San Blas Islands (Panama) is an archipelago with around 370 islands and cays (small sandy islands part of coral reefs). Of those, only 49 (the largest) are inhabited, and mostly by Kuna Indians. San Blas Archipelago is located east of Panama Canal and belongs to Panama's Guna Yala district.
Before the Europeans' arrival, the Kuna decorated their bodies with colorful designs and wore few clothes. When encouraged by the missionaries to wear clothes, they copied the designs in their molas, worn as clothing. The Kuna worship their god named Erragon. They believe he came and died just for Kuna people.
During the Spanish invasion, the Kuna people were driven off Panama and fled to the current-day San Blas Islands. Today their chief lives on the Acuadup Island. Most of the men are fishermen or hunters and speak Spanish. On some of the isles, kids can attend school.
In the 16th century, San Blas Islands were a hiding place for pirates and privateers. From 1679 until 1681, William Dampier (1651-1715) started and ended his first voyage with pirates and privateers in these islands which he named "The Samballoes," rendezvous-place convenient for privacy and hiding.
The pristine nature attracts many ecotourists and is also popular for scuba dibing and sailing. The area is also known for the lack of hurricanes.
The above map of San Blas Islands also shows which isles have an airport, swimming pool, wreckage / diving site (sunken ship), docking pier, tour boat service and community.
Among the most visited by cruise ships islands in the San Blas Archipelago are El Porvenir (Guna Yala), Holandes Cays, Acuadup, Isla Perro.