Complete Transit of the Panama Canal

Complete Transit of the Panama Canal

Get ready to experience the Panama Canal as few travelers do. On this tour, you’ll travel through the entire Panama Canal, including its locks and lakes.

Featured in:Boat Tours, Guided Tours, Panama Canal
8 hrs
Available Days:
Sun Sat
6:00 AM
Hotel Transport Included
Mobile Ticket Included
Offered in English, Spanish

The complete transit of the Panama Canal goes from the Pacific to the Atlantic side of the canal. After boarding the ship, you’ll travel towards the Miraflores Locks. These locks will raise your ship 60 feet (18 m) in two steps. The boat then continues on through Miraflores Lake, an artificial body of fresh water, before reaching the Pedro Miguel Locks. Here your boat is again raised through the locks, although this time it’s only 30 feet (9 m) and in one step.

After passing through the Pedro Miguel locks, you will pass under the Centennial Bridge, which crosses the Panama Canal. The bridge was built in 2004 to help supplement the overcrowded Bridge of the Americas.

Next you will make your way through the Gaillard Cut. Although only 8.5 miles (14 km) in length, the Gaillard Cut is carved through the Continental Divide. Its creation was an enormous task, requiring over 9 million kilos of dynamite, 6,000 workers, and six years to complete. The Gaillard Cut connects the Pacific side of the Panama Canal with Lake Gatún and the Atlantic side.

Your boat will then enter Lake Gatún. During the three-hour passage through Lake Gatún, you’ll pass Gamboa and see interesting floating equipment like the floating cranes “Herman the German” and “Hercules.” You’ll also see the jungle and have opportunities to spot wildlife along the shore.

After passing Lake Gatún, you’ll go through the Gatún Locks. These are the final and largest locks in the Panama Canal. They raise your ship 85 feet (26 m) in three steps and are a little more than 1 mile (1.5 km) in length.

On this tour, you’ll experience the Panama Canal in a way that most travelers never do. You’ll enjoy up-close looks at barges, cruise ships, locks and more.

This tour only runs once per month. It leaves at 6:00 a.m. The duration of the tour depends on where you're staying. If you're staying in Panama City, this tour lasts around 8 hours; if you're staying in Gamboa, it lasts around 8.5 hours; and if you're staying in Playa Bonita, it lasts around 8.5 hours.

Attraction Visited

Panama Canal

The Panama Canal is one of the world’s most impressive engineering feats. The canal extends 80 kilometers (50 mi) from Panama City on the Pacific Ocean to Colón on the Caribbean Sea. It’s built at one of the lowest and narrowest points in Panama, and runs right through the Continental Divide. More than 14,000 ships pass through the canal annually, carrying some 300 million tons of cargo. As such, the Panama Canal is one of the largest generators of income for Panama—in 2011, the canal generated $800 million, some two percent of the country’s GDP.

Read more:Panama Canal

What to Bring

comfortable clothing and shoes, hat, sunglasses, insect repellent, camera, binoculars and sunscreen.

What's included

transportation, bilingual guide, Panama Canal transit with all fees, lunch, and non-alcoholic drinks.


Many of our tours and activities offer transportation pick up & drop off options from several locations and destinations. Options vary by tour, see “BOOKING REQUEST” for full details.

Traveler Comments

Definitely worth seeing. Unless you experience it on the boat you won't really fully understand the amazing engineering of the canal. However the 12 hour ride was really, really long! Should come up with entertainment, wifi or something that could keep people occupied for those many hours. Also should offer food for sale while we wait for lunch and dessert. I know this part was unavoidable but we had to meet at 4:30 am which was really early

- SOPHIA B, JUL 2017
Get ready to experience the Panama Canal as few travelers do.Complete Transit of the Panama Canal3
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