Situated on the Caribbean Coast and at the Atlantic mouth of the Panama Canal, the city of Colon is best known as a Duty Free Trading Zone that attracts traders from all around the world.

Why visit Colon ?

  • Explore the fascinating ruins and ocean views of San Lorenzo fort
  • See the famous & revered Black Christ figure in Portobelo church
  • Go snorkeling in the stunning coral reefs along the coast
  • Watch the super-sized ships slowly glide through the canal’s Gatun Locks
  • Visit an Embera indigenous Indian community in the nearby forests

However there are three principal reasons to visit the Colon area. Firstly to see the nearby San Lorenzo Fort, which enjoys a dramatic location overlooking the ocean and the mouth of the Chagres River. This remarkable fort was first taken by Sir Francis Drake in 1596 and then again by the famous pirate Captain Henry Morgan in 1670. The fortifications are still in pretty good shape with old cannons still pointing out to sea.

Not far from the city are the Gatun Locks, which raise and lower the ships into and out of the Panama Canal on the Caribbean side and it is interesting to see these vast ocean going ships at such close quarters.

Colon is also the gateway to the historic bay of Portobelo, which is famous for not only its beautiful fort and other historical buildings that were also ransacked by Henry Morgan in the 17th Century, but also for its revered religious Black Christ figure carved out of black cocobolo wood and reputed to have miraculous powers. The area is also popular on account of its rugged coastline with pretty beaches and the wonderful marine life of the Portobelo National Park. Sir Francis Drake was also buried at sea somewhere along this bit of coast, however his lead lined coffin has yet to be discovered !




No visa is required for UK passport holders.

Health Requirements

No mandatory vaccinations are required.

Time Difference

GMT - 6 Hours

Flight Time

13 hours with one stop


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