalent to U.S. Mountain Time. The state of Sonora does not observe daylight saving time.
- Zona Noroeste (‘Northwest Zone’) covers the state of Baja California Norte, which adheres to GMT -08:00, or the equivalent to U.S. Pacific Time, including the daylight saving time schedule.
To enter Panama, all foreign visitors will need a passport that is valid for at least six months from the date of entry. Tourists will also need proof of having at least US$500 (a bank statement, credit card, or travelers checks will work) and a return/onward ticket out of Panama.
- Effective July 11, 2022, the mandatory use of masks covering nose and mouth is lifted for both indoor and outdoor spaces, with the exception of health care facilities, public transportation, and food industry staff manipulating and serving food.
- Additionally, effective March 28, 2022, the mandatory use of facial screens on public transportation throughout Panama is also lifted.
- The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has issued a Level 3 Travel Health Notice for Panama due to COVID-19. The State Department has also issued a Level 3 Travel Advisory for Panama. Read the Health Notice and Travel Advisory.
- The Government of Panama’s Ministry of Health (MINSA) reminds citizens and residents of Panama that staying at home, not touching your face, and washing your hands frequently are the best means of prevention against COVID-19.
- All restaurants, stores and other commercial establishments are currently available. Some establishments may require proof of vaccination for entry.
- The Government of Panama requires a 7-day quarantine in a government designated hotel/hospital for individuals who test positive for COVID-19.
- U.S. citizens in Panama should be prepared to stay and quarantine at least 7 days if they test positive. Individuals who require daily medication should be prepared with enough supply for at least an additional 7 days. They may also want to pack sufficient personal hygiene supplies.
Tourists from most countries are allowed to stay in Panama for at least 30 days. The upper limit is usually 90 days. Please refer to your country specific visa requirements here.
Panama and its unique geographic location and terrain is ideal for a wide range of activities, including zip-lining, island-hopping, hiking, surfing, scuba diving and white-water rafting. Each location has its unique charm and offers exciting tour opportunities. The area surrounding Valle de Anton has excellent hiking, zip lining and horseback riding, while Bocas del Toro and Santa Catalina have world class surfing beaches. Coiba National Park, close to Santa Catalina, has unparalleled scuba diving reefs.
We will gladly help you plan your Panama stay and show you our many tour options around the country.
Due to its unique geographic location and terrain, the weather in Panama is extremely variable. In general, there are two main seasons – rainy and dry. The rainy season typically lasts from mid-April through mid-December, while the dry season lasts from mid-December until mid-April. Different areas of Panama also have different weather patterns. While the Pacific side of Panama is generally hot and dry (with rain in the afternoon during the rainy season), the Caribbean coast has a lot more variable climate, being warm and fairly humid throughout the year and with some rain throughout the year — this includes the Bocas del Toro and San Blas archipelagos. The mountainous parts of Panama – including Boquete and El Valle de Anton – usually enjoy a more temperate climate with often misty and cloudy conditions throughout the year.
Typical Panamanian food revolves around beans, rice, plantains, and meat; which includes beef, chicken and pork. Fresh seafood is also widely available and very tasty. One of the best treats around here are the tropical fruit, which are plentiful. Unfortunately, fresh, green veggies don’t do well down here, and are therefore not very abundant. Panamanian breakfasts usually consists of eggs, meat, tortillas, fruit, and coffee. Lunch and dinner are similar and involve some type of meat or fish, beans and rice, and vegetables like yuca and plantains. Empanadas are snacks enjoyed in between meal times and Chinese stir-fried noodles can be bought on every corner of the city. You may want to try ropa vieja (which literally means old clothes), a shredded beef medley served over rice, or sancocho, a hearty soup made with yuca, chicken and veggies. Arroz con pollo (rice with chicken) is another meal you’ll come across virtually everywhere. These meals are inexpensive and served in small restaurants called fondas that serve fast, hot food.
Panama adheres to Eastern Standard Time (EST) and does not observe daylight savings time, which means that Panama is always five hours behind Greenwich Mean Time (-5:00 GMT).
San Blas FAQs
While San Blas is a beautiful island archipelago with stunning beaches and clear waters, it also has its downsides, for which we would like to make you aware off.
- San Blas is very rustic without the amenities and standards you might be used to from home. Compared to places such as Tahiti and Maldives that are managed by international hotel chains, San Blas has remained autonomous without the influence of outsiders. When visiting San Blas, it should be viewed as a cultural experience where guests live with the Kunas and respect their traditions and ways of living.
- No aircondition
- No Wifi
- No luxury facilities
- Electricity only available between
- 6pm and 6am
- Water is a precious commodity in San Blas. It is either brought in by boat or pumped from the island well. Oftentimes pumps can malfunction and cause water outages.
- Beds and mattresses can be uncomfortable
- All services will all be handled by the indigenous Kuna. While Tao Travel 365 strives to provide the best service possible and train the Kuna in customer management, some of the below services are often out of our control.
- Car transportation (the ride to San Blas takes 2.5 to 3 hours, with 1.5 hours over slow, curvy roads with potholes. For those with motion sickness, please prepare accordingly)
- Boat transportation (depending on weather and ocean conditions, the 20-40 minute boat ride might be bumpy and wet with ocean spray).
- Island cabin management (cabins are very rustic and facilities, such as showers and bathrooms are often “home-made” with PVC pipes. Some guests have complained that sheets are old).
- Island kitchen (meal plans are repetitive and food might taste bland)
- Trash is a worldwide problem and unfortunately San Blas has not been spared from the ever increasing issue. During certain tides and ocean and wind conditions plastic trash from throughout the Caribbean ocean accumulates on the beaches of San Blas. While the local Kuna are working hard to collect the constant trash washing up on their beaches, guests will nevertheless find evidence of plastic spread out on the island.
- During the wet months (April – December) or during windless days, all of San Blas experiences sandflies, which are little blood-sucking flies that leave itchy marks. Please ensure to bring natural insect repellent and prepare to return to Panama City with a few itchy memories.
- Due to the complexity of the logistics involved with each reservation in San Blas (arranging cars, boats, cabins and meals), we kindly ask our guests to adhere to the itinerary schedule sent to them in advance of their trip to San Blas. For any changes in schedule, you must first contact our office and we will attempt to accommodate your request. Please note that additional fees may apply.
We kindly ask our guests to lower their expectation when visiting San Blas and to focus on the beautiful paradise that San Blas has remained despite the effects that modern society has ceased to them. The Kunas are very gentle and kind people, but can also be somewhat shy at times. When approaching them with a smile and an open heart you will be guaranteed an innocent, happy smile in return.
- Bring your original passport for the border crossing into the Guna Yala territory.
- Beach towel or pareo
- Sun Cream
- Hat/ Cap
- Mosquito repellent (during the wet months, some islands have little sandflies that can be very annoying)
- Closed beach shoes
- Long sleeves t-shirt (lycra)
- Sea sickness tablets (the boat transportation can be a little choppy and windy)
- Small water proof sac (advised for those who want to bring the camera to the beach)
- Enough change if you want to buy any souvenirs (the locals hardly ever have change)
- Cooler with additional snacks and drinks
- Most importantly bring your smile and good mood!
The boat ride varies, depending on the tour you booked and what islands cabin or sailboat you chose to stay in. Below is a rough estimate of boat ride times:
- Day tour – 25 minutes
- Cabins – between 10 to 35 minutes
- Sailing charter – between 30 to 40 minutes
Please note that going to the islands, the boat ride may get a little wet and bumpy, depending on the wind and wave conditions. We advise you bring motion-sickness medication and waterproof covers for your belongings.
The drive from Panama City to the port of San Blas is around 2.5 to 3 hours each way. The first hour of the trip is on Panamanian highways, while the remainder of the drive leads over slow, windy jungle roads with frequent potholes and off-road sections. If you have a tendency for motion-sickness please plan ahead accordingly.
We have large 4×4 SUVs (i.e. Toyota Fortuner, Toyota Prado) that fit 6 passengers – One person in the front seat, three in the middle row and two on the back row.
Yes you can, BUT we generally advise against it due to the challenging driving conditions and to avoid guests arriving at the port delayed and missing their tour.
Please also note that only 4×4 vehicles are allowed to enter the Guna Yala territory. All other cars will be turned around at the border crossing (if your car makes it that far).
We also advise to leave Panama City on time to reach your tour boat on time. Tour boats cannot wait for latecomers out of respect to other guests.
Parking at the port is very safe and costs around $5 per day.
Unfortunately no. San Blas is very remote and does not have any electronic payment options. Only cash is accepted.
Unfortunately no. We accept all major credit cards, Paypal, ACI and wire bank transfers and crypto payments.
Depending on your carrier and the location where you are in San Blas, you may pick up some phone signal. From our experience, the best Panamanian cell phone providers with the best signal in San Blas are Digicel and Tigo.
The high season in San Blas starts in December and lasts through March. This is when Panama experiences its “Dry season”. During this time, San Blas enjoys consistent Tradewinds and sunshine.
However, during the “wet season” guests get to enjoy the islands with less wind and calm days. While there may be occasional rain showers, the sun is never far away from San Blas. One note: on days without any winds, some islands have sandflies, which, similar to mosquitos, are very annoying. Please bring insect repellant.
Please contact our office as soon as possible. We will do our best to accommodate your extension request and find you another available cabin on the island you are staying on or on another island.
Panama is located in the Intertropical Convergence Zone with very unpredictable weather.
The weather forecast for San Blas is usually incorrect!
Oftentimes the weather forecast will indicate rain for each day of the week, while in reality San Blas enjoys beautiful, sunny weather.
However, rain is very common in the tropics and may occur during your stay in San Blas, often at night.
Even with rain, San Blas remains a paradise!
Unfortunately no. San Blas is located in the Intertropical Convergence Zone and rain can occur at anytime. Weather is impossible to predict.
Our tours to San Blas operate every day of the year. Since all services in San Blas (car ride, boat ride, island operation) are managed by the indigenous Kuna, who rely on the income of their hard work, we hope you understand that after consuming their services we cannot refund you if it rains.
A vacation on a sailboat charter can be the experience of a lifetime and give you unforgettable memories. In order to properly prepare you for your trip and align expectations, please take some time to read each point below. If you have any questions or concerns regarding any of them, we will gladly answer any of them.
- All Sailboat Charters in San Blas are hosted on privately owned sailboats. Please be aware that the Captain and crew will be welcoming you into their home and that they will share their island lifestyle with you.
- A sailboat charter is not a hotel resort experience that has waiters and staff. Please be respectful towards the Captain and his Crew.
- Always follow Captain’s orders! For your safety and the safety of the boat, please adhere to the instructions of the Captain and Crew.
- Fresh Water – Sailboats carry only a limited amount of fresh water with them. Please be aware of your water consumption when taking showers.
- Bathrooms – Sailboat bathrooms have marine toilets that function differently than the toilets you are used to from home. Please follow the instructions given by the Captain on how to use them and DO NOT flush any paper into the toilet.
- Wifi and Cell-phone coverage – The islands of San Blas are located in a remote area. While some islands may receive cell phone signal, others may not have any. Cell phone signal even in the “good coverage” areas can often be unreliable. If you need to stay connected, please inform us and your Captain in order for us to plan the itinerary accordingly. We recommend that you purchase pre-paid phone cards with Tigo and Digicel, which will provide you with the necessary wifi and cell coverage.
- Dietary Restrictions – Please inform us as soon as possible, if you have any dietary restrictions or food allergies. Sailboat charters generally serve lots of fresh seafood.
- Luggage – Sailboats have limited space available and cabins are generally very small. Please pack lightly and avoid bringing rigid suitcases. You won’t need much in San Blas. If you travel with lots of luggage, most hotels in Panama City will gladly store it until you return from your trip.
- What to bring – bathing suits, bio degradable sunscreen, insect repellant, hat, sunglasses, extra cash for souvenirs.
- Sailboat itinerary – We suggest a minimum of 3 nights for each sailboat charter in order to explore different islands and areas. We recommend to book 4 nights, if you would like to visit the remote Holandes Cays. Itineraries ultimately depend on weather and ocean conditions and are determined by the Captain.
- Transportation to the sailboat – We will arrange your roundtrip transportation, which is in a shared 4×4 SUV (one guest up front, three guests in the middle row and two guests in the back row) and a shared Lancha boat.
- Car transportation – the ride to San Blas takes 2.5 to 3 hours, with 1.5 hours over slow, curvy roads with potholes. For those with motion sickness, please prepare accordingly
- Boat transportation – depending on weather and ocean conditions, the 30-45 minute boat ride might be bumpy and wet with ocean spray. Lanchas are very basic speedboats and operated by Kunas. Do not expect any luxury transportation.
We kindly ask our guests to visit San Blas with an open mind and to focus on the beautiful paradise that San Blas has remained despite the effects that modern society. The Kunas are very gentle and kind people, but can also be somewhat shy at times. When approaching them with a smile and an open heart you will be guaranteed an innocent, happy smile in return.
The shared car transportation service usually arrives at the port of San Blas between 8:30am and 9:00am, depending on traffic and on tardiness of other guests.
To provide a timely service to everyone, we ask all guests to kindly wait at the lobby of their lodgings at 5:00am.
San Blas is an autonomous territory within Panama with a border crossing, similar to an international border. Custom officials will check everyone’s passports. If you do not have your original passport with you, you cannot enter the territory.