Panama Canal Road Trip to Colon and Fuerte San Lorenzo


Today's road trip didn't turn out quite as we had planned, but it was an absolutely incredible day. The three of us (Dad, Edrin, and myself) planned to visit the Miraflores canal locks and to go to Fort San Lorenzo near the Gatun Locks, and then head over to Portobelo to visit some other old Spanish forts. We never made it to Portobelo, however.

But the rest of the trip was fantastic. The locks were a cool sight -- we actually watched a huge cargo ship being raised through them -- and the adjoining museum was quite good also. We then drove to the city of Colon at the other end of the Canal. Colon supposedly was a happening city many decades ago, but now it is perhaps the most crime-ridden city in Panama. Needless to say, we didn't get out of the car, but we still enjoyed the view of the decaying, yet once grand, city.

Our next stop was Fuerte San Lorenzo. We had vague directions on how to get there, and even vaguer maps, and absolutely no road signs on the way, but amazingly we made 8 correct turn decisions in a row and found ourselves at the fort. It is perched on a tall cliff overlooking the mouth of the Rio Charges, which feeds the Canal with water. The three of us spent over an hour climbing over the ruins and taking a lot of great pictures of the fort and the scenery. On the way back to the car, we saw a flock of brightly colored toucans frolicking in the trees.

Back in Panama City, we finished the day with the most amazing dinner at a Swiss restaurant called Rincon Suize. Between the three of us, we finished off 3 appetizers, 3 dinners, 3 deserts, one bottle of wine and 3 glasses of port. Everything was perfect, except for the bill. I had no idea one could spend so much in a country like Panama. But it was well worth it... fine dinning at its best and a rewarding end to our day of adventure.


Next time we'll do Portobello first!

How is Ava Marie, Uncle Stuart Grant??? I know she's just fine with all the grandmotherly help Beth is getting!!!

Love, Sharum

I was thinking at first you were talking about the "other" Panama City. How's Beth and the little one?

Hello Stuart,

I am still enjoying your postings as I am living in Thailand vicariously through them. haha
My wife, who is from Chiang Rai, and I are looking forward to moving to Thailand when our son is in college a few years from now.
Have you heard about Thailand Elite Members Visa? Just curious is this is legit.

Hi Howard. Yes, the Thai Elite card is legit, but along with many of former Prime Minister Taskin's pet projects, this one is in danger of being closed down as well. Response to the card has been less than stellar. They have only sold a few thousand, when they were expecting one hundred thousand.

One of the interesting "benefits" of buying the card was that it was supposed to allow foreigners to buy land in Thailand (which they can not do, now). But the government forgot to actually change the law to allow this. Opps.

The five year multiple-entry visa sounds good though...

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This page contains a single entry by Stuart published on January 5, 2007 9:57 PM.

The Old Sites of Panama City: Panama Viejo and Casco Viejo was the previous entry in this blog.

A Drive to El Valle and the Waterfalls is the next entry in this blog.

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