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Miraflores Locks Tours

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Miraflores Locks
The world-famous Panama Canal is a must-see for visitors to Panama City, but to fully appreciate it, head to the Miraflores Locks. The engineering marvel in action is a mesmerizing scene, with some 700 tons (635 tonnes) of machinery, reinforced against the mighty Pacific, and cargo-laden ships squeezing through with just inches to spare.
 
The Basics
There are several locks in the Panama City area, including the Miraflores, Pedro Miguel, Gatun, and Cocoli locks. Closest to the city, the Miraflores Locks are the only site set up for visitors. Explore the state-of-the-art 4-story Visitors Center, where fascinating exhibitions, video and 3D film presentations, and interactive displays chronicle the building of the Panama Canal, its history, how it operates, and the passage of ships through the locks. Tickets include access to the two viewing terraces with a prime view over the locks.
 
A stop at the Miraflores Visitors Center is a popular inclusion on Panama City tours, often in combination with a drive through the Panama Canal Zone, a photo stop at the Bridge of the Americas, or a walking tour of Old Town (Casco Viejo), a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
 
Things to Know Before You Go
  • On-site facilities include restrooms, a gift shop, and a restaurant with a view over the locks.
  • Allow up to two hours for your visit, including time to watch the ships pass through the locks.
  • Exhibitions are in both English and Spanish, and films alternate between English and Spanish language screenings.
  • The Miraflores Visitor Center is fully wheelchair accessible.
 
How to Get to There
The Miraflores Locks are located about 7.5 miles (12 kilometers) from downtown Panama City. Buses to Paraíso or Gamboa from the Albrook Bus Terminal will drop you off along the highway, an around 15-minute signposted walk to the locks. Alternatively, taxis are easy to find and will often agree on a round-trip price, depending on how long you want to spend at the locks.

When to Get There
The locks are most exciting when the big ships arrive—typically between 9am–11:30am, and 3pm–5pm—and an early start is the best way to avoid the crowds.
 
Panama Canal
Built in 1914, the 51-mile-long (82 kilometer) waterway of the Panama Canal allows maritime traffic to pass along the narrow Isthmus of Panama, connecting the Atlantic and Pacific oceans—saving ships an impressive 8,000 nautical miles (15,000 kilometers) of travel around South America. More than 14,000 ships pass through the canal each year, and many are purpose-built to fit through the narrow locks—just 110 feet (34 meters) wide.
Address: Panama Canal, Eastern Shore, Panama
Admission: Varies
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Miraflores Visitor Center with Transfer

Explore the Panama Canal with a tour of its Miraflores Visitor Center. Make use of a convenient hotel pickup (optional) and explore a museum dedicated to the history of this engineering marvel. Check out the center’s four exhibition halls, stop by a theater for a film about its construction, relax with a delicious meal at Atlantic & Pacific Co. restaurant, and capture photos of its locks from the observation deck.  
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  • 1 to 3 hours
  • Free Cancellation
From  
US$110.00
From  
US$110.00
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  • 1 to 3 hours
  • Free Cancellation

City Tours

Panama Canal Layover Tour

Got a layover in the Panama City airport? This 3-hour tour allows you to use that time to experience the Panama Canal including transportation and a guided tour of the Miraflores Visitor Center. See ships passing through canal locks and learn about canal construction and history before returning to the airport to catch your flight.
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  • 3 hours
  • Free Cancellation
From  
US$80.00
From  
US$80.00
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  • 3 hours
  • Free Cancellation

Food Tours

DINNER AT THE CANAL

A trip to Panama isn't complete without a visit to the world-famous canal. Take in the spectacle over dinner and drinks at the Atlantic & Pacific Restaurant. With roundtrip private transportation from the city, there's no excuse and no better way to witness this engineering marvel that helped shape the world as we know it.
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  • 5 hours
From  
US$118.67
From  
US$118.67
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  • 5 hours

Cultural Tours

Panama Canal Tour from Airport

Visit the Panama Canal during a private layover tour from Panama City’s international airport. Travel with a private driver to see one of the world’s engineering marvels. During this convenient outing, learn about Panama’s fascinating history and watch ships navigate the canal’s locks. Stop at the visitor center and enjoy a sightseeing tour through Panama City before returning to the airport.
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  • 150 to 180 minutes
  • Free Cancellation
From  
US$40.00
From  
US$40.00
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  • 150 to 180 minutes
  • Free Cancellation

City Tours

Panama Canal Miraflores Locks and City Tour

Combine a highlights tour of Panama City with a visit to the Miraflores Locks on this guided excursion. With a guide in the lead to provide transportation and insightful commentary, make stops at Casco Viejo, Miraflores Locks, Amador Causeway and Bridge of the Americas. Our van go with no more than 9 people.
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  • 6 hours
  • Free Cancellation
From  
US$65.00
From  
US$65.00
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  • 6 hours
  • Free Cancellation

Layover Tours

Tour Layover in Panama

Don’t pass up the opportunity to visit the Panama Canal during your layover at Tocumen International Airport. This half-day tour with a private guide provides you with flexibility to explore the sights at your own pace. Stroll past Spanish-colonial architecture on the narrow streets of Casco Antiguo (Old Quarter) and also see the modern side of the city.
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  • 4 hours
  • Free Cancellation
From  
US$55.00
From  
US$55.00
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  • 4 hours
  • Free Cancellation

Ports of Call Tours

Fuerte Amador Shore Excursion: Private Full-Day Tour of Panama City and Canal

Discover the highlights of Panama City on a full-day shore excursion that visits the Miraflores Locks and the UNESCO World Heritage-listed Casco Viejo (Old Town). Get close views of the Panama Canal from the viewing platforms, stop into the visitor's center, and follow your guide on a walking tour of the Old Town. Includes port pickup and drop-off, and the option to further explore the Old City on your own at the end of the tour.
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  • 8 hours
From  
US$115.38
From  
US$115.38
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  • 8 hours

Cultural Tours

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5 Hours City Tour & The Panama Canal (ticket included)

This is the best option to explore the City, with the total attention of your guide to the most specific interests of your family, friends or companions. The program of the tour (times and stops) is totally flexible within 5 hours that includes your tour.The friendly tour guide will give you entrance ticket to the Panama Canal Visitor Center. In this place you will be for approximately 2 hours. You will have access to a 20 minute video, 4 floors of incredible exhibitions and a terrace where you will be a keen eye for the passing of the boats through the Miraflores locks. You can end your visit to this Center, acquiring a unique memory of the Panama Canal in your souvenir shop located on the ground floor of the center.During this 5 hours of Tour you will create a magical connection with this Beautiful and Modern City, its Amazing History and its Captivating and Diverse Culture. Don't miss the opportunity to live this Incredible Experience in Panama!
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  • 5 hours
  • Free Cancellation
From  
US$59.00
From  
US$59.00
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  • 5 hours
  • Free Cancellation

4WD, ATV & Off-Road Tours

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Canal Tour - Navigate the Panama Canal

Navigate through the Panama Canal (Wonder of the World) and enjoy with family and friends the experience of looking at the giant gates that open in front of you to access to the Canal locks. During the activity, you will have the opportunity to navigate through: Miraflores Locks, Pedro Miguel Locks, Gaillard Cut, Gatun lake, Chagres river and Gamboa National Park.Itinerary: Departure to the La Playita dock, arrival at the Gamboa dock and return to the La Playita dock in bus.Includes: Breakfast, lunch (only tours from La Playita dock to Gamboa), unlimited soft drinks, bilingual guide and transportation.
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  • 4 to 6 hours
  • Free Cancellation
From  
US$125.00
From  
US$125.00
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  • 4 to 6 hours
  • Free Cancellation

4WD, ATV & Off-Road Tours

NEW TO VIATOR

Layover Panama Canal & City Tour (4 - 5 hours)

Enjoy a quick tour around main tourist attractions in Panama City for those on a short layover in the city. Do not miss the chance to visit the Panama Canal with this 5-hour tour. Airport pick-up and drop off included.We will visit the Panama Canal Visitor Center, Old Town and Causeway Amador.Using your flight number and airline name, a driver will track your flight until it lands. After landing, the driver will be waiting for you outside with a sign highlighting your name. Important informationKnow before you go• Wear sunscreen, light clothing, a hat, and sensible footwear, and be sure to bring your camera• Depending on canal scheduling, you may or may not actually see vessels in the lock chambers
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  • 5 hours
  • Free Cancellation
From  
US$53.00
From  
US$53.00
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  • 5 hours
  • Free Cancellation

Jet Boats & Speed Boats

Tour in the Panama Canal and Monkey Islands

Explore the Panama Canal and learn about its operation on this guided tour. After stopping to check out the Miraflores Locks, visit the Miraflores Lake, the Pedro Miguel Locks, and then drive through the Soberania National Park to the town of Gamboa. There, hop aboard a boat in Gatun Lake where you'll be among ships traveling to the canal. Plus, the tour includes a stop at Monkey Island, home to the white-faced critters.
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  • 5 hours
  • Free Cancellation
From  
US$70.00
From  
US$70.00
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  • 5 hours
  • Free Cancellation

City Tours

Panama City Tour And The Canal

Gain valuable insight into the history of Panama City during this tour of Casco Antiguo and the Panama Canal. Get acquainted with the colonial history of the city, founded by French colonists in 1673. At the Miraflores Locks, view the gargantuan ships making their way through the Panama Canal, then visit the four exhibition halls of the Miraflores Visitors Center. All entrance fees and round-trip transportation from Panama City hotels are included.
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  • 3 hours
  • Free Cancellation
From  
US$119.64
From  
US$119.64
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  • 3 hours
  • Free Cancellation

Cultural Tours

Tour Privado en la Ciudad de Panamá: City Tour

Tour de 5 horas donde visitaremos los lugares más importantes de la Ciudad de Panamá: Canal de Panamá, Balboa, Casco Viejo, Mercadito de Artesanias, Calzada de Amador, Cinta Costera y el centro de la moderna Ciudad de Panamá. Tour de 5 horas onde visitaremos os lugares turísticos mais importantes da Cidade do Panamá: Canal do Panamá, Balboa, Mercadinho de Artesanatos, Casco Antigo, Estrada de Amador, Cinta Costera e o centro da moderna Cidade do Panamá.
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  • 5 hours
  • Free Cancellation
From  
US$40.00
From  
US$40.00
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  • 5 hours
  • Free Cancellation

Cultural Tours

NEW TO VIATOR

Canal Tour Ocean to Ocean - Navigate the Panama Canal

Navigate through the Panama Canal (Wonder of the World) and enjoy with family and friends the experience of looking at the giant gates that open in front of you to access to the Canal locks. This is a full-day tour, 8 hours approximately.During the activity, you will have the opportunity to navigate through: The Miraflores locks, Pedro Miguel lock, Culebra Cut, Gamboa National Park, Gatun locks and the Port of Colón 2000.ALL the first Saturdays of each monthHours: 7:30 a.m. (subject to change)Itinerary: Departure to the La Playita dock, arrival at the Port of Colon 2000 and return to the La Playita dock in bus.Includes: Breakfast, lunch, unlimited soft drinks, bilingual guide and transportation to come back.
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  • 8 to 10 hours
  • Free Cancellation
From  
US$170.00
From  
US$170.00
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  • 8 to 10 hours
  • Free Cancellation

Bus & Minivan Tours

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Panama City 4 hours Tour

We have designed this tour specifically for traveler who are taking a layover of a couple of hours in Panama City and dont want to just wait at the airport. We take maximum advantage of the time to navigate the city and see the highlights· Even though we have three attractions included, we are very flexible and you decide how long you want to stay and you can also customize as long as we stay in Panama City limits.
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  • 5 hours
  • Free Cancellation
From  
US$146.67
From  
US$146.67
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  • 5 hours
  • Free Cancellation

Ports of Call Tours

Cruiseline Excursion Colon: Panama City tour and Miraflores Locks

The cruise port of Colon is the gateway to Panama City and the Panama Canal, and this shore excursion takes in all the highlights. Travel to Panama City across the famous Centennial bridge and enjoy spectacular views of the historic Panama Canal from the Miraflores Lock. Afterwards, discover the two contrasting sides of Panama’s capital as you explore the atmospheric Old Town of San Felipe then drive beneath the modern skyscrapers of Balboa avenue.
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  • 6 hours
  • Free Cancellation
From  
US$75.00
From  
US$75.00
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  • 6 hours
  • Free Cancellation

Day Trips

Panama Canal Partial Transit Boat Tour

Travel through the Pedro Miguel and Miraflores locks of the Panama Canal on this 5- to 6-hour boat tour from Panama City. Experience how the locks work firsthand aboard a boat; tour includes refreshments and a buffet lunch.
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  • 5 to 6 hours
  • Free Cancellation
From  
US$180.00
From  
US$180.00
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  • 5 to 6 hours
  • Free Cancellation

City Tours

Half-Day Panama City Tour

Get an introduction to Panama City on a half-day tour that includes pickup and drop-off in centrally-located Panama City hotels. Find panoramic views of the city from Ancon Hill, watch ships passing through the Panama Canal at Miraflores Locks, then tour Casco Antiguo, a UNESCO-listed neighborhood filled with colonial-era landmarks.
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  • 5 hours
  • Free Cancellation
From  
US$65.00
From  
US$65.00
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  • 5 hours
  • Free Cancellation

Cultural Tours

NEW TO VIATOR

City Tours Completo

Ofrecemos Servicios Personalizados, puntuales y nuestros guia te hará sentir como en casa, ofreciendo vivencias y compartiendo la cultura Panameña.
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  • 6 hours
  • Free Cancellation
From  
US$85.00
From  
US$85.00
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  • 6 hours
  • Free Cancellation

City Tours

Full-Day Tour of Panama City, Panama

Cover four top destinations in Panama City, Panama in one full-day tour. Get an up-close view of ships in the Panama Canal as they rise and lower more than 50 feet through the Miraflores lock. Tour of the Panama Viejo archaeological site. Get views of the city skyline from the Amador Causeway. Then explore the historic streets of the chic Casco Viejo neighborhood.
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  • 8 hours
  • Free Cancellation
From  
US$125.00
From  
US$125.00
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  • 8 hours
  • Free Cancellation

Day Trips

Panama Canal Full Transit Boat Tour

Experience the Panama Canal on this ocean-to-sea cruise. After a convenient hotel pickup, embark on a 50-mile (80-kilometer) journey through the Isthmus of Panama. Marvel at the canal’s lock systems, elegant bridges, and the dozens of islands in beautiful Gatun Lake. Learn about the canal’s history from a bilingual guide and enjoy a delicious breakfast and lunch included in the tour price.   
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  • 10 to 11 hours
  • Free Cancellation
From  
US$250.00
From  
US$250.00
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  • 10 to 11 hours
  • Free Cancellation

Bus & Minivan Tours

Canal and City Tour (Full Day)

Enjoy a sightseeing tour of the Panama Canal and view the notable landmarks of Panama City with a knowledgeable guide. Drive through historical areas like Casco Viejo (Old Quarter), famous for its plazas, parks and Spanish colonial architecture. Visit Paseo Las Bóvedas and witness Miraflores, one of the Panama Canal’s impressive locks, including a stop at the Miraflores Visitor Center. Your tour includes lunch and a visit to the Amador Causeway for incredible vistas over the city and canal.
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  • 8 hours
  • Free Cancellation
From  
US$110.00
From  
US$110.00
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  • 8 hours
  • Free Cancellation

Half-day Tours

Panama Canal, Amador Causeway and Old Town Tour

Explore the Causeway of Amador, Old Town Panama and the Mira Flores Locks in the Panama Canal during this half-day tour in Panama City. Stand by and watch as ships travel through the Mira Flores Locks, then visit the accompanying museum. Continue to Flamenco Island in the Causeway of Amador, a group of interconnected islands. In Casco Antiguo, see the Presidential House and spend time strolling through the historic streets. Along the way, listen to your guide's commentary about the history and culture of Panama City. Round-trip transportation from Panama City hotels is included.
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  • 6 hours
  • Free Cancellation
From  
US$130.00
From  
US$130.00
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  • 6 hours
  • Free Cancellation

Ports of Call Tours

Colon Shore Excursion: Panama City and Canal Private Tour

Take in the highlights of UNESCO-listed Panama City on this private full-day shore excursion from Colon Cruise Port. Admire the views from Ancon Hill; stroll along the Amador Causeway; see the Bridge of the Americas and the Panama Canal; and explore the atmospheric Old Town on a walking tour. Port pickup and drop-off is included.
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  • 8 hours
From  
US$146.15
From  
US$146.15
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  • 8 hours

City Tours

Panama City Tour in a Traditional Local Trolley

Get the perfect overview of Panama City’s most iconic sites with a half-day tour in a colorful trolley. Learn about the engineering triumphs of the Panama Canal at the Miraflores Locks, and watch ships pass through the mammoth lock gates. Follow the causeway to a series of four islands for panoramic views of the city, and explore the atmospheric streets of Casco Viejo, where you’ll find enchanting colonial architecture and colorful local life.
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  • 4 hours
  • Free Cancellation
From  
US$70.00
From  
US$70.00
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  • 4 hours
  • Free Cancellation


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