A 45-minute boat ride from Panama City takes you to the relaxing Isla Taboga where the main mode of transport is your feet or golf cart. Isla Taboga is a great day trip option from the city and offers beach, hiking and boat tours. We took the first Calypso Ferry at 7am on a Sunday leaving from the Amador Causeway.
Note: Weekends is when a crowd goes to Isla Taboga so if you want fewer people try a weekday.
The boat ride is peaceful and you can see the beautiful Panama City skyline, Bridge of the Americas and huge ships making their way to and from the Panama Canal.
After disembarking we took a right for the four-minute walk to playa Testinga. I recommend renting at least an umbrella, as the sun is very strong. Most of the Panamanians brought their food and drink but there are plenty of vendors selling beer and ceviche for $1.
We plopped down where we could have a view of the city and watch the tide come in to cover the sand bar connecting El Morro Island.
The vibrant reds, purples, blues and yellows of the many floras is mimicked in the houses and shrines that line the winding streets.
Wandering past Playa Honda we came upon a cute restaurant with inviting red shutters called Calaloo Grill.
Friendly service, delicious food and a great view make this tiny restaurant a must when visiting Isla Taboga.
Spicy ceviche tropical de corvina salvaje made from fish caught by the island’s fishermen was as fresh as it gets.
Juicy Caribbean chicken with a zesty zing of chimichurri served with pita.
Mama’s BBQ was pork served with rice and coleslaw.
Last but not least, Taboga LOCA coctel with maracuyá (passion fruit) and seco. Seco is a popular Panamanian sugar-cane-distilled alcohol. These are dangerously good.