Gatun Lake

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Gatun Lake: Our most recommended tours and activities

From Panama City: Monkey Islands Tour on Gatun Lake

1. From Panama City: Monkey Islands Tour on Gatun Lake

Travel to the Gamboa Marina in an air-conditioned tour vehicle with a guide and the rest of the tour group, before a transfer to a riverboat for a ride on the Chagres River, one of Panama's largest rivers, and head for Monkey Island. Observe the different species of monkeys that live on the island, from white-face monkeys, howler monkeys, and Geoffrey´s tamarinds, while taking some time to snap photos, and learn interesting facts and information about the different species from a knowledgeable guide. Return to the marina and to Panama City, and end the tour with drop-off at the hotel.

Monkey Island and Indian Village Tour

2. Monkey Island and Indian Village Tour

Leave the city behind in the morning and head to the Chagres River where you will board a boat for a 2-hour tour in Lake Gatun (once the largest manmade lake in the world) and the Panama Canal! Explore the ins and outs of the nearby bays, search for wildlife, and visit the famous Monkey Island, home of the amazing white faced monkeys! Also, keep an eye out for turtles, crocodiles, caiman, tons of bird life and all kinds of other surprises. Return towards Gamboa, pass the dock and head upstream to the Indian village. Unlike most Indian village tours, this one is authentic! Learn about the local culture, history and crafts. Then, hike along a short trail to see the plants that grow in this area and how the locals use them (practical, artist or medical uses) and see dance that is part of their custom. After visiting the village, return towards Panama City and stop along the way for lunch and arrive at your hotel in the late afternoon.

From Panama City: Gamboa Rainforest Guided Tour with Lunch

3. From Panama City: Gamboa Rainforest Guided Tour with Lunch

Explore the Panamanian rain forest while gliding smoothly through treetops on an aerial tram. Learn the jungle´s most interesting facts from a naturalist guide. Watch colorful birds fly around you. Take a boat ride through the Panama Canal, observing marine life. End your tour with a delicious lunch. Board a tram bound for a 280-feet peak surrounded by leafy jungle. While going up to the observation tower, enjoy fabulous views of the Chagres River, the Embera indigenous community, and much of the Soberania National Park. Gamboa is home to many natural labs including a butterfly farm, an orchids center, and a frog pond. See around 20 species of butterflies native to Panama at the Butterfly House. Get up close to the sloths at the Sloth Sanctuary. This sanctuary hosts a rehabilitation and training program for injured, sick, and orphaned sloths. Enjoy a scenic boat tour along the Panama Canal's waterways. Observe the fascinating tropical wildlife of Gatun Lake and the surrounding forest. Get a chance to spot crocodiles, caimans, sloths, monkeys, and a host of birds with the help of your guide.

Panama City: Ocean to Ocean Panama Canal and Jungle Tour

4. Panama City: Ocean to Ocean Panama Canal and Jungle Tour

Begin your tour with hotel pickup at 7:00 AM. Travel west of Panama City to start your exploration of the Panama Canal. Embark on a 90-minute boat tour on the Canal and Gatun Lake. Ride along the canal and get an up-close view of the ships passing through as well as the abundant wildlife along the shores. Visit the famous Monkey Islands, where you can see capuchins, howlers, and tamarins. Then, head 45 minutes north to the Caribbean side of Panama to visit the Agua Clara Visitor Center to see the new expansion locks operating up-close. Observe transiting vessels passing through the Agua Clara Locks on the way to the Pacific or the Atlantic Ocean from a scenic lookout point. Learn first-hand about the various operations of the Panama Canal, the history of its construction, its participation in world markets, and the importance of its watershed. Make your way to a scenic and quiet spot beneath the Gatun Dam and have a picnic lunch at the fork of the French West Diversion Channel and the Chagres River. Next, travel to San Lorenzo National Park, where you can visit a remote rainforest full of flora and fauna, followed by a tour of Fort San Lorenzo. Discover a 400-year-old Spanish fort on a scenic cliff overlooking the Caribbean. Hear about the many attacks by pirates and privateers at one of the most historically important places in Panama. Finally, be returned to your hotel in Panama City.

From Panama City: Rainforest Zipline Adventure

5. From Panama City: Rainforest Zipline Adventure

Get your adrenaline pumping with a thrilling zipline adventure through the Panamanian rainforest. After getting picked up from your hotel in Panama City, head to Gatun Lake for your ziplining adventure. Discover different ziplines across a 2-kilometer route that offers spectacular views of the rainforest and maximum safety and security.

Panama City: Monkey Island and Indigenous Village Tour

6. Panama City: Monkey Island and Indigenous Village Tour

After being picked up at your hotel or address in Panama City, set off for the town of Gamboa, in the middle of the Panama Canal. There, at the edge of the Chagres River, take a trip by boat to the Gatun Lake begins, the biggest and most important lake in the Panama Canal, where you will share space with large ships during their traffic across the Panama Canal. Later you arrive at a group of islands to meet 2 monkey species living there. Then, travel along the Chagres River to an Embera indigenous village where you will be welcomed by the community. Learn about their culture and listen to a speech by the chief of the village or nocó. Watch a live performance of traditional music and dance. Finally, enjoy the view of the tropical rainforest and the canal on your way back to the hotel.

Panama City: Panama Canal and Gatun Lake Jungle Eco Cruise

7. Panama City: Panama Canal and Gatun Lake Jungle Eco Cruise

Begin your tour with hotel pickup in central Panama City. Travel to Panama Canal north to the town of Gamboa, where the Chagres River meets the canal. Ride along the waters of the Panama Canal right next to the ships passing through on their way to the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans. Then, head to Gatun Lake, a large artificial lake created in 1907. Cruise around islands created during the canal construction and see the abundant wildlife on its shores. Also visit the famous Monkey Islands where you can see capuchins, howlers, and tamarins up-close in their natural habitat. Once you finish with the canal and Monkey Island boat tour (around 90 minutes), travel to a unique spot with views of the Panama Canal and enjoy a traditional Panamanian breakfast. After breakfast, enjoy a walk in Soberania National Park. Here, experience nature in one of the most biodiverse rain forests in the world. The length of the walk and the type of trail will depend on the physical capabilities of the group.

Panama: Panama Canal Tour through Two Locks with Lunch

8. Panama: Panama Canal Tour through Two Locks with Lunch

Experience the wonder of the magnificent man-made maritime passageway of the Panama Canal with this attraction ticket. Enjoy watching the ship as it is lowered at two separate locks. Have a delicious lunch and some refreshing soft drinks.  Disembark from Isla Flamenco in Panama city and take in sweeping views of the city as make your way to the canal at the north end of the Gaillard Cut, where the Chagres river flows into the canal. Admire the serpentine curvature of the Gaillard Cut which was carved through the continental divide. Uncover the history and geological value of this region as your boat travels along a 13.7 kilometer route to the Pedro Miguel locks. Pass through verdant landscapes of rolling hills and forests as you drift along. Appreciate the continuous work that is required to maintain this passage. Observe the Panama Canal expansion project, an engineering feat that is set to double the capacity of the canal. View the Bridge of the Americas which crosses over the canal. Enter the Pedro Miguel locks where the ship is lowered 9 meters and released into Miraflores lake. Venture across Miraflores lake to the Miraflores locks where the ship is lowered 16 meters in two distinct steps. Continue sailing to the small town of Gamboa. Disembark in Gamboa and board a bus back to Isla Flamenco.

Panama City: Panama Canal Eco Cruise and Embera Village Tour

9. Panama City: Panama Canal Eco Cruise and Embera Village Tour

Begin your tour with hotel pickup. Follow the Panama Canal north to the town of Gamboa, where the Chagres River meets the canal. Begin your 90-minute cruise from a boat on the waters of the canal and Gatun Lake, riding along the canal near the ships passing through. Enjoy an up-close view of the abundant wildlife on the shores. Visit the famous Monkey Islands where you can see capuchins, howlers, and tamarins. Once you finish your canal and lake boat ride, head 1-hour northeast to the rugged and remote Chagres National Park. Once you arrive at Puerto Corotu on the banks of Lake Alajuela, the indigenous Embera people will be waiting to take you up the Chagres River aboard their version of a motorized dugout canoe. From the canoe, witness pristine rain forest that is protected as part of the Panama Canal watershed. Discover one of the most biologically diverse national parks in the world, home to jaguars, harpy eagles, tapirs, monkeys, sloths, and hundreds of bird species. Arrive at the indigenous village where the hosts will be waiting. Learn about the local way of life with a cultural presentation and take the opportunity to explore the village. Enjoy a light lunch of fried fish, plantains, and fresh fruit prepared by the locals. Browse for traditional handicrafts and receive traditional temporary tattoos, which will fade away after a few days. Hop back in the canoe and begin your journey back to Panama City.

From Panama City: Monkey Island Boat Tour with Transfer

10. From Panama City: Monkey Island Boat Tour with Transfer

Monkey Island Jungle Boat Adventure In the morning a Panama Expeditions Hub will meet you and take you to Gamboa, a former US Military base for the operation of the Canal and a small town settled by the Chagres River and Gatun Lake, surround by the Panama Rainforest and the Soberania National Park and Nature Reserve. Your guide will take you to the Gamboa Pier at the Chagres River mouth to the Panama Canal. Once at the pier your guide will provide you with the live jackets, safety instructions and start boarding the Jungle Boat to start the adventure. the first part of the journey includes a boat ride under the historical Train Bridge and the Panama Canal waters where you will have the opportunity to see the huge vessels and container ships transiting the Canal, you will also observe the Dredging process of the Canal expansion and maintenance with the gigantic drills and cranes and the professional engineers and operators performing while your guide explains all the interesting facts about the project and the benefits to the country and the world, continuing the tour you will reach one of the northern corners of the lake where the dense jungle full of wildlife will take you to a whole different world and you will experience a close contact with nature. The Panama Rainforest is inhabited by thousands of different species and if you are lucky, you will see some of them like the white face capuchin monkeys, the howler monkeys, the Geoffrey’s tamarin monkeys, Cayman, Snail kites, herons and many other animals in the wild. After this amazing adventure your guide will take you back to your hotel.

Other Sightseeing Options in Gatun Lake

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What people are saying about Gatun Lake

Overall rating

4.7 / 5

based on 205 reviews

Mario did a great tour with us. We saw a lot of monkeys, they sat on the shoulder, climbed around on the boat. We stopped at many different places and had a great boat tour of the Panama Canal. On the way back to the harbor we spontaneously made another stop when the boat driver saw a crocodile on land. We drove very close. In general we had enough time to take photos and videos and be amazed. On the way to the hotel we stopped at the market and were allowed to eat fresh pineapple and watermelon. I recommend the 6:45am tour as it was very quiet and not as hot as midday. Would recommend the tour to anyone who has a morning to spare. Price line TOP!

Everything was amazing. The driver was very friendly and knowledgeable. Made our ride fantastic. The zipline was beautiful and the people were also amazing. It was one of the best trips we have taken. Thank you!

Are guide was excellent and we get to see the different types of monkeys as promised. It was a great experience.

Loved the boat experience on the canal, the animals, the lunch. The canary ride was okay.

Mario is a great tour guide. We had an amazing time and saw so many monkeys!!