Water sports are the main attraction. If you go for a swim, beware of the undertow and rip currents. There is also some scuba diving in the waters off the coast. Wrecks of Spanish ships are still being found out here, including a 500-year-old one discovered in 1998 just off Nombre de Dios  that some believe is the Vizcaina, one of the four ships used by Columbus on his fourth and final voyage to the Americas.
It’s well documented that the Vizcaina was in fact abandoned in these waters, but studying this wreck and establishing its identity has been a slow process mired in controversy and red tape. However, the ship appears to date from the early 16th century, which makes it exceptionally rare whoever its captain was. Note that shipwrecks are off-limits to divers, and scavenger-hunting around them is a serious crime.
It’s possible to hire local boatmen in these towns for trips to Kuna Yala . However, it’s a bad idea. The trip takes a minimum of 1–2 hours in small, open boats on a sea that can quickly turn rough. I’ve been on quite large boats out here, even a small cruise ship, that bounced around like toys in a bathtub. I would never make the trip in one of the little pangas (fishing boats) in this area. Bear in mind that some of the greatest navigators in history have lost ships in these waters.
Skilled, safety-conscious captains with well-maintained boats are in short supply in this area, and it may very well be risky to make the trip. At the very least, go with a captain who has life jackets, or bring your own. Also note that just because a boatman fishes for a living, doesn’t make him a good seaman; some around here are notoriously accident-prone.