Select Page
San Blas, Panama: 10 reasons to love this unknown paradise

San Blas, Panama: 10 reasons to love this unknown paradise

Panama did not figure in my Caribbean imaginary and San Blas was a tremendous surprise, now there is no one to remove this archipelago from number 1 on my list of beach destinations, tranquility and overflowing beauty. Here are the top 10 reasons to fall in love with this destination:

1) Idyllic landscapes: The first thing I felt when I arrived was that it was inside a Windows wallpaper, that classic wallpaper with the island and the turquoise sea that by the way was on my computer during all 90’s. San Blas, Panama, is a true paradise, as soon as you approach in the boat it takes your breath away.

does not look like a wallpaper? Beautiful!

2) 365 virgin islands: No 1 or 2, read well, 365! The islands belong to the Guna and many of them are not inhabited, although they as owners can charge tourists to enter the islands, this usually does not exceed $ 2 or 3 dollars. The islands of San Blas, Panama, are virgins, you can walk them from tip to end and as they are so many, do not be surprised to be in an island completely alone. As in a postcard of the Caribbean.

Like walking on a postcard

3) There are no big hotel chains: This has allowed tourism to be low and therefore the islands of San Blas, are practically intact. Mass tourism has not come to ruin everything, or to destroy everything and hopefully this will continue. Just perfect!

4) Beaches of fine white sand: the sand is fine and because it is white it is not heated, the sea has no waves, perfect for relaxing, without a wave rolling you through the sand.

Beaches of fine white sand, spectacular

5) Perfect for snorkeling and diving: The sea is turquoise and changing tones, the water is of great transparency. There are sunken ships and coral reefs with great diversity of fish and rays, and the sea is a cup of milk in this area. If you like these activities, I think this is definitely your place.

The sea is perfect for scuba diving and snorkeling

 

6) Ancestral indigenous culture Guna: The Guna are a highly respected indigenous people who own the islands in the region of Guna Yala and it is possible to share with them and see their traditions live. They usually sell their daily fishing to tour guides and to the boats that are anchored in the surroundings. They fish the Snapper and also the lobster when it is not in prohibition and they offer it paddling in its carved cayucos. The Guna women work the craft in Molas, which is a kind of fabric embroidery on fabrics, with invisible stitching and lots of colorful, telling stories. It is a precious work and a lot of tradition. Be respectful and you will surely learn a lot from them and why not, bring some souvenirs back and incidentally help the indigenous local economy.

 

Guna women showing their “molas” – Guna canoes

7) Good vibe: Both the Guna and the people who rent rooms on their catamarans and sailboats in the archipelago of San Blas, enjoy a rich vibe of relaxation and good vibes, which is absolutely contagious.

8) Tasty and fresh sea food: You can try delicious dishes of fresh fish and exquisite lobsters, accompanied by the tasty coconut rice.

9) The charm of an island, multiplied by 365: I am a fan of the islands because I feel that in them time seems to stop and people live at a different pace. They value life differently, without haste and calm. They share in a different way with their near and the stress that we live in the big cities simply does not exist. I have always been fascinated by the islands and here this multiplies next to every different island option you have to discover.

The calm rhythm of the islands, that allows to lower the revolutions

10) the starry sky in the sea: Never in my life have I seen so many starfishes together, they are on the edge of the islands, different colors at a glance will see them there. Enjoy looking at them but please do not touch them or take them out of the water. They are very fragile living beings, they die not being in the water, they burn with the sunscreen that we use in our skin and they become stressed when touch them. Lets take care of this true paradise and educate others to last for many more years.

Starfish everywhere!

What do you think of this paradise? Have you lived the experience of discovering this place? In the next post I will tell you everything you need to know to get to this place from Panama City.

 

 

Impressions and tips about Paris: knocking down myths

Impressions and tips about Paris: knocking down myths

Paris, the city of lights, the one they say is the most romantic of all, there are so many myths surrounding it that, somehow, we all have some prejudice about it before traveling. Here I tell you what I thought was true and what was not.

Paris is an expensive city: True, and you realize this before you arrive, as well as looking into booking accommodation you realize that the prices are above the average in other European countries, the tip is to stay a bit further away from the more touristy area. Los precios de las entradas a las principales atracciones (Torre Eiffel, Arco del Triunfo, Louvre, Notre Dame, etc) no se quedan atrás pero sí se mantienen en el promedio del resto de Europa. A good way to save some money is to match your visit with the day that the entrance to the museums is free, for example the first Sunday of the month is free to enter the Musee D’Orsay and I took advantage of entering without having to pay. In the case of the Louvre is the last Sunday of the month but only in certain months of the year.

It really worth it to spend a day visiting this amazing museum

Eating is also expensive, those coffees that we usually see in movies to eat a macaroni or some traditional pastry, none come out paying less than 12 euros. How to survive? The baguette carts on the street are a very good option, you get a fairly large sandwich that you can split in 2 for about 6 to 8 euros and they are big enough to keep you going.

Supermarkets are expensive, but you will always spend less than in a restaurant and the water to drink, from the sources arranged for this purpose, is delicious, I walked around with my bottle and fill it where necessary (I am delicate stomach but the water is really pure).

Do you want to buy souvenirs? On the left side of Notre Dame Cathedral, there are several souvenir shops, but one is particularly cheap. There you will find the typical keyrings of the Eiffel Tower at the lowest price I saw on the whole trip.

French people are very rude: false, I heard this a lot before arriving, that the French were very rude, that if you do not speak in their language they do not answer you, that worse if you speak to them in English, that they have very bad will, etc. And the truth is that it did not seem to me at all.

We had to solve a problem more or less serious and urgent just as we arrived in Paris, optical glasses damaged, a screw was lost, the glass went out and a block from where we were staying, we entered an optic with terror to be treated lousy and that they will charge us dearly and nothing of that happened. The boy who attended, even when he did not understand us much, he saw the glasses, he told us to return early tomorrow, we returned and not only repaired them, but also left them impeccable and did not want to charge us, he insisted that we didnt have to pay him (same situation in Mexico and charged us quite expensive and here in Chile not to mention kindness).

Buying tickets for attractions before arriving will save you a lot of time: definitely true. When we were doing our eurotrip the time was gold and make minimum 2 hours of queue to enter a place is a waste of time. Buy your tickets early and when I say this, I do not speak of a week before, buy them with as much anticipation as you can. This will allow you to visit the places you want to meet, at the right time and even occasionally you can save some money by anticipation. For the Eiffel Tower I advise you to check at what time the sun will set while you are there, so you can go up in the day, take your photos and then see how it changes at the sunset, I promise you it will be an unforgettable show.

Visit the Arc de Triomphe and the Notre Dame cathedral, earn time by buying your early ticket

The Eiffel Tower It´s just junk without grace: false false false, well this is quite personal, but it is something I also heard a lot before traveling and I found it absolutely wrong. In addition to being a site with a lot of history behind, I must say that from the first moment when, walking in the streets of Paris I stumbled across it, I was stunned and it happened to me a lot of times.

Paris is a safe city: true. It seems to me It was a safe city, but for this we must consider that I know South America almost complete and that since I was a little girl I always learned to “walk carefully”, never neglect my belongings, not to walk with things of value, not give opportunity to be robbed in the first place.

I did not observe any situation that seemed to me unsafe and the precautions taken were those already mentioned. I walked through the main areas at night, suddenly through lonely streets and breathed quite quiet.

I felt a lot more insecure days later in Rome for example, where I saw several thefts, both in the subway and in the tourist areas. So in terms of safety, just take the usual precautions, you know “the occasion makes the thief.” Never confide in anyone who wants to give you something “free”, nor do you get into crowds of people and in the subway do not neglect your  pockets or better still, do not have things of value in them and always have a copy of all your documents.

Paris is pure romanticism: Yes. This is probably a preconceived idea given to us by the cinema. But you will run into a bunch of newlyweds taking photos near the tower and lots of marriage proposal during your tour. Original or not, that’s another topic. Romantic I think it can be any city depending on the company, but I do believe that the Parisian atmosphere helps a lot.

I would go back to Paris several times, I think there is always a lot to visit, I recommend walking a lot, every street is a story to tell. Walking on the banks of the Seine, crossing the Bridge of the Arts, the Louvre that leaves you more and more speechless, street artists, everything is a tremendous experience for the senses.

Have you already visited Paris? Tell me about your experience!

How to pick the ideal date to travel to a destination?

How to pick the ideal date to travel to a destination?

There are some mistakes that we can habitually make when choosing the ideal date to travel to a destination that we have in mind, here a small list of some that I have compiled in my personal experience:

1) The season in which the place of destination is: Maybe in your country of origin is low season, like June in Chile and therefore the tickets leaving Chile are cheaper, But in Europe on the same date, it is full summer and it is when everything is fuller, the heat becomes difficult to support and also raise the prices of the entrances to the main attractions and tours and also the accommodation. In my experience, visiting Europe in late summer, in September, starting autumn was the ideal date, prices were lower, also in accommodations, there were not so many crowds and temperatures were very bearable.This is a detail that  sometimes we forget and then we take surprises with the prices when arriving at the place.

2) Weather and natural disasters: most of them can not be predicted, but there are some certainties that we can consider, when choosing our ideal date, here are some examples:

  • Hurricane season in the Caribbean: begins in September so it is much more likely to get many rains in this period and the possibility of being on the path of some hurricane, I remember reading reviews of very angry travelers because it rained heavily on their holidays, but we can´t blame the hotel for that, dont you think so? It´s our responsibility to inform ourselves, although you will not feel cold, if it is possible to encounter more than one tropical storm. I had to travel to Dominican Republic a month after Hurricane Isaac in 2012, and certainly those beaches that normally look like a cup of tea and that have an incredible transparency of water were much more disturbed and full of seaweed because of the that. Bathe in the caribbean sea with a little rain can be an exquisite experience, but a hurricane is a whole different story.

fecha ideal para el Caribe

The calm before the storm

  • Bolivian Winter: To travel to Peru and Bolivia it is important to consider it. It starts in December and lasts until March, although it is the ideal date to find the Salar de Uyuni, in Bolivia, as a mirror of the sky, it must be considered that there may be cut roads and to wear warm clothes according to the weather. If the destination is Machupicchu consider that the town of Aguascalientes is frequently isolated by heavy rains, due to its geographic location. I remember a group of friends whose hostel was flooded and as they had their backpacks on the floor they got all wet, passports, money, etc, because they were on tour at that time. It was quite a mess then contact the embassy to get the documents and travel back home. If you decide to venture on this date, take extra precautions (or leave the backpacks on top of the cabins and consider that your return may be delayed), it is part of the adventure.
  • Closing of border crossings in the Andes: If you are backpacking and you want to cross from Argentina to Chile by land,you have to consider that during the winter in June and July mainly, is quite frequent that the border crossing may be close, because of the snowfall in the mountain range. This is important for several reasons, first because it is essential to use chains in the cars for the crossing and because it may mean staying longer than stipulated in the destination or, in the worst case, being stopped in the middle of a mountain range with a Long list of cars and trucks until you can re-enable the passage, in those cases consider carrying extra food and coat and the car well loaded with gasoline.

The positive side, if we try to think positive, is that many destinations where a natural disaster has already taken place, strive to recover tourism, which is an important source of income for the place, in those cases prices are very low, in this cases evaluate the level of real risk and take advantage of the low prices.

I remember that months after a volcano erupted near Puyehue in southern Chile, nobody wanted to get close to the area and the Hotel Termas de Puyehue launched all inclusive promotions at ridiculously cheap prices, that was the first time I went and I met The wonder that was the National Park Puyehue, already out of all risk, but empty by the collective fear that had been generated.

Now, if you decide to travel to an area where a major disaster has occurred and prices have actually fallen, but there have been people affected, consider packing between your belongings some humanitarian aid (subject that I will touch on another post) and consider making an altruistic trip. As the world gives us, the world receives, and puts our energy in going to help some particular destination, can be a unique experience of life and a different way of knowing a place.

3) Inform yourself to fulfill your dream: If your dream is to visit a particular natural spectacle, find out the ideal date to do it and if you require a particular reservation. My current dream is to see a Aurora Borealis in Iceland and I know that for this the ideal date is between December and May. If you dream of being able to see the plumed serpent coming down from the main pyramid of Chichen Itza, you must be at one of the equinoxes (March 21 or September 21) and try to secure your entry, because its great event and many people want to visit the place.

 

There are several destinations that have been restricting the number of visitors daily or even have been closed for a while, in order to protect them from the impact of tourism on the ecosystem. If you are going to travel far to fulfill a dream, make sure beforehand to be at the right time and ensure your income and I´m sure it wil worth it …

 

Even though there are several data you can take to choose an ideal date to visit a place, the destination can always surprise you out of the expected in some way. The same year 2012 thanks to a travel promotion with kilometers I was able to visit Easter Island and I was lucky to witness a unique moment, the arrival of the Maori from New Zealand, who had been sailing their boat for 3 months and guided only by the stars to arrive.It was very exciting to see the encounter, the Haka of the Maori with their tattooed faces, the typical dances of the Pascuenses and their painted bodies, to see how two cultures that on the map we see distant, actually have so much in common, with the 7 Moai Of the Ahu Nau Nau in the background, was an absolutely overwhelming experience and in that case, impossible to predict, plan your escapades but also let yourself be surprised …

 

Launching of HELP! Traveler Bracelet

Launching of HELP! Traveler Bracelet

One of the most common fears travelers face when traveling, is the fear of not being able to communicate in countries of different language. It´s for them that after an arduous work of raising the most frequent necessities that we have traveling, I have designed HELP! traveler bracelet, so you can ask for directions just by indicating the icon of what you are looking for.

Tris travel accessory was born inspired by the Iconspeak T Shirt, that is a genius invention, but solve a few problems I saw there, like you can´t use it everyday, take up space in your luggage, and that you have to take it off to take a shower or bathe in the sea. Your HELP! traveler bracelet you can use it during all your trip, without need to remove it, is comfortable and resistent, and you don´t need to point your upper body, something that for women can be uncomfortable and even a disrespect in some countries. In addition, as you use it on the wrist, you have instant visual access to the icons to point them out quickly and easily as you need.

Communicate with just point out in your HELP! Traveler Bracelet what you need

HELP! Traveler Bracelet, was made of durable silicone,non-toxic and non-flammable, has 14 universal symbols, comes in 6 vibrant colors, and the advantage is that you can use it during your entire trip, without occupying space and has an attractive design.

Between the symbols that you will have in your HELP! Traveler Bracelet are: police, hospital, hostel, food/restaurant, currency exchange, plug for charging your electronics, bathroom, and public transportation, among others. I hope with this accessory to help travelers, and that language ceases to be a barrier for them to travel the world.

The packaging is recyclable and has a friendly design. Has a double function, in addition to containing the bracelet will serve you as a disposable tag for your suitcase or backpack.

Brilliant colors and an atractive design

If you are interested in getting the bracelet, I will be giving away some on the fan page of the blog in facebook. And to acquire it you can contact me here through the contact form. The bracelet is available in Chile, Argentina and Mexico for the moment, but I hope to be able to put it in many more places soon. Good news!! if you are in the United States you can buy it on Ebay now! 

If you already have your HELP! Traveler Bracelet, don`t forget to upload your picture with it touring the world to Instagram, using the hashtag #pasaportesindestinoHELP or tagging the acount @pulseraviajerahelp. Monthly I will be delivering awesome gifts to travelers who upload their photos. If you want to know more about how to use your bracelet, I invite you to see the following animation

 

%d bloggers like this: