Isla Taboga: Panama City’s island oasis

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Whether you’re living in Panama City or just visiting, you’ve probably heard about Isla Taboga, or at least seen it from the flight in. Isla Taboga is a relatively small island that’s just off the coast of Panama City in the Bay of Panama. It’s about a 30-minute ferry ride from the Balboa Yacht club at the mouth of the canal, and many city-base boating enthusiasts and boat owners choose to go on their own, or with friends as a day trip. Due to its proximity to the city, Isla Taboga is the go-to spot for a day out on the beach, where you can really feel like you’ve escaped from it all. Routinely, Isla Taboga is the #1 most visited destination during national holidays, a mark it’s sure to meet this holiday weekend.

Isla Taboga, Panama


What to do on Isla Taboga

When it comes to “things to do” on Isla Taboga, the name of the game is fun in the sun. The island is surrounded by beautiful beaches, with the main beach being at the entrance where the boats dock. You’ll find that mid-week it’s far less crowded, and you can have lots of free space all along the shore. If you do choose to go during a busy period, you may want to walk a bit away from the marina if you’re looking for more privacy. Once on Isla Taboga, you can sunbathe, boogie board, surf, or swim in the sea. You may also find snorkeling and boat excursions around the island, especially if you travel their with a tour group that provides activities.

If you want to explore town a bit, and dry off, it’s a quick walk through the small, maritime village. The village comes right to the sea, and is located on a sloping hill that looks over the marina and shore. There are a few cafes, small hotels, and restaurants, with a more luxurious restaurant set to open soon called La Vista Experience, that’s set to transform the gastronomic draw to the area. Make sure to also visit the Iglesia de San Pedro, which has beautiful architecture and a rich history for local residents.

How to get to Isla Taboga

One of the greatest things about Isla Taboga is just how close it is to downtown Panama City. It’s a quick ride by boat, and most city residents arrive by local ferry. Ferries leave early in the morning (around 7,8,9am) and return between 5-6pm. Make sure to keep good track of time while on the island if you’re on a day trip, as you may have to spend the night if you miss the afternoon ferry back. Private, and group excursions are available through a number of tour services, many of which offering food and drinks on a private boat for the duration of your trip. There is no airport, but by sea, it’s simple to reach, and with so many options available, you’re sure to find one that meets your expectations and budget.

Isla Taboga is just one of many wonderful city escapes in and around Panama City. Whether here for a short time, or already relocated to Panama, we highly recommend you explore here, as well as all of the other natural gems Panama provides for domestic travel.

About Manoj Chatlani

Manoj Chatlani is a Senior Partner at POLS Attorneys, a full-service law firm in Panama City, Panama. Specializing in offshore services, including asset protection, estate planning, offshore banking, and offshore corporations, as well as Panama immigration and real estate transactions, POLS Attorneys offers clients a streamlined solution to all their Panama legal needs. Manoj is a Panamanian lawyer and holds a law degree from USMA and earned a Masters in Communication Law and Panama Tax law.

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