Dolphin Lodge Activities
The San Blas Excursions
Like your meals several San Blas tours are also included in the room price. On each of these many explorations you’ll be ferried, guided, and offered souvenirs by Kuna artisans. The Kuna will graciously welcome you into their homes and villages and provide you with a little cultural discourse when visiting the local burial site. You may even meet a medicine man, who might give you an exam and perform a shamanistic procedure, if it’s necessary – what a memory! You can even let your children exercise their “but everyone’s got one” quest and get a tattoo at the Dolphin Lodge. But don’t fret this form of Panamanian body modification, using dye from the local jagua/genipa plant, fades away in a few days as your skin naturally exfoliates. For some true cultural emersion you might even think about indulging in an adult fantasy and offer your own arms, legs or forehead up as canvas.
Complementary tours, usually two a day, are available to the communities of Achutupu, Mamitupu and Ailigandi. These walking tours exemplify the daily activities of the San Blas Kuna through hands on participation and cultural interaction. Ailigandi is the site of the local Kuna congress hall, sometimes populated by several of the 49 fedora wearing congressional representatives or 250 community delegates. But be forewarned you’ll need permission to visit there, even when congress is not in session, otherwise you can expect a cold reception.
You can also participate in a jungle river tour, visits to near by beaches or bird watching forays all included in the basic room rate. Be painfully aware that you should ask before you begin taking Kuna portrait photos, and it’s customary to pay about a dollar a shot for the sessions. As to spending money be advised that there are no ATMs or credit card terminals, so small denomination currency is highly advised. If you want to make a splash with the locals ask your bank, about month before your trip, for a supply of two dollar bills or Sacajawea dollars. If you want to see the local’s faces light and smile use this currency, when it’s applicable. There are several other tours available just ask our friendly San Blas staff for suggestions