Charming Taboga Island in the Gulf of Panama, 12 mi/20 km south of Panama City, blooms with hibiscus and bougainvillea, thus its nickname, "The Isle of Flowers." It's a car-free haven, with narrow streets that wind past garden and ocean views and a bay filled with fishing boats. The beaches on both sides of the ferry mooring tend to attract large crowds on weekends, although they are far from spectacular and often littered with trash after the Panamanians depart.

There's a selection of inexpensive and moderate accommodations, and fishing and diving are available in the surrounding waters. Taboga is reached by a ferry from Balboa and can be visited as a day trip.

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