Arriving to the pristine native islands of Guna Yala offered a perfect change of pace from rainforest walks in Colombia. We spent a leisurely morning on a beautiful white sand island that was covered in coconuts and surrounded by a shallow coral reef.

The Guna Yala people have a fully autonomous territory within Panama. They are regarded as one of the most iconic Indigenous peoples in the Western Hemisphere. Anthologists have written extensively on this successful culture, which has been able to keep traditions intact while also being very accepting of and well-versed in handling visitors.

We had a wonderful snorkeling experience. Highlights included spotted eagle rays, Caribbean squids, nurse sharks, and a whole array of colorful corals. An afternoon spent relaxing on this tiny island was equally wonderful. We ended the day with cultural walks and a unique pan flute performance, which demonstrated the connection between South American native tribes.