More a tour and a holiday than mere transport, the popular San Blas Adventures four-day service takes travelers between Gardi (Cartí) and Capurganá just over the border in Colombia, visiting both inhabited and deserted islands, sleeping in hammocks under thatched lean-tos or in Guna communities, eating meals that verge on gourmet and swimming and snorkeling along the way.

Travel is on a covered fiberglass boat with twin outboard engines, and the convivial crew is multilingual. There are regular set departures and the website features useful planning details. It's a good alternative to the sailboat crossing, avoiding cramped overnight quarters and rough seas.