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SY Quest

PANAMA, COLOMBIA & SAN BLAS ISLANDS

SY Quest ★★★★★ 4.7
5 1

WhatsApp +57 301 792 4767

64FT | 19.5 M

MONO HULL

11

GUESTS

5

NIGHTS

$550.00

PER PERSON

Overview

Quest is arguably the most popular of all boats sailing from Panama to Colombia at the moment.

Working directly with Sail Colombia Panama since 2012 this sailboat quickly became  popular with adventure travellers and backpackers attracted by the large size combined with a relatively small amount of guests on board.

If you want to book a Panama to Colombia sailing trip aboard Quest then you will need to reserve your places well in advance. Return sailings from Colombia to Panama are also available with trips setting sail from from Cartagena.

Captain

Swedish skipper Goeran started his life on the ocean at a very young age. At just 16 years old he started working on a fishing trawler in Sweden. In 1979 he graduated from the Merchant Marine Academy and has spent most his life at sea since, working for commercial shipping companies across the world as captain and chief officer. He spent 11 years on an expedition cruise ship covering Indonesia, The South Pacific, and later Antarctica and the Arctic. He has also captained mega-yachts and even tug boats.

When he wasn’t working he would sail his own private vessels before eventually deciding to both design and build SY Quest, his own custom live-aboard and dive charter sailboat .

He has made six trans-Atlantic crossings, the last being in 2011 after Quest was finally complete. He first sailed to the Arctic for an expedition trip to Svalbard before heading south to the Caribbean. He and Quest are now sailing between Panama, Colombia and the San Blas Islands along with occasional scuba diving charter trips in Cuba.

Goeran PerssonCAPTAIN

Design

Quest has an overall length of 64ft/19.5 metres and a wide beam of  16.7ft/5.1 metres. This makes the boat one of the largest sailboats operating shared Panama Colombia sailings.

A large outside cockpit area can comfortably accommodate all passengers while the interior is spacious and modern.

She was built with a strong steel hull and designed specifically for sail and dive charters. Scuba diving in the San Blas Islands is strictly prohibited however guests will still benefit from the large platform and spacious aft area.

Accommodation

Quest offers four twin cabins with capacity for 8 people plus an additional 2 berths in the open lounge area. All are priced at $550 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.

* Standard trip price. Subject to seasonal changes. Does not include Guna Yala fee ($20)

SY Quest – 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
All meals

Tea, coffee, water
Snorkel equipment

NOT INCLUDED

 Guna Yala fee $20 USD
Transport to Puerto Lindo

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

Day 1: Departure

Captain Goeran will need to meet you in Puerto Lindo in the morning, in advance of departure. This is normally at 10:00am. He will give a general trip briefing and collect your passports at this time.

A time for departure will be confirmed for later in the day which will likely be in the afternoon. You will then set sail towards the San Blas Islands, arriving at night or early the following morning

Day 2: San Blas Islands

You will likely awake within the San Blas Islands in preparation to anchor at your first island location. Isla Chichime, Cayos Limones and the island of El Porvenir are some of the possible locations on this first day in San Blas.

Day 3: San Blas Islands

On the second day of your San Blas tour you will sail towards the Western Hollandes group of islands, a popular anchorage in outer eastern section of the archipelago. You will have time for more snorkelling on the reef and time on the beach.

Goeran will invite you to visit the small village on the island here where you share some customary rum and coconut, ‘coco locos’.

Day 4: San Blas Islands

After Breakfast and a morning swim it will be time to pull anchor and take another cruise through the San Blas Islands, eventually arriving to Coco Bandero.

Many boats sailing to Colombia stop here on the final day in the islands, however they are relatively uncrowded and tranquil because they are so far from the mainland.

You will stay anchored here for the rest of the day until you start your set sail to Cartagena in the afternoon.

Day 5: Sea Day

This whole day and night will be spent sailing to Cartagena. You will have plenty of time to catch up with a good book.

The captain will put out some fishing lines, if your lucky you might catch a Yellowfin tuna, Sailfish or Wahoo. Keep your camera nearby as dolphins might join you alongside the boat.

Day 6: Arrival

Quest should arrive into Cartagena in the morning or early afternoon. You will anchor in the bay offshore from Club Nautico Marina while the captain will speak with his agent who will complete the immigration process.

You may need to stay on board the boat while this is completed or you will given a time and place to meet later in the day.

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.

SY Quest – 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
All meals

Tea, coffee, water
Snorkel equipment

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 in Cartagena. A time and location will be confirmed after your booking is complete. The captain will give a briefing and collect your passports at this time

Day 1: Departure

On the day of departure you will meet at Club Nautico, Manga at 18:00. This is around five minutes in a taxi from the Getsemani area.

You will have dinner aboard before setting sail to Panama.

Day 2: Sea Day

This whole day and night will be spent sailing west towards 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.

Day 3: San Blas Islands

You will likely arrive early morning to anchor in your first San Blas location. This first day is normally spent in one of the outer island groups, often Cayos Coco Bandero. You will stay here for the full day night.

Day 4. San Blas Islands

You will have breakfast and a morning swim before leaving Coco Bandero. Your next stop after a cruise through the islands will be the Cayos Hollandes or Cayos Limones arriving before lunchtime.

Coco locos on the island, a visit to a village and evening bonfire may be available this day.

Day 5:  San Blas Islands

Your final day will see you sail east towards Chichime and El Porvenir, your final island locations.

Before sunset Quest will set sail to the Panama mainland. Your final night will be sailing the coast to Puerto Lindo

Day 6: Arrival

Arrival in Puerto Lindo. You will likely be off the boat by midday leaving you free to make your way to Panama City by public bus or pre-arranged group transfer

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 Quest 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?

Quest 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.

Quest Reviews

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

SUBMIT YOUR QUEST REVIEW HERE
SY Quest Overall rating: ★★★★★ 4.7 based on 4 reviews
5 1

Best choice!

★★★★★
5 5 1
We sailed from Cartagena to Portobelo in February of 2018 and had a wonderful time. The trip: After one day of sailing you'll reach the San Blas Islands, with beautiful palm tree scenaries, picture perfect beaches and amazing snorkel spots. We really enjoyed the riffs and the beautiful creatures which live around there, some of our travel mates even spotted a sting ray. In between we had twice company of a couple of dolphins, which makes you quickly forget about the rocky journey to the islands. It is truly an unforgetable trip passing by paradise on earth! The boat: Goeran, the captain of the Quest, owns the boat so he is really looking after things, which makes the boat and its facilities highly enjoyable (e.g. the included snorkel gear is in a very good condition). He is very experienced and make you feel save on the entire trip, the stories about his past are very entertaining and he loves to make jokes - prepare to laugh a lot. The chef, Amanda, is not only a really lovely and nice person, she also prepares a very delicious and healthy food. She has been working on others sailing boats of the Colombia-Panama-Offer and told us, that the Quest is the best choice by far. There are only 10 passengers on the Quest while other boats take twice the amount of people, even though they are the same size and you'll be able to take fresh water showers on the Quest as much and long as you like, because it has his own fresh water generator which is also a rare luxury on the available sailing boats. You won't regret booking this boat, as long as you don't expect a full on party boat - we highly recommend it!

Top trip - Book early

★★★★☆
4 5 1
Quest is clearly a really well looked after and professional sailing operation. We had been recommended this boat and sailcolombiapanama.com by some people we met in Nicaragua who had previously travelled. Unfortunately we didn't realise just how popular the boat is. Even 3 weeks in advance the only space available was in the lounge area. Its not ideal but we still had a grwat trip and would highly recomend it to anyone. Just try to book early and get a normal cabin

Quest Panama to Colombia

★★★★★
5 5 1
Our trip with quest was the highlight of our backpacking trip through South America. Before we decided on the boat we received lots of information and all my emails were answered very almost immediately. Its clear that Goeran is very experienced. We always felt safe and didn't experience any of the horrors we read about online about some boats.

Incredible boat

★★★★★
5 5 1
Sailed in 2016 with Captain Goeran on his amazing boat Quest and had an amazing time. The boat is really cool with lots of spaces and very modern. Its something we didn't really understand and appreciate until we were in the islands and saw other boats doing the same trip which were were packed with people and much smaller. TIP - If you can't get on Quest with Goeran definitely check out another boat sailing from Portobelo, its much cheaper and you get more time. Sail Colombia Panama were the only ones that explained all this when we were doing our research. The boat we were recommended but didn't take would have been much more expensive because it wasn't in Portobelo. We also met people in Cartagena that came with other boats and also didn't know.

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