There is a new ramada called Paraje del Rey which is set out in the mangroves. Everything in the ramada is made from the traditional style using all natural materials. It is very beautiful and peaceful. You have to take a lancha to get there. The lanca costs 300 pesos round trip but you can fit about 15 people.
Las Islitas beach is about 5 miles from the center of San Blas and has numerous ramadas where you can enjoy shrimp or fish. The speciality is pescado sarandeado which is a barbequed smoked fish served whole with tacos. The beach is on Mantachen Bay and is usually very calm for swimming. Ramada Albatross has expecially good food.
We first thought it was very expensive for a ride, it was 90 pesos each, then 40 pesos per boat to enter the crocodilarium plus the tip.. they offered to give us beer for free.. it was four of us, so it ended in taking the right, well we were there!
It was the best we could have done!
They had souvenir store, bathrooms and a guide who tried to speak english and stopped to every spot that was great for a shot. We saw birds and acquatic life in the wild, including crocodiles.. wonderful experience, the ride was about 45 minutes to make it to the crocodilarium, saw amazing reptiles there, big, medium, babies!!!
Then they took us to La Tovara where is where the pure water comes from the mountains, you can snorkel or swimm there, refreshing! The restaurant is so so, not so great, we only enjoyed having couple sodas and returned to the car.. it was another 45 minutes trip! woooonderful!
OK, there are two things you don't want to miss. The taco truck run by Raul and his always laughing wife. A block or two north of the bus station, by a store that sells beer & sodas & whatnot. You buy a beer inside (it's the only taco stand right across from a beer place) and then get the best tacos in town. And a grilled onoin, plus a joke from Raul (who will still like you if you don't follow the Spanish too well).
The other thing you'll want to live on is tostadas de ceviche--the peanut butter and jelly of the coast. This is pretty simple fish in lime juice, plus grated carrot and onion. They make it but the tub about two blocks west of the square on the road that leads to the beach. You'll be hooked in no time.
Favorite Dish: tacos, tostadas de ceviche
You'll quickly find there's not much nightlife in San Blas. Here's what we did to keep ourselves entertained: people watching on the square, especially on Sunday nights, pool on the somewhat crooked tables at some place with Australia in the name just north of the square, gin rummy, poker, mixed fruit drinks with rum, and the ocassional band in town (you'll hear them).
Dress Code: Wear whatever you want, unless you want to keep up with the young mexican ladies in the square on Sunday night. Then you'll want to bust out the tightest lycra-wear you can find, preferably in an animal print.
Unfortunately, as a gringo, some folks will see you as an easy target. It's very unlikely that anyone will rob you personally, but may watch to see when you leave the house. Get a place with metal doors. Don't leave your valuables behind unless they can be well secured. Live near other folks, in town, not out by the beach. The bugs are bad there anyway. And we never had a prblem in four motnhs there--just heard some stories.