Colón, which lies along the central Caribbean coast of Panama, has historically been the country’s second-most important city. Today, however, Colón is riddled with poverty and crime. Aside from large corporate purchases at Zona Libre de Colón (Colón’s Free Trade Zone), most tourists these days are advised to stay away from the city.

Colon Best Things to Do

Emberá Village Tour, Panama
Emberá Village TourColon

The Emberá are an indigenous group in Panama. During this full-day tour, you’ll visit one of their villages and be introduced to various elements of their culture.

Guided Tours
Emberá Village Overnight Tour, Panama
Emberá Village Overnight TourColon

If you’re really interested in spending time with indigenous Panamanians, this tour may be for you. It allows you to spend a day and night in an authentic Emberá village.

0 - Colon, Panama
1 - Colon, Panama

Area Guide

Colón has long been neglected by the Panamanian government, and it shows—its streets are filled with listless, nervous looking characters and its buildings are crumbling and sad. The government keeps promising to clean things up, but at the present moment, not much has changed. Muggings are unfortunately common, so unless you have unavoidable business or want to risk your safety, it’s best to stay away. Indeed, it’s possible to see most of the region’s sights, including Fuerte San Lorenzo, the Gatún Locks and Portobello, without stopping here.

Colón’s only worth for foreigners nowadays is the shopping complex at Zona Libre de Colón (Colón Free Zone). Primarily aimed at wholesalers, Zona Libre is the world’s second largest free-trade zone, just after Hong Kong.

Colón is located 80 km north of Panama City, a drive which generally takes about two hours.

Feedback From Travelers

Air Panama is an excellent airline, on time. All staff were very friendly.

- LINDA E, FEB 2017