SAILING WITH GITANO DEL MAR
52ft | 16m
Gitano del Mar is the largest catamaran sailing from Panama to Colombia. Return voyages depart from Cartagena de Indias to San Blas and have proved to be very popular with adventure travellers and backpackers for several years.
The trip is generally considered to be a party cruise so it important you think about that before booking this boat with us. It is still popular with a mix of people so long as they are relaxed about being around a big group with limited space.
This is by no means a luxury catamaran charter boat, and like almost all other boats currently making the trip between Panama and Colombia it has been customised and refitted to include additional sleeping areas, making full use of the space on board.
Despite having many spaces available you will need to book as early as possible as many departures book out well in advance, especially the limited privates and single beds.
$550.00 USD per person*
* Standard trip price. Subject to seasonal changes. Does not include Guna Yala tourist fee of $20 USD
Private double cabins with small double bed
Private triple cabin with one large bed for three
Standard single beds
Double and triple sized beds in open saloon area
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.
Gitano del Mar is owned by Frenchman Jepi who has operated the boat for well over 10 years. He has now transferred captain duties over to contracted skippers such as fellow Frenchman David, Elena from Germany, Australian ‘Dingo’ and Argentinian Victor. Another captain may be in charge on your trip however.
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
If you are still unsure about something fell free to contact us
ARE THERE ANY HIDDEN COSTS?
There are no hidden costs, however you should budget for the following:
$20USD per person to pay the ‘Guna Yala’ tourist fee when you arrive in the San Blas islands
Transport to/from your departure/arrival location
Entry fee to Panama/Colombia if required. For most nationalities this is not applicable
Alcoholic drinks, sodas and snacks
HOW CAN I PAY THE FINAL BALANCE?
The final balance must be paid in cash, USD only. Remember that your bank may restrict daily transaction amounts from your card when you are in another country. Please plan accordingly as you might need to make more than one cash withdrawal over a few days before your trip starts.
You should be sure to have this ready in advance of leaving Panama City. There are no cash facilities at the departure locations.
The official currency of Panama is the $USD, although it is generally referred to as the ‘Balboa’. You will not need to exchange any currency.
US Dollars are easy to get in Cartagena from local ‘Casa de Cambios’ We recommend visiting Calle San Andreas, Getsemani. This is the hostel district and they have experience changing money for boat passengers all the time.
Remember to take additional USD for your arrival in Panama, $20USD Guna Yala Fee and in case you want to buy souvenirs in the islands.
CAN YOU ACCOMMODATE MY DIETARY REQUIREMENT?
Vegetarian, Pescatarian or Vegan meals can be prepared only if we are informed with enough notice before the trip.
Gluten free meals are also possible however options are extremely limited, so you should consider taking some snacks for yourself.
Unfortunately it is simply not possible to prepare separate meals for you if you have a dislike for certain foods. You should also think about taking some snacks in case you do not like what is on offer.
If you have a genuine allergy, such as nuts, lactose products, shellfish or anything else then you should take appropriate measures, we can not guarantee that meals will be free from ingredients or products that may cause a reaction.
DOES THE BOAT HAVE SHOWERS?
It won’t be possible to take full showers. Fresh water is extremely important to conserve on multi day offshore sailing trips like this and it is obviously very important that drinking water doesn’t run out.
WHAT SHOULD I PACK?
Before boarding the boat you should separate all your belongings into two separate bags. One small/medium ‘day bag’ for anything you might need for the five day tour. You will keep this with you on the boat by your berth. Your main larger luggage will likely be stored away in a separate area and inaccessible.
We strongly advise you to protect this larger luggage with large plastic trash bags, just in case of water damage. Use one to line the outside of the bag and others to protect the items inside.
Day bag packing suggestions
High factor UVA skin protection
Light clothing, T-Shirts, shorts, sandals
Snacks, juices/soda, alcohol
Wet wipes for face and body wash
Dramamine seasickness medication
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.
WILL I GET PHONE OR WIFI SIGNAL?
Don’t count on it at all. If you have a phone with roaming enabled, you might get some signal in certain locations in the San Blas islands when in range of a local operator tower, its not common though. We suggest you just disconnect and enjoy yourself for a few days.
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, nobody is forced to take part or organize activities. You can of course enjoy snorkelling, swimming or just relaxing on the beach or boat.
The captain and crew can help organize beach parties, bonfires, volleyball and visits to local villages, however they are not tour guides and cannot ‘babysit’ guests. Their main responsibilities are on board the boat and might not always be able to join in.
DO I NEED AN ONWARD TICKET FOR IMMIGRATION ON ARRIVAL ?
At this moment in time it is not required when you arrive with a sailboat to Cartagena. This might change in the future.
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)
You should have a printed reservation document showing onward travel within 3 months of arrival in Panama. If you don’t already have a ticket booked please let us know.
WILL WE ACTUALLY BE SAILING?
It isn’t realistic to complete the trip without motoring, especially inside the islands.
The boat will only sail at certain times when there is sufficient wind and if it is safe to do so.