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Wild Card

PANAMA, COLOMBIA & SAN BLAS ISLANDS

Wild Card ★★★★★ 4.5
5 1

WhatsApp +57 301 792 4767

60FT | 18 M

MONO HULL

20

GUESTS

5

NIGHTS

$550.00

PER PERSON

Overview

Wild Card is long term and extremely popular member of the Panama, Colombia sailing fleet. Since 2010 the boat has been making year round sailing trips from Panama to Colombia and return. They have taken over 4,000 guests in that time along with Wild Card’s sister boat, Sovereign Grace.

The boat has a large, heavy steel hull  structure, making it one of the few boats that will make the open ocean sailing to Cartagena all year round. The size and stability makes it a popular choice for passengers concerned about seasickness.

This trip aboard Wild Card is ideal for solo passengers, groups and couples who are happy to travel as part of a large group.

Captain & Crew

Wild Card’s captain is South African Charlie. He has been sailing since his early twenties, making four transatlantic crossings and sailing various different boats.

Charlie has operated many charter trips and made boat deliveries throughout the Caribbean and South America.

He is a popular skipper with his guests on Wild Card along with his wife Nathalie and their son, who are very much part of the operation as well. This is gives extra reassurance to many passengers who have read horror stories of irresponsible captains.

Charl Anton De JonghCAPTAIN

Design

Wild Card is 60ft in length and weighs 40 tonnes. Both the hull and topside of the boat are steel. This extra weight on an already large boat means it is more stable in heavier seas compared to many other typical sailboats sailing between Panama and Colombia.

Accommodation

There are twenty berths available on Wild Card. All are $550.00 USD per person*

If you want to be sure of getting a certain berth please let us know in advance so we can be sure there is availability for you before booking.

Two privates with double beds
Two standard double beds in shared open style cabins
Semi-private triple cabin with three single beds
Standard singles in shared open style cabins

* Standard trip price. Subject to seasonal changes. Does not include Guna Yala fee

Wild Card – Puerto Lindo To Cartagena

Please be aware that the information provided is only an example itinerary.

Your trip and the islands you visit may be different depending on climate and on anchoring conditions. Extreme weather conditions may also result in delays or changes to the departure and arrival locations

DEPARTURE PORT

Puerto Lindo, Panama

ARRIVAL PORT

Cartagena de Indias, Colombia

INCLUDED

Five nights
Immigration agent and port fees
Village tour
All meals

Tea, coffee, water
Snorkel equipment
Stand up paddle board, beach toys, Hammock

NOT INCLUDED

 Guna Yala fee $20 USD
Transport to Puerto Lindo

Entry visa/fee to Colombia if required
Alcoholic drinks & sodas

Day 1: Departure

Your Captain or a crew member will meet all passengers in the morning in Puerto Lindo. Final location details and time will be confirmed when your booking is complete.

After a trip briefing and final instructions you will have some time for final preparation before you board and set sail at around 14:00.

The sailing from Puerto Lindo to San Blas is normally around 8 – 10 hours. You will anchor for the night near to Isla Chichime ready for your first full island day to come.

 

Day 2: San Blas Islands

Because you will awake with the boat already in San Blas, your total island leisure time will be the maximum possible amount over the coming days.

You will visit Isla Porvenir where immigration is completed by the captain while guests are given a guided island tour of either nearby Nulunaga or Whichubhuala.

The boat will then likely spend the evening anchored at the Western Holandes at Julio’s, a popular spot to drink some ‘Coco Locos’ on the beach. A pirate party and bonfire may be an option depending on the willingness of guests to get involved.

 

Day 3: San Blas Islands

Providing there is enough wind you will hoist the sails and get some genuine sailing experience as you make your way to your next location.

Isla Ogopsibudup, Green Island or the ‘Swimming Pool’ anchorage in the Eastern Holandes are possibilities to spend the day and anchor for the night.

 

Day 4: San Blas Islands

The San Blas tour will continue into you third and final day before sailing to Colombia.

The popular Coco Bandero anchorage is a possibility, alternatively another location in the Eastern Holandes. You will finally say goodbye to the San Blas Islands in the afternoon before starting your sail to Cartagena.

 

Day 5: Sea Day

The whole day and night will be spent sailing to Colombia on the open ocean. Make sure you have a book to read.

 

Day 6: Arrival

In  most cases the boat will arrive into Cartagena and anchor in the bay at some point during the morning. You will likely have  to stay on board until the immigration process has been completed on your behalf.

You will be taken ashore near Club Nautico Marina, around 5 minutes by taxi to the main hostel and guest house area.

Frequently Asked Questions

If you are still unsure about something fell free to contact us

ARE THERE ANY HIDDEN COSTS?

No. You will need to budget for your own transport to start the trip at Puerto Lindo, and the ‘Guna Yala Congresso’ fee.

We advise you to you to take some extra cash in USD in case you want to buy souvenirs, additional snacks, beers and coconuts

HOW CAN I PAY THE FINAL BALANCE?

The final balance must be paid in cash, USD only.

You should be sure to have this ready in advance of leaving Panama City. There are no cash facilities in or anywhere near Puerto Lindo

Please remember your bank may restrict the amount you can withdraw when abroad in any 24 hour period. Please prepare accordingly.

HOW DO I GET TO PUERTO LINDO?

Public Transport

$8.00 USD – $10.00 USD
3 To 5 Hours

YOU WILL NEED TO STAY OVERNIGHT PUERTO LINDO IF YOU CHOSE TO TRAVEL THIS WAY. THERE IS NO CONNECTION EARLY ENOUGH TO USE THIS OPTION ON THE MORNING OF DEPARTURE. .

Take the express bus from Albrook Terminal in Panama City to the city of COLON. You will need to buy a pre-loaded transport card at one of the kiosks in the departure hall. They depart every 30 minutes or when full. On arrival in the bus station in Colon you must ask for the next departure Puerto Lindo. There are normally only 4 or 5 each day so its best to travel early.

It is also possible to connect in the town of ‘Sabanitas’ a small town before Colon, however this is not recommended when travelling with large luggage. The busses here often arrive already full with many locals struggling to board.

Shuttle Service

$25.00 USD
2 Hours 30 Minutes

When there is sufficient demand we can arrange a direct transfer option from Panama City. You will be collected from any centrally located hotel, hostel or B&B and taken to the meeting point for your pre-departure briefing with the captain in Portobelo or Puerto Lindo.

This service is provided by non-affiliated local operators. We do not take any commission from them and cannot accept responsibility any lost or damaged items or other issues. You are free to book your transfer with your hotel or a local agency.  Prices are subject to change.

WHAT SHOULD I PACK?

Before boarding you should separate all your belongings into two separate bags. One small/medium for anything you might need for the five day tour. You will keep this with you on the boat by your berth.

High factor UVA skin protection
Book
Ipod/Phone
Swim wear
Light clothing, T-Shirts & shorts, sandals
Camera
Snacks, juices/soda, alcohol
Towel
Light jacket/sweater
Flashlight

You main larger luggage will be stowed and difficult to reach, make sure no essential items are packed. We strongly advise you to protect this larger luggage with large plastic trash bags. Use one to line the outside and more for the belonging inside, just in case.

CAN I CHARGE MY PHONE/CAMERA?

Yes, at certain times. The captain will let you know when it is possible. We recommend switching it off to conserve battery when you are not taking photos.

DOES THE BOAT HAVING SNORKEL AND FISHING EQUIPMENT?

Snorkel gear is available to use

Your captain will likely fish with lines while sailing in certain locations. Using rods from the boat while anchored in the islands will probably not be possible.

The local indigenous population heavily rely on selling fish themselves. To ensure sustainable and responsible tourism the captain will abide by the locals wishes not to fish in certain locations.

WHAT WILL WE DO EACH DAY ?

When you are in the San Blas islands the captain will likely leave you to make your own decisions what to do.

The captain and crew can help you organize beach parties, bonfires and visits to local villages, however they are not tour guides and cannot babysit guests. Their main responsibilities are on board the boat.

You can of course enjoy snorkelling, swimming or just relaxing on the beach or boat.

DO I NEED AN ONWARD TICKET FOR IMMIGRATION IN COLOMBIA ?

No. At this moment in time it is not required when you arrive with a sailboat.

You should however check if the passport you are travelling on has any special conditions upon entering Colombia (ie Canadian reciprocal fee, please check your status)

WILL WE ACTUALLY BE SAILING?

Wild Card will sail at certain times when there is sufficient wind and it is safe to do so. It isn’t realistic to complete the crossing from Panama to Cartagena without motoring.

Preparation Checklist

  • Withdraw all the cash you need to pay the final trip balance, Guna Yala fee and anything additional BEFORE you leave Panama City. There is no ATM services in Puerto Lindo
  • Anything additional you may want to bring along for the trip such as alcohol, sodas, snacks etc should also be bought in advace. You may not have time on arrival before boarding the boat.
  • Before leaving the city please also be sure to make a photocopy of your passport photo page and the page containing the entry stamp issued to you on arrival in Panama. This may be needed for immigration
  • Separate your luggage into two bags. One small ‘day pack’ for what you will need for the time on the boat and your main bag/backpack which will be stowed away. It is also advisable to protect luggage with large plastic trash bags.
  • Dramamine is recommended for seasickness. Be sure to buy before leaving Panama City. You may want to consider taking early on your final day in the islands them to start working in advance before you set sail towards Cartagena. You captain will advise.

Wild Card – Cartagena  To Puerto Lindo

Please be aware that the information provided is only an example itinerary.

Your trip and the islands you visit may be different depending on climate and on anchoring conditions. Extreme weather conditions may also result in delays or changes to the departure and arrival locations

DEPARTURE PORT

Cartagena de Indias, Colombia

ARRIVAL PORT

Puerto Lindo, Panama

INCLUDED

Five nights
Immigration agent and port fees
Village tour
All meals

Tea, coffee, water
Snorkel equipment
Stand up paddle board, beach toys, Hammock

NOT INCLUDED

 Guna Yala fee $20 USD
Onward transport from Puerto Lindo

Entry visa/fee to Panama if required
Alcoholic drinks & sodas

Pre-Departure Meeting

A meeting with your captain will take place the day before departure at a local hostel in the Getsemani area of Cartagena. The captain will give a briefing and confirm final arrangements for departure the following day

 

Day 1: Departure

Wild Card will be anchored near Club Nautico Marina, in Manga. This is around five minutes in a taxi from the Getsemani area.

You will meet at the marina or nearby supermarket at specified time given by the captain at the pre-departure meeting. It is usually late afternoon or early evening.

Dinner will be provided as you set sail to Panama.

 

Day 2: Sea Day

A day and night sailing to the San Blas Islands and Panama. You won’t have much to do except catch up on some reading. Keep you eyes out for Dolphins who might give you an escort along the way.

Depending on weather conditions you may arrive to San Blas early and anchor for the evening around 9pm near the islands.

 

Day 3: San Blas Islands

If the boat isn’t already anchored overnight you will arrive at some point early in the morning.

You will be in a remote area of the outer islands of San Blas, far from the mainland. Cayos Coco Bandero and the Eastern Holandes are popular areas to explore in this region of the archipelago.

 

Day 4: San Blas Islands

Another Island awaits nearby in the Eastern or Western Holandes. Isla Ogopsibudup, Green Island and the the ‘Swimming Pool’ anchorage are some of captain Charlie’s favourite locations in this area.

 

Day 5: San Blas Islands

This will be your final day in the San Blas Islands before sailing to the Panama mainland. All guests will be invited to a guided island tour of either Nulunaga or Whichubhuala.

The final island of your San Blas adventure will be Isla Chichime. Wild Card will sail at around sunset for your final overnight leg to Puerto Lindo.

 

Day 6: Arrival

At around sunrise the boat will anchor in the bay of Puerto Lindo, a typical small Caribbean town on the Panama ‘Costa Arriba’ not far from Portobelo.

After breakfast and saying goodbye to your hosts you will be taken ashore to town. Busses will be available to make your way to Panama City. Alternatively pre-arranged group transport can be ordered for anyone interested.

Frequently Asked Questions

If you are still unsure about something feel free to contact us.

ARE THERE ANY HIDDEN COSTS?

No. As per the information provided above you will need to budget for your own transport after the trip has ended to get from Puerto Lindo to Panama City, and the ‘Guna Yala Congresso’ fee.

We advise you to you to take some extra cash in USD in case you want to buy souvenirs, additional snacks, beers and coconuts

HOW CAN I PAY THE FINAL BALANCE?

The final balance must be paid in cash, $USD to the captain when you board in Cartagena.

You can change change your Colombian pesos to $USD at the best rates locally. This is the most economic way of paying, you will avoid high credit/debit card charges and poor exchange rates.

HOW DO I GET TO PANAMA CITY FROM PUERTO LINDO?

Public Transport

$8.00 USD – $10.00 USD
3 To 5 Hours

 

Take a bus to the city of COLON. Here you will find connections to Panama City, they depart every 30 minutes or when full and arriving to Albrook Termnal

It is also possible to connect in the town of ‘Sabanitas’ a small town before arriving to Colon. If you chose this option you may not get a seat on the bus to Panama and might have to stand the whole journey.

Shuttle Service

$25.00 USD
2 Hours 30 Minutes

 

When there is sufficient demand we can arrange a direct transfer option to Panama City. You will be met in Puerto Lindo and dropped at any centrally located hotel, hostel or B&B in Panama City

This service is provided by non-affiliated local operators. We do not take any commission from them and cannot accept responsibility any lost or damaged items or other issues. You are free to book your transfer with your hotel or a local agency.  Prices are subject to change.

WHAT SHOULD I PACK?

Before arriving at Club Nautico Marina should separate all your belongings into two separate bags. One small/medium for anything you might need for the five day tour. You will keep this with you on the boat by your berth

High factor UVA skin protection
Book
Ipod/Phone
Swim wear
Light clothing, T-Shirts & shorts, sandals
Camera
Snacks, juices/soda, alcohol
Towel
Light jacket/sweater
Flashlight

You main larger luggage will be stowed and difficult to reach, make sure no essential items are packed. We strongly advise you to protect this larger luggage with large plastic trash bags. Use one to line the outside and more for the belonging inside, just in case.

CAN I CHARGE MY PHONE/CAMERA?

Yes, at certain times. The captain will let you know when it is possible. We recommend switching it off to conserve battery when you are not taking photos.

DOES THE BOAT HAVE SNORKEL AND FISHING EQUIPMENT?

Snorkel gear is available to use

Your captain will likely fish with lines while sailing in certain locations. Using rods from the boat while anchored in the islands will probably not be possible. The local indigenous population heavily rely on selling fish themselves. To ensure sustainable and responsible tourism the captain will abide by the locals wishes not to fish in certain locations.

WHAT DO WE DO EACH DAY?

When you are in the San Blas islands the captain will likely leave you to make your own decisions what to do.

The captain and crew can help you organize beach parties, bonfires and visits to local villages, however they are not tour guides and cannot babysit guests. Their main responsibilities are on board the boat.

You can of course enjoy snorkelling, swimming or just relaxing on the beach or boat.

DO I NEED AN ONWARD TICKET FOR IMMIGRATION IN PANAMA?

At this moment in time passengers travelling aboard Wild Card will not be required to show proof of onward travel as the boat is registered as a Panamanian commercial vessel.

The immigration services in Panama often change their regulations so we cannot guarantee this won’t change. You will be advised before departure if it does.

WILL WE ACTUALLY BE SAILING?

Wild Card will sail at certain times when there is sufficient wind and it is safe to do so. It isn’t realistic to complete the crossing from Cartagena to Panama without motoring.

Preparation Checklist

  • Make sure you plan to arrive in Cartagena with sufficient time for the pre departure meeting
  • Withdraw all the cash you need to pay the final cash balance in USD$. You should also be sure to change additional US Dollars to pay the ‘Guna Yala Congresso’ fee of $20 per person and onward transport from Puerto Lindo to Panama City  (read FAQ’s)
  • Anything additional you may want to bring along for the trip such as alcohol, sodas, snacks etc should also be bought in advance. In some locations within the islands you can make purchases however choices are limited.
  • Before departure please also be sure to make a photocopy of your passport photo page. This may be needed for immigration on arrival
  • Prepare all luggage before boarding (read FAQ’s)
  • Dramamine is recommended for seasickness. You should take your first dose early on the day of departure for it to start working in advance.

Wild Card Reviews

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Check out the recent reviews for Wild Card. We only publish genuine reviews from verified passengers who we know travelled on this boat.

Wild Card Overall rating: ★★★★★ 4.5 based on 6 reviews
5 1

San Blas Fun!

★★★★★
5 5 1
SAILCOLOMBIAPANAMA.COM was great and very professional. I travelled with a friend on Wild Card in March. We were actually very worried about going on a boat with lots of people and too much partying. We were told about Wild Card having lots of people and that space would be limited and maybe noisy on board. Because we were worried about getting seasick we decided to book anyway. I'm happy we did because everything was perfect. There were lots of people but it wasn't like I thought it would be, we were able to spend some chilled out time during the days. We had lots of fun with the other passengers and crew. I would definitely recommend this boat and your company.

Paradise sailing

★★★★★
5 5 1
Myself and my girlfriend were very impressed with your service online and the whole trip on the Wild Card. We booked online 1 month before departure and received our ticket and all the information about 5 minutes later. We travelled in January and the weather was quite bad when we were sailing to Cartagena. The crew and Charlie were great and made sure everybody was ok. I'm glad we followed the instructions to bring drammanine though. When we were in the San Blas islands the weather was fine, we had lots of food and we were never bored. The islands are paradise and we visited 4 different places, all slightly different. It was definitely great value for money.

Sail with Charlie on Wild Card!!

★★★★★
5 5 1
Captain Charlie is a legend and totally made the Wild Card trip amazing! This is a must do trip and I'm so glad you guys recommended this boat. It was exactly what I was looking for. Big thanks to you guys, Charlie and the crew!

Wild Card - Great Experience

★★★★☆
4 5 1
The trip with Wild Card was an unforgettable experience and probably one of the best things we have done on our trip so far. Sophie's meals were a particular highlight and quite incredible considering the amount of people to feed and small kitchen space. The boat does take a lot of people (20 on our trip) We were warned of this in advance and had tonnes of info before booking so it wasn't a surprise for us. Unfortunately there were some other people that had booked with another agency who put a bit of a downer on things, often complaining about things that they should have known about before. Down below deck it does get a bit hot, this was one of the things told to us in advance though and is apparently the same on all boats, (we asked about air con but none of the boats have it) We spent most the time outside anyway including nights in San Blas. If there was a way they could deal with the heat and store enough water for showers then this would definitely be a 5 star rating. We would still strongly recommend it anyway!

Fantastic

★★★★★
5 5 1
We would definitely recommend Wildcard after travelling with Charlie recently. We can't fault anything about the trip. The food definitely exceeded expectations and the crew were great. Always making sure we were all were looked after and happy.

Potentially great, Unfortunately not

★★★☆☆
3 5 1
I feel a bit mean giving 3 stars because most aspects of the trip were actually very good. The meals were excellent, we visited some amazing islands and the crew were all really friendly and attentive. The booking process was quick and easy and the information provided was very detailed. Unfortunately what knocks the score down to just 3 stars is the fact the boat had too many passengers on board. On the day of departure we had 22 passengers rather than the advertised 20 people. We were to find out that another local boat cancelled at the last minute and as a favour to that captain and travel agent some of those passengers travelled with us. I appreciate the other boat involved is not one you are associated with or book people on, but I and a few others did feel that as passengers that booked in advance on wild card we didn't feel it was right for the captain to inconvenience us because as a result of a different, and clearly unreliable captain.