The charm of flowers, trails and beaches at Taboga

Taboga is a paradisiacal island just off the Pacific coast in front of Panama City, a mere 20 kilometers past the entrance to the Canal. Its name comes from the Indian word "aboga", which means “abundant fish”. The second oldest church in the American Pacific, San Pedro de Taboga, is located here.

The area of the island is about 590 hectares. It was originally christened as San Pedro, and its small town was founded in 1524 by Hernando de Luque.

Taboga is endowed with a tropical exuberance found at few other places. You will love its dreamy white sand beaches, surrounded by hills reaching 300 meters high that are ideal for hiking. Just a few steps from the dock is the most popular beach of La Restinga, so named because at low tide a sand bar emerges to connect Taboga with the island of El Morro. The British had set up their headquarters here for The Pacific Steam Company, which by 1850 was the world's largest shipping company, with steamers navigating from Taboga to Valparaíso, Chile. A steamboat wheel from that period is still leaning against the wall that once served as a port.

Near the village you can visit the house of Francisco Pizarro, who departed Taboga bound to conquer Peru, and a monument that commemorates the French painter Paul Gauguin, who lived briefly on the island in 1887.

Take an escape from the city and enjoy a ferry ride across the Pacific to the island of Taboga.

How to arrive

Two companies offer ferry transportation:

Calypso:The crossing lasts one hour, traveling at 20 kilometers per hour (8 mph). Ferries embark from the dock behind the Marine Exhibition Center on the Amador Causeway, at a place known as La Playita de Amador. Round trip fare is $13. Departures from Panama City are at 8:30 a.m. from Monday to Friday, and at 8:00 a.m. and 10:30 a.m. on weekends and holidays. The return trip from Taboga Island is at 4:30 p.m. Monday through Friday, and at 3:00 p.m. and 5:00 p.m. on weekends and holidays. You should be on the dock one hour early. Phone: +507 314-1730 / 390 -2403, with attendants who speak English.

National Tours: The trip takes 20 minutes. Board the boats at the Balboa Yacht Club in front of the Hotel Country Inn at the entrance to the Amador Causeway. Round trip fare is $14. Departures from Panama City are at 8:30 a.m. and 3:00 p.m. from Monday to Sunday, and from Taboga at 9:00 a.m. and 4:00 p.m. from Monday to Sunday. You should be on the dock one hour early. Phone: +507 314-0571 / 314 -0572, with attendants who speak English.

Lodging: You can stay overnight on the island if you wish, as there are several accommodation options, starting at $50 per night. We reccommend that you bring cash because there are no ATMs on the island and few places accept credit cards.

Hotel Cerrito Tropical: Located beyond the park, with rooms starting at $70.00. Email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. and phone 6489-0074 / 390-8999.

Hotel Vereda Tropical: A boutique hotel located on the street leading from the dock to the church. Email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. and phone 250-2154.

Hostal Zoraida’s Cool: A house with an ocean view, past Acuario restaurant and next to Hotel Vereda Tropical. To make a reservation call Rafael at +507 -6471-1123 / 6566-9250.

Residencial turístico Mundi: A B&B just 500 meters from the church, with a room for two at $50.00 and an onsite restaurant. Phone: +507 - 6429-4803 / 6039 4323/250 2292. Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. , This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. .

Hospedaje Agua Sol Villa: A boarding house with 5 rooms that offer a divine view of the sea. Located on the Main Street San Pedro. Phone: +507 250 2068 - 6430 3616. Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. . Website: www.aguasolvilla.com

Vereda Tropical Hotel: A romantic boutique hotel whose unique design reflects the rich history of Taboga Island. For reservations call +507 250-2154 or email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. . Website: www.hotelveredatropical.com

Dining: There are plentiful restaurants offering a wide menu of seafood such as lobster, as well as chicken and other meat.

What to wear: Swimsuit and comfortable, light-weight clothing.