Colón, Panama

Reading Time: 6 minutes

Colón, Panama

Region: Colón, Panama is located in the province of Colón

Geographic Coordinates: 9.357200, -79.898600
Temperature Range: 25.0°C to 32.0°C (77°F to 90°F)
Climate: Tropical climate with high humidity and frequent rainfall throughout the year.
Population: 204000
Language: Spanish

Colón, Located on the Caribbean coast of Panama, Is the country’s second-largest city and a crucial port for international trade. The city was established in 1850 during the construction of the Panama Railroad, Which played a significant role in global commerce by linking the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans. Despite its strategic importance, Colón has faced several challenges over time such as poverty, Crime, And pollution leading to a decline in tourism.

However, Recent efforts to revitalize the city have shown promise. One of Colón’s main attractions is its historic architecture with many buildings dating back to early 20th century when it was a bustling port town. Visitors can explore landmarks like La Casa Wilcox (built-in 1905), Now serving as a museum dedicated to Afro-Caribbean culture. Fuerte San Lorenzo is another popular destination – an old Spanish fort built-in 1595 to protect against pirates and other invaders that offers stunning views of both land and sea while providing insight into Panama’s rich history.

Nature lovers will appreciate Colón’s proximity to several national parks like Portobelo National Park and San Lorenzo Protected Forest Reserve boasting lush tropical forests teeming with wildlife such as monkeys, Sloths, Toucans, Jaguars among others. Visitors can also enjoy various water activities like snorkeling or scuba diving at nearby beaches like Isla Grande or Playa Blanca where they can experience crystal-clear waters filled with colorful marine life. Colón is known for its vibrant culture that blends African roots with Spanish influences dating back centuries ago when slaves were brought from Africa by colonizers working on building Panama Canal.

, Colon may not be one of Panama’s most glamorous cities but it does offer unique experiences worth exploring for travelers interested in history, Culture, Nature, And adventure. Its strategic location, Interesting architecture, And beautiful natural surroundings make it a hidden gem definitely worth visiting.

Important Landmarks

  1. The Panama Canal is a renowned landmark in Colón, attracting many tourists who come to witness ships pass through the locks and learn about its fascinating history.
  2. San Lorenzo Fort is a historical fortress situated on the Caribbean coast near Colón, constructed by Spanish colonial forces in the 16th century to protect against pirate invasions.
  3. Gatun Lake is an artificial lake formed as part of the Panama Canal system, offering various recreational activities such as boating, fishing and wildlife watching.
  4. Portobelo National Park houses several historical forts including Fort San Fernando and Fort Santiago de la Gloria built during colonial times for protection against pirates.
  5. Christ Church by-the-Sea, established in the 1850s for British expatriates residing in Panama, is an Anglican church located within Colón city limits.
  6. Fuerte Santiago de la Gloria is another historic fort situated close to Portobelo that was erected by Spanish colonial forces in the 18th century.
  7. Isla Grande is a small island off Colón’s Caribbean coast known for its stunning beaches and crystal-clear waters that make it ideal for snorkeling or diving enthusiasts.
  8. Soberania National Park encompasses over 55,000 acres of tropical rainforest just outside of Colón City limits with numerous hiking trails suitable for bird watching excursions or nature walks.

Primary Industries

  1. Logistics and shipping: Colón is a major port city serving as a gateway to the Panama Canal. The city is home to several logistics and shipping companies, including Panama Ports Company, Manzanillo International Terminal, and Colon Container Terminal.
  2. Free trade zone: Colón has one of the largest free trade zones in the world offering tax incentives for international businesses to set up operations there. It is home to over 2,000 companies from various industries such as textiles, electronics, and consumer goods.
  3. Tourism: Colón has several tourist attractions such as Fort San Lorenzo, Gatun Lake, and Portobelo National Park that attract visitors from around the world.
  4. Agriculture: The surrounding countryside of Colón produces crops such as bananas, plantains, rice and cocoa which are exported through its ports.
  5. Manufacturing: There are several small manufacturing plants in Colon producing goods like textiles or food products for local consumption or exportation.
  6. Construction: With an increase in tourism activity comes an increase in construction projects related to hotels & resorts or commercial buildings like shopping centers or office spaces.
  7. Retail industry – Colon has many shops selling electronics, gadgets, clothing, etc. making it a shopping destination for people across Panama City.

Noteable History

  1. The founding of Colón in 1850 as a port city for the Panama Railroad.
  2. The construction of the Panama Canal, which began in 1904 and was completed in 1914.
  3. The presence of United States military bases in Colón during World War II.
  4. The Panamanian Revolution of 1968, which led to the establishment of a democratic government and the return of control over the Canal to Panama.
  5. Notable people from Colón include musician Rubén Blades, Olympic medalist Irving Saladino, and former President Ricardo Martinelli.
  6. The Afro-Caribbean culture present in Colón due to its history as a major port city for trade between Europe, Africa, and the Americas.
  7. The historic architecture found in Colón’s old town district including buildings designed by Gustave Eiffel (of Eiffel Tower fame).
  8. The ongoing efforts by local organizations to revitalize and preserve historic landmarks such as Plaza de la Independencia and Parque Urracá amidst urban development pressures facing modern-day Colon City.

Museums and Things To See

  1. Panama Canal Expansion Observation Center
  2. Gatun Locks
  3. Fort San Lorenzo
  4. Portobelo National Park and Fortifications
  5. Colón 2000 Cruise Terminal
  6. Afro-Antillean Museum of Panama
  7. Monument to Christopher Columbus
  8. Colon Free Zone
  9. Sabanitas Historical and Cultural Museum
  10. Iglesia de San Jose Church

Sports Teams

  1. Atlético Colón – Founded in 1952, this soccer team has faced several challenges including financial struggles and name changes. Despite this, they have achieved success and have been promoted to the top league in Panama multiple times.
  2. Colón Sharks – Established in 2009, this basketball team competes in the Liga Nacional de Baloncesto Profesional (LNBP) of Panama and has won several championships since its inception.
  3. Colón Cuna del Béisbol – Created in 2014 to promote baseball within the province of Colón, this baseball team participates in the Panamanian professional baseball league and has experienced some triumphs.
  4. Club Deportivo Árabe Unido – While not exclusively located in Colón, this soccer club was founded by Arab immigrants who settled there over a century ago and is closely associated with the province’s history. The club has won numerous national championships and is recognized as one of Panama’s most accomplished teams.
  5. Asociación Deportiva Atlética de la Policía Nacional (ADAP) – Headquartered in Colón, ADAP sponsors teams that compete across various sports such as basketball, volleyball, handball, judo, boxing among others. Comprised entirely of members from Panama’s National Police Force; it aims to encourage physical fitness while also competing at regional and national levels.

Cultural Events

  1. Carnaval de Colón is a four-day celebration that takes place before Lent, featuring parades, music, dancing and colorful costumes. It’s one of the biggest events in Colón.
  2. Festival del Cristo Negro celebrates the patron saint of Colón – the Black Christ – with processions, Masses and cultural activities on October 21st each year.
  3. Feria Internacional de Azuero is a major cultural event for Panamanians and attracts visitors from all over Central America despite not being technically located in Colón (it takes place in nearby Chitré). It features live music performances, traditional dances, food stalls selling local delicacies and arts & crafts vendors.
  4. Festival Nacional del Manito Ocueño celebrates el manito – the traditional dance of Ocu – with dance competitions and other cultural activities taking place every August.
  5. Día de los Reyes Magos is celebrated on January 6th each year to mark Epiphany or Three Kings Day across Panama including Colon with parades featuring people dressed up as kings bearing gifts for children.


  • Sancocho – a traditional Panamanian soup made with chicken, yucca, corn, and other vegetables. You can try it at El Rinconcito del Sabor or Restaurante Mi Ranchito.
  • Arroz con Pollo – another traditional dish of rice and chicken cooked together with vegetables and spices. You can try it at Restaurante La Rosa de los Vientos or La Parrilla de Tío Sam.
  • Ceviche – a seafood dish made with raw fish marinated in lime juice, onions, peppers, and cilantro. You can try it at Cevichería El Faro or Marisquería Las Palmas.
  • Carimañolas – fried yucca dough stuffed with meat or cheese filling. You can try them at Mercado Municipal de Colón or El Fogón del Negro.
  • Ropa Vieja – shredded beef stewed in tomato sauce served over rice and beans. You can try it at Restaurante Donde Ivan or Fonda Nena.
  • Seafood platters – fresh seafood dishes like lobster, shrimp, octopus, and fish served on a platter for sharing with family or friends. You can try them at Marisquería Los Camarones o La Casa del Marisco.
  • Panamanian Empanadas – A pastry filled with beef, potatoes, onions, capers, and olives. You can find them all around the city but some of the best places to get empanadas are Cafe Duran, Cafe Coca-Cola, and Cafe Bolivar.

  • Parks and Recreation

    1. Omar Torrijos Recreational Park
    2. San Lorenzo National Park
    3. Gatún Lake and Soberanía National Park
    4. Playa La Angosta
    5. Parque 5 de Noviembre
    6. Colón Free Zone Shopping Mall and Duty-Free Shops
    7. Fort San Lorenzo
    8. Iglesia de Cristo Rey (Church of Christ the King)
    9. Portobelo National Park and Historic Site


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