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Colon, Panama

Barcelona, Spain
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Colon, Panama

The postings I see about Colon are from some years ago. Can anyone give me an update on the state of things nowadays?

Thanks!

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1. Re: Colon, Panama

Hi

My husband and I went there last week for the day as our cruise ship docked there for a day. The city is a complete dump and the people are aggressive. This is far from a holiday destination. After only 40 mins off the ship, we could not wait to get back on. I would recommend not going at alll.

Edited: 24 December 2012, 16:45
Panama City, Panama
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2. Re: Colon, Panama

What do you want to know ?

The city has seen sporadic rioting in the last few months - and I don't think the issues have been resolved.

The advice surely remains - get a taxi and get out of the city. How long do you have ? Either visit Gatun locks or Portobelo or one of the historic forts.

Panama City, Panama
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3. Re: Colon, Panama

There are recent threads - for example tripadvisor.com/ShowTopic-g298428-i3611-k590…

Atlanta, Georgia...
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for Colon, Isla Grande, Portobelo
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4. Re: Colon, Panama

If you go to the Colón forum, you will see a number of threads from the last few months. If you go to YouTube, you can view some "driving tours" of Colón. www.youtube.com/watch?v=NFiSGgJJ5M4

No, the security issues and the violent crime rate have not changed in Colón. That's why many who work in the Free Trade Zone (which is actually on the outskirts of the town) commute there from Panama City.

That said, there is a lot worth seeing and doing outside of Colón -- the historic sites of Portobelo and Fort San Lorenzo ... the Gatun Locks ... adventure activiities near Portobelo.

minnesota
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5. Re: Colon, Panama

gb,williams

thank you for the referral of Robtad's for a private tour of Gatun Locks and Portobelo.

I met Roberto and he had our tour guide Zunilda waiting for us after we disembarked for the day on Dec 23. Robeerto took another group we organized to Panama City for the day.

Zuni is a great, knowlegable guide.Gave us a running commentary of the whole free trade zone area, talked about the various neighborhoods we drove by. We even wen to see her own house in one of the communities.

She got us to the Gatun lock ahead of the ship tours. We saw a tanker go through the locks. Nice narration from the canal person while we were in the stands.

then off to Portobelo.Nice drive through a couple of towns and then views of the sea along the way. We toured the custom museum . Nice video of the historic significance of the the area.

Walked around the ruined fort, went to the church and viewed the Black Christ shrine, bought beautiful molas from a Indian woman ouside the church.

Zuni showed us the stone pathway that was used to measure out the gold and other stuff before being loaded on ships to Spain. Lots of history all around.

Ended up at La Torre restaraunt as you suggested. We had a leisurely lunch and the empenadas were indeed great, so was the shrimp and grilled fish!

the eleven on our group were from the US, New Zealand, Canada and England.

Everyone said it was a great day and a good preparation for our transit of the canal the next day.

In the harbor of Portobelo was the Winstar Cruise ship. they followed us the next day through all the locks.

what I took away from this very short time in Panama was the fact that this place has been a trade route since ancient times. Modern day Panama is just doing the most recent version of moving goods from one ocean to another to promote the trading of goods world wide.

PS,

the transit of the canal was beyond my wildest dreams. It was awsome. I think every person should do this trip in their lifetime and experience one of the man made wonders of the world.

Panama City, Panama
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6. Re: Colon, Panama

Azulann - thank you very much for that report. It is good too hear how things work out.

Atlanta, Georgia...
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for Colon, Isla Grande, Portobelo
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7. Re: Colon, Panama

Thank you very much for your kind comments. I'm very glad you had a great experience, and thank you for sharing it on TA.

Washington DC...
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8. Re: Colon, Panama

I stayed in Colon this past week. Of course, saying that nothing happened to me doesn't mean it isn't a dangerous city. But I walked around in the daytime and everyone I met was lovely. With the exception of someone who used fear mongering to try to make money, such as a non Panamanian taxi driver who insisted I should take his taxi everywhere at four times over the correct fare due to crime. He was the only crook I met on several visits..

Colon has some interesting old colonial style buildings and I would suggest a visit. You can take the train up and have a look around and go on to Portobelo if you like.

San Jose, Costa Rica
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9. Re: Colon, Panama

I agree, there are many interesting places to see around Colon. There is a lot of nature, national parks, you can do interesting tours to visit indian villages, to visit the locks (Gatun locks fro example), Portobelo or Fort San Lorenzo, the beaches of Isla Grande which is only about one hour from Colon and near Colon there is the Gatun Lake. There is a nice place which is La Granja Campo Y Aventura which is located directly at the lake around 10 minutes from the center of Colon. It is a farm that offers accommodation and different tours such as Canopy, Hogh Ropes Course, boat tours, fishing, Kayak etc. Even Panama city is not far away, only about 1 hour by car.

New York
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10. Re: Colon, Panama

I can't seem to find an e-mail for Robtad's Tours - could please give me the link - Thank you!