La Casa de Papel, Money Heist in San Blas

La Casa de Papel, Money Heist in San Blas

Read about San Blas and its role in the filming of the acclaimed Netflix series, la Casa de Papel.

Most of you are likely familiar with or have at least heard of the popular Netflix series ‘la Casa de Papel’ or ‘Money Heist’, which follows the exploits of 8 highly skilled thieves as they plan and execute the robbery of the Royal Mint of Spain in an epic 11 day heist. 

Did you also know that part of one of the episodes was actually filmed right here in our very own San Blas Islands?! 

tokyo and rio in San Blas

That’s right! In fact it was in the very first episode of Season 3 of ‘la Casa de Papel’ where we meet up with Tokyo and Rio after executing their daring escape. The scene begins with them floating in amazing turquoise waters… They are just off shore from what can only be described as picture-perfect Paradise. However after spending 2 years in this magical place, Tokyo cannot stay any longer. She informs Rio that she must leave. Fueled by her desire to return to the excitement and thrill of the outside world, they part ways…

rio and tokyo floating in San Blas (la casa de papel)

Úrsula Corberó and Miguel Herrán in San Blas (Ep.1 Season 3 Money Heist)

paradise in the Kuna Yala

The Paradise that she was referring to in this opening scene, is none other than the incredibly stunning San Blas Archipelago! Officially known as the ‘Guna Yala’, this breathtaking  stretch of over 360 islands is home to an indigenous tribe called the ‘Kuna’ or ‘Guna’. Towards the end of the scene in ‘La Casa de Papel’, a Kuna family is speaking to Tokyo as she leaves for the city. In this you can see their beautiful traditional clothing, as well as hear their native language as they wish her goodbye. 

Learn more about the Kuna and our relationship with them here:

paradise island San Blas - Isla Pelicano San Blas adventures  (la casa de papel)

Isla Pelicano (San Blas Adventures Colombia to Panama boat trip)

filming of la casa de papel

‘Isla Pelicano’ as depicted in the series, is not actually a stand alone island. The scenes were shot using various islands, such as Wichudub, Bibbidub and Morobdub. All located within the Northern sector of the Kuna Yala, these islands were the perfect setting for the episode.

do you visit the islands from la casa de papel?

While we do not visit these exact islands, they almost perfectly resemble many of the islands we do visit during our Panama to Colombia and Colombia to Panama boat trips. In fact almost all of the islands throughout the San Blas Archipelago boast a similar composition – Beautiful white beach, a sprinkle of lush green grass and a classic array of Coconut Palm trees. You will also find if you take one of our Colombia to Panama boat trips, that we visit not one, but two different islands named Isla Pelicano! 

A very common name for islands throughout the Kuna Yala is ‘Pelicano’, due to the large population of Pelicans found resting on the top of the Coconut trees, or fishing for food in the Abundant Carribean ocean.

'isla pelicano' military boats approaching (la casa de papel)

‘Isla Pelicano’ (Ep.1 Season 3 La casa de Papel)

is money heist all in spanish?

A common question among people who have not yet watched the series is “is Money Heist all in Spanish?” – The answer to this question is..Yes.

Filmed entirely in Spanish, the show is only available with an English overdub.

Spanish television writer Alex Pina created the show. Intended to be a two part series, the show aired on the Spanish network ‘Antenna 3’ in May 2017. Netflix then acquired the global streaming rights in late 2017. Cutting the series into 22 shorter episodes, they set the release date for the re-formatted series beginning in late December.


is la casa de papel a true story?

Another common question among fans of the hit series – “is La Casa de Papel a true story?”

As downright badass as it would be to find out this series is based on actual events, this sadly is not the case (good news for the Royal mint of Spain) 

Due to the epic storylines found within the show, it is not uncommon for people to wonder if it is based on real life events. Though not a true story, there is still much historical influence throughout the series.

historical influence

One example of historical influence, is that of the masks used in the bank heist. Closely resembling that of the well known Spanish artist Salvador Dalí, who was famous not only for his art but also his incredibly impressive handlebar moustache. Dalí’s Philosophies and hatred for a modern capitalist society were closely in line with that of the thieves in the series, making for a worthy historical reference.

Another example of historical significance can be found in the song “Bella Ciao”, gracefully woven periodically throughout the series. Originally an italian folk song, it was later appropriated as the theme song for the anti-fascist movement, again assimilating the morals and philosophies of the modern day heist masters.

Artist Salvador Dalí mask influence  (la casa de papel)

San Blas adventures in paradise

As mentioned earlier in this article, we at San Blas Adventures host a mind-blowingly epic 4 day 3 night Island hopping adventure through the entire San Blas Archipelago!

options to suit everyone

Whether you’re looking to travel from Panama to Colombia or Colombia to Panama, or even looking to do a round trip, San Blas Adventures has an option to suit everyone. Travel from one end of the San Blas to the other.  pass through the full Archipelago.. Snap screensaver worthy photos as you go! You will get the opportunity to visit 5-6 of these marvelous islands, getting to sleep each night on a different island (not on the boat) as well as waking up to the beautiful ocean views. You even get to spend a night in one of the local communities!

Live like the indigenous people

Experience what it’s like to live in this paradisiacal environment. Use all the same amenities that the local indigenous people have at their disposal. Sleep in traditional huts, and embrace the comfort and relaxation of swinging in a hammock as you sip on a fresh cut coconut. Swim in the enchanting blue waters. Rinse yourself off using nothing but a bucket of fresh water and a scoop. Spend 4 days on your very own island getaway.. Add to the excitement by imagining yourselves as international fugitives. Lay low in the world’s most extravagant hideout…

Isla dubbir, similar to 'isla pelicano; in the series  (la casa de papel)

Isla Dubbir (San Blas Adventures Panama to Colombia boat trip)

For more information on any of our tours please don’t hesitate to contact us. You can also check out our ‘about us’ section. For answers to almost all questions trip related, check out our websites FAQ

For more information about Money Heist, check out this Wikipedia link:

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