The latest dining experience to launch in Panama City isn’t actually in the city. It involves being whisked away on a ferry (while sipping champagne) to a magical island villa for an intimate 6-course dinner, and then returned to the city during the same night. The experience is called La Vista, and it’s unlike anything I have ever been to in Panama.
The evening started at Balboa Yacht Club located on the Amador Causeway (La Vista now departs from the Brisas de Amador Dock). I arrived 30 minutes before boarding to ensure a smooth check-in and enjoy a drink beforehand.
While sitting at the yacht club, I was excited and anxious for the adventure to start. From reading and seeing photos previously I knew what the night would entail, but I had that butterflies in the stomach feeling I always get before experiencing something new.
Once all of the dining guests had arrived, we boarded the ferry that would take us to our dining destination: Taboga Island. This island is located off the coast of Panama City and is usually an easy beach day trip for locals. I’ve been there several times but never quite like this.
My friend and I wanted to sit outside so we could see the water, so we quickly grabbed dibs on some outdoor seating. Waiters circled and made sure everyone had a glass of champagne to sip on the way. All of the guests (including myself) took out their phones to Instagram & Snapchat what all of our friends were missing out on.
The waiters made sure our champagne glasses were always full for the 30-minute journey to Taboga Island, so everyone had a nice buzz about them once we arrived. Stepping off the ferry and onto the island was a fleet of vans ready to take us up to the Villa Caprichosa property where La Vista is located.
Our van made meandered through the narrow streets of Taboga until we reached a verticle incline. The best views are always from the top! Without hesitation, the van shifted into first gear and slowly climbed the small mountain until we reached our final destination. Stepping out of the van everyone was awed from the start. The villa is stunning.
Villa Caprichosa was constructed by internationally renowned designer Diane Burn and took over seven years to build. With all of the intricate details, you would never guess it was made entirely out of concrete. It has been operating as a luxurious bed and breakfast (often getting a 10/10 rating from guests on booking.com) on the island and now has the addition of offering visitors an incredible gourmet dinner.
I made my way up the candle-lit stairway which opened onto an enchanting terrace. I fee as if I’ve traveled to an entirely different world. The entire area is surrounded by green vines and tropical plants, a classic fountain is in the middle, and intricate old-world details are present in every corner. A woman was singing slowed downed melodies of current songs accompanied by a piano player adding to the elegance of the space.
I grabbed a seat inside the covered area of the restaurant with an incredible view of Taboga Island and boats waiting to go through the canal. There’s a reason it’s called La Vista.
The entire meal consists of six courses and changes periodically to keep the dishes innovative. During my visit, the chef started with a delicious spicy Thai soup. It was followed by a lobster ceviche, an amazing perfectly cooked steak with blue cheese, fresh cod, a raw tuna dish, and a banana foster desert. The service was impeccable, and we were also served complimentary house wine with the meal.
After a satisfying meal, it was time to leave this enchanting place and head back. We hopped back into the van, meandered down the narrow roads of Taboga, and enjoyed a star-lit ferry ride back to the city. The La Vista experience is truly something special.
Reserve your spot at La Vista
La Vista operates every Thursday, Friday, and Saturday leaving the Brisas de Amador dock on Perico Island at the end of the Amador Causeway at 6 pm. You must make a reservation in advance. The cost of dining at La Vista is $150/person, and you can visit lavistpty.com to reserve your spot.
Price Includes: Round trip Private Ferry Transportation and Private Van Transportation on the island from the dock to La Vista, a six course World Flavors Dinner provided by our World Class Chef, Complimentary Champagne, House White Wine and House Red Wine, Live Bossa Nova, Dessert and the most exciting night of your life.
If you aren’t able to make it to La Vista for dinner you can also stop by for lunch during a beach day at Taboga! Book a ferry ticket on Taboga Express and then stop by between 12 pm and 2 pm for their a la carte lunch specials.
For more information on their dinner experiences or special events and wedding requests (up to 80 persons) please call (507) 6671-2028 or (507) 6767-9710 or email email@example.com.