Your Cruise Ship is Going to Dock at Colon (Cristobal)
If you search the internet for Panama shore excursions you may be disappointed. There is not much information available regarding the Province of Colon. While many tour operators avoid operating in the Province of Colon we have decided to make it our focus for VIP Panama Tours.
The Republic of Panama is growing rapidly and is one of the few countries in the world that still has an expanding economy. If you read the articles about Panama, rarely is the Province of Colon mentioned. Most of the articles are 5-10 years old with outdated information. President Varela as well as investors are eyeing Colon, Panama. The government of Panama is planning to invest millions into the City of Colon to revitalize the run down city center. We are crossing our fingers that the money will be used to beautify the city. If you read that, “Colon, Panama is Dangerous” check out this post.
The Colon 2000 port at Cristobal is a privately owned port where the cruise vessels park. It is located on the edge of downtown Colon. The port itself has little to offer for tourists besides some good eateries and shops. If you really want to experience Panama you will need to go on a Panama shore excursion. If you take the shore excursions offered by the cruise companies or middle men the cost can easily set you back $200 or more per person. You also have the option of jumping in one of the tourist taxis that will take you to the Panama Canal at Gatun. The tourist taxis are reasonable but I am sure you want to have a more comfortable experience on your Panama Shore Excursion.
VIP Panama Tours decided to offer Colon Shore Excursions because we saw a need that was not being filled by tour operators in Panama. We have designed a tour package with you in mind. We will meet you at Colon 2000 and take you to the Gatun locks of the Panama Canal as well as Zoo day in Maria Chiquita.
The Gatun locks of the Panama Canal are about a 10-15 minute ride from the Colon 2000 port where your cruise ship will be anchored. We will spend 1-2 hours at the Gatun locks admiring the vessels as they pass through the Panama Canal. The view from the observation platform at the Gatun locks is absolutely amazing. The view beats the Miraflores locks because you will be right next to the ships as they pass through the locks. Your admission fee is included.
The next part of the the Panama shore excursion will take us to the small town of Maria Chiquita, Panama which is a 30-45 minute drive from the Gatun locks. Maria Chiquita is home to Safarick’s Zoo and Animal Rescue Center. Here you will learn, see and interact with the animals and birds of Panama. The Zoo has a store to buy all kinds of Panama trinkets, t-shirts and stuffed animals. You will be amazed at the care taken to offer these animals good quality of life. Many were former pets, injured in the wild or abandoned. Safarick’s works closely with the Panama government to rehabilitate and release as many animals as possible back to the wild. Your admission fee is included.
Our Panama Shore Excursion Only Costs $100 p/p and Includes Entrance Fees for the Panama Canal plus Safarick’s Animal Rescue.
We then head back to Colon 2000 to make sure you arrive on time for your cruise ship departure. This trip can take 20-45 minutes based on traffic. Here at VIP Panama Tours we want to make sure you have a fun and safe visit of Panama. Our country has so much to offer and Colon, Panama is a jewel that needs to be experienced. We hope you choose us when you are booking your Panama Shore Excursion. I am a former US Navy Veteran who was deployed to Panama, married to a Panamanian and have lived here for 5 years. You will be in good hands.