It’s not possible to travel overland from South America to Central America, partly because there are no roads, and partly because the area on the border between Panama and Colombia is full of guerrillas. In order to get to Panama you have to either fly or take a boat.

There are plenty of yachts that take people directly from Cartagena to Panama via the San Blas islands, but we’ve heard a lot of horror stories of snapped masts, cramped ships, broken toilets, lack of food, drunken captains and generally people getting ripped off. Plus, it involves two days at open sea and at this time of year the weather can get pretty rough.

So we’ve decided to take a different option. A guy at Merazonia told us of a company called The Darien Gapster which still goes via the San Blas islands but instead departs from Sapzurro, right on the border with Panama, meaning far less time at sea. It costs less too, bonus. So after booking our place on the boat, we set off for Sapzurro, with the idea of spending a few days on the beach in nearby Capurgana before meeting up with the rest of the crew.

The dock at More >