Although most backpackers embark on this trip in order to safely traverse the drug cartel filled jungle known as the Dairen Gap, it is much more than simply a ferry service between the continents.
It is a Caribbean sailing adventure where you will explore islands and witness sunsets that are the stuff of dreams and magazine covers. It’s a voyage where fresh fruit, fish, and lobster, are prepared for you daily. Finally, it’s a boat to party on and place to become friends with a unique group of like-minded backpackers.
Whether you want to cross the Darien Gap without being kidnapped or are looking for an unrivaled Caribbean holiday at an affordable price, this adventure is for you.
The total duration of the trip is 5 days and costs 550$. Although it is pricy on a backpacker’s budget, it is a lot cheaper than most corporate cruises. Plus, it covers all meals and activities. This includes a fish BBQ on Elephantine Island, a bonfire party, fresh lobster dinners and a lot more. In the end, it is definitely worth the price.
If your coming from Panama City, the first 3 days are spent exploring the San Blas islands. Here you swim, snorkel, and kayak in pristine Caribbean waters. You get meet the native people known as the Kuna who you can buy coconuts from. And you get to party and lounge about to the scenes of “Castaway” and to the rhythm of the passing waves.
The next portion is a 2 day ocean crossing direct to Cartagena, Colombia. Although it can get rough, this makes it all the more exciting. Mid way through the voyage, the captain stops the boat for a surreal open ocean swim.
The 85 foot Yacht Independence is not only the largest sail boat offering passage between Panama and Columbia but it is also one of the fastest. It has cabins for up to 24 guests and multiple sun decks to lounge on. It’s size makes for some of the greatest parties where there is always a variety of cool people to meet. In many ways it is like a floating hostel.
It’s size and speed also makes it the best boat for those who are worried about seasickness. The boats length gives it the ability to cut through waves which increases stability and comfort, and reduces the open ocean crossing time to just over 28 hours.
How To Reserve Your Trip
Sailing across the Darien Gap is for anyone who has ever wanted to a Caribbean sailing adventure on a backpackers budget. It is an essential part of the gringo trail for all backpackers traversing North and South America. It is a Runaway Adventure to the max and one that I highly recommend.
If you want to go and are looking for a discount, you can book through me for 25% off the 50$ deposit fee. Be sure to message me on facebook at The Runaway Guide first for the coupon code. Then head to Runaway Reservations. If you need help finding a cheap flight to either Panama City or Cartagena, message me and I will see what I can do :)
Check out this video to see the trip for yourself.
Let Me Know What You Think!
Terry Sigurdson says
A friend and I are looking for a 2 week sailing adventure.
The Runaway Guide says
This trip is only 5 days but it’s a lot of fun!