Top 10 Things to Do in Colon Panama Cruise Port

Things to Do in Colon Panama Cruise Port

In the last two decades, tourism has become increasingly popular to the area surrounding the famed Panama Canal, and now it is not uncommon for Western Caribbean cruises to regularly add the port city of Colon to their itineraries. Although the area still has a way to go before rivaling other port cities found along the paths of some of the bigger cruise lines, there are a lot of things to do in Colon Panama and the surrounding areas, and some of them can be found nowhere else. From wild jungle tours to historical jaunts through cityscapes, there is something for everyone to do here; and, recent changes to policies affecting tourist safety combined with upgraded facilities and amenities mean there is no better time to visit the Colon Panama cruise port. Whether you are a first time visitor or a repeat guest to the area, Colon is sure to surprise and amaze you, and we’ve put together a list of the ten best ways in which the canal side city does just that.

1. Canal and Gatun Locks: Surely one of the biggest highlights of cruises to Panama are tours to the great Panama Canal that is still regarded as one of the most significant engineering feats in the history of mankind. Both the young and old will delight in the history and magnificence of the great canal and the locks that are one of its defining features. The Gatun Locks are the oldest and the largest of those dotting the canal, and visitors to the Colon Panama cruise port often make a beeline to them as they are not to be missed. Many excursions either start, end or include a visit to the locks and they’re one of the most accessible activities for port guests. Those that have already come and visited the canal and locks might want to take advantage of other canal related activities, such as the expansion tour that treats guests to an inside look at the upcoming plans for widening and improving the modern marvel.

2. City Tours: For those aboard Western Caribbean cruises with limited time in port, city tours are an excellent way to check out the sights and sounds of the destination cities with an experienced travel guide who can both share local knowledge and point out places of interest. The city tours of Colon take guests past cathedrals and historical buildings that give the city character as well as past the monument to Christopher Columbus that history buffs and the curious alike can appreciate. For those who have seen enough of Colon, a city tour of Portobelo provides a slower paced trek through the seaside city and guests can marvel at a handful of Spanish forts as well as a treasury house. Both tours jump off from the Colon Panama cruise port, and some excursions add some pit stops along the way to and from the city tours.

3. Aerial Tram: One of the most popular things to do in Colon Panama is to hop aboard the aerial tram and slowly glide amongst the canopies of a beautiful rainforest. Here guests safely take in three hundred and sixty degree views of acre upon acre of lush jungle from a viewpoint shared with over half of all the wildlife found in the area. These eco tours are suitable for most guests, although are arguably questionable for those with an aversion to heights. Some tours aboard the Aerial Tram booked from the Colon Panama cruise port include other activities like a stop at the frog house or the serpentarium, which adds a little more up close and personal time with the residents of the rainforest.

4. Coast to Coast Train Ride: A train ride may not sound like the most exciting thing to do while ported in during multi stop Western Caribbean cruises, however the smooth and comfortable rides are incredibly worthwhile for guests that have the time. One of the most particularly alluring points of the trip is that guests aboard the Panama Railway get the opportunity to travel from the Caribbean to the Pacific Ocean and then back again, which can be an interesting day trip. Additionally, there are numerous high points along the journey, including catching a glimpse of a jungle prison and the Bridge of the Americas. Rides aboard the Panama Railway are ideal for those looking for the sights and sounds afforded those taking adventurous eco tours without the sacrifice of amenities, facilities or readily available refreshments.

5. Embrera Village: Not that far from the Colon Panama cruise port can be found Embrera Village, home to local Indian Natives that pair traditional ways of life with centuries’ old culture. Guests can take tours to the village where they can choose to get wet and wild on a canoe ride, have an exotic adventure and dance the day away or relax in tranquility while learning about the people of the community. Guests can even make jewelry alongside the local artisans and some is even available for purchase as well. Authentic souvenirs simply don’t get any more authentic than this!

6. Gatun Lake Kayak Tour: The small Gatun Islands serve as a jump off point for this high energy and high excitement kayak tour that takes guests along the flora and fauna lined shores for a watery adventure through some of the most beautiful environments in the region. Visitors can climb in their kayaks and use their own might to paddle around lakes hugging over a thousand different types of plants, nearly a hundred mammals and exponentially more flying, feathered friends. These excursions can be booked through the lines or at the Colon Panama cruise port and many of them include scenic stops either en route or prior to returning to the piers.

7. Monkey Watch: From the starting point at Gamboa over to the Gatun Lake, guests are taken on the tour of a lifetime to catch nature’s most adorable acrobats in action. Monkeys migle up and down small streams and creeks making themselves highly visible to excited guests. On occasion, particularly friendly monkeys will climb right aboard and enjoy part of the tour alongside visitors. Aside from the mischievous monkey residents, guests can also catch glimpses of native birds and more toothy guests, such as alligators, along the way. Anyone planning on taking the Monkey Tour should bear in mind however that an hour each way is dedicated just for traveling to and from the Colon Panama cruise port, so it is almost always an activity that will consume the majority of port time.

8. Adventure Tours: Caribbean cruises typically offer a wide array of adventure tours in their port destinations, and the jungle terrain of Panama makes it an ideal location for activities like zip lining and horseback riding. Guests planning on taking the available zip lining jungle tours can glide along nine cable lengths from station to station, with some nearing one hundred feet high. For those who like to keep their feet a little closer to the ground, horseback jungle tours are available as well, and they can be booked for shorter stays with trips lasting just under two hours or all day seven hour long adventure tours.

9. Beaches: As the islands of the Caribbean like Grand Cayman and Jamaica disappear into the horizon, many guests think that their beach visiting days are as well. But, that’s not the case as a duo of excellent beaches can be found close to the Colon Panama cruise port. Guests seeking adventure can head to the tiny island of Isla Grande where beachside bars and watersports are available to eager tourists. For a slower paced beach visit, the closer Playa la Angosta is well suited to shore time and picnicking, too.

10. River Tubing: Guests tired of boat rides but lacking the motivation to muscle themselves down river aboard a kayak can turn to river tubing, the ultimate in lazy adventure. Visitors climb aboard durable, inflated tubes where they lounge in comfort and can take in the scenery and surroundings without a lot of effort. The benefit to tubing over boat riding is that the cool and clear waters of the Gatun river caress riders through their journey offering a more interactive experience than that afforded to boat boarders.