Kuna Niskua Lodge, Islas de san Blas, Panama

Fifteen years ago, Juan Antonio Martinez opened the Kuna Niskua Lodge (Kuna Niskua means Kuna Star) on his home island Wishub-Wala. The hotel is situated in the middle of the island, surrounded by a Kuna community. There is no beach on the island, but you can wander around the community, watch the children playing, the men fishing or constructing houses, and the women making handicrafts. It´s a great place for people who want to learn about the Kuna culture.

During the day tours, the very experienced (more than 20 years) guide Orlando Díaz, will take you to the most picturesque little islands, to relax and snorkel on the white sand palm-fringed beaches. You will also visit communities, where he´ll explain you everything about the well-preserved culture and traditions of the Kuna Indians.

For people looking for the ultimate San Blas island and beach experience, Kuna Niskua also offers 3 private cabins with bathroom on the uninhabited Wailidup Island, a 20-minute boat ride from Wishub-Wala. This gorgeous little island has a perfect white sand beach and crystal clear blue water (with lots of starfish!). Unfortunately the cabins are closed during the months of May through October, as the lack of breeze make the sand flies unbearable during this time of year.
The two wooden/cane buildings in the community on Wishub-Wala Island offer a total of 10 basic private rooms, including twins, doubles, triples and a quadruple. All rooms have a private bathroom with running water and there is electricity from 6pm to 6am. The overnight price is $50 per person per night ($65 for single occupancy), including three meals a day and tours to other communities and uninhabited islands with pristine beaches.

On the uninhabited Wailidup Island there are only 3 private cabins, right on the beach. Each cabin sleeps 2 persons and has an en-suite bathroom with running water. The daily price, including three meals and tours, is $95 per person.

Not included in the prices are the Kuna Yala entrance fee, beach fees ($1-2 p.p. per beach), water or other drinks. Drinks can be purchased (coke, beer and small bottle of water for $1, big bottle of water $2). Handicrafts are also for sale.

Snorkeling gear is for rent for $3 for a mask and snorkel and $3 for a pair of fins.

Reservations are preferably made by email.
How to get there...
Wishub-Wala Island is located in the western part of the Comarca Kuna Yala and is most easily reached from “Cartí” or “El Porvenir” (but the airport at El Porvenir is temporarily closed).

The guides of the Kuna Niskua Lodge are at Cartí every morning, when the flights and 4x4 jeeps arrive, to pick-up people with and without reservations. The 40-minute boat ride to Wishub-Wala Island is included in the price.
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Report & Photos by: Hanneke Kateman & Roy de Lange
Contact Info...
Wishub-Wala Island & Wailidup Island
San Blas
507 259 9136
507 6709 4484 (cel)
507 6662 2239 (cel)
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