At the Atlantic end of the Panama Canal on the Caribbean Sea, lies the country’s second city, Colón. Initially established as the terminus of the Panama Railroad, the town was originally called Aspinwall, after Railroad’s promoter, William Aspinwall. It was built to provide a fast overland route to California and the gold rush, but the local Hispanic population soon renamed it in honour of Christopher Columbus.
Outside the city port are several reminders of Panama’s rich history, including the Canal’s impressive Gatún Locks and Gatún Dam.[ReadMoreMob] Fort San Lorenzo, built by the Spanish to guard the strategically important Chagres River, is a well-preserved colonial military structure.The vast Colón Free Trade Zone offers tax-free shopping.
Panama City’s Casco Antiguo (also known as the Colonial City) was founded in 1673. The eclectic mix of architectural styles throughout the centuries reflects the many cultures that have helped to shape this important port. The traditional cuisine of the city is also hugely varied, with so many other nations having contributed their preferences and techniques.
Created by the construction of the Gatun Dam, this vast artificial lake is at the heart of Panama Canal and represents the most scenic spot along this iconic passageway. Surrounded by parkland which is home to monkey and tropical birds, this serene body of water is the beautiful place to relax.
Cruises to Colon
Latin American Civilisations • M2301
- Tour to the Mayan site of Chichén Itza
- Explore Havana’s history & culture
- In Colombia discover the origins of coffee