The San Blas Islands on the Carribean Coast of Panama. Boats and Starting points

read more has travel boat info for getting to colombia

Info for travelers – Panama to Columbia. We are currently in Portobelo Panama, leaving for Cartegena Colombia tomorrow aboard the ‘Melody’. This is the info we have gathered.
Lots of sailboats leaving for Columbia, but only a couple will take motorcycles.
Some ones that will take bikes:
-‘Melody’ Captain Marcos – email freshaircharters(at)
phone 6 669 9359 cost $275US per person and same for bike
-´Stahlratte´ – email info.steelrat(at) phone 636 6032
-´Seeadler´ - Captain Guido email DLEL(at) ?? 
What I would do is try to contact one of these before reaching Panama City and set up a date to sail. Otherwise, go to one of the hostels in Panama City – Travellers or Mamalena(a better place to stay) (They are right beside each other), and check their bulletin boards and talk to backpackers. You will get many names of sailboats, all charging $250-275 for about 5 days from Portobelo (on the Colon side) to San Blas Islands for a couple of days, then on to Cartengena, Colombia.
Other than that head straight for Portobelo and hang out at the Drake where all the sailboat captains hangout and ask around (or someone will just approach you). Don’t count on it taking less than 5 days to arrange as the boats usually aren’t leaving for a day or five(or until they get enough people – usually 6-8), unless you have made previous arrangements and have a set day to sail.
Apparently getting more difficult to get bikes into Columbia this way as bikes are considered cargo and not supposed to arrive via sailboat – we will update when we get to the other side as to what we encountered.
Other option is to fly bikes via Girag (223-8328) or Copa (507 304 2660) out of Panama City to Bogota. Really easy to arrange – basically roll your bike into Girag, they do paperwork, and you buy your ticket to fly same day as your bike and Girag in Colombia will do paperwork at that end and you are rolling within 3 hours of landing. More expensive though – about US$650 for the bike and tickets for you $US250-290 via Girag and slightly cheaper via Copa. No problems with salt water on your bikes though…. Girag takes 2 days to set it up.
Sweet travels!!!
Arrived in Cartagena, no problems with bikes. Paperwork took a couple of hours. Captain´s agent stamped us in, we went to Hotel Holiday(Media Luna)near old walled part of city for the night, next morning picked up passports, went to DIAN to start moto import paperwork, went back to boat and unloaded bikes and rode to DIAN as they wanted to see them, waited around for more paperwork and were done easy. Couple of hours, no cost. One hitch - if we were asked how boats got here, were to say on a Colombian banana boat out of Colon, we were on sailboat, but were not asked. Need cheap moto vests here - mesh vests with day glo strips and license no on back and on back of helmet as well. Easy to get. Crazy city to ride in - but beautiful. Heading south tomorrow.
Bon Voyage!!