The Colon Rundown
Colon is a historic seaport located on Panama’s coast. Situated on the Caribbean Sea, it lies close to the Atlantic Ocean-side entrance to the Panama Canal and has much to offer in the way of history, culture and architecture. The Free Zone, or La Zona Libre, is a 482-hectare (1,191-acre) walled area and the biggest free-trade zone in the Americas, although it is mostly geared towards wholesalers rather than tourists. If you buy anything here, it will be shipped to the airport where you can pick it up upon leaving Panama. The Gatun Locks is one of the best places in the area to check out the Panama Canal and its impressive engineering and history. The Fort San Lorenzo, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, offers a storied history and a chance to see up to 40 cannons. Portobelo National Park is a must visit and is home to Spanish ruins, forts and treasures from the 16th and 17th centuries. Portobelo National Park’s Isla Grande is accessible by a five-minute boat ride from La Guaira and offers accommodations and restaurants for a taste of Caribbean cooking.
When To Go
Most of Panama sits only a few degrees above the Equator, so the climate is tropical, hot and humid, with temperatures varying little from month-to-month. The seasons in Colon are instead distinguished between the dry season and the rainy season. The rainy season runs from May through December, with each month seeing 17-24 days of rain, from about 320-552 mm (13-22 inches) of rain per month. You might find the dry season a bit more pleasant for your holiday, especially if you plan to spend time outdoors. The dry season runs from January to April, with only seven to nine days of rain per month on average.
- Average daily highs: Ranges from 28-31°C (82-88°F)
- Average nightly lows: Ranges from 22-25°C (72-77°F)
- Rainy season from May through December; dry season from January to April
You can reach Colon by air with flight carrier Aeroperlas on one of their five weekly trips that go to and from Colon and Panama City. It is a short 15-minute flight that costs a mere £23 (PAB 36) each way. There is a regular bus service Panama City to Colon that runs every 30 minutes. The bus ride takes two hours and leaves from the Albrook Bus Station in Panama City. You can also get to Colon via the Panama Railroad from Panama City, with makes for a beautiful trip along the famous canal. Whilst in town, you will find taxis are plentiful and easy to get at the bus station or the Colon Free Zone area.
- By air: Cheap flights by Aeroperlas from Panama City
- By bus: Two-hour ride from Albrook Bus Station in Panama City
- Travel around town via taxis
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