Gatun Lake
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Our most recommended Gatun Lake Rentals

Panama City: Ocean to Ocean Panama Canal and Jungle Tour

1. 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.

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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.

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From Panama City: Gatun Lake and Monkey Island Tour

3. From Panama City: Gatun Lake and Monkey Island Tour

Following a convenient pickup from your hotel in Panama City, head to the town of Gamboa in the Soberania National Park. Get on board a boat and depart along the Gatun Lake next to the huge ships that cross the Panama Canal. Marvel at the fauna and vegetation of the tropical forest, as well as the residents of Monkey Island where you can admire the white-faced capuchin, Geoffroy’s tamarin, and howler monkeys in their natural habitat. In Gatun Lake you’ll also can find many species of birds like toucans, hawks, herons, snail kites, and other mamals like agoutis, coatis, and capybaras. After the boat trip and Monkey Island experience, return back to your hotel with a drop-off.

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Panama City: Panama Canal Eco Cruise and Embera Village Tour

4. 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.

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Panama City: Jungle & Gatun Safari Tour on the Panama Canal

5. Panama City: Jungle & Gatun Safari Tour on the Panama Canal

Depart for the the world’s most famous manmade lake at 8:30 and spend 6 hours touring the area. Lake Gatun was constructed between 1906 and 1914 to make the Panama Canal possible. From the lake’s shore you will board fast motorboats for a voyage of discovery. Navigate above ancient routes that crossed the isthmus long before the lake's creation. Huge ocean ships can be seen gliding across this water bridge that links the Caribbean Sea to the Pacific Ocean. See history in the making with the works to expand the canal. Glide past lush tropical forests to a scenic region of the lake and see the splendor and excitement of the jungle first-hand. Exotic birds, monkeys, sloths, iguanas, and crocodiles are just a few of the animals that you can view in their native surroundings. The sights, sounds, and scents that make up this tropical paradise will engulf you. Your ultimate destination will be the only floating house on the lake. This 2-story structure has plenty of room for you to relax and enjoy the day. A delicious native-style lunch with refreshments will be served. Afterwards numerous activities are available at no additional costs. Explore on your own while kayaking, swimming, and fishing.

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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.

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Panama: Panama Canal Tour through Two Locks with Lunch

7. 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.

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Panama City: Gatun Lake Eco-Boat Tour with Kayaking & lunch

8. Panama City: Gatun Lake Eco-Boat Tour with Kayaking & lunch

Explore Gamboa park on a day trip from Panama City. Navigate Gatun lake and encounter the flora and fauna of the rainforest. Swim through the waters of a waterfall and try to catch a peacock bass.  Be picked up from you accommodation in Panama city. Sit back and relax on the way to Gamboa park. Board a boat and cruse along Gatun lake. Watch cruise vessels, container ships, and submarines cross the Panama Canal. Observe the work that is being done to expand the canal. Hear about the tumultuous history of this incredibly important trade route from your local guide. Keep an eye out for different kinds of monkeys, iguanas, crocodiles, and birds as you sail along. Paddle to a waterfall where you can hop into the water and take a refreshing swim in the crystal clear water. Have an authentic Panamanian lunch on a floating lodge on the lake. Stay hydrated with an assortment of soft drinks. Float by monkey island and try to feed the wild creatures that live there. Try to catch a fresh fish or go exploring with a kayak. Head back to your accommodation in Panama City.

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Other Sightseeing Options in Gatun Lake

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What people are saying about Gatun Lake

Gonzo was an amazing guide who went above and beyond to ensure his guests had a great tour. He knew so much about the indigenous tribe as well as the local plants. He also could call the monkeys and ensured we saw three different kinds! I would definitely recommend him and this tour!

Our tour was fantastic. Our guide John Acosta was very kind with the kids, very knowledgeable and always ready to assist us in any needs. Would definitively recommend this trip for anyone coming to Panama.

Good experience to discover the Panama way from the Pacific to the Atlantic and the Canal story from the Carlos Quintos project to the actual one.

Great tour and our tour guy are so nice, friendly and very knowledgeable.

Amazing experience. Juan was amazing and very knowledgeable