FAQ
25 May 2016

Read our Frequently Asked Questions!  There is all the information you need to be totally prepared for the trip.

Transportation to San Blas, how do I get there?

Inform us in advance where you will stay in Panama-City to organize your pick-up, hotel or hostel name, room number and phone number. We help to organize collective and private 4×4 transportation from/to the departure point where we will meet you with our boat. Be ready at 5.30am in front of your hotel or the hostel you are staying at. You will be arriving around 9.30am at the port. You can expect to be a little squeezed as 7 passengers can fit into the car. For more comfort, you can always ask for private transportation.

What are the mandatory items I must bring with me?

Always have your Passport with you and not in your bag as there are some check-point on the way.

The 4×4 transportation will stop on the supermarket but at in case it does not, make sure to have at least a gallon of water with you and others small snacks.

Towels

Snorkeling equipment (we rent some but not always available)

Rain coat for the boat ride.

Ziploc or any hermetic bags to put your valuable items in a safe place during the boat ride as everything can get wet.

Toilet paper (suggested)

Sun block.

Mosquito repellent (mosquitoes are not much present on the islands but at the port).

Can the transport company arrive late and not at 5.30am sharp?

Of course, as it is a collective transportation, all depends the route the taxi will take and the punctuality of the other passengers. Sometimes you can expect 30 minutes delays but do not worry we will be waiting for you at the port. If you want to avoid any waiting time and get more comfort we can always organize for you a private transportation.

How much does the transportation cost?

It costs $60.00 round trip per person and $ 350 round trip if you wish a private 4×4 transportation. This fee does not include the $22.00 Kuna Yala park entrance fee for non-resident and $7.00 for resident.

How do I pay the transport cost and the Kuna Yala entrance taxes?

You must pay the $60.00 in cash to the driver as soon as you enter into the vehicle and you must pay the Kuna Yala fees at the park entrance ($20.00) and at the port ($2.00).

Are you responsible for this part of the journey?

We recommend this transport company but it is important to mention it is NOT our company that is why the transfer is not included into our price. We are not responsible for this part of the trip but will coordinate everything for you with the transport company.

How can I recognize the transport company?

It must be a 4×4 vehicle and we will provide you with the name of the driver and the driver will have your names.

How the San Blas road looks like and what I should not forget?

We call it the rollercoaster jungle road, if you have motion sickness we recommend you to take some pills before your trip. If you bring any delicate valuables, any breakable items, you must carry them with you to avoid any damage or loss, always have your passport with you in order to be ready for the checkpoint.

How do I know which boat will take me to Ogob Nega, Chichime Island ?

We will be waiting for you at the river side dock (Barsukun) where the driver will drop you off. The driver knows our boat and will help you to find us if needed. Always refer to Aaron and Dixie cabins, Ogob Nega, Chichime Island.

Can I take picture in the San Blas Islands ?

You can take pictures expect of the Kuna Indians. During the trip on the river it is strictly prohibited to take picture of the Kuna Indian in their canoe. In the villages and islands you must ask for permission and usually have to pay a tips. On Ogob Nega, Chichime Island, you can take pictures of our staff and kids but please ask for permission. For pictures of our Kuna women wearing Molas you must pay a small fee to them.

Is it safe to take children to the San Blas Islands?

As far as Ogob Nega, Chichime Island is concerned, kids love our island and we the Kuna Indians love Kids. Our two small childrens are always happy to meet new friends from around the word. We recommend you to take a first aid kit and lots of sun cream with you. We won’t watch for your kids on the island, during the tour, while you are swimming so always keep an eye on them.  Parents must be fully responsible for all aspects of monitoring their children.

Can I get a discount for my kids on Ogob Nega, Chichime Island ?

You do not have to pay for children under 4 years except for the road transportation. All kids over 4 years old pay the adult rate.

What is the best period to visit the San Blas Islands ?

You can visit us all year round!  We have two seasons in Panama, the rainy season from June to December and the dry season from January to May. Chichime Island is far away from the shore and you may get some rain during the rainy season but very sporadically and it won’t last all the day. Some our guests prefer some clouds and rain because the sun during the dry season can be very strong. The wind can be also strong and constant during the dry season which can make the sea a bit rough during your transportation to the island and a bit less visibility to snorkel. To resume there isn’t any best period to visit us (tips: the San Blas are less crowded during the rainy season).

Where do we sleep on the Ogob Nega, Chichime Island ?

Everyone sleeps in our premium “rustic” beach-front cabanas. We actually have 5 cabanas all different sizes. 1 double-bed cabanas, 1 double-bed and single bed cabanas and the rest have four to seven single beds. Most of our cabanas sleep 2, but some sleep 3 and some sleep 4 to 8. We can change the beds layout and sizes according to your needs. We provide mattresses, linens, blankets, and pillows. We have electricity for lighting in the cabanas but recommend you to bring a flashlight with you. Double occupancy is not mandatory but preferable during the high season, note in the case we can’t accommodate one traveler in a private cabin, he/she may be roomed with another single traveler of the same gender. If you are 4 or more guests, we can assign you 2 separate cabanas (if available) for your best convenience. We will not reserve specific cabanas in advance as we must consider the needs of everyone.

What are the bathroom facilities like on Ogob Nega, Chichime Island ?

Out on the island we have shared toilets and shared showers with well-water (not heated). These infrastructures are not luxury but good enough on this remote piece of paradise. Please note the bathroom facilities on our island are not attached to the rooms, requiring a walk of 50 meters. Guests are requested to add water in the toilet water tank before to flush. Papers must be thrown into the rubbish bin.

How to communicate with the staff on the island ?

All reservations and pre-arrangement are done in English by our volunteer staff but on the islands not everyone speak English. Make sure to ask all questions before to travel to our island and read this FAQ.

How do people store valuables such as cash and passports while on Ogob Nega, Chichime Island ?

We have no safes on the island. Don’t make it visible and simply hide it somewhere in your luggage or bring it with you. We completely trust our staff.

Is it possible to send and receive, calls, e-mail on ? Is there internet on Ogob Nega, Chichime Island ?

There is no internet on the island or phone. You must use your mobile and international roaming or purchase a Panamanian chip for your devices.

Will insects be a problem?

During of calm weather, no wind or rain there could be some  “sand flies” or others mosquitoes present on the island. Our guests can expect a few mosquitoes in the evening as any tropical places. We recommend our guests to bring repellent.

What do we drink on Ogob Nega, Chichime Island ?

You can’t drink the water from the island. We strongly recommend you to bring with you gallons of waters. We have a propane refrigerator with beer and soda for sale (drinks are not included in our price). You are also welcome to bring your own ice cooler and drinks.

Our Kuna staff and alcohol

Please do not offer alcohol to our staff, it’s not safe for our guests and can impact the quality of our service.

What is the food like? Can you accommodate my special diet?

Our island menu (included in the price) is designed to take advantage of the fresh seafood of the San Blas and fresh fruits and vegetables available in the mainland or  the local markets. All our meals are served in our restaurant but feel free to eat wherever you want after being served. We usually serve breakfast between 7.30 – 8.30am, lunch at 12.30pm and dinner around 6.30pm  just before it is getting too dark. There is no menu to order off. We are only able to change our menu for food allergies or vegetarians. Kindly communicate any food restriction as soon as you arrive on the island. Our breakfast consists usually of eggs, bread, coffee, for lunch we serve octopus, fresh fish or smoked fish and the same for dinner. It is also frequent we can serve lobsters or crabs to our guests for dinner but it all depends what we can purchase daily to the local fishermen. If you wish to purchase extra food, such as lobsters to the fishermen visiting our island, we will be very happy to cook it for you. The food we serve in Ogob Nega, Chichime Island is very famous all around the San Blas Islands and it is one of the advantage to stay with us in comparison to other islands.

Do you have snorkelling gear on Ogob Nega, Chichime island ?

In the past, we used to provide snorkel and mask to our guest but for equipment quality and hygienic reason we suggest our guests t to bring their own equipment. The snorkelling is beautiful.

What is the tour offered like ?

 Our 2-3 hours tour is free of charge and consists of some island hopping, snorkelling, starfish lagoon and fun! We also arrange  tour to the Cayos holandeses or any others destinations of your choice for extra fees.

Can I charge my batteries for my mobile, digital camera, etc. on Ogob Nega, Chichime island ?

First of all, you should note that the island environment is extremely hard on electronics. The air on the island is permeated with salt and is corrosive to electronic devices. Do not bring your computer with you, it will definitely shorten its life. Our cabins do not all have electrical outlet. We can charge your batteries in our staff area but we can’t guarantee the outlet availability and we do not take care any responsibility in case of damaged or stolen equipment.

Is it customary to tip the Ogob Nega staff ?

Tips should reflect your satisfaction and is not at all obligatory.

Can I purchase Kuna Handcraft on Ogob Nega, Chichime Island ?

We have traditional Molas for sale and we have beautiful Mola pillows covers stored in Panama-City for sale. See our project menu.

Can I pay with credit card, can I withdraw cash ?

We do not have any credit card system on the island and there isn’t any bank and cash machine in San Blas. Take sufficient cash with you to pay your stay with us and any extras. If you want to avoid to take lots of cash with you, we recommend you to book your stay with us through AirBnb but take enough cash to pay for the road, taxes and boat transportation.

How can I guarantee my booking if I can’t book on-line ?

We follow-up carefully the reservation from our guests and ask our guests to re-confirm their stay 48 hours in advance. We do not have Paypal or credit card payment system but you can always book and pay in advance your stay with us through AirBnb

What are the check-in and check-out hours at Ogob Nega, Chichime Island ?

Estimated arrival time at Ogob Nega, Chichime Island is 10.30am. It depends the time you will arrive at the port with the road transportation and if we need to wait for others guests. The departure time from Ogob Nega, Chichime Island is between 8.00am -9.00am but if you wish to stay 6 hours more with us on the island, we can organize a late departure at 3pm for an additional $30.00 pp. (lunch included) but you must leave the cabin if guests are check-in the same day. You can leaves your belongings into our own cabin. We cannot guarantee an exact timing for arrival and departure. (weather condition, passengers being late, boat availability, etc).

Check-out hours changes from morning to afternoon departure, vice-versa

Please inform us during the booking process when you would like to leave our island, with the morning pick-up or afternoon pick-up. If you change your mind while you are on the island, you must inform our staff  about the change 24 hours in advance as we need to inform the transport company to receive their validation. Note: Extra fees can be charged by the transport company depending how this change will impact their own organization, logistics or even worse, there might not be any car available.

What should I keep in mind ?

This is an adventure, our amenities are rustic with a charm. You may expect some delays and face some communications issues. The San Blas islands have a problem with the rubbish collection but we do our best to keep our place clean. See our project menu.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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