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Colon (Panama)

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Colón is a city in Central Panama. The town is in poor condition and notorious for its high crime rate, but it is worth driving around to look at the culture, people and architecture.

Get in[edit]

A luxury train connects Colón with Panama City and the ride along the canal is very beautiful. Colón is a stop for many cruise ships and there is also a frequent bus service to/from Panama City.

By ferry from Cartagena, Colombia[edit]

There is a new twice-weekly ferry service between Colón and Cartagena, taking approximately 17hours to make the crossing and costing US$113 (seat) or US$180 (bunk). [3]

Get around[edit]

Colon is not the safest place to get around by foot as muggings do happen, even in broad daylight. Best to get around by taxi or private automobile or not come at all.

See[edit][add listing]

  • Parks and Statues, most are by the shore area. The most notable is the one you see coming into Colón on Central Ave.
  • Christ Church by the Sea
  • Colón 2000, Paseo Gorgas (Far Northeast End of City). If tourists or businessmen for some reason have to stay overnight in Colón and need a SAFE place to eat, use an ATM machine, stock up on supplies, etc., their best best would be to go to the shopping plaza/cruise ship port Colón 2000. There are two restaurants there (Café Iguana and a Subway), a Super 99 grocery store, a Western Union branch, and an internet café. The main thing to emphasize is that it's 100% safe as long as you stay within the plaza area, there are both private guards and actual Panamanian police watching over it. Also in the back there are some halfway-decent souvenir shops and you can watch boats go by. How dangerous the city itself is is so well-known there isn't much I could add to that, but Colón 2000 is at least one area you can breathe easy in and get some errands run if you need to.  edit
  • Columbus Cathedral. Beautiful Catholic church that's worth a picture, but don't leave the taxi and walk around there. Roll down the window and take the picture, then quickly roll it back up again!  edit
  • Gatún Locks, Panama Canal, 10km south of Colón. Not as impressive as the Miraflores Locks near Panama City, but if you want to see where the ships enter and leave on the Caribbean side as opposed to the Pacific side, here it is. Not bad really, there's a souvenir shop here as well.  edit
  • List of Monuments Not to Miss. Christopher Columbus statue, Christ statue and Virgin Mary statue (both near the Seawall), Shell Monument, Aspinwall Monument, and Monument of the Students' Revolution. Luckily pictures of these can be taken relatively easily, you can even leave your taxi briefly.  edit

Do[edit][add listing]

Absolutely Nothing! Colon is dangerous and extremely violent crimes occur constantly. Everyone in the city hates tourists and tourist sites are filled with gang activities and tourists die every year.

Buy[edit][add listing]

  • La Zona Libre, [1]. A walled compound within Colón, and the second largest free trade zone in the world after Hong Kong. Unfortunately it is not aimed at tourists but to wholesalers, so it's not the shopping paradise you might imagine. Anything bought here is shipped to the airport and can be picked up only when you leave Panama, with the exception of small items you can carry out. If you're a foreign tourist and just buy a bottle of perfume or an iPod or something like that while you're in the Zona Libre, that's fine, but you will NOT be allowed to leave with big bags full of stuff.  edit

Eat[edit][add listing]

Seafood soup $4,00, was a great treat with three or four different types of fish in a tasty tomatoe base. Have with rice and fried plaintans with salsa. If your not into seafood try the roasted chicken with rice or potatoes $1.65 (Matilda Duffy 12-26-2008)

Restaurante Eugenio A great spot for breakfast that is frequented by the locals. A well-known spot that serves Panamanian comfort food such as hojaldres, chicharrones, beef stews, mondongo, fried empanadas. Always packed, so go early!

Drink[edit][add listing]

Sleep[edit][add listing]

  • New Washington Hotel, Calle 2 y Bolivar, Colon, [2].  edit
  • Melia Panama Canal, Antigua Escuela de Las Americas, (507) 441-7133. Overpriced and not great service but at least it's safe and has an interesting history. Plus it has a casino and a good restaurant. Acropolis . $5 an hour or $10 whole night  edit

Stay safe[edit]

Colon is a very dangerous city, and rarely on the tourist itinerary due to the risks of becoming the next victim. Walking around is not advisable.



  • Gr-flag.png Greece, Apto. Postal 415, Colon, Panama, Cale 31 Av. FedericoBoyd 4041, +507 445-0195 (fax: +507 445-0171).  edit

Get out[edit]

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