Taboga Island

Whether you have a few days in Panama City or a few weeks, complementing your time there with a trip to nearby Taboga Island is always an idea to consider. It's just 12 miles out from the capital city, sitting idly by in the Panama Bay. Taboga Island vacations are perfect for those looking for a relaxed setting, and you'll always know that one of Latin America's most thriving cities is under an hour's boat ride away. Sure, you can just spend a day touring about Taboga Panama, but since there are some nice options for Taboga Island hotels, you might choose to steal away here a bit longer. Historical buffs will relish in the island's rich history, and should you fancy flowers, it's a floral paradise. It doesn't get its nickname "Island of Flowers" for no good reason.

Isla Taboga Panama, as it is known in Spanish, figures quite prominently in Panama history. It was more or less founded in the year 1524 by the Spanish Conquistador, Vasco Nunez de Balboa. Originally, Balboa named the piece of land the Island of San Pedro. The Indian word "aboga" would influence the name change to what we have today. The Indian population had come primarily from Nicaragua and Venezuela. They did not come by way of choice, however, instead traveling with the Spanish as slaves. The actual village of San Pedro was founded after the Spanish built a church of the same name. The Iglesia San Pedro (San Pedro Church) is credited as being the hemisphere's second-oldest church, and you will find it today resting in the center of town. Isla Taboga Panama boasts one very interesting piece of Latin American history. It was here that the Spanish Conquistador, Francisco Pizarro, received funds for his conquest of Peru from the dean of the Panama cathedral, Padre Hernando de Luque..

Come the 17th century, Taboga Island Panama was the aim of many a pirate and buccaneer. The famous Welsh buccaneer by the name of Henry Morgan is known to have plundered the island, just after ransacking nearby Panama City. Subsequent pirate invasions would continue, and if you are a treasure hunter, there's supposedly quite a bit of booty left behind. That might pique your interest in Taboga Island vacations. While overflowing treasure chests haven't exactly been turning up in Taboga Panama, workers building a health clinic did find some 1,000 pieces of 17th century silver. Not a bad find at all. Adding to the historical intrigue of Taboga Island Panama are the gravestones that bear Anglo-Saxon names on them. In the mid-1800"s, the Pacific Steamship Navigation Company built facilities here, as the island was a key shipping base. Hundreds of workers from Ireland were brought in to provide labor. Also, about that time, the California Gold Rush was on, bringing in scores of gold seekers who were passing through the Panama isthmus on their way west. East Coast Americans found the route through Panama to be safer than going across America, as fierce Native American tribes were known to pose a considerable threat. As the Panama Canal was being built, Taboga Panama would serve as a resting site for canal workers. The French, who were the first to attempt a canal in Panama, built a hotel on Taboga Island for their workers in the 1880"s. It cost some $400,000, which was quite a sum in those days. The United States would eventually take over the hotel when they began their canal in the early 1900"s. After the Panama Canal was finished in 1914, the hotel went on to serve other purposes before its demise, among them being as a major social center for the island.

As you can see, there is no shortage of history to enjoy when it comes to Taboga Island vacations, and when you need a break from learning, you can always head to the beach to chill out. Residents of Panama City like to head here to escape the heat, and the beaches here can get pretty crowded on the weekends. If you can't make it to some of the other great Panama beaches, like those in Bocas del Toro for example, those on Taboga Island should suffice. The soft sand here is a plus, as are the inviting Pacific waters. All of the beaches on Taboga Panama are free, so you might find your way here to enjoy some sun and surf should you be visiting Panama City. The ferry ride out offers great views of the Panama City skyline, though you will have to pay for the ride. The fees aren't too bad, and it's really worth it for the experience. You won't find cars here, just a lot of beautiful flowers and nice people. There are many great tours in Panama that you can take, and this one is as easy as they get. There's so little planning involved. Just hop on the ferry and enjoy the ride. Considering the charm of Taboga Island vacations, it's not hard to see why this is one of the country's top destinations.

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