I have always liked Isla Taboga since my first visit back in the late 70′s. Part of what I liked about it was that it never seemed to change. If it did, it was at a snail’s pace.
One big change came in 2007 when the former Hotel Taboga was demolished, and there has yet to be a replacement. There was quite a bit of talk for a few years about condos and a marina, but so far nothing has materialized. The ruins of the old hotel are still here at Playa Restinga and El Morro. I can picture its former beauty in my mind. I’ll never forget. And I hear, literally, the peacocks, now hiding in the jungle, as they call to each other.
There are small huts on Restinga, up along the former Hotel Taboga wall. They can be rented for the day. And among the ruins are vendors that will cook or get you a cold cerveza. In-between cooking corvina or renting out umbrellas and chairs, they play cards and dominos.
A couple of places to stay, (and there are others) are the Vereda Tropical and Cerrito Tropical. I have stayed at both and they are fine. On this last trip I met the expat owner/ operator of the Agua Sol Villa. My family and I had dinner over Taboga Bay, and Ted told us about the five rooms he has available. It’s a beautiful place in an ideal location.
I finally saw, after I don’t know how many excursions to Taboga, the elusive neon green and black dart frog. I spotted it on a section of PVC pipe just as I started up the jungle trail to The Three Crosses, and I was able to get a picture before it hopped into the dark foliage.
We were a little bewildered on the far side of Taboga. I took the wrong trail and we came out on the Wild Life Refuge side and discovered where the pelicans nest. It was quite a nesting area. And then another first. I met a traveler off of the beaten path. A Scotsman from Edinburgh who liked the myriad of butterflies that call Taboga home. I pointed the way for him to find The Three Crosses, the gravesite of three pirates who were killed during one of many attacks over the centuries.
Things are changing on little Isla Taboga. There was a time when you never saw a car. Now there are several small trucks, vans, golf carts and at least one noisy moped. As we found out when we crossed over the top of Taboga, the daily flights out to the Pearl Islands screech by very close. All the same, if you are in the area, I would highly recommend the trip. The island is beautiful, and it has a colorful history.
Isla Taboga — Island of Flowers