An afternoon in Taboga Island
August 10, 2019
by Thanara Zancanaro
Taboga is a small island in Panamá Bay just 30 min by ferry from Panamá City. Is the perfect place to spend some hours or even a day or two. If you can choose, go during the week as it is so close to the city on weekends the island gets very busy and full of locals and it is difficult to find a spot at the beach.
How to get there
The most common way to get to Taboga is by ferry. The company the opérate in this route is Taboga Express, the ferry leaves from Isla Flamenco at the end of Amador Causeway. You can just put “Taboga Express Fast Ferry” either in your GPS or in the mobility app of your choice. The round trip costs $20 and it takes 30 min to get there. The ferry leaves every day at 8am, 9:30am, 11am and 3pm; the from the island there are ferries back to the city at 8:45am, 10:15am, 2:30pm, 4pm (there is one extra time od departure Saturdays, Sundays and holidays).
What to do on the island
There are a few people offering tours at the pier when you arrive if you want to do a guided tour. You can visit the village and get to know more about the island history, the importance of the island for Panama´s development and how Taboga was a base for the US military during the World War II.
If you feel adventures there are a few hiking trails at the island that you can do: Cerro de la Cruz, Cerro del Vigia and Sendero de Las Tres Cruzes. All the hiking have a moderate level and you may get to a dirt road and even claim thru loose rocks, be prepare and take a lot of protection from the sun and lots and lots of water. In all the trails you will get a great view of Taboga and Panama City from the top. Cerro del Vigia is the one with the best view, the 300 meters provides a 360 degrees view and it is possible to see Panama City to Punta Chame, Coronado and other beaches, the islands of Otoque and Bona, and the boats of the bay.
And of course staying on the beach is the main attraction, the island has a few beaches that you can choose from and you can also rent chairs and umbrellas. The ocean is blue with almost no waves which makes a perfect place to relax. If you are planning on spending most of your day at the beach, make sure to get there soon, the tide rises fast and in the early afternoon there is almost no sand.
Make sure to bring a lot of water and sun protection. Also, bring something to eat, the island has a few restaurants but its all very simple. You can go any time of the year thanks to the tropical climate in Panamá, but during the raining season (May to December) you will probably be surprised by the rain at some time of the day, but it usually doesn’t last long.