In 1914, when the first ships sailed through the Panama Canal and directly into the history books, a route for ships that united two oceans was unlocked, shaving nearly 9,000 miles off of the long sailing trip around South America. The engineering ... 

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Mary Ann M

5 star rating: Highly Recommended
February 2017

It was an amazing trip. JC our guide was so knowledgeable. We loved it.

Doing what: Panama Canal Partial Transit Sightseeing Cruise

Ann T

5 star rating: Highly Recommended
February 2017

There is nothing like the Panama Canal. The ride through the jungle to the starting point was interesting....and then we got on the boat! Though there are long periods when nothing is happening.....the boat has to wait for the other tour boats, tankers, freighters etc. going through the lock together.....the narrator fills the gaps in action with fascinating narrative about the canal. Watching the HUGE tanker follow us into the lock, and then descending as the water level in the lock decreases...simply amazing. The lunch served by the efficient and pleasant staff was quite adequate one doesn't go to Panama for the food. Your experience will be enhanced if you read about the making of the canal beforehand. A tip for the budget traveler: though you will be told to get to the check-in point via taxi, at about 30 each way, it is super easy to get there via Panama's fast, quiet underground metro and then a bus to the marina for a total cost of 70 cents each way.

Doing what: Panama Canal Partial Tour - Southbound Direction

John V

5 star rating: Highly Recommended
February 2017

This is the way to see the Panama Canal! Our tour guide, Nicholas, was extraordinary! His language skill was excellent and his ability to personalize the sites and sounds of Panama City made the cost of this tour well worth it! We had an excellent lunch in the old city.

Doing what: Luxury Full Day Panama Canal and City Tour

Ramsay T

5 star rating: Highly Recommended
February 2017

A full day giving us an excellent sense of Panama City. We learned about both history and a sense of the current development. Early start was a great idea to beat heat and traffic. Our guide, Ross, was both personable and knowledgeable.

Doing what: Panama City Sightseeing Tour Including Miraflores Locks

Guy W

5 star rating: Highly Recommended
February 2017

All perfect from pickup at hotel to the return to hotel!

Doing what: Panama Canal Partial Transit Sightseeing Cruise

Patricia A W

5 star rating: Highly Recommended
February 2017

The tour bus was good. I do want to inform you that the company does 24 hours and 48 hours. I paid for 72 hours----the company did honor it and gave me 72 hours. Thanks

Doing what: City Sightseeing Panama City Hop-On Hop-Off Tour

Fluvia G

5 star rating: Highly Recommended
February 2017

Great experience, a must in Panama!

Doing what: Panama Canal Partial Transit Sightseeing Cruise

YENHUI C

4 star rating: Recommended
February 2017

The guide is really good and knowledgable. I enjoy very much the walking tour in Vasco viejo.

Doing what: Panama City Sightseeing Tour Including Miraflores Locks

Liz V

4 star rating: Recommended
February 2017

A wonderful experience! The boat was full of character, the food was average but plentiful, the commentary was interesting and informative but could have been cleare on occasions , the Canal itself was awesome! My husband was even invited up to the ship's bridge to meet the pilot!
The organisation and pick ups were good, but we did not get email confirmation of our pick up time and our hotel had to ring the company to check for us. A great trip along the Canal !

Doing what: Panama Canal Partial Transit Sightseeing Cruise

minoti r

4 star rating: Recommended
February 2017

This was an excellent tour with JC as our tour guide. Although it was a long day, since we started at 6:30 AM and finished by 6:00PM, it was well worth it.The canal is an engineering miracle and I was really glad to take this tour. The staff were all courteous, the food was moderately good but JC's explanation made it fun.
Minoti Rajput
February 4, 2017

Doing what: Panama Canal Transit Tour

Beth R

4 star rating: Recommended
February 2017

The canal is an amazing feat of engineering and the tour was overall worthwhile. The emcee/host talked a bit too much and the rides there and back were long - and the day was very long as well - but I'd still recommend people try this when in the area.

Doing what: Panama Canal Partial Transit Sightseeing Cruise

joseavilesiii

4 star rating: Recommended
February 2017

Next time would bring own food.

Doing what: Panama Canal Full Transit Tour

maroon_tigress

3 star rating: Worth doing
February 2017

This was a decent tour of the city. After the first couple of stops, I realized I wasn't as interested in where we were going as I thought and only got off on three stops. I went to the Miraflores locks just in time to see the last boat was going through until 230-ish. I only stayed until the next bus came so I didn't get to walk around the museum or see the movie. I got off again at Flamenco and regretted it after going in a couple of the tourist shops and wandering around aimlessly looking for the restaurant the tour guide recommended. I will say the Casco Antiguo stop was the absolute best for me. I walked around for an hour with some of the other tourists and knew I just HAD to go back the next day. I purchased a 24 hour ticket and got on the bus around 11am but after my short walk through Casco Antiguo, I planned to get up early and ride the bus back to Casco Antiguo. Too bad I overslept and didn't feel like trying to chance trying to get on the bus with an almost expired wristband and end up stranded at the location. Uber is literally 2-3 almost anywhere

I'm glad the guides gave tidbits of information throughout the journey and announced when the next buses would arrive. I didn't wander around looking for the bus stop. I just went back to where I'd been dropped off. It was a nice ride be sure to wear sunscreen on your arms if you ride on top and I enjoyed most of the views. It was a nice way to get around without exerting too much effort and I'm happy I was able to get a discount because I would been a little disappointed if I'd paid regular price. All in all, it was ok but would I do it again in Panama? Probably not.

Doing what: City Sightseeing Panama City Hop-On Hop-Off Tour

Dawn J

3 star rating: Worth doing
February 2017

The tour was probably very informative but many of us couldn't hear the recording and by the time someone came around to show us how to fix the issue the tour was half over.

Doing what: City Sightseeing Panama City Hop-On Hop-Off Tour

Dawn J

3 star rating: Worth doing
February 2017

The tour was probably very informative but many of us couldn't hear the recording and by the time someone came around to show us how to fix the issue the tour was half over.

Doing what: City Sightseeing Panama City Hop-On Hop-Off Tour

Molly P

3 star rating: Worth doing
February 2017

Our guide was delightful, but the waiting was not. We were told to be in our lobby at 7:15 for a pick up time between 720 and 740, at 825 our bus arrived.
We then went to the terminal where we waited for our next bus and then off to the boat, where we waited for the food to arrive, etc. There seemed to be a lot of waiting.
After we got underway things were better, there was plenty to drink, sodas and water. The breakfast snacks of fruit and cake were nice. Lunch was so, so - beef or chicken with rice and potatoes, mixed veggies and a basic salad.
But I will say our Guide was informative and fun to listen to - the trip through the locks was worth the time.
I am glad that I went on this trip.

Doing what: Panama Canal Transit Tour

Rick H

2 star rating: It was OK, but could have been better
February 2017

Book this tour directly from Panama Canal and Bay Tours! Our guide J.C., or Juan Carlos is bilingual, explaining everything in both English and Spanish using a microphone so all could hear. We took an air conditioned bus to the dock, traveling about 1 hour 20 minutes. At the dock we boarded a wooden boat with a covered top and open sides. Restrooms are below deck. There is an open area on the front of the boat and you can easily move between the two areas, or go below deck for the buffet lunch. The tour was wonderful, about 3 hours moving across the lake and through the locks to the Pacific side. So interesting!! A must see for your bucket list!

The bad part was that when we booked the trip, Viator provided information that a driver would bring us from the hotel to the bus stop and we would be notified the day before of the the pick up time. Emailed them the day before and no response so our hotel concierge assisted us in calling several numbers until we found a live person that gave us a hotel pick up time of 8:30 a.m. The
morning of the trip, the driver called us at 6:30 a.m. and said he was in the lobby. He did not speak English and we did not speak Spanish, so he left. We were again assisted by our hotel concierge for several more phone calls, and finally the driver returned at 9:00 30 minutes late and we were driven to the bus pick up station. Proceeded to have a great tour of the canal, but when we arrived back at site, there was no return driver. Juan Carlos, our guide, stayed at the site for an additional 25-30 minutes with us, calling the phone numbers provided by Viator, and was told a driver was coming, but no one ever showed up. Finally Juan helped us procure a cab to take us back to the hotel. Our hotel concierge and our tour narrator provided more assistance that Viator, so we recommend booking the trip directly through the Panama Bay and Canal Tours company.

Doing what: Panama Canal Partial Transit Sightseeing Cruise

christofh

5 star rating: Highly Recommended
January 2017

Alex was waiting for us and ready to take our group of four in his clean and comfortable SUV. The greatest benefit of having your own driver/guide is that you have a lot of flexibility on how to spend the day, when you visit specific sites and for how long. Especially with a guide like Alex, who speaks perfect English not a given in Panama and is happy to provide you answers with anything you want to know about Panama City and Panama. He even recommended places for lunch where only locals go to get a more authentic and cheaper experience. We had him join us you are not obligated to and he was of great help to pick authentic Panamanian dishes we enjoyed very much. The Miraflores locks and the old city are probably the highlights for most visitors, but getting to places where we could enjoy great views of the skyline and driving through the upscale neighbor hoods was enjoyable too. Eventually there is only so much to see in Panama City and if you don't spend a long time at the locks and in the old city and its markets, you eventually run out of things to see and it will be a stretch to fill 8 hours. We would have probably been content with 6 hours, but I see that people other than us would probably need 8 hours.

Doing what: Luxury Full Day Panama Canal and City Tour

Kathleen F

5 star rating: Highly Recommended
January 2017

The partial transit tour was great. JC was a great tour guide. One problem was our bus was late and we were the last group to get on the boat and so we got the only seating that was left which were lightweight aluminum deck chairs that were not secured. It was a little scary a couple of times when the boat lurched and the chairs tipped. Since most everybody was 70 years old or older this could've been a disaster if the chairs had tipped over. Some of the people already on the boat seem to be getting more attention and better service than our group and we couldn't understand the reason for that but it was still a great day. Would highly recommend the tour.

Doing what: Panama Canal Partial Transit Sightseeing Cruise

Linda G

5 star rating: Highly Recommended
January 2017

We had an awesome experience on the Panama Canal - went through 3 locks! The tour guide did a fantastic job! Once in a lifetime experience!

Doing what: Panama Canal Partial Transit Sightseeing Cruise

Bruce N

5 star rating: Highly Recommended
January 2017

Spectacular to take your first day there to really get a feel for the city and surrounding area---just know to look OUTSIDE the mall for the kios to catch the bus---LOVED IT!!!!!!

Doing what: City Sightseeing Panama City Hop-On Hop-Off Tour

matthewsse

5 star rating: Highly Recommended
January 2017

The excursion was over and beyond expected by the family and I. The tour guide and driver forgive me if I state their names incorrectly did an incredible job. Thomas, our tour guide, was pleasant and informative who in my opinion went above his duties giving us an educational and delightful day. Our driver, Eduardo, made the full day tour ride very comfortable on that hot summer day in December. The stops canal, museum, and shops and citys tours and sceneries old, colonial, new were amazing and fascinating. Even the lunch, as simple as it was, was surprisingly enjoying. Thank You, Viator.

Doing what: Panama City and Canal Sightseeing Tour

Lawrence V

5 star rating: Highly Recommended
January 2017

logistically, the trip was executed perfectly from hotel pickup to hotel drop off. They called the hotel the day before to confirm pickup time ranges Panama City traffic is bad in the AM. Well done! Took a bus to Gamboa, about 45 minutes and boarded the ship. A note of caution, no pictures are allowed from outside the ship in this area.

The ship itself is historic as it was commissioned in 1912 by JP Morgan and later owned by Al Capone. During it's lifetime it has been chartered by many celebrities, John Wayne and Steve McQueen are a few. It also holds the record for canal passages. Every time it makes the transit there is a new record.

The trip from the boat is great. Our guide was extraordinarily knowledgable about the canal and the boat itself. If you listen and want to hear some fascinating stories, this is the trip for you.

Make sure to get a picture touching the wall of the canal inside the locks. There are tlles with depth indicators - look for them and snap away.

On the downside, the trip can be longer than anticipated. Since our boat is not huge, it has to wait for a large ship to come to make the usage of water worthwhile to operate the locks. The tour does time this as lock appointments are scheduled and paid for 48 hours in advance. This is one of the reasons the departure times vary. Every tour is different in that. Way.

Allow extra time and enjoy the trip. It is a worthwhile usage of a day. Remember tips for the guide, the crew and your bus driver.

Enjoy!

Doing what: Panama Canal Partial Transit Sightseeing Cruise

Shirley M

5 star rating: Highly Recommended
January 2017

We really enjoyed the boat tour of the canal. The experience was great! Staff and crew were pleasant and helpful, and our narrator was very knowledgeable and quick with answers to our many questions. We would recommend it over a larger, less personal tour. Great fun! Thanks.

Doing what: Panama Canal Full Transit Tour

Mransdell111

5 star rating: Highly Recommended
January 2017

Kevin with Barefoot Panama did an excellent job of showing us the sights of Panama City! It was an great way to learn about the history of Panama. Kevin was very animated and energetic which made the tour lots of fun! He also gave us local knowledge about places to eat, things to see, and the bst way to arrange transportaion during our stay. Our tour started at 8:00 with the walking tour of Casco Viejo. I would suggest bringing water along with you because it can get quite warm out in the sun. Kevin would stop and talk along the way and would try to find shady spots for us to stand in. At Miraflores Locks we were able to view a ship leaving the locks amd entering the locks. One of the highlights of the tour was the Smithsonian Research Center where we were able to look for sloths in the trees. Kevin had said he hoped to see 5 and we actually were able to see 6! Very entertaining and informative day. We liked the tour, Kevin and Barefoot Panama so much that we booked for another tour with them for the next day to Monky Island and the Indian Village. Would highly recommend that tour as well!! You won't go wrong using Barefoot Panama for your excursions in Panama.

Doing what: Panama City Sightseeing Tour Including Miraflores Locks

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