Located at the Atlantic Side of Panama, about one and a half hours from Panama city, Colon is home of the 2nd largest Free trade zone in the World – Colon Free Trade Zone. If you like shopping, this is the place for you! Colon Free Zone has several acres of stores and is only open to foreigners (your passport is required to get the entrance permit). A lot of the stores are wholesalers but you will also find retail stores where you can shop for pretty much whatever you can think of and with prices so low you will not believe it. You won’t have issues to take your purchases out as long as you can carry them yourself (it is recommended to bring your own backpack or suitcase). For bigger items, perhaps a TV, the store needs to arrange delivery to the airport or sea port and will be available for you upon your departure from the country.
There is more to Colon than shopping of course. You can also visit the Panama Canal –Gatun Locks to see the ships transiting and learn about the operations.
We also recommend you to go visit UNESCO World Heritage sites Portobelo
and Fort San Lorenzo. Very close by Gatun Locks, you can visit Fort San Lorenzo which is the ruin of the Fort protecting the gateway to the Chagres River, the route used by Pirates to come to Panama. You can also take a small tour to see the indigenous community in the Chagres River, the Emberas and get familiar with their culture. Portobelo, a bit away from Colon City was a very important port from the 16th to 18th century and now showcases the ruins of several Spanish Forts. There you can also visit the Church of San Felipe – the sanctuary of the Black Christ.
In Colon you can also be adventurous and do Scuba diving in the Caribbean Sea or relax and visit Isla Grande – a small secluded island with beautiful beach suitable for swimming and snorkeling.
Colon Capital is Colon City and even though is the 2nd largest city in the country is very under developed and quite dangerous. Therefore, we recommend you to visit Colon province but suggest you do not go to visit the city.