What to buy in Panama

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#2
Sonoma, CA
6,652 Posts
Joined Mar 2003
Panama hats are generally made in Ecuador, but they will be selling "Panama hats" of some sort on the pier at Cristobal. I like to buy molas, or t-shirts with molas on them. It's probably a more female thing than for boys. Be sure to enjoy the shops at the pier. There are lots of different hand crafts. Even if you don't fall for anything, it's a great place to window shop.
#3
Suburb of Chicago
1,786 Posts
Joined Jan 2006
Originally posted by Jeanine&Jim
I would like to by real Panama Hats for my sons Anyone recommend a place in Colon to get one?

Any other good things to buy? Thanks Jeanine
Princess strongly advises to avoid Colon due to the crime. We had just a few hrs. in Cristobal and spent the time there at the pier shops where there are plenty of "Panadour" hats.
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2002 RCL Splendour of the Seas, western Med.
2003 CCL Destiny, so. Caribbean
2005 Sapphire Princess, Alaska
2006 Tahitian Princess, French Polynesia
2007 Star Princess, the Baltic
2008 RCL Adventure of the Seas, so. Caribbean
2009 Island Princess, Panama canal full transit
2009 CCL Triumph, NE/Canada.
2011 Celebrity Constellation, Holy land
2012 Celebrity Equinox eastern Med.
2014 CCL Legend, western Caribbean.
2014 Diamond Princess, Japan
2015 NCL Getaway, eastern Caribbean.
2015 Oasis of the Seas western Caribbean
2016 Sapphire Princess southeast Asia.
#5
Chicago by way of Boston and NOLA
16,707 Posts
Joined Feb 2006
Originally posted by Jeanine&Jim
I would like to by real Panama Hats for my sons Anyone recommend a place in Colon to get one?

Any other good things to buy? Thanks Jeanine
There is a large flea market area where the ship docks, but I do not think it is safe to leave this secured area and wander about Panama. At least I do not believe anybody we spoke with on our cruise left the secured area. There is a good variety of vendors at the flea market and it is low pressure (i.e. they are not badgering you to purchase something). You can haggle a bit over the price if you want. You can also purchase Panama beer cheap in the flea market area as well as purchase calling cards for cheap (there is an area with several pay phones by the area selling the phone cards).

My wife bought a little colorful dress for her friend's daughter and a couple tote bag type items and I bought some Panamanian beer.
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#6
California
898 Posts
Joined Dec 2004
Panama is my favorite shopping country in the Americas. The Embera Indians make wonderful goods. The make beautiful baskets and carvings in both wood and Tagua nuts. Actually, the Tugua nut carvings are my favorite and I have a whole collections. Frogs, birds, sloths, snakes, etc all carved in a nut that becomes rock hard. Don't wonder around Colon to do your shopping. Buy your goods right at the pier, or better yet take an excursion to see the Embera and you can buy right from the person who made it.
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NCL Sun - June 17, 2013 (Alaska)

Previous Cruises
NCL Spirit - February 27, 2011 (Mardi Gras time!!!)
Carnival Valor - Western Caribbean - November 2009
RCCL Jewel of the Seas - Panama Canal - January 2009
Carnival Destiny - Southern Caribbean - May 2008
Carnival Elation - Bahamas & Grand Turk - December 2006
RCCL Serenade of the Seas - Southern Caribbean - February 2005
RCCL Navigator of the Seas - Western Caribbean - March 2004
Carnival Paradise - Exotic Western Caribbean - April 2003
Carnival Tropicale - Southern Caribbean - February 1993
#7
AUSTIN, TX.
1,339 Posts
Joined Mar 2006
Originally posted by jacketwatch
Princess strongly advises to avoid Colon due to the crime. We had just a few hrs. in Cristobal and spent the time there at the pier shops where there are plenty of "Panadour" hats.
If you stay in the shopping area at the ship you will NOT have Crime. Just don't wander from there on your own. They have a nice shopping area. Tableclothes were lovely! Enjoy! Nancie
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2005 CARNIVAL CONQUEST WESTERN CARIBBEAN DECENBER
2006..CELEBRITY GALAXY PANAMA CANAL APRIL...2006 GRAND PRINCESS WESTERN CARIBBEAN DECEMBER..2007 CELEBRITY SUMMIT HAWAII SEPTEMBER ...2008 CELEBRITY CONSTELLATION ..SOUTHERN AND ULTIMATE CARIBBEAN NOVEMBER/DECEMBER
[COLOR=darkorchid]2009 CARNIVAL CONQUEST KEY WEST/ BAHAMAS MAY[/color]
2009 CORAL PRINCESS B2B ALASKA
2009 CELEBRITY CONSTELLATION ULTIMATE CARIBBEAN
B2B PANAMA CANAL 2009 NOVEMBER
2014 RC NAVIGATOR Western Caribbean
#8
California
898 Posts
Joined Dec 2004
Originally posted by 2112
Panama is my favorite shopping country in the Americas. The Embera Indians make wonderful goods. The make beautiful baskets and carvings in both wood and Tagua nuts. Actually, the Tugua nut carvings are my favorite and I have a whole collections. Frogs, birds, sloths, snakes, etc all carved in a nut that becomes rock hard. Don't wonder around Colon to do your shopping. Buy your goods right at the pier, or better yet take an excursion to see the Embera and you can buy right from the person who made it.
Here are some pictures from the market at the Cristobal pier. You can get an idea of the items for sale from the pictures:

http://www.pbase.com/2112/colon
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Next Cruise
NCL Sun - June 17, 2013 (Alaska)

Previous Cruises
NCL Spirit - February 27, 2011 (Mardi Gras time!!!)
Carnival Valor - Western Caribbean - November 2009
RCCL Jewel of the Seas - Panama Canal - January 2009
Carnival Destiny - Southern Caribbean - May 2008
Carnival Elation - Bahamas & Grand Turk - December 2006
RCCL Serenade of the Seas - Southern Caribbean - February 2005
RCCL Navigator of the Seas - Western Caribbean - March 2004
Carnival Paradise - Exotic Western Caribbean - April 2003
Carnival Tropicale - Southern Caribbean - February 1993
#9
Nova Scotia
1,497 Posts
Joined Sep 2003
A couple of years ago we stopped at Cristobal Pier for some shopping. We got a beautiful handcrafted table cloth for my mom, some carved figurines, and lovely wooden bowl (holds our cruise chocolates..we never eat them on board) and some panamian coffee. Lots of selection and great prices!