View of the Santiago Fortification in Panama
CONGOS CULTURE CRUISING

Cruise to Colón, Panama

Home to the Panama Canal's Atlantic Ocean entryway, Colón is the second-largest city in Panama. Start your adventure at the Gatun locks, where you can watch ships being raised by water lifts to the higher elevation of the canal. Then, visit the Portobelo Natural Park and take in the beauty of its 16th century forts. Or head to the beach at Playa Maria Chiquita for clear Caribbean Sea waters and white sands. Cruise to Colón, Panama and check out Portobelo National Park, where you can see 17th-century Fort San Lorenzo or go bird-watching along the Achiote Trail in San Lorenzo Protected Forest. Or take the one-hour trek to Panama City, the Caribbean's urban heartbeat.
National Language Spanish
Currency Accepted Panamanian Balboa (PAB), U.S. Dollar (USD)

Things To Do in Colón

The second lock of the Panama canal from the Pacific ocean

Colon, Panama Canal

Lock in the Wonder

Lock in the Wonder

Experience the Panama Canal in all its engineered glory as you witness ships being lifted in the Gatun locks to enter Gatun Lake. Ships then traverse through the lake and exit the canal on the Pacific Ocean side, going down again in the Miraflores locks.

The San Lorenzo fortifications in Portobelo National Park in Colon, Panama

Colon, Panama, San Lorenzo Fort

Naturally Fortified

Naturally Fortified

Head to the Portobelo National Park, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, and find yourself surrounded by historic fortifications like the ruins of San Lorenzo Castle and Fort. Don't miss San Lorenzo Protected Forest, which houses many hiking trails and marine flora and fauna, like mangroves and sea turtles.

The Panama Cathedral in Colon

Colon, Panama Cathedral

The Beat of the City

Drive for just an hour and find arguably the most visually appealing city in Central America: metropolitan Panama City. Cruise to Colón and walk by impressive skyscrapers like the Vitri Tower, feed your artistic side with a visit to BioMuseo museum, and shop for souvenirs in the historic streets of Panama Viejo.

Young woman holding in hands wicker basket with freshly baked empanadas

Colon, Panama Empanadas

Local Cuisine

Seafood in its many forms is the staple cuisine of Colón. Sample shrimp and coconut rice or white fish ceviche marinated in lime and habanero. Not feeling like fish? Seek out golden-brown empanadas stuffed with meat and cheese or sancocho, a hearty chicken stew with corn, squash and herbs. Finish your meal with raspados, the local dessert of grated ice sweetened with condensed milk.

Panama Hats sold in Colon, Panama

Colon, Panama Hats

Shopping

The Colón Free Zone is one of the biggest duty-free markets in the world. Head here to find wholesale stores selling everything from clothes to shoes and jewelry during your Colón cruise. If you're heading to Panama City, don't miss out on the shopping there. Shops like Karavan, Beermarkt and Papiro y Yo selling indigenous art, local beer and the ever-popular Panama hats.

Insider's Tips
Insider's Tips
1 Take a road trip on the Caribbean coast and find hidden beach villages, like Costa Arriba, along the way.
2 If you have the time, head to the Embera communities by canoe for a look into the lives of the indigenous peoples still living there.

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