Gatún Dam

Colón Province

Constructed in 1908 to shore up the Río Chagres and create Lago Gatún, the Gatún Dam was once the world’s largest earthen dam, while Lago Gatún was also the world’s largest artificial body of water. Its creation submerged 262 sq km of jungle, entire villages that had been relocated and large sections of the Panama Canal Railway. Today, power generated by the dam drives all the electrical equipment operating the canal, including the locomotives that guide ships through the locks.

While the sight of the dam is impressive enough, if the concrete spillway is open you can watch millions of gallons of water rushing out. Before going, ask staff at the Agua Clara Visitors Center if the spillway is open.

If arriving by bus, take the turn left after passing the Gatún Locks and follow the road for approximately 2km.

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