San Blas

We anchored in a Matachen Bay just south of San Blas. We spent a couple of days exploring the Tovara Jungle and the town of San Blas itself. On the right is a hut we found up the river.


We anchored a mile off shore because we had heard that the no-see-ums were bad here. No-see-ums are little bugs, which as their name implies, can't be seen but leave quite an itchy bite. It made for a long dinghy ride when we headed up the river into the jungle but saved us from a lot of irritation.

Heron in flight at beginning of Tovara River

One of many crabs that live in the mangroves.

The Tovara jungle tour was extra exciting for us as we began it from the edge of the coast. We had to time our entry just right through the breakers as we entered the river mouth. We watched oyster farmers swim along in full wet suits with dive bag in tow as we dodged endless water lily pads.


A good 1 1/2 hour ride in the dinghy provided us an up close and personal look into this habitat. Endless mangrove trees lined the river with hollow wooden roots that reach from the tree tops down to the water. Though the river guides warned us that it might be dangerous to go alone, we were very safe and enjoyed the ride thoroughly.

Mangrove trees

In the maze of trees, roots, ferns and other foliage we found endless birds, crabs, turtles and before we knew it, crocodiles. Dodging the other larger boats of the river guides seemed more dangerous than these peaceful giants.

At the end of the river we found this fresh water swimming hole. Catfish swam under our feet and about 25 yards away was yet another crocodile. We enjoyed a nice lunch there and each took our turns on the rope swing.

Bruce, Tristan & Matthew attempt a trio ride

The next day we took a quick dinghy ride into the town to see what we could see. Beautiful stained glass windows in churches, town squares filled with kids playing and the familiar man whole likes to feed the pigeons. We met Norm, a cruiser who stopped here 40 years ago and never left. We had dinner and met up with a few great surfing friends. Then there was the dinghy ride/row back to the boat by starlight as we ran out of gas that night. We had forgotten to factor in just how much fuel we used to make it up the river the day before.


(click on the first photo in the slide show to view them larger )

Right out of a movie. After he fed the pigeons, they startled and swooped away through the square and over the bell tower of the church we are standing next to.