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  • Address: Central Panama
  • Hours: Open daily
  • Admission: Free; prices for tours vary widely
By any estimation among the grandest public works projects in the history of humankind, the Panama Canal is an engineering triumph that cost US$350 million, claimed some 27,000 lives, and transformed global trade forever. Today, it is undergoing a massive and politicized US$5.3 billion retrofit, reinforcing its place as the strategic lynchpin of world shipping, surrounded with international intrigue on a scale we civilians can only imagine.

Travelers can enjoy the canal in several ways, beginning with the excellent Miraflores Locks Visitor Center just outside the capital. More ambitious explorers can book a variety of tours taking in all or part of the 77km (48mi) trip across the continent.

Practical Info

Several operators offer full-transit cruises, which ply the entire 77km (48mi) length of the canal in just under ten hours, most of which is spent waiting for the locks to empty and fill.

Many travelers are happier with a half-canal trip that traverses only one lock, or even shorter tours around Lake Gatún.

Tours & Tickets

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Panama Canal Partial Transit Sightseeing Cruise

4.5 star rating: Recommended 39 Reviews

See for yourself how the Panama Canal works as you transit the Miraflores Locks, one of three locks used along the canal. The construction of the canal was one ...  Read more

Location: Panama City, Panama
Duration: 6 hours (approx.)

From USD $144.99

Panama City Sightseeing Tour Including Miraflores Locks

See the best of Panama City — from sea level to hilltop, canal to islands — on this full-day sightseeing tour with a knowledgeable local guide, who will regale ...  Read more

Location: Panama City, Panama
Duration: 7 hours 30 minutes (approx.)

From USD $99.99

Panama City and Canal Sightseeing Tour

3.5 star rating: Worth doing 18 Reviews

Enjoy a guided sightseeing tour and visit the most important sites and landmarks of Panama. Tour both the historical and modern areas of Panama City and visit ...  Read more

Location: Panama City, Panama
Duration: 4-7 hours

From USD $104.99

See all Panama Canal Tours & Tickets

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