Recent Searches
Clear
Panama Canal
Panama Canal

Panama Canal

Daily

The Basics

The best way for Panama visitors to see the canal is to literally get in the middle of it—on a transit or partial transit tour at sea level, travelers can experience the sensation of cruising directly through the canal, watching as the locks fill with water and your ship passes steadily through the three sets of double locks: the Miraflores and Pedro Miguel locks on the Pacific side, plus the Gatún locks on the Atlantic side. Between the locks is the artificial Gatún Lake (Lago Gatún), created by the Gatún Dam across the Chagres River (Rio Chagres), and the Culebra Cut, the narrowest section of the canal, hewn out of the mountains. It's also possible to see the locks by train, as you pass by the banks and through pristine rain forest en route to Gatún.

Most full- and half-day tours include roundtrip transportation and a visit to the Miraflores Locks Visitor Center, a museum that tells the story of this incredible engineering feat through exhibits. The center's restaurant, theater, and terraced decks also provide comfortable vantage points for watching ships pass through. It's also possible to visit the Gatún locks (about an hour from Panama City) to learn about the Panama Canal expansion.

Show all
Ocean to Ocean Panama Canal and Jungle Tour
Likely to Sell OutLikely to Sell Out
Ocean to Ocean Panama Canal and Jungle Tour
$135.00 per adult
Traveler Favorite
Blast and many animal sightings
Enrique was an amazing and interesting tour guide. He went out of his way to find the monkeys. He made multiple stops and set up a telescope to see several sloths. Pointed out a toucan and coati. Picnic was delicious. Learned a lot and had fun. Don’t overhink this tour. It was a blast.
Patty_M, Aug 2022

Recent reviews from experiences in Panama City

star-5
Take the tour!
Ayanna_T, Jul 2022
City Tour Panama City and Canal
Juan Carlos was gave us an amazing tour of Panama City. You can tell that he's really passionate about his home. We saw some great historical landmarks of Panama City. The tour of the old town was cut a bit short due to protests, but Juan Carlos put our safety first and got us back to the vehicle and on to the next spot. My husband was obsessed with the Panama Canal. Juan Carlos didn't just take us to it, he guided us through the museum and history.
star-5
Boating down the Panama...
Peter_M, Aug 2022
5 Hr Combo-Panama Canal boat ride+Monkey Isles+Rainforest walk & Local Breakfast
Boating down the Panama canal and watching the massive tankers close by was a great learning experience. The food was delicious and the monkeys were plentiful.
star-5
Fascinating View of the Panama Canal
Sara_W, Jul 2022
Panama Canal Partial Tour - Southbound Direction
Fascinating trip on the Panama Canal through two of the locks. Very organized and informative once you are on the boat that will transit you through the locks to Panama City. Excellent narration onboard in Spanish and English giving you history, real-time perspectives of the boats around you as well as animals onshore. Good day trip!
star-5
Carlos was very...
Nexcy_R, Jul 2022
Private City Tour and Panama Canal with Free Souvenir Panama Hat!
Carlos was very knowledgeable and friendly. We visit beautiful places in the city and the Panama canal
star-5
Fantastic Panama Canal Tour!
JeremiahJOhn_D, Jun 2022
Guided Tour of Panama City, Canal and Casco Antiguo
One of the best shore excursions we've taken. The ride was comfortable and smooth and not rushed. My guide "Martin" is super cool, funny, informative & entertaining. Got to see both the Panama Canal & the historic Casco Viejo. It was interesting to see how the locking system works and I actually saw a passing ship along the canal. I also enjoyed the Mola Museum & the walk along Casco Viejo & got to taste a delicious local lunch as well. This tour is a must when traveling to Panama.
star-5
PERFECT - GOOD SERVICE
KHALID_A, Jul 2022
Private Tour of the Historic Center of Panama and Canal
Panama canal and all the experience was amaizing... Panama canal and all the experience was amaizing...
star-5
Fun morning learning about the Panama Canal
Kate_K, Jul 2022
Panama Canal and City Tour
We had a wonderful tour, seeing and learning about the Panama Canal. Great guide, very knowledgeable and patient. We highly recommend this tour!
star-5
Great experience
Jamontae_S, Feb 2022
Panama Canal and City Tour
Luis was great he was courteous and patient. We were running for pick up he didn’t rush us or leave us since it was a private tour for just us. He had a really nice can with WiFi and very clean offered water and stops as we requested or wanted. Definitely would recommend his for future private tours!
star-5
Blast and many animal sightings
Patty_M, Aug 2022
Ocean to Ocean Panama Canal and Jungle Tour
Enrique was an amazing and interesting tour guide. He went out of his way to find the monkeys. He made multiple stops and set up a telescope to see several sloths. Pointed out a toucan and coati. Picnic was delicious. Learned a lot and had fun. Don’t overhink this tour. It was a blast.
star-5
Best tour in Panama!
Lonnie_M, Aug 2022
Ocean to Ocean Panama Canal and Jungle Tour
Great tour. Enrique was the best. Very knowledgeable and funny. He made the tour interesting and fun. Highly recommended.
star-5
Highly recommend
Olivia_L, Aug 2022
5 Hr Combo-Panama Canal boat ride+Monkey Isles+Rainforest walk & Local Breakfast
We loved our tour! Our tour guide, Paola, was AMAZING! So knowledgeable, very sweet, and was a great story teller. The boat ride, breakfast, and rainforest tour was all incredible. We saw some monkeys, lots of birds and plants, and also my favorite…3 sloths! I definitely recommend to anyone visiting Panama. 😊
star-5
Fantastic Tour!
German_G, Aug 2022
Private Tour of the Historic Center of Panama and Canal
Dennis was a fantastic guide! First time in Panama City, he made us feel at home. During our tour, Dennis was on top of things: checking the best times to visit the Canal, providing great recommendations for food and shopping. We'll be back!
We perform checks on reviews

Things to Know Before You Go

  • By booking ahead with a guided tour, there's a much higher likelihood of actually seeing the famous Panama Canal in action.

  • Travelers can make self-guided visits to the Miraflores Locks Visitor Center in Panama City and the Canal Expansion Observation Center in Colon on the Caribbean Sea.

  • Stop in for a meal at the Miraflores Restaurant at the Panama Canal to dine while viewing the ships cruise by.

Show all

How To Get There

Arrive at the canal via boat, train, bus, or car. The Miraflores Locks Visitor Center has parking, but most visitors arrive as part of a group sightseeing tour with a tour guide.

Show all

Trip ideas

How to Spend 3 Days in Panama City

How to Spend 3 Days in Panama City

How to Spend 2 Days in Panama City

How to Spend 2 Days in Panama City

How to Spend 1 Day in Panama City

How to Spend 1 Day in Panama City


When To Get There

The morning hours and late afternoon are the best times for actually watching a ship pass through the canal.

Show all

Nearby Attractions

A few tours depart from the town of Gamboa, situated at the end of the Gaillard Cut on the Chagres River in the Gamboa Rainforest. Neighboring SoberanÌa National Park, home to diverse bird species, sloths, and jaguars, is often visited along with a native Embera village. The Amador Causeway (Calzada de Amador) is also worth a trip; this narrow strip of land is a popular spot for recreation.

Show all
Frequently Asked Questions
The answers provided below are based on answers previously given by the tour provider to customers’ questions.
Q:
What are the nearest attractions to Panama Canal?
Q:
What else should I know about attractions in Panama City?
A:
As well as visiting the Panama Canal, check out these trip ideas to make the most of your visit: