There are multiple ways to travel from Bocas del Toro to San Blas (Guna Yala), depending on your needs you can choose a more comfortable and easy, or a more economical way.
In all cases it is necessary to get in Panama City first, that is, there is no direct transport from Bocas del Toro to Guna Yala.
Plane: The fastest and easiest way to get to Guna Yala is by plane. The only company that provides this service and is operating from Albrook Airport, in Panama City, and flying to different islands. It is convenient to verify the destinations offered, as the offer varies often.
The price of the plane ticket is about $ 150.
Private car: Since the road to the port of Cartí was done, the road trip is one of the most common options. The road is complicated, with many curves and slopes, and many parts where the asphalt is deteriorated or has disappeared. For the conditions of the road, access to the region is not allowed in cars other than 4 × 4, and if you rent a car, you should verify that the agency allows you to take it to Guna Yala. In this way, you will have total flexibility in terms of travel plans, with the exception that you have to take into account that access to Guna Yala opens at 6:00a.m and closes between 17:00 -18:00p.m. The travel time is usually two and a half hours from Panama City. In Cartí, there are several pay parking spaces to leave the car while you are on the islands.
Shared Car: From Panama City there are a large number of agencies and private drivers that make this trip twice a day, one early in the morning (leaving at 5:00 a.m.) and other in the afternoon (12.00pm). The return to Panama City is also made of two turns, being quite flexible on return. The service is usually door to door, i.e. you are picked up at your hotel or accommodation in the city, they take you to Cartí, and on the way back they leave you back at your hotel. The cars they use are always 4×4 and it is common that they are full of passengers.
The price for this service is approximately 50 $ per person, round trip.
In all the options will have to be paid an entrance tax in the province of Guna Yala. The price is $ 5 for nationals and $ 20 for foreigners.