This post is also available in: Spanish
Taboga is located 12 miles by boat from Panama City. Its tiny, sleepy town spans a sandy bay. Taboga is a small island with a big history. Vasco Nuñez de Balboa, the Spanish Conquistador, first set foot on this island that he named San Pedro. Later the name was changed to Taboga.
The church of San Pedro founded by Father Hernando de Luque is picturesque and is said to be the second oldest in the western hemisphere. Father Luque also had a hobby of planting pineapples, and it is said that the famous Hawaiian pineapple came from Taboga.
Used by the Spanish to embark on their conquests in South America, Taboga Island was visited by conquistadors such as Francisco Pizarro and Diego de Almagro, as well as by the pirates Henry Morgan and Francis Drake, who went after the Spanish treasure.
Taboga was once headquarters of the Pacific Steamship Navigation Company. It played a very important role in the construction of the Panama Canal, as well as serving as a strategic location for the US during WWII.
Nowadays the island is visited by tourist, as well as some Panamanians who have houses there. Visitors can fish, hike, snorkel, birdwatch or relax at the beach.
The island still has great biodiversity and it is possible to see brown pelicans, green iguanas, anteaters, two-toed sloth, ñeques, tiny green dart frogs, turtles, whales during season and dolphins all year round.
How to get to Taboga Island?
A ferry will take you to the island in 45 minutes. Board the Calypso Ferry from Isla Naos on the Amador Causeway. Round trip tickets tickets cost $12 for adults, $7 for children or seniors and $5 for dogs. Depart Saturday, Sunday and Holidays at 8:00 and 10:30 a.m. or 4:00 p.m. with returns at 9:00 a.m., 3:00 or 5:00 p.m. Monday and Friday depart at 8:30 a.m. or 3:00 p.m. and return at 9:30 a.m. or 4:30 p.m. Departures on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday are at 8:30 a.m. with returns at 4:30 p.m.
Calypso Ferry requests passengers to be at the pier an hour before departure.
Contact Calypso Ferry at 314-1730 or 390-2403.
New restaurant at the flower island
CALALOO Beach, Fishbar & Grill recently opened in Taboga Island and is quickly becoming a popular spot. Located in front of Playa Honda, left from the pier, following the main street along the beach.
This tropical-artsy beach cafe features family recipes of local and Caribbean cuisine. Traditional red Caribbean shutters frame the view of the beach, as visitors wait for their Taboga Loca cocktail or a lemonade.
Menu favorites include pirate fish platter with creole sauce, traditional whole fried snapper, boom boom shrimp, home made fish burger n chips, chicken with spicy peanut sauce or yoghurt sauce, or lobster when it is available. Food prices range from $5-15.
Calaloo Beach, fishbar & grill is open Thursday through Sunday for lunch and dinner until December 14. From mid December to April, the restaurant will have an extended schedule. The restaurant faces the beach and can be easily spotted because of its bright red shutters.
Contact: 6489-0074 or email@example.com