Travel Notes: Colón, Panama

I’m conflicted over writing about Colón, Panama.  Why am I conflicted?  Well….

I’m really glad I went out into the city while in port during my Bare Necessities cruise on Carnival Freedom, however, I’m not really certain that Colón wanted to see us.  I’m sure they appreciated the tourism dollars, but that’s just it – everything reeked of overdone, over-cautious “keep the tourists safe and give them what we think they want because they’re on a cruise ship afterall” mentality.  Mr. Muse and I selected Carnival’s “Grand Tour: Eco, Indians and Locks” which would take us to Gatun Lake, then to an Embera Indian Village and then to see the locks of the Panama Canal.  It was “touristy”, and though we tried to soak in knowledge that the tour guides were telling us, I couldn’t help but thing that everything was on the side of hokey and kitschy.

I don’t have great things to say about the tour.  If you’ve got no problems with gluten, the bagged lunch that they pass out should be filling: turkey sandwich on a hoagie bun, banana muffin and a mint.  (Thankfully – I had snacked packed in my satchel.)  You get to see three major attractions without a long trek out into the jungle and are hauled around in an air-conditioned bus.  The tour guides were friendly.  Ultimately, the locks were the best part of the tour, followed by the tour of the lake and then the Indian village.  To be fair, I got some good pictures at the village – but it had the look and feel of a badly produced pow-wow; and then they tried to sell you stuff at the end.

Would I go back to Colón, Panama?  I think it’s going to end up like the ports of Belize City, Belize and Soufriere, St. Lucia – they just didn’t get a “fair shake” and I’d have to go back again to give an honest assessment.  I wish I could write a review like I did for Limón, Costa Rica, but I can’t.  Instead I’m just going to leave you with photos.

©2013 The Amusing Muse - 2/14/2013, Colon, Panama, "Tourism Village"

©2013 The Amusing Muse – 2/14/2013, Colon, Panama, “Tourism Village”

©2013 The Amusing Muse - 2/14/2013, Colon Panama, Tourism Village - Notice the difference between inside the fence (right) and outside the fence (left).

©2013 The Amusing Muse – 2/14/2013, Colon Panama, Tourism Village – Notice the difference between inside the fence (right) and outside the fence (left).

©2013 The Amusing Muse - 2/14/2013, Colon Panama, port

©2013 The Amusing Muse – 2/14/2013, Colon Panama, port

©2013 The Amusing Muse - 2/14/2013, Colon Panama, port

©2013 The Amusing Muse – 2/14/2013, Colon Panama, port

©2013 The Amusing Muse - 2/14/2013, Snail Kite on Gatun Lake, Colon, Panama

©2013 The Amusing Muse – 2/14/2013, Snail Kite on Gatun Lake, Colon, Panama

©2013 The Amusing Muse - 2/14/2013, Embera Indian Village, Gatun Lake, Colon, Panama

©2013 The Amusing Muse – 2/14/2013, Embera Indian Village, Gatun Lake, Colon, Panama

©2013 The Amusing Muse - 2/14/2013, Embera Indians prepared to sell their wares, Gatun Lake, Colon, Panama

©2013 The Amusing Muse – 2/14/2013, Embera Indians prepared to sell their wares, Gatun Lake, Colon, Panama

©2013 The Amusing Muse - Embera Indian Village, Gatun Lake, Colon, Panama

©2013 The Amusing Muse – Embera Indian Village, Gatun Lake, Colon, Panama

©2013 The Amusing Muse - 2/14/2013, Leaf-Cutter Ants, Gatun Lake, Colon, Panama

©2013 The Amusing Muse – 2/14/2013, Leaf-Cutter Ants, Gatun Lake, Colon, Panama

©2013 The Amusing Muse - 2/14/2013, Leaf-Cutter Ants, Gatun Lake, Colon, Panama

©2013 The Amusing Muse – 2/14/2013, Leaf-Cutter Ants, Gatun Lake, Colon, Panama

©2013 The Amusing Muse - 2/14/2013, Panama Canal Lock House, Colon, Panama

©2013 The Amusing Muse – 2/14/2013, Panama Canal Lock House, Colon, Panama

©2013 The Amusing Muse - 2/14/2013, crewman aboard Windstar Cruises "Wind Star", Colon, Panama

©2013 The Amusing Muse – 2/14/2013, crewman aboard Windstar Cruises “Wind Star”, Colon, Panama

©2013 The Amusing Muse - 2/14/2013, Windstar Cruises "Wind Star" going through the locks, Colon, Panama

©2013 The Amusing Muse – 2/14/2013, Windstar Cruises “Wind Star” going through the locks, Colon, Panama

©2013 The Amusing Muse - 2/14/2013, Disney Graffiti, Colon, Panama

©2013 The Amusing Muse – 2/14/2013, Disney Graffiti, Colon, Panama

©2013 The Amusing Muse - 2/14/2013, one of the many "El Diablo Rojos" or "red devil" public buses. Colon, Panama

©2013 The Amusing Muse – 2/14/2013, one of the many “El Diablo Rojos” or “red devil” public buses. Colon, Panama

©2013 The Amusing Muse - "Strike a Pose", Embera Indian children earning tip money, Gutun Lake, Colon, Panama

©2013 The Amusing Muse – “Strike a Pose”, Embera Indian children earning tip money, Gutun Lake, Colon, Panama

Advertisements

About The Amusing Muse

Deep thinker whose mind operates at warped speed. Philosopher pondering the big (and little) things in life. Storyteller. Office Ninja. Model. Teller of bad jokes. User of big words.
This entry was posted in Blogging, Musings, Personal, Photography, Random Thoughts, Travel, Writing and tagged , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to Travel Notes: Colón, Panama

  1. John says:

    This is what I’ve found most cruise excursions to be like – created entirely to keep the tourists safe and without massive complaint, but little more than a production . . . it’s why I was so happy to read Limón

    • I think the thing that people forgot about cruise excursions is that a great many of them are “booze cruises” – which is fine, I’ve enjoyed them and will probably enjoy them again – but when you have ports that own so much history, it would be nice to really get a great tour that highlights that history.

Leave a comment (and don't be creepy).

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s