If you only have time to visit one of the many tourist attractions in Panama City then the Panama Canal is going to be your first choice. Read this tip to travel to the Panama Canal from our hotel in Panama.
Ways to visit the Canal
Before looking at the various methods of transport to the Panama Canal, lets look at the options to visit the Canal.
Take a Full or Partial Transit of the Canal
This type of tour will take between 6 and 8 hours and cost from $50 to $150 per perform
Visit the Miraflores Locks
This is the typical way to visit the canal. It can take 30 minutes to reach the locks from Panama City. There are a variety of things to do at the Miraflores Locks such as:
- Visit the museum
- Go to the observation platform
- Have lunch
In our experience the best time to visit is about 2pm in the afternoon
Agua Clara Visitor Center
This is the new visitor centre that was build as part of the Panama Canal extension project that was completed in 2016. The Agua Clara Visitor Center is located on the Atlantic side of the Canal and can take one hour to reach, s may be better included in a trip to the Atlantic side to include the Portabelo and/or the Fort Lorenzo ruins. Another good way to visit the Canal is if your cruise is docking at Colon which is only a short drive away.
Best ways to travel to the Panama Canal
We will focus on the Pacific viewing of the canal as you will most likely to be staying in Panama City
Full or Partial Transit of the Canal
This tour will generally include a hotel pick up in the price
If you take this option, make sure that you agree the price up front. This can be more of a challenge on the return travel as you are a captive audience, especially at busy time. The cost should be about $15 each way but the taxi driver will try to extract as much as he can from tourists. It is unlikely that the driver will be able to speak English
Hop On Hop Off Bus
The cost is $29 per person for a 24-hour pass for a two-hour loop, with buses stopping once every hour.
This is a good option if you want to see more of the city and get English speaking guides.
With Uber, the cost will typically be about $11. The driver will not likely speak English but you will be guaranteed a good car at a fixed price.
You can use the Wifi at the Miraflores lock to book your return journey.