Ahhhhh, Taboga. Only 7 little miles from the hustle and bustle of Panama City but it might as well be another world. We like it here immensely, in fact, it wins our prize for the place we’ve liked most in all of Panama.


Why? Well, for starters it’s known as the island of flowers. It deserves the name as all along the main street, dripping over the walls of houses, and climbing over gates are the most beautiful flowers. The air is always fragrant with their scent and the bright colours seem an intrinsic part of the town’s character. The main street is a promenade along the sea front and it is kept clean (an exception in Panama). The people are welcoming and warm and our Spanish is improving by having little exchanges with people saying hello on the street.


We were lucky enough to get lots of local tips on hikes, food stalls and local gossip from the lovely guy who runs the moorings here. He also gave us invaluable information on recommended stops on our passage up to Mexico. We also love the food here. Our favourite place (that we have actually been to 3 times already!) has the most heavenly almejas al ajillo (clams in garlic) as well as a gorgeous red snapper and buttery soft squid.


But, today, the ocean is red. At first we alerted our friend who runs the moorings as we thought that one of the big tankers outside the canal was dumping oil and polluting the water. However, the colour is actually red algae that are breeding at the moment because the water is so cold. The Pacific is colder than the Caribbean anyway but the Humbolt current at this time of year makes it even cooler which apparently the red algae love.


It makes for a rather dramatic view from our boat but only lasts a few days. Clearly it’s so much the island of flowers that even the water is blooming!