This post is also available in: Spanish
By Gabriela Pedrotti
Taboga Island, a favorite beach destination just 20 km from the Panama City, is known as the Island of Flowers due to its colorful and abundant blooms year round, lending an impression of eternal spring. On weekends, the island is visited by national and international tourists for a day of sun, sand and sea.
Taboga has more to offer than a few beaches. Walking through the town’s narrow streets, one can appreciate the varied cultural influence on the architecture. First arrived the Spanish, who founded the town in 1524 through Hernando de Luque, a priest who, with the help of the settlers, built the Church of San Pedro, considered the second oldest church on the American continent, still standing.
Exploring the island can also be done on horseback or kayak. For those who prefer to walk, there are several trails of varying levels of difficulty. The most popular are the “Cruz de Sinaí” (the Sinai Cross), the “Tres Cruces” (the Three Crosses) and the “Camino El Vigía” trail. It is best to set off early to beat the heat and humidity. The top of the El Vigía trail, the island’s highest point, commands an impressive view. History buffs will appreciate the ruins of an U.S. Army observation point that can be found there. The structure dates back to 1940 and was used during World War II.
The local cuisine is based almost entirely on fresh seafood, with options for all tastes and budgets. You cannot leave Taboga without trying fillet of sea bass (corvina) served in “Tabogana” sauce. Mundi, a restaurant located near the beach with tables on a terrace overlooking the sea, serves theirs with fried plantains and a salad.