Colón, Panama is the capital of the province of the same name, and is usually considered to be Panama’s second city. Colón is situated right at the Caribbean mouth of the Panama Canal, which makes it the perfect base camp for anyone who wants to explore this global landmark.

Aside from the canal, Colón also contains a number of great things to do, and the surrounding countryside is a fascinating place to explore. Here are five Colón-based activities you definitely won’t want to leave off of your itinerary.

  1. See the locks on the Panama Canal

The Panama Canal is probably what comes to most people’s minds when they think of Panama, and although the country has so much more to offer, it’s still a must-visit.

If you want to observe ships passing through these marvels of engineering, the Caribbean locks – Gatun and Agua Clara – are easily accessible from Colón.

  1. Visit an Emberá village

Many Emberá people live in rainforest villages that can be found not far from Colón. Tours are available from both Panama City and Colón, and the chance to discover the traditions, crafts, and lifestyle of the Emberá is not one to be passed up.

If you don’t want to miss the comfort of your hotel, day tours are available; and if you want to immerse yourself fully in the Emberá way of life, there are also options to stay for a night or two.

  1. Explore the Chagres National Park

The rainforest of the Chagres National Park is full of fascinating flora and fauna, and can be explored through jungle treks. It is also home to the Chagres River and Lake Alajuela, which are both popular destinations for water sports like canoeing and rafting.

  1. Eat delicious local seafood dishes, or enjoy some Lebanese cuisine

As a coastal city, you’d naturally expect Colón to offer great seafood options, and it certainly doesn’t disappoint. The Restaurante Arrecifes features fresh local seafood prepared in Panamanian style.

Colón also has a strong Lebanese community, which is reflected in the city’s culinary scene, with several Lebanese restaurants to choose from. The Grand Cafe at Panaderia Mediterranea will provide you with wonderful Lebanese cuisine in generous portions — and it’s vegetarian-friendly.


  1. Ride the Panama Canal Railway

On the beautiful and well-maintained trains of the Panama Canal Railway, you can experience the full length of the canal and stunning surrounding scenery in air-conditioned comfort. The line runs from Colón to Panama City, and when open, it is truly an unmissable experience. (Recent global events have led to closures, so be sure to check in advance.)


Would you like to discover more about Colón and other cities in Panama, and elsewhere? Check out for information about over 5,000 cities from around the world — all sourced from local residents.

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