A visit to the San Blas Archipelago in Panama should be a must-see on every traveler's list. This stunning region in the Caribbean boasts some 1000 plus islands which are home to the native Kuna Yala Indians.
Accommodations run the gamut from small shack to luxury. My private cabin was of the latter style and absolutely sublime. Warm water, balmy breezes and abundant seafood were a few of the many attributes.
But, the most interesting part of this island chain is the Kuna Yala themselves. While most of the islands are barren, some house villages and the colorful indigenous communities that now thrive on the tourist trade. Thankfully the Kuna have also kept alive their many customs, traditions and handicrafts.
My favorite art form by far is the beaded jewelry worn by many of the women, some of which completely covers arms and legs. So mesmerized was I by the intricacy of the beading work and the vibrancy of the colors that I had one of the local women make a forearm bracelet personally for me.
I managed to keep it on for almost three years before it finally unraveled.