Most trips are 4-5 nights in total with about 3 days exploring the islands themselves. The length of the trip will depend on weather conditions, speed of the boat and the departure and arrival ports.
Trips to or from Portobelo are generally 5 nights in total to compensate for the additional distance involved so no time is lost from your trip in the San Blas Islands. Trips to and from Sapzurro are generally 3 nights. You will spend the same amount of in the islands but miss 2 nights at sea.
Your captain will take you to a few of his or hers favorite islands where they most likely know the inhabitants personally from previous trips. These will mostly be the outer islands of the archipelago meaning less exposure to mosquito’s and sand flies.
While in Kuna Yala you will have plenty of opportunities for snorkeling, swimming, visiting various islands to relax on the beach, meeting the Guna natives, buy souvenirs, visiting typical Kuna villages and maybe even a beach BBQ and party.
Snorkeling & Fishing
Your boat may have fishing gear available so you can catch your own dinner. Sometimes the captain/crew insist on doing this themselves, as with most things on the boat it has probably been broken or lost at some point and very expensive to replace. Snorkels and masks are also available. Fishing with spear guns and scuba diving is prohibited in Guna Yala.
It is inevitable that some people will experience sea sickness, you can help prevent this by taking motion sickness tablets such as Dramamine, ideally starting the day before departure on the open sea. If you are departing from Panama then it is advisable to wait until your final day in San Blas before starting the medication. Conditions within the islands generally are calm.