During the excavations for the construction of the Panama Canal, more than 76 million cubic meters of material were removed from the Culebra Mountain Range on the Isthmus of Panama. The large excavation, known as "Culebra Cut," with a length of 13.7 kilometers, connected Gatun Lake with the Pacific coast.
Some of the material extracted from the Culebra Cut was transported by train to the entrance to the Canal near Panama City and used to build a long embankment to serve as breakwater for the Canal, to reduce sediment deposition that could obstruct the free passage of vessels, and to facilitate access to military installations built by the United States to protect the entrance to the Panama Canal.
The embankment, completed in 1913, became a road called “Calzada de Amador
” (Amador Causeway
). The causeway enters about 5 kilometres into the sea linking four small islands in the Bay of Panama, Naos, Perico, Culebra, and Flamenco. Today, Amador Causeway is a great recreation area for Panama residents and for visitors who want to enjoy pleasant walks by the sea and stunning views of the Panama skyline in the distance.
In the last of the four islands, Isla Flamenco, is Bucanero's Restaurant and Tavern (Bucanero is Spanish for Buccaneer). It is a restaurant largely committed to meet the preferences of residents and visitors who prefer a mostly seafood-oriented menu.
The setting is very nice with a maritime motif evoking the pirates and privateers who pillaged the Spanish galleons along the coasts of the Pacific and the Caribbean in the XVI and XVII Centuries. As in most locations with copious tropical rains, there is abundant vegetation that helps to cool the place moderating the high midday temperature of the tropics.
Although there are many meat and pasta items on the menu, the specialty is definitely seafood. There is an abundant selection of hot and cold appetizers including large dishes to share. But the highlight of the menu are the dishes listed under "Treasures of the Sea" which include sea-bass, salmon, octopus, squid, red snapper, clams and mussels. The giant prawns deserve special citation. My selection of giant prawns in a white wine curry sauce with mango chutney was definitely exceptional in size, flavor and presentation. The prawns were so good that I completely forgot the accompanying white rice.
From the extensive list of wines, a Chilean Chardonnay
“Marques de Casa Concha
” was a perfect complement to the delicious meal. My companions, who also tried other versions of jumbo prawns, and sea-bass, were also very pleased.
After lunch, a walk along the neighboring Flamenco Marina while enjoying the magnificent views of Panama City in the distance, and a visit to the Duty Free Store on Flamenco Island, were an excellent way to end a pleasant dining experience.
Overall, in my opinion, Bucanero's Restaurant is a good choice for lunch at Flamenco Island at the end of the Amador Causeway. I have heard that there is live music in the evenings. But at dinner time the place is much busier and long delays in service may be irritating to some people.
For additional information on Amador Causeway, see here
. For more details on Bucanero's Restaurant visit their website