Uncovering authentic local finds and having experiences that make you feel like you’ve really connected with a place are important elements in ensuring an extraordinary vacation. We’re taking advantage of our partnership with Travel + Leisure to get their editors’ recommendations and insider tips on the places you will want to visit. Here are their picks for just one of the 150 destinations they covered.
Of the city’s two main docks (the other is Cristobal Pier), Colon 2000 is the more upscale—thanks to dozens of attractive restaurants and shops, many of which benefit from Colón’s free-trade zone. Take some time to stroll around one of the largest port cities in world, stopping here and there to shop or have a coffee.
Savvy shoppers on a hunt for foreign brands can join South American merchants in Zona Libre, a 988-acre shopping area filled with every manner of wholesale good (silver, handbags, clothing, electronics). Note that purchases here have to be exported, a process that can be cumbersome, but window-shopping in this whirlwind marketplace can be quite exciting.
It’s hard to be underwhelmed by the engineering behind this massive lock system, which raises and lowers ships some 85 feet between the Pacific and Panama’s Gatún Lake—especially when you realize it was built more than 100 years ago. Travelers can watch ships make the crossing from a close-viewing platform just seven miles south of Colón.
Be sure to visit our Shore Excursions page or speak with our onboard Destination Concierge for arrangements to any of these must-sees.
To learn more about this exciting port, please refer to our Port Explorer guide.