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SAILING WITH WILD CARD

60ft | 18m

MONO HULL

20

GUESTS

5

NIGHTS

$575.00

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 almost several thousand passengers in that time, along with Wild Card’s sister boat Sovereign Grace.

The boat has a large, heavy steel hull and topsides, weighing 40 tonnes total and 60ft in length. This extra weight on an already large boat means it is more stable in heavier seas compared to many other sailboats sailing between Panama and Colombia. This 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.

SLEEPING ARRANGEMENTS

$575.00 USD per person*

* Standard trip price. Subject to seasonal changes. Does not include Guna Yala tourist fee of $20 USD

 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

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.

 

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 Keenan, who sometimes join him and the crew. 

NOTE: Occasionally another captain may be contracted

Charl Anton De Jongh

CAPTAIN

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 or from Puerto Lindo if you are traveling from, or onward to Panama City 
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.

From Panama

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

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.

From Colombia

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.

HOW DO I GET TO OR FROM PUERTO LINDO?

 

Option 1 – Shuttle Service

$25.00 USD
2 Hours 30 Minutes

We can arrange a shared group shuttle for you from any centrally located hotel/hostel in Panama City to Puerto Lindo on the morning/afternoon of your departure.

If you are arriving from Colombia, the captain will check with all passengers and can make arrangements for a shuttle to collect you on arrival in 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 hostel or a local agency. Prices are subject to change.

 

Option 2 – Public Transport

$8.00 USD – $10.00 USD + Taxi to/from hostel
3 To 6 Hours

 

Panama To Colombia

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. On Sundays you may find even more limited, or with no connections none at all.

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.

NOTE: If your departure is scheduled for the morning you may need to travel by bus the day before and stay locally. There are no early connections to Puerto Lindo and services on Sundays are restricted all day. Accommodation options are also limited and very basic.

 

Colombia To Panama

On arrival you will need to wait for the next bus heading towards COLON for a connection to PANAMA CITY, there are around 4 – 5 each day. You can connect in the town ‘Sabanitas’ to save some time, however you will almost certainly have to stand for the duration of the journey.

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
Book
Ipod/Phone
Swim wear
Light clothing, T-Shirts, shorts, sandals
Camera
Snacks, juices/soda, alcohol
Towel
Light jacket/sweater
Flashlight
Wet wipes for face and body wash
 Insect repellant
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 ?

Entering Colombia

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)

Entering Panama

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. 

WILD CARD SAILING VIDEOS

WILD CARD – PUERTO LINDO TO CARTAGENA

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
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

ITINERARY 

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. Adverse weather conditions may also result in delays or changes to the departure and arrival locations.

 

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

The captain will give all passports to an immigration agent. They will be processed and returned to the captain who will arrange to meet all passengers later in the afternoon or early evening.

WILD CARD – CARTAGENA TO PUERTO LINDO

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
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

ITINERARY 

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. Adverse weather conditions may also result in delays or changes to the departure and arrival locations.

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.

WILD CARD REVIEWS

Wild Card Overall rating: ★★★★★ 4.6 based on 8 reviews
5 1

 

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

Sep 2017

★★★★★
5 5 1
Superb trip on board Wild Card with captain Charlie. Great food, great fun and and absolutely perfect trip. Highly recommended if you are making the crossing from Panama to Colombia

Aug 2017

★★★★★
5 5 1
I had an absolute blast sailing the San Blas Islands from Colombia to Panama with the Wild Card in August. It's a total bucket list experience that I urge no one to miss. The crew are attentive and professional and the food is delish. You basically spend 5 days relaxing partying and chilling out in paradise. And man, that fresh lobster, to die for! Check out a full review here - https://notsobudgetbackpacker.com/sailing-the-san-blas-islands/

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.

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