The second lock of the Panama canal from the Pacific ocean
Experience the Panama Canal in all its engineered glory as you witness ships being lifted in the Gatun locks to enter Gatun Lake. Ships then traverse through the lake and exit the canal on the Pacific Ocean side, going down again in the Miraflores locks.
The San Lorenzo fortifications in Portobelo National Park in Colon, Panama
Head to the Portobelo National Park, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, and find yourself surrounded by historic fortifications like the ruins of San Lorenzo Castle and Fort. Don't miss San Lorenzo Protected Forest, which houses many hiking trails and marine flora and fauna, like mangroves and sea turtles.
Drive for just an hour and find arguably the most visually appealing city in Central America: metropolitan Panama City. Cruise to Colón and walk by impressive skyscrapers like the Vitri Tower, feed your artistic side with a visit to BioMuseo museum, and shop for souvenirs in the historic streets of Panama Viejo.
Seafood in its many forms is the staple cuisine of Colón. Sample shrimp and coconut rice or white fish ceviche marinated in lime and habanero. Not feeling like fish? Seek out golden-brown empanadas stuffed with meat and cheese or sancocho, a hearty chicken stew with corn, squash and herbs. Finish your meal with raspados, the local dessert of grated ice sweetened with condensed milk.
The Colón Free Zone is one of the biggest duty-free markets in the world. Head here to find wholesale stores selling everything from clothes to shoes and jewelry during your Colón cruise. If you're heading to Panama City, don't miss out on the shopping there. Shops like Karavan, Beermarkt and Papiro y Yo selling indigenous art, local beer and the ever-popular Panama hats.
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