Panama Canal
Panama Canal
4.5
About
Operating since 1914 and considered one of the wonders of the world, this fifty-mile waterway transports ships by raising them from sea level to more than 85 feet via a series of gravity-powered locks.
Suggested duration
More than 3 hours
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  • Jillian2020
    Bayview, Australia25 contributions
    Definitely an interesting and inspirational experience.
    When in Panama City this is an amazing trip to do. The history, velocity and sheer greatness of the Panama Canal is unbelievable. To enjoy breakfast on the Pacific Ocean and Dinner in the Atlantic Ocean all in the same voyage is remarkable.
    Visited April 2022
    Written 8 December 2022
  • GrassValleyMe
    Grass Valley, California60 contributions
    Amazing feat, beautiful scenery. Interesting
    This is such a feat of engineering, and so full of cargo traffic. We were blessed with good weather. Lake Gatun is very lovely, and serene even with so many big ships slowly cruising through. The Canal system runs very smoothly to handle an amazing number of ships. Filling and emptying locks was fast, and intriguing to watch how these huge ships are carefully kept in position inches from the walls. Didn't care much for the bustle and endless towering skyscrapers of Panama City- and I'm sure the new cruise terminal will be great when finished; it took about 30 minutes on the mandatory shuttle just to get to the port exit...
    Visited November 2022
    Travelled with friends
    Written 14 December 2022
  • wkenety
    3 contributions
    Panama - and the Panama Canal - made for a Superb Trip.
    We had a wonderful five night visit to Panama, focusing mostly on the Panama Canal. Panama City is a bustling first-world attraction, with an attractive colonial period area undergoing gradual rehabilitation. The Canal is an amazing wonder, especially when seen not from the tall decks of a cruise ship, but from the paved areas directly adjacent to the Canal and from a small 250 passenger vessel that shares lock space with behemoth freighters. And there's a rain forest to visit and sleep in. We did all this with Road Scholar which ran a superb tour with superb guides at an excellent price. English is widely spoken and the U.S. dollar is the actually currency. An A++++ trip!
    Visited October 2022
    Written 14 December 2022
  • Kendra Toews
    Killarney, Canada9 contributions
    Panama Canal a must see
    Absolutely loved the Panama Canal. So fascinating to watch and learn about the ships’s passage. The history behind the construction is fascinating!! We were on a bus tour from Rio Hato area…if I were to do it again, we’d book a cab and tour the canal! Most importantly, we would go through the passage on a boat tour that was offered!
    Visited November 2022
    Travelled as a couple
    Written 16 December 2022
  • Lynn A
    12 contributions
    Wonderful trip, great guide
    So amazing. The guide spoke the whole time and was so informative, on the topic at hand plus any other Panama questions I asked him. Great job with the translation, with giving equal time to English and Spanish. The trip was longer and more comprehensive than we had hoped. They fed us a quick breakfast and a nice lunch plus water and hot beverages. I can't say enough about how informative the guide was.
    Visited December 2022
    Written 5 January 2023
  • Brian Xie
    Evanston, Illinois6 contributions
    Have to go place in Panama
    You cant miss this. There is only a few ships come across the Canal each day so timing is important. I got there at 10am sharp, being the first group visiting. I saw the entire process of a huge ship crossing the Canal. This entire process takes like almost an hour. If you come earlier you can have a nice spot.
    Visited December 2022
    Written 11 January 2023
  • Rochelle F
    Randolph, New Jersey973 contributions
    A must see if in Panama City
    Panama Canal is always mentioned and we did no want to miss it. We did a private tour of Panama Canal and Miraflora locks. The last ship to enter was at about 8;30 so our guide picked us up at 7:30. Make sure o see the sip going through -it is about an hour to an hour and a half. These locks have 3 chambers and 1 is opened at a time. Water powers everything as chambers open and close . It is like going up/down steps. And is a slow process. Very interesting to see and tight to maneuver. This canal was completed in 1914 vs new one for larger ships done in2016 We then went to imax movie where we learned about the history. Absolutely fascinating. The canal really changed the route for shipping and cut the time down a lot. Well worth it to visit.
    Visited January 2023
    Travelled as a couple
    Written 15 January 2023
  • rmartinmitch
    Boston, Massachusetts560 contributions
    Use the Visitor Center
    We had a chance to travel through the Panama Canal during a recent cruise vacation. It is an amazing adventure and a once-in-a-lifetime experience. But travelling though the canal is not really the best way to experience the technical aspects of the canal's operation. On a boat, you are too close to the action, and you really don't get a sense of what is happening as you pass through the locks. Most cruises through the canal will spend extra time in Panama. We recommend you use that time by taking an exursion, like the one we took of the Miraflores Visitor Center. There you can watch individual ships enter a lock, be lifted or lowered, and then be sent on their way. Either way, an incredible marvel and worth visiting.
    Visited December 2022
    Written 18 January 2023
  • Abbekas
    Playa del Carmen, Mexico19 contributions
    A must when you visit Panama
    A remarkable construction masterpiece well worth a visit. Spend at least 2-3 hours so you can see when some of the worlds largest ships pass through the docks entering or leaving the canal for/from the Pacific Ocean. Do not miss the very interesting film capturing the amazing history and sacrifices that made the canal possible. You can’t miss this if you visit Panama!
    Visited January 2023
    Travelled as a couple
    Written 22 January 2023
  • Karen T
    Hershey, Pennsylvania2 contributions
    Miraflores is great
    Miraflores visitor center is a must for the observation deck and IMAX movie. Exhibits were close when we were there. (Please note: once you leave the observation area, you can not get back in! We were disappointed because we left the area to go to the IMAX movie and wanted to return to watch another ship transit the locks. However, we could not Re-enter without purchasing new tickets! We wish we would have known that as that cut down on the experience of watching the ships. :(
    Visited January 2023
    Travelled with family
    Written 25 January 2023
These reviews are the subjective opinion of Tripadvisor members and not of TripAdvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.
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Edward Munene
Mombasa, Kenya256 contributions
Aug 2023 • Solo
My recent tour of the Panama Canal in Panama City with Conozca Tours was a memorable and enlightening experience. This iconic engineering marvel is a must-visit for anyone exploring Panama, offering a unique insight into global maritime trade and logistics.

The expertise of Conozca Tours was evident throughout the tour and their guide provided detailed explanations about the canal's history, construction, and its pivotal role in international shipping. The visual spectacle of the massive ships navigating the locks was both educational and impressive, highlighting the canal's significance in global commerce.

The icing on the cake though was the 3D Movie Documentary Narrated by Morgan Freeman. That was such an amazing experience. Loved it
Written 5 December 2023
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Prema_C
Mumbai, India856 contributions
Nov 2023 • Family
We visited in November 23. The ship passing times were mentioned at the ticket counters. So we knew a ship was to pass. Also our cab driver had already checked the times and brought us in time to watch the imax movie and then the canal. The imax movie was of 40 minutes duration and very informative of the history of the canal. The canal had a viewing area with proper seats and a restaurant for refreshments. There were announcements in English and Spanish of the progress of the ship. Having read about the canal it was very interesting to see it in actual. A visit well worth it.
Written 4 December 2023
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

jhughes522018
Hadley, PA137 contributions
Nov 2023 • Couples
We finished a royal carribean canal transit last month. It was the trip of a lifetime. More than words can tell. Stops in Columbia and Costa Rico added much pleasure.
Written 3 December 2023
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

ana maria g
Bogota, Colombia12 contributions
Nov 2023 • Friends
It is a very good place and you can see ⛴🚢 all time. It is easy to go from panama city... Good time. You need 1 day if you want .
Written 29 November 2023
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Taneisha W
Montego Bay, Jamaica3 contributions
Nov 2023 • Family
A most see ,a wonder of one of the most famous place on earth,it's amazing to see it unfolds before your eyes,love the history and perseverance of the Carft men of the canal and people of Panama.
Written 27 November 2023
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Gardengel-IoW
West Sussex, UK772 contributions
Nov 2023 • Couples
We were on a cruise ship and crossed via the new locks.
We arrived at 4am and watched from our balcony. All very interesting. We had a commentator on board giving all manor of information to do with the canals building and use. I didnt stay up for the whole duration! started looking again about 9am. All a necessarily slow process to get through the three locks to the lake then the other three to return to the sea.
Possibly a once in a life time journey although I heard someone say they had done it six times this year!
Definitely a tick off our bucket list. Or do we return on a smaller ship to cross the original locks?
Written 27 November 2023
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Libby613
Passaic Park, NJ70 contributions
Aug 2023 • Couples
Fabulous thing to watch, but I don't think you need more than an hour. Make sure you time it right to see the ships going through
Written 13 November 2023
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Ron S
Toronto, Canada504 contributions
Dec 2022 • Family
The Panama Canal is quite the sight to see in person. Seeing the ships funneling in and leaving provides an appreciation for the importance for the waterway. The brief video to begin the tour provides great context of what went into the canal and its importance today.
Written 25 October 2023
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Gerry T
1 contribution
Oct 2023 • Couples
We had an excellent trip and toured nearly all of the country. It would be a great place to live in our retirement it if wasn’t such a hassle airports with the biggest problems leaving Canada. The people in panama are really nice and helpful. panama relocation tours are very good at what they do and we would move there in a minute if we were a little younger and things were less upsetting to move from Canada. What we need is someone to take us my the hand and say lets go. Every thing else was great and we enjoyed the trip
Written 19 October 2023
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Ilona W
Puerto Rico3 contributions
Sep 2023 • Family
Historical place for visiting in Panama. Our guide from miviajeapanama (+50763242898) was very friendly and informative. He took us from the hotel directly to the Channel in a private car. The price was well worth and I wouldn't hesitate to send any of my friends on this tour, too.
Written 17 October 2023
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

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Panama Canal (Panama City) - All You Need to Know BEFORE You Go (with Photos) - Tripadvisor

Frequently Asked Questions about Panama Canal

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