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Native Guna Food

local food Kuna

The Kuna run some bars and restaurants on different islands where you can get a delicious local meal. The Kuna gathers this local food from the rich sea around the islands of San Blas. Take note that you’re not allowed to catch fish yourself or collect coconuts from the islands of San Blas. There are penalties on these actions as the Kuna see this as stealing from their natural factory of income. And as a coconut is only 1 US dollar or less there is no point in stealing them.

Traditional Kuna meal

A traditional meal that is served all year round in San Blas is the Red Snapper fish with coconut-flavored rice. The Red Snapper is caught on the same day that it is to be eaten because the Kuna never overdue the fishing so the sea keeps his fish rich environment. Don’t expect a small Red Snapper like in restaurants at home, the ones the Kuna serve are really big and you can share one with 2-3 persons.

lobster catch San Blas

Lobsters and crabs


When de tide and season is right you can also get some fresh Lobster from the sandbanks in front op the islands. This lobster is delicious since it is fresh and has not been in contact with polluted water. The Lobster is also served with the traditional coconut rice. Crabs are also on the menu as so are some other fish but they do not always serve these foods to tourists or out standers of the Kuna communities because they think the fish are holy creatures that should be respected. This is also the reason why Guna Law prohibits scuba diving or sport fishing is prohibited by Guna Law for any foreigner/tourist. If you’re going to catch fish or scuba dive in San Blas you risk getting fined. Please do not break the Guna law and respect their culture. The Guna’s are kind and will try to deliver the best possible San Blas experience.

Coco Loco

Of course the Kuna’s know how to drink and party on their small islands. One of their favorite drinks they serve tourist and themselves is a Coco Loco. If you order a Coco Loco a Kuna Indian goes to the nearest palm tree and searches for a fresh ready to drink coconut. He cuts the coconut open and pours some cheap brown rum into it. Then he gives you a straw to finish it. A Coco Loco’s will cost you around 1-2 US dollar. You can also order a coconut drink and than put the rum in the coconut yourself, but you can’t take a coconut from the island. Taking a coconut and opening it is forbidden by Kuna law. If you do so you will be fined and maybe even deported to the Panamanian mainland so just don’t do it.