Taboga Island Beaches

Top ways to experience Taboga Island Beaches and nearby attractions

Detailed Reviews: Reviews order informed by descriptiveness of user-identified themes such as cleanliness, atmosphere, general tips and location information.
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3.5
350 reviews
Excellent
87
Very good
127
Average
84
Poor
30
Terrible
22

J R
Kansas City, Missouri5 contributions
Aug 2022
I was a little concerned after reading some of the newer reviews but decided to take my wife, 15 y/o and 12 y/o for a beach day while on vacation.

TL;DR: I'd recommend going for a beach day. Beaches and water were clean if you head right when exiting the pier. The beach on the left seemed less improved but I didn't see any sewage or trash. Food at Casa Taboga Restaurante was good and people on the island were friendly. Overall, the island is cute and worth a day trip.

Long Version: I booked in advance Taboga Express Fast Ferry for the Day Pass. You could probably save a few bucks by booking the ferry separate from the umbrella & chairs and lunch. But all we had to do was show up and meet a guide once we arrived. We left on the 8:00am ferry with the intention of hiking before beach and lunch. Our guide gave us a walking tour of the town and showed us where are reserved chairs and umbrellas were located.

As other folks have mentioned, the trail head is a little difficult to find but not impossible. Downloading the trail map from Alltrails helped and you can use it offline. We wore tennis shoes to the island and left our hiking shoes at our hotel which was a mistake. After 30 mins on the trail, we turned back as it got pretty slick. With the humidity, we were a sweaty mess.

Our guide recommended some bathrooms that were "cleaner than others" and they turned out to be perfectly acceptable. After changing, we stopped by a beach bar, also recommended by our guide, for pina coladas. They were strong and since the hollow out the pineapples, you get a small fruit snack. We switched to beers after the pina colada. Beers and soda (cans) were a buck and pina coladas were $7. The day was warm and humid, it is Panama after all, but the water was amazingly cool and clear. I could see my toes.

Since we had the Day Pass, we were met at the beach by another guide with a gator style ATV which took us to the restaurant for lunch. While it wouldn't have been a far walk, it was a nice touch to ride across the small beach town. The people at Casa Taboga Restaurante were friendly and the place was clean. It doesn't overlook the beach, but the food was really good and I'd highly recommend it. After lunch the little church was open and is worth the few minutes it takes to walk through.

We were pretty exhausted at that point and came back on the 2:30pm ferry. All told, it was a great Sunday. Taboga isn't a beach resort with pristine beaches. But if you want a day away from the canal and rainforest while in Panama, this is the place.
Written August 8, 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

billyhockey
70 contributions
Jan 2020
The island presumably appeals to those who like to spend time on beaches. For those not interested in sitting, for hours, at a beach, then there is - regrettably - not much else to do on Taboga. We spent a couple of hours hiking up to the top of the island, which was enjoyable (we had a tarantula cross our path, as well as a different types of lizards and frogs). However, we found that there was little else to keep us occupied or to divert us after the hike. There are, for example, just a few shops and restaurants (in which we were, incidentally, unable to find satisfactory vegan food) on Taboga. For those who like beer, it was being sold on patios for $1 or less. Public bathrooms also cost about $1 per visit. We had taken the Barcos Calypso ferry on a weekday to the island, which leaves Panama City at 8:30 a.m. and does not return until 4:30 p.m.; the schedule left us feeling trapped on the island for half the day, waiting for the ferry to take us back to Panama City. If we were to go back, then we would visit the island on the weekend, which offers more frequent ferry service and does not compel visitors to stay the whole day on the island.
Written January 7, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

KristinaB
Panama City, Panama11 contributions
Jul 2021
Taboga is super easy from Panama City, just 30 minutes away it was fun to pass by all the big ships waiting to enter the canal. The island was just starting to open up again so mid week was very quiet however the weekend gave more options for food and people. The restaurants are simple surroundings who serve fish, coconuts, chicken and plantain. The beaches are good and clean. With lovely water to swim in. We were told the snorkelling was excellent although we didn't give it a try ourselves.

We would love to return to explore the island a little more and being so close to Panama its super easy even for just a day to nip across and breath a big sigh to drop into the island vibes.
Written August 4, 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

Kathleen H
Ormond Beach, FL141 contributions
Jul 2021
Taboga Island and its beaches are an excellent day (or multi-day) trip from Panama City! My husband and I took the Express Fast Ferry from the Amador Causeway. Simple to book online and only took 30 min. to get to the island. Be aware that as of early July, 2021, the dock on Taboga was closed and you needed to take a small water taxi to land. It only took about 3 minutes and cost $0.50 per person, but it's a good thing to be aware of.

There are 2 main beaches: Playa Restinga (where you will arrive) and Playa Honda. We preferred the former since there were multiple swimming options, but the beaches are basically next to one another. You can see which one you prefer!

Between Playa Restinga and Playa Honda, there were lots of huts where you could get food or drinks. I definitely recommend the pina colada (in a pineapple) at the stand closest to the lifeguard tower and all the food at Pop's and Rose.

A word of caution, as another reviewer mentioned, you will have your bag(s) searched by military personnel when you arrive. They only looked into 1 pocket of my husband and my backpacks, but we heard from several people that they will confiscate any alcohol (etc.) that you bring with you.

If you are looking for more adventure and a better view, you can hike up to Cerro de la Cruz or the Bunker. Just ask any of the locals for directions.

So, if you want a change from the big city feel of Panama City, Isla Taboga is a great choice for relaxation or adventure!
Written July 19, 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

Roger P
St. Asaph, UK57 contributions
Feb 2020 • Couples
We traveled by Barcos Calypso ferry. It takes an hour and departs at 8.30 am weekdays, more often at weekends. You must be at the dock one hour before departure and you must show ID to board the boat. A photocopy of your passport photo page is ok. The booking office is located at Balboa Yacht Club, Punta Culebra, Amador Causeway. Outside holidays you can probably buy a ticket on the same day as traveling. But we bought ours the day before, when visiting the adjacent Smithsonian Centro Natural. The beach on the right side of Taboga town (as seen coming into dock) is attractive, but much of it is covered at high tide.
Written February 27, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

Richard M
Phoenix, AZ427 contributions
Mar 2021
Upon arrival, everyone is searched for such items as beer. Oddly, you can buy it on the island for about the same price as on the mainland, but "importing" it is not allowed. I don't recommend buying the package of the boat transportation, walking tour and lunch. You will see and learn just as much without a guide and you can pick your own place to have lunch. I do recommend somebody to drive you to the top of the mountain to the old bunker. Super 360 view.

The beaches are nice, but (being spoiled) the water was too cold in March to go beyond my knees. For most people, though, they were in the water.
Written March 7, 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

Arsenikos
Athens, Greece114 contributions
Oct 2022 • Solo
One can visit Taboga island from Panama City or with catamaran day cruise(more than 90$,without hotel transportation) or with the Taboga express ship(24$to go and come back)
The village of the island has no beauties or interesting places.The two beaches of the village don’t have clean water and are full of rubbishes and broken branches of trees.I didn’t visit the rest of the island,but if you are going to visit the village ,avoid it.Lost time and money.Visit San Blas islands.More time to spend,more expensive but there is no comparison
Written October 6, 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

Vladimiramirela
Mississauga, Canada1,872 contributions
Jan 2020
There are two main accessible beaches on Taboga: the Restinga and Honda Beaches. While the sand is fine and the water wonderful, beware that Taboga Island has a high tide that will cover the beaches almost completelly between noon and about 3 PM. The views are magnificent and the overall experience is very nice.
Another down side to beachgoing on the island is the garbage left behind by tourists coming in waves by ferry, that care very little about the island, unfortunatelly. It is not as bad as I thought before our visit, from reading other reviews, however, there is room for improvement.
Something unpleasant is that every washroom or shower close to the beaces is for a cost - however little that be.
Written January 15, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

Kimberly H
Colorado313 contributions
Mar 2022
We spent about 6 hours on Taboga Island on a Saturday in March. The ferry ride over was fun and we enjoyed looking at the large ships. There was a paddleboard race taking place as our ferry pulled up to the dock at 8:30 am. Once off, there was a brief search of everyone's bags, then we made our way to the beach where we negotiated a couple of lounge chairs and a large umbrella for the day. We found a couple of Pina Coladas that were made in pineapple - fun. After a while, we ventured into the murky water and soon found ourselves being stung by something. I didn't know what it was or see it coming but it created welts on my arm and stomach. My husband, who was further out in the water experienced the same on his leg. As I was moving fast to get out of the water I noticed others squirming around like I was - locals and tourists alike. After a couple of days, the welts were gone but I would not go back into that dirty water. It was a good trip for the ferry ride and exploring a new spot, but definitely not for swimming.
Written March 25, 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

Jet493711
Antigua, Guatemala57 contributions
Apr 2022 • Couples
This place is a treasure island for Sea Glassers. Rocks are amazing, rear shells, beautiful view, and it's just a thirty minute ferry ride from Panama City, Central America. One of a kind. April is a great time to visit. Nice breeze, not much rain.
Written April 16, 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

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Taboga Island Beaches (Isla Taboga) - All You Need to Know BEFORE You Go

Frequently Asked Questions about Taboga Island Beaches