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.