The Kuna people, San Blas Islands

The Kuna people, San Blas Islands

A people apart.


San Blas Islands

It's almost understandable that there are 'lost' tribes in countries as huge as Brazil, but somewhat more unusual in a place as small as Panama.


A tribe apart

A short flight from Panama City north takes you to the beautiful San Blas islands archipelago, a slice of Caribbean paradise but also home to the indigenous Kuna tribe, who are self-governing and autonomous from the rest of Panama.


Life unchanged

With their colourful dress and customs, the Kuna navigate their way around the archipelago in dug-out canoes and still hunt and fish using traditional methods. Although their main income is through tourism, it is still in its infancy and the accommodation on some of the inhabited islands is rustic at best.

Many of the 365 palm-tree covered islands are completely uninhabited and offer excellent snorkelling, sea kayaking and sailing opportunities.