New Taboga Express ferry

El Taboga Island Express parte desde la Calzada Amador rumbo a Taboga.

This post is also available in: Spanish

On-the-Water by Ilene Little

New Taboga Express ferry. There’s a new, modern ferry for the short hop from the Amador Causeway to Taboga Island. It’s an elegant ride that makes five trips a day and accommodates 120 passengers.

Everyone has a good seat, as the ferry is appointed with comfortable cruise ship-like seating with shade and roll-down window enclosures to protect passengers from the weather. Free Wi-Fi and beverage services are available onboard.

Less than 30 minutes from Panama City, Taboga is the nearest island, great for swimming. It attracts tourists looking for a beach, a place to hike or simply hang out in its restaurants and bars.

Soon to add to the list of activities is a 12-segment Canopy zip line. “It’s already built,” said Steve Hooper,” and the official opening day will be in June.” Hooper is one of the owners of the Taboga Express ferry.

The Panama Tourism Authority (ATP) has made a $1.5-million investment in Isla Taboga with the intention of making it a new tourist destination.

New Taboga Express ferry

New Taboga Express ferry offers comfort and good service.

A New Face for Taboga Beach Front

“Isla Taboga is growing up as a tourism destination. The ATP’s investment will really spiff the place up,” said Hooper, “with new bathrooms, changing rooms and boardwalk area. There’s also a new dock coming.”

“As well as the new canopy zip line we’ve got six restaurants and activities that people associate with beaches such as beachcombing, swimming, fishing, kayaking and snorkeling. You can also hike to El Vigia (the watchtower), the highest point of the island at almost 1200 feet. At the top of El Vigia is an old U.S. Army gun emplacement that’s been converted to a mirador with a panoramic view of the Pacific Ocean and surrounding islands.

The Taboga Island Express departs from the Amador Causeway en route to Taboga.

The Taboga Island Express departs from the Amador Causeway en route to Taboga.

The mirador offers breathtaking 360-degree views of the city, the Panama Canal, Punta Chame, and on a clear day you can see all the way out to Saboga and Las Perlas,” said Hooper.

The prices of the Taboga Express ferry are listed on their website www.tabogaexpress.com

There is a special $25 ticket, “more directed towards tourism,” said Hooper, “that includes the ferry there and back plus a bilingual guide on a walking historical tour through the town. We call that the Island Excursion. That gets you access into the second oldest church in Latin America and all the other really neat historical spots on the island including Paul Gauguin’s House.”

Hooper added, “An upgrade is the Pasa Dia (the day pass), a $65 ticket which includes the Island Excursion plus a chair and umbrella on the beach, snorkel gear, and a complete lunch with an alcoholic or nonalcoholic beverage at a local restaurant which provides Wi-Fi.

New Taboga Express ferry: Taboga Express Corporate Packages

Just as event organizers around the world provide an afternoon of entertainment to visiting conventioneers, the Taboga Express will offer special group packages for a unique Panama Island Excursion Experience.

“The corporate package is going to be really big for us,” said Hooper, “We have a new restaurant on Taboga that will seat 30 to 40 people with a big screen TV that could be used for lunchtime presentations. So, for example, if you plan four days of meetings in the city, perhaps do the fifth day on an island.”

The appeal to conventioneers will be the change of scenery from the city and an enjoyable boat trip to a beautiful island,” said Hooper.

Taboga has lots of historical and scenic sights to see and activities to do.

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