Looking for a day trip from Panama City? Taboga Island/Isla Taboga lies just 12 miles out from Panama City in the waters of the Gulf of Panama. Often called the Island of Flowers by Panamanian locals, Taboga Island/Isla Taboga was discovered in 1524 by Vasco Nunez de Balboa a Spanish Conquistador. In 1671, Henry Morgan a Welsh Buccaneer fresh from ransacking Panama City believed Taboga Island/Isla Taboga was being used by the Spaniards to house all their gold and silver, sent his pirates to the island to burn the town of San Pedro to the ground in search of the Spanish treasure.
One of a thousand Islands located in the Gulf of Panama , Taboga Island/Isla Taboga is one of the most popular, close proximity to Panama City has made this small 2 mile long by 1 mile wide island a great weekend getaway or just a day trip for locals as well as tourist. As with many Spanish settlements, the town of San Pedro was established on the island, the center piece, being the church of San Pedro which some claim to be the second oldest church in the New World. The island offers many trails for hiking and exploring. Cerro de las Cruces, the major trail on the island will take you up a winding road/trail to the mirador where one will have a great view of the Gulf of Panama as well as Panama City and the Pacific Coast of Panama. If hiking is not your thing, transportation by one of the locals will take you to the top. The Gulf of Panama experiences great tidal changes during the day, with tides changing upwards of 16 feet, the island will see tidal changes around the island from 11 to 16 feet. During low tide, visitors to the island will find a sand bar stretching a couple hundred feet to El Morro, the small island adjoining Taboga Island. But beware, as the tide returns the sand bar from El Morro will drop to a depth of 4 feet under the rising water.
The climate of Taboga Island/Isla Taboga is pretty much similar to the Isthmus of Panama, in that it shares the same rainy season and dry season. Starting in May and running through December will see the rains come to the island; December to May will find the skies sunny and clear. Taboga Island/Isla Taboga being located in the waters off Panama will find a steady wind from the North East during the winter and from the southeast during the summer thus keeping the temperature in the low 80’s year round. Nighttime will often see temperatures dip to a pleasant 75 degrees.
With Taboga Island/Isla Taboga clear blue waters and white sand beaches, the island will host the most tourists during the months of January till April. A 7 dollar ferry boat ride and only 1 hour from Panama City makes Taboga Island a great escape or day venture. Accommodations are available on the island ranging from small bed and breakfast inns to hotels and private rental houses.