Panama Canal
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Our most recommended Panama Canal Culinary & Nightlife

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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6-Hour Panama Canal Ship Cruise

2. 6-Hour Panama Canal Ship Cruise

Experience the Panama Canal in the most authentic way, by crossing it on board a ship. This 6-hour tour from Panama City will take you to the world famous Miraflores Locks, where you can watch huge ocean-going vessels transiting the canal just a few feet away. Your partial Panama Canal transit starts with a coach ride to Gamboa, where the Panama Canal Dredging Division is located. On arrival, board the cruise ship and enter the canal at the north end of Gaillard Cut, where the Chagres River flows into the canal. The Gaillard Cut, also known as Culebra Cut due to its serpent-like curve, was carved through the Continental Divide, making it one of the canal’s most popular attractions. Travel for 8.2 miles (13.7 kilometers) on the way to Pedro Miguel Locks. As you transit the Cut you will observe the continuous maintenance that the area requires, and the work in progress for the Panama Canal expansion project. View the new Centennial Bridge before you enter Pedro Miguel Locks. Here your vessel will be lowered 29.5 feet (9 meters) in one step. You will then enter Miraflores Lake, a small artificial body of fresh water that separates Pedro Miguel from Miraflores Locks. At Miraflores Locks the vessel will be lowered another 52.5 feet (16 meters) in 2 distinct steps. Once at the Pacific Ocean, sail to the beautiful Flamenco Marina to disembark. On the way to Flamenco, pass under the Bridge of the Americas, and admire the Bay of Panama and Panama City's spectacular skyline.

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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.

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Panama City: Panama Canal and Gatun Lake Jungle Eco Cruise

4. 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.

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Panama City: Panama Canal Eco Cruise and Embera Village Tour

5. 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

6. 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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Private Tour of Panama City’s Greatest Sites

7. Private Tour of Panama City’s Greatest Sites

You gaze out on the magnificence of one of the marvels of the modern age, watching as ships are raised and lowered through the Miraflores Lock of the Panama Canal. You see the beauty of the Amador Causeway, eating lunch at a local food stand on the side of the road. You wander through the history of the Casco Antiguo. All of this and more is available on this private tour that includes some of the city's most famous sites. The full day tour begins at your hotel, where your own guide greets you and escorts you to your car for a beautiful 30-minute drive to the famous Miraflores Lock. Your arrival here will be timed perfectly to watch as gigantic ships pass through the three locks making up the Panama Canal. Built between 1904-1914, over 14,000 ships pass through these lanes every year, and you will soon see why the Canal has been named one of the seven modern wonders of the world. Your visit here will be completed with a visit to the Museum and Visitor Center at Miraflores, so you can marvel at the masterpiece of engineering you’ve just seen. The journey continues with a stop at the Amador Causeway, with its glorious views over the Canal and the Panama City skyline. This causeway was created from rock extracted during the digging of the Panama Canal and serves as a breakwater for the entrance to the canal. Here you will dine on a typical Panamanian lunch, served in a lovely local restaurant along the causeway. The view will leave you breathless, and you'll enjoy your relaxed lunch drinking in its beauty. After lunch, trek deeper into the history of Panama with a visit to the Casco Antiguo -- Panama City’s colonial quarter. Here, you can step back in time and wonder what it must have been like to stroll around these Colonial Houses during their peak era during the 17th and 18th centuries. Settled in 1519, it was built following the near-total distraction of the original Panama in 1671 by notorious English Buccaneer Henry Morgan. Named in 1997 as a World Heritage Site, the charming streets and impressive churches will astonish you, and you will have plenty of time to stroll through the winding streets that still serve as a monument to the French builders who built the Panama Canal. Here you will also have the chance to explore some of the superb museums, as well as the Old Cathedral with its shiny spires inlaid with mother-of-pearl. In the nearby San Jose Cathedral, gaze at the intricately carved wood Alter, gilded in gold. Your guide will drive you through many corners of this Old City, pointing out the main attractions of this historic quarter. Your day concludes with a pleasant drive back to your hotel.

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What people are saying about Panama Canal

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.

Punctual pick-up, friendly driver and guide, safe driving trip; very good boat tour with excellent explanations; Drive to the viewing platform also good as well as the small center for sloths

Good explanations while driving. Pick up on time and very problem-free. Ship very clean Lunch a bit sparse but ok. English speaking guide easy to understand

Our guide was knowledgeabl and friendly yet professional. We felt we learned quite a bit about Panama and very much enjoyed the tour. Highly recommend

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.