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Monkey Island Tours

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Monkey Island
Panama’s Monkey Island on Lake Gatun is home to four monkey species—mantled howler, white-faced capuchin, Geoffroy’s tamarin, and lemurine owl monkeys)—as well as crocodiles, toucans, sloths, iguanas, and numerous exotic birds. Riverboat tours to the island offer visitors the chance to observe the monkeys and other wildlife.
 
The Basics
A trip to Monkey Island represents one of the most popular excursions from Panama City. Many guided boat tours also include a chance to see transiting ships from water level in the Panama Canal, as well as visits to the Rainforest Discovery Center and Embera Village, depending on the option chosen.
 
It’s also possible to travel from the Atlantic to the Pacific in a single day trip via the Panama Canal, with a stop at Monkey Island and San Lorenzo National Park along the way.
 
Things to Know Before You Go
  • Monkey Island is a must-see for animal lovers and families traveling with kids.
  • Don’t forget to bring rain gear; showers are frequent even during the dry season.
  • Bring along sunglasses, sunscreen, a hat, and bug repellent to protect yourself from the tropical conditions.
  • Remember to refrain from feeding or harassing the monkeys and other animals.
How to Get There
Monkey Island is accessible via boat, typically departing from the Gamboa Marina 22 miles (35 kilometers) north of Panama City. The boat ride along the Chagres River takes about 30 minutes each way. The easiest way to get there is to join a guided day trip from the Panama capital.
 
When to Get There
Thanks to a year-round tropical climate due to its location near the equator, there’s not really a bad time to visit Panama City and its outdoor attractions, such as Monkey Island. If possible, visit from mid-December to mid-April, the area’s dry season, for the least chance of rain.
 
History of Monkey Island
Monkey Island is, in fact, a series of small islands. When the expansion of the Panama Canal necessitated the relocation of monkey populations to a large island, some of the animals weren’t coexisting well. They were ultimately separated into smaller populations, each on their own island. Habitat encroachment continues to be a problem for these monkey populations, as well as other indigenous species.


Address: Lake Gatún, in Chagres River Valley between Panama and Colon, Panama
Admission: Free; prices for tours vary widely
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16 Tours & Activities to Experience

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Nature & Wildlife

Monkey Island Tour from Panama City

Observe the monkeys on Monkey Island during this tour from Panama City. Round-trip transportation from Panama City hotels included. Morning or afternoon tour times available.
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  • 4 hours
  • Free Cancellation
From  
US$70.00
From  
US$70.00
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  • 4 hours
  • Free Cancellation

Day Trips

NEW TO VIATOR

Private Boat tour Monkey Islands / Gatun Lake

Once in a lifetime experience! Sailing in the Panama Canal and visiting Islands along the Gatun Lake getting first hand touch with wildlife in the ¨Belly button¨of the world.
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  • 3 to 5 hours
  • Free Cancellation
From  
US$100.00
From  
US$100.00
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  • 3 to 5 hours
  • Free Cancellation

4WD, ATV & Off-Road Tours

NEW TO VIATOR

MONKEY ISLAND

In this tour you will have direct contact with the nature watching different species of monkeys and other wildlife such as crocodiles, herons, toucans etc. You will have the unique opportunity of sailing in a boat between enormous ships in the Panama Canal.
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  • 4 hours
  • Free Cancellation
From  
US$99.00
From  
US$99.00
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  • 4 hours
  • Free Cancellation

Private Sightseeing Tours

Private Monkey Island Boat Tour at the Panama Canal

This private tour from Panama City gets you close to ships traveling through the Panama Canal and even closer to monkeys on Monkey Island. Relax during a boat ride on Lake Gatun, which forms part of the Panama Canal, as ships pass by on their way through the canal. As your boat circles around Monkey Island, look for three species of monkey on the water's edge before a short rain forest hike to a natural swimming hole.
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  • 4 hours
From  
US$125.00
From  
US$125.00
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  • 4 hours

4WD, ATV & Off-Road Tours

NEW TO VIATOR

Monkey Island at Gamboa Rainforest Resort

Round trip transportation, interactive tour with attractions of the flora and fauna and real and clear information of the tour, available in Spanish, English and Portuguese, courtesy of bottled water, tickets to the place of visit included and the commitment that each Client feels taken care of, pleased and comfortable in the experience lived in his tour.
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  • 4 hours
  • Free Cancellation
From  
US$900.00
From  
US$900.00
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  • 4 hours
  • Free Cancellation

Historical & Heritage Tours

Ocean to Ocean Panama Canal and Jungle Tour

Travel between the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans during this full-day tour of the Panama Canal. With your local guide, explore the canal by sea and on foot, viewing the ships passing through the locks and the variety of plant and animal life on the canal's shores. Explore Gatun Lake and Monkey Island, home to howlers, capuchins and tamarins. Stop at the Gatun Locks Visitor Center to get an overview of the canal's history through informative displays and exhibits. Eat a picnic lunch near the Gatun Dam before moving on to explore San Lorenzo National Park and Fort San Lorenzo, a UNESCO World Heritage Site overlooking the Caribbean Sea. All activities, entrance fees, lunch and round-trip transportation from Panama City hotels are included.
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  • 7 to 9 hours
  • Free Cancellation
From  
US$135.00
From  
US$135.00
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  • 7 to 9 hours
  • Free Cancellation

4WD, ATV & Off-Road Tours

Day Tour Panama Canal, Railway and Monkey Island

Experience the Panama Canal and the beauty of the rain forest on this guided excursion. After a convenient hotel pickup, embark on a boat tour over the narrow causeways of Gatun Lake and get an up-close view of the canal’s lock systems. Explore Monkey Island and watch for sloths, monkeys, and other wildlife before returning to Panama City by train.
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  • 9 hours
  • Free Cancellation
From  
US$100.00
From  
US$100.00
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  • 9 hours
  • Free Cancellation

Day Cruises

Panama Canal Eco-Cruise and Rainforest Discovery Center

Cruise through the Panama Canal by boat for an up-close experience this important waterway. Look for wildlife on the shores of Gatun Lake, and see ships transiting through the canal. Then head to Gamboa and the Pipeline Road in Soberania National Park, and visit the Panama Rainforest Discovery Center.
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  • 6 to 7 hours
  • Free Cancellation
From  
US$110.00
From  
US$110.00
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  • 6 to 7 hours
  • Free Cancellation

Cultural Tours

Tour Monkey Island and Indian Village

Experience Gatun Lake’s spectacular wildlife and rich culture on this half-day excursion. After a convenient hotel pickup, travel by boat to an island chain in the middle of the Panama Canal that Howlers and other monkey species call home. Learn about these fascinating primates from an informative guide before continuing to an Embera indigenous village where you’ll enjoy a delicious traditional lunch and watch a live music and dance performance.
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  • 7 hours
  • Free Cancellation
From  
US$125.00
From  
US$125.00
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  • 7 hours
  • Free Cancellation

Day Cruises

Panama Canal and Gatun Lake Jungle Eco Cruise

Cruise the Panama Canal to Gatun Lake on a nature tour from Panama City that includes round-trip transport from central Panama City and time to explore Gatun’s wildlife-rich shoreline by boat. Visit jungle islands that were cut off from mainland Panama by the construction of the canal, which protect a thriving population of monkeys, birds, crocodiles, and mammals.
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  • 3 to 4 hours
  • Free Cancellation
From  
US$70.00
From  
US$70.00
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  • 3 to 4 hours
  • Free Cancellation

Nature & Wildlife

NEW TO VIATOR

Panamá Canal Rainforest Monkey Island Tour

This is a private tour on our unique custom designed Rainforest Expedition boat. There are only 4 seats on the boat. Each seat is comfortably padded and swivels 360°. As the boat has a flat elevated deck, it is very stable and your viewing of the wildlife is excellent. It is also very suitable for persons with mobility constraints to get on and off of the boat.As this tour is for 2-hours, which is longer than the other public monkey island tours, we are able to explore other more secluded islands and inlets, away from the mainstream tours. The extra time allows us to find a greatly variety of Rainforest species and share insights into this incredible Biodiversity hotspot.We serve coffee, tea and snacks, and bottled water.
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  • 2 hours
  • Free Cancellation
From  
US$45.00
From  
US$45.00
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  • 2 hours
  • Free Cancellation

4WD, ATV & Off-Road Tours

Panama Canal Eco Cruise and Embera Village Combo Tour

Take an in-depth look at the famous Panama Canal and the indigenous culltures of the Chagres River during this boat-based, eco-adventure. Cruise amidst the waterways, lakes, and islands that make up the Panama Canal stopping to observe local bird life and primates. Then meet up with residents of the Embera tribe in Parara Puru village for cultural presentations and an included lunch.
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  • 8 hours
  • Free Cancellation
From  
US$125.00
From  
US$125.00
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  • 8 hours
  • Free Cancellation

Fishing Charters & Tours

NEW TO VIATOR

Panamá Canal Gatun Lake Fishing - 6-hours

This tour is exclusive and limited to two anglers on our unique custom designed Rainforest Expedition boat.
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  • 6 hours
  • Free Cancellation
From  
US$395.00
From  
US$395.00
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  • 6 hours
  • Free Cancellation

Historical & Heritage Tours

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ECOLOGICAL PANAMA

Live the experience of visiting a country with many tourist attractions, a cosmopolitan city currently considered the city with more skyscrapers in Latin America and at the same time surrounded by nature, we have the Panama Canal, one of the most important engineering works in the world .Ecological Panama is the perfect option for those interested in knowing a little of all the contrasts in the Isthmus of Panama, this Tour covers from the most important engineering work in the region to the customs of our indigenous people, through the daily activities of the most advanced city in Central America.
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  • 6 days
  • Free Cancellation
From  
US$1,209.60
US$1,344.00
US$134.40 savings
From  
US$1,209.60
US$1,344.00
US$134.40 savings
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  • 6 days
  • Free Cancellation

Fishing Charters & Tours

NEW TO VIATOR

Panamá Canal Gatun Lake Fishing - 3-hours

This tour is exclusive and limited to two anglers on our unique custom designed Rainforest Expedition boat.
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  • 3 hours
  • Free Cancellation
From  
US$250.00
From  
US$250.00
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  • 3 hours
  • Free Cancellation

Day Trips

Soberania National Park, Monkey Island and Indian Village from Panama City

Escape the metropolitan madness of Panama City on an exhilarating full-day tour to Soberania National Park and Monkey Island, led by a professional guide. Marvel at a fascinating tableaux of native wildlife as you explore lush jungle replete with thousands of exotic bird species. Climb aboard a boat destined for Monkey Island, a verdant enclave home to many different monkey species, and then visit an authentic Indian village to learn about the area’s rich local culture. Enrich your cultural knowledge on this exhilarating Central American excursion.
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  • 7 hours 30 minutes
  • Free Cancellation
From  
US$140.00
From  
US$140.00
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  • 7 hours 30 minutes
  • Free Cancellation


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