Welcome to Panama Canal


The canal has three sets of double locks: Miraflores and Pedro Miguel on the Pacific side and Gatún on the Atlantic. Between the locks, ships pass through a huge artificial lake, Lago Gatún, created by the Gatún Dam across the Río Chagres, and the Culebra Cut, a 14km cut through the rock and shale of the isthmian mountains. With the passage of each ship, a staggering 197 million L of fresh water is released into the ocean.

The canal annually brings in US$2 billion in revenue. Ships pay according to their weight. The highest toll currently paid by the largest ships reaches US$450,000; the lowest amount was US$0.36, paid in 1928 by Richard Halliburton, who swam through.

A planned expansion that's surpassed the US$17 billion mark is due to open mid-2016.


Top experiences in Panama Canal

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Panama Canal activities

$135 Cruises, Sailing & Water Tours

Panama Canal Partial Tour - Southbound Direction

Your Panama Canal tour starts at the Flamenco Marina, where you'll board a motorcoach for the 45-minute ride to the town of Gamboa, home to the Panama Canal Dredging Division. Your tour will depart between 10am and 12pm. Confirm your exact departure time with the tour provider prior to your tourHop aboard the Pacific Queen to start the water portion of your partial transit tour, departing from the north end of the Gaillard Cut, where the Chagres River flows into the canal. The Gaillard Cut (also known as the Culebra Cut because its curves resemble a snake) is one of the main points of interest for visitors because it was carved through the Continental Divide, and this section of the canal is full of historical and geological value. The Pacific Queen takes you through the cut's 8.5 miles (13.7 km) on the way to the Pedro Miguel Locks. As you transit the cut, you can appreciate the continuous maintenance that this area requires, as it's very susceptible to landslides. You'll also be able to observe the work in process for the Panama Canal expansion project.Before reaching the Pedro Miguel Locks at the southern end of the cut, you'll spot the new Centennial Bridge, which crosses over the canal. Then enter the locks, one of the two sets of locks on the Pacific side, where your boat is lowered 30 feet (9 meters) in one step. Next enter Miraflores Lake, a small artificial body of fresh water that separates Pedro Miguel from the Miraflores Locks, the latter being the final set of locks before reaching the Pacific Ocean. At Miraflores Locks, your vessel is lowered 60 feet (18 meters) in two distinct steps.Once in the Pacific Ocean, cruise toward the Flamenco Marina, where you'll disembark and your tour ends; along the way, pass under the Bridge of the Americas and admire the Bay of Panama and the Panama City skyline.

$145 Tours & Sightseeing

Full-Day Tour to Taboga Island from Panama City, Panama

Your day begins with an 8:30am hotel pickup, where your driver will take you to the Port located about 10 minutes from the City. The ferry boards at 9:15am and departs at 9:30am. Enjoy the 30 minute voyage through the Panama Canal anchorage area with spectacular views of the City on board a new, 120-seat catamaran ferry equipped with 2 bathrooms, fully licensed crew, music, and both indoor and outdoor seating. On arrival to Taboga Island you will be greeted by bi-lingual tour guides, who will explain your day. You will then start your historic walking tour of the town, which includes a visit to the second oldest church in Latin America, pirate history and lore, plus site visits to famous locations in the town. The walking tour takes approximately 60 minutes but is only about 20 minutes of actual walking. If customers prefer, they can relax on the restaurant balcony overlooking the ocean if walking is not your thing.  Returning to the meeting point, you will then proceed on a  utility cart with driver and guide up to the top of Taboga Island. This adventure takes approximately 90" and you will be driven up a small road through the jungle to the viewpoint (approximately 20"), which is 1200 feet above Sea Level and provides spectacular 360 degree views. See the Panama Canal anchorage area, Panama City, and even the Las Perlas Islands from your viewpoint. After watching the birds soar and taking pictures, you will return to town and enjoy a delicious lunch which includes: - Appetizer (Ceviche - traditional dish of fish in lemon juice) - Main Course - salad, choice of fish filet, whole fried fish, chicken filet, garlic shrimp or garlic octopus served with fries, patacones, or rice.   *NOTE* Vegetarian meal options are available upon request. - Desert - made fresh daily and varies but examples would be flan, chocolate brownie, Panamanian Tres Leches cake, or apple pie - Beverage - 1 drink, choice of National beer, bottled water, or soda To finish your afternoon, you will have time to spend on one of the three beach areas on the island. Would you like to have a refreshing dip in the ocean? Lockers and beach towel will be provided for your personal belongings. After a full day, your ferry returning to the city boards at 3:45pm and departs at 4pm. Enjoy the beautiful 30 minute voyage back to the Port, arriving at 4:30pm where your transportation will be waiting to take you back to your hotel by approximately 5pm.

$390 Day Trips & Excursions

Private Tour: Panama City in 1 day

The experience stars in the morning once you are picked up from your hotel.You will be arriving at the train station around 6:30am to take the train which leaves at 7:15am. It will be a journey of 1.5 hours from the Pacific to the Atlantic ocean, where the train will stop in Colon.From the train station in colon you will drive to the Panama Canal, arriving at around 9:15am, where you will see the boats going through the Canal Locks and learn how they wok.Then you will go to the Causeway of Amador, where you can see the boats doing the line to go through the Panama Canal. You will also make a stop at the duty free, where you can buy everything you like tax free.From there you will go to the old town where you will enjoy a small walk through the streets for about an hour. You are welcome to have lunch at one of the restaurants in the area.After that you will be taken back to your hotel at around 2:30pm. You will be picked up again at 7:30pm and will be taken to a restaurant where you can have dinner and and enjoy folkloric dances and the national costumes. You will be taken back to your hotel by 10pm.

$23 Sightseeing Tickets & Passes

Miraflores Visitor Center Admission Ticket

The Miraflores Visitor Center is a space where you can live a unique Panama Canal experience. In one place you will find different activities to learn and fully enjoy the Panama Canal.  THE CANAL IN 3D  The visitor center offers the 3D projection of a film that introduces Mr. Canales, a character that will guide you through the history of the Panama Canal from its beginnings to the present. The film is available in English and Spanish, and with several show times and you can enjoy it in an air-conditioned room with comfortable seats.  EXHIBITION HALLS  Four exhibition halls portray the Canal's history, biodiversity, and its functioning and international importance in a dynamic and especially attractive manner.  TERRACES AND OBSERVATION DECKS  Do you want to see how the ships transit through the Panama Canal locks? The building has three levels for observing the Canal's operation, the passage of ships through the locks and how they move. It is the ideal place to take pictures and to hold memories of this engineering marvel

$110 Day Trips & Excursions

Day Tour Panama Canal, Railway and San Lorenzo Fort in Colon

The guide will pick you up in a confortable car right in your hotel in Panama City and after 30 minutes you will be at the Corozal Train Station to take The Panama Canal Railway, one of the greatest train rides of the world. Along with its colorful history, the railroad follows a picturesque path across the Isthmus of Panama. The line flanks the Panama Canal passing through lush rainforests, cruising alongside the Canal’s locks, through the historic Gaillard Cut and gliding over slender causeways in Gatun Lake on its way to the city of Colon, at the atlantic side of the Panama Canal. By 8:10 AM you will be at the other side of the istmus of Panama to visit the Visitors Center at the new Locks of the Panama Canal, there you will receive information about the history and operation of the Panama Canal. The journey continues to the San Lorenzo Fort and National Park but to go there we will need to cross the Panama Canal by a ferry, once at the park keep your eyes wide open to see monkeys, sloths and other species leaving in this park. After visiting the historical fortress of San Lorenzo built in the 16th century. we will go back to the Panama Canal, but this time to visit the Gatun Locks, part of the original Panama Canal. After visiting this last location, with the posibility to cross the Panama Canal Locks, we will go back to the Panama City by car.

$115 Cultural & Theme Tours

Tour in the Panama Canal and Monkey Islands

We pick you up at the hotel in Panama City and take you to the Panama Canal Visitors Center. There you will receive a detailed explanation about how the Panama Canal works while huge veesels go through the Miraflores Locks. This visit is completed with the visit to a museum with 4 floors and a short movie about this important water way. But the Canal is not just the Miraflores Locks so we will take the car again beside the Canal to see the Miraflores Lake, the Pedro Miguel Locks and finally our journey continues by car through the Soberania National Park until the town of Gamboa, in the middle of the Panama Canal. There, at the edge of the Chagres river, a trip by boat to the Gatun Lake begins, the biggest and most important lake in the Panama Canal, where we will share space with large ships during their traffic in the Panama Canal. Later we arrive to a group of islands to meet 3 monkeys species living on them. Finaly enjoy the view of the tropical rainforest and the Canal in our way back to the hotel.

Panama Canal in detail