It is MUCH easier is to fly from Panama for $90 to Puerto Obaldia and catch a launcha from there to Copurgana. There you can fly to Medellin for $150 rather than go on a dangerous overloaded launcha for three hours and then by bus 10 hours. YOUR HOSTEL WILL NOT TELL YOU OF THIS BECAUSE THEY MAKE COMMISSION OF THE BOATS!
Crossing by sea is now very commercialized and yet less safe.
Sail boats rip you off with fancy pictures, don’t be lazy and go to Carti or Portobello to see the boat.
THEY ARE SCAMS!!! Four years ago a sailing trip was $300 max to Cartagena and now they drop you off in Subzurro for $500 which is about two days from Cartagena if you’re lucky. Mike Wilson’s Blog tells of their incompetent captain dropping off the party with no provisions and stealing the money days from their destination in the islands of San Blas.
Darien Gapster for $350 (excluding 4×4 and other fees so more like $450) is a known scam and does what I will say bellow for double the cost.
If you do take a Launcha the cost is high:
A 4×4 taxi to Carti is $30.
A rinki-dink launcha overburdened with barely enough gas to make it in good weather that regularly capsize and kill people is $115+$10 entry to San Blas=$125
It will probably be late for immigration to Puerto Obaldia so you will spend the night there $5.
Office of immigration opens next morning at eight but they need two photocopies of your passport (so get them in Panama or three in Colombia, need three to enter Panama) and the internet place opens at nine so by 10:30 you will be in Capurgana.
Capurgana is a nice place with clean beaches and in-off season you can easily find a place for $6.
The immigration office there opens once a day and works for about twenty minutes so don’t miss it. Your hotel may say they don’t open at all in hopes that you stay for more days but don’t listen to them and go talk to Joey or the immigration office instead.
Get your launcha to Turbo in advance from Samuel for $32 as it sells out. Usually two leave at eight and at nine. They break and capsize as well.
If you have any questions in Capurgana, ask Joey, he’s the Hawaian guy drinking beer near the doc.
You also don’t really need proof of exit from Colombia and if they ask, anything fake will work.