Coronavirus COVID-19 FAQ’s

 

On 11th March 2020, the Kuna Yala Congreso (government) made the decision to close all entry points to the Kuna Yala (San Blas Archipelago). Due to this, we’ve had no choice but to suspend all San Blas Adventures Panama to Colombia and Colombia to Panama trip, effective from the 12th March until further notice. It is uncertain when San Blas will reopen, however we remain optimistic and we completely support the decision to close the area for the preservation of the local indigenous people.

 

We appreciate your concern for future travel plans, and we at San Blas Adventures want to assist in any way that we can. We are currently offering free rebooking with an unlimited time stamp for anyone unable to do our trip due to this unprecedented event,  as we understand that it is hard to know when you may be able to rebook or even travel again in general, so the last thing we want you worrying about is losing your deposit! 

 

We have also compiled a number of frequently asked questions in regards to the COVID-19 virus and the San Blas Islands. Please read through the following FAQ’s carefully before contacting us…

 

 

I heard that San Blas is closed due to COVID-19, Can you please confirm?

Yes, we can confirm that the San Blas Archipelago is currently closed due to the CoronaVirus (COVID-19).

 Following the restrictions and regulations implemented by the Panamanian Government, the Kuna Yala Congreso (government) have decided to close all entry points to San Blas from both Colombia and Panama, effective as of the 12th March 2020. This closure is expected to remain in place until at least May 15th 2020, however there is still some uncertainty as to how long it could last, so please keep an eye out for any updates from us in regards to this. 

 

 

What are our options for cancellation or rebooking? 

You will be able to cancel your trip as per our terms and conditions. All trips from 12th March onward are suspended due to the border lock down into Panama, Colombia and the San Blas Islands. Future trips from are still available, however this may change depending on the situation. We are currently cancelling trips 2 weeks in advance, pending the reopening of Panamas borders. Please contact us for more information on future trips! 

 

 

Will I get a refund? 

Full refunds will be issued to any bookings made before the 12th March and in relation to cancellations caused by COVID-19, however you can expect a delay of between 2-14 weeks for these to process. 

UPDATE: We are currently experiencing issues in the refunding process for anyone who booked before the 15th February 2020, as we have since changed booking systems. Please bear with us, we are working to resolve this issue as soon as possible!

 

We understand this is a hard time for everyone worldwide, however as a small business our highest priority is the care and financial support of our employees, their families, and where possible the communities we work with that depend largely on the income tourism has provided until now. With the closure of San Blas and subsequently all operations of our business, we are left with limited funds and no further income until this crisis has passed.  As the length of this is uncertain, we are urging all guests who are able to do so to consider rebooking with us at a later date rather than cancelling their trip. We completely understand that right now no-one is thinking of rebooking, however the mass request of refunds and cancellations is crippling to small businesses around the globe and the only way we may have a chance at combating this is with the support and understanding of our guests. 

 

Please note that there WILL be a delay in the refund process. With the shut down of San Blas and the suspension of all trips until further notice, we have taken a serious blow to our resources and our top priority in this time is to provide support to our staff, their families, and where possible the communities we work with. With this in mind, we have to be very cautious in the distribution of the resources we have available. Please understand that we have every intention of refunding all deposits as soon as we are able to do so, but for the time being we kindly ask for your patience and co-operation while we focus on those that need it most.

 

 

I don’t know when I’ll be able to rebook this trip.. 

We know that before all of this happened, you were looking forward to a one in a lifetime island hopping adventure in paradise with San Blas Adventures! The San Blas Islands will reopen eventually, and when it does we truly hope that you will be able to return one day and experience the unique culture, adventure, and ultimate relaxation that San Blas has to offer. We don’t want you to miss out on this opportunity, and we also don’t want you worrying about having to repay another deposit in the future. We know that it’s almost impossible to know when you may be able to return to do our trip, and for that reason we are offering an unlimited time stamp on all rebooking in relation to the COVID-19 outbreak. You may not be able to do this trip for 10 years, but when you do you won’t have to repay the deposit! 

 

Postponing your trip rather than cancelling will make a huge difference to the effect on tourism and small businesses worldwide. The San Blas Islands and the local communities are highly dependent on tourism, and the income our business and other tourism businesses provides them. We completely understand that it is hard to know when you may be able to travel again, but we would greatly appreciate it if you consider your options before going ahead with cancelling! Remember, we have implemented a limit-free time stamp on all rebookings, so even if you can’t travel for 10 years, your deposit will still be valid! Please help support local businesses in this troubling and uncertain time. #TourismStrong. Postpone don’t Cancel! 

 

 

I am booked for a future date, will my trip still depart?

Due to border restrictions in Panama and Colombia, San Blas Adventures have suspended all trips until further notice. If you have a trip scheduled in the future, please remain patient and we will notify you about the status of your trip at least two weeks in advance. If your trip is cancelled due to COVID-19, you will be entitled to a full refund as per our refund and cancellation policy.

 

Like many parts of the world, San Blas is highly dependent on the tourism industry. San Blas Adventures is a small tourism company, founded not only to share this unique part of the world with fellow travellers, but to help the local Kuna and to introduce responsible tourism within the archipelago. This passion of ours has not stopped, and therefore, when the day comes and border restrictions are lifted we will return to business as usual, with trips going to the San Blas Islands from Panama to Colombia and Colombia to Panama. We are there to support the local communities and we hope you can join us in doing so too!

 

 

When will San Blas re-open?

Panama currently has border restrictions and school closures in place until the end of May. With this in mind, we expect that San Blas will likely reopen its borders sometime soon after this, as they are following the same restrictions. 

We recognize that things can change at any time, and these restrictions may be lifted earlier or even remain in place longer than expected. Please keep this in mind when planning your adventure with us!

If you have any questions regarding future trips, current bookings or the San Blas Islands in general, please feel free to contact us contact@sanblasadventures.com

 

** Please read our FAQ information carefully before sending us an email, as the information you are looking for may be in there**

 

We here at San Blas Adventures hope that you are safe and healthy wherever you are, and we wish all the best to you and your loved ones for the future! We hope to see you soon!