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Miraflores Locks

Miraflores Locks: Our most recommended tours and activities

From Panama City: Panama Canal and Monkey Island Tour

1. From Panama City: Panama Canal and Monkey Island Tour

Spend half a day exploring the Panama Canal while learning about its history and creation. See the famed Miraflores Locks in action and take a scenic boat ride on the Chagres River. Get picked up at your hotel or other location in Panama City, and journey to the Panama Canal Visitors Center for a detailed explanation about how the canal and famous Miraflores Locks work. Visit the museum to learn more about this important water passage between the Atlantic and Pacific oceans. Drive by Miraflores Lake and the Pedro Miguel Locks as you make your way to the Chagres River. Climb aboard for a scenic boat trip across artificial Gatun Lake. Marvel at the surrounding landscape of the biggest and most important lake in the Panama Canal. Watch as large ships pass through the canal to get a sense of the magnitude of this masterpiece of engineering. Arrive at a group of islands to see different species of animals and monkeys. Return to Panama City and get dropped off at your hotel.

Panama: 6-Hour Panama Canal Southbound Cruise & Lunch

2. Panama: 6-Hour Panama Canal Southbound Cruise & Lunch

Travel southbound through the Panama Canal during this 6-hour tour from Panama City. With your local guide, board a bus for a 45-minute journey to Gamboa, home of the Panama Canal Dredging Division. Meet your vessel, the Pacific Queen, for a trip through the Gailard cut, the Pedro Miguel Locks, and the Miraflores Locks. Admire scenic views of the Centennial Bridge, the Chagres River, and the Bridge of the Americas. Eat a complimentary lunch on board during your journey. Disembark at the Flamenco Marina in Panama City. - Journey southbound through the Panama Canal - Travel on a small vessel to see the workings of the locks up close - Navigate through the Pedro Miguel and Miraflores locks - Box Lunch is provided onboard the boat.

6-Hour Panama Canal Ship Cruise

3. 6-Hour Panama Canal Ship Cruise

Experience the Panama Canal in the most authentic way, by crossing it on board a ship. This 6-hour tour from Panama City will take you to the world famous Miraflores Locks, where you can watch huge ocean-going vessels transiting the canal just a few feet away. Your partial Panama Canal transit starts with a coach ride to Gamboa, where the Panama Canal Dredging Division is located. On arrival, board the cruise ship and enter the canal at the north end of Gaillard Cut, where the Chagres River flows into the canal. The Gaillard Cut, also known as Culebra Cut due to its serpent-like curve, was carved through the Continental Divide, making it one of the canal’s most popular attractions. Travel for 8.2 miles (13.7 kilometers) on the way to Pedro Miguel Locks. As you transit the Cut you will observe the continuous maintenance that the area requires, and the work in progress for the Panama Canal expansion project. View the new Centennial Bridge before you enter Pedro Miguel Locks. Here your vessel will be lowered 29.5 feet (9 meters) in one step. You will then enter Miraflores Lake, a small artificial body of fresh water that separates Pedro Miguel from Miraflores Locks. At Miraflores Locks the vessel will be lowered another 52.5 feet (16 meters) in 2 distinct steps. Once at the Pacific Ocean, sail to the beautiful Flamenco Marina to disembark. On the way to Flamenco, pass under the Bridge of the Americas, and admire the Bay of Panama and Panama City's spectacular skyline.

Panama: Guided Northbound Panama Canal Cruise with Box Lunch

4. Panama: Guided Northbound Panama Canal Cruise with Box Lunch

Experience a relaxing northbound cruise on the Panama Canal aboard the glorious Pacific Queen. Enjoy a complimentary lunch while admiring the breathtaking landscape passing slowly by you.  Pass through the Culebra Cut, the Pedro Miguel Locks, and the engineering marvel of the Miraflores Locks. Learn how the locks are controlled to allow ships to pass through, while tucking into your lunch. Feel the waves beneath your feet as you admire scenic views of the Puente Centenario, the Chagres River, and the brilliant Bridge of the Americas, connecting North and South America. Wave goodbye to the Pacific Queen but hold onto the memories, as you disembark at Gamboa before returning to Panama City.

Panama City: Guided Panama Canal & City Tour with Transfers

5. Panama City: Guided Panama Canal & City Tour with Transfers

First arrive to the Miraflores Visitor's Center look for the transit to the vessels in the Panama Canal, there you can see when the vessels raise and through the Miraflores lake and continue the raise to Pedro Miguel Locks, next trough for the bridge of Americas for look the panoramic air view for the New Locks, and the line for the vessels waiting your turn for transit for the canal, stop in the Flamingo island for take the picture to the big Panama sign and see the natural fishbowl, and finish in the marvel Casco Antiguo, there we'll walk or make the panoramic view to the churches and squares. Tour time around 4 to 5 hours.

Panama City: Small-Group Miraflores Locks and City Tour

6. Panama City: Small-Group Miraflores Locks and City Tour

Starting the day early will give you the chance to learn even more about the Panama Canal. Skip the traffic and arrive at the Miraflores Locks visitor center when it opens, so you can watch the action in peace. After the canal, head to Casco Viejo, the second city of Panama built in 1673. Walk around and enjoy the architecture and hear about its historical relevance.  Drive over the Bridge of the Americas for amazing views. Stop at the viewpoint to hear more about Panama City and its future. The Amador Causeway, Panama City's bustling boardwalk, is one of the most refreshing places in the city. End the tour with some recommendations for lunch and further exploration from your guide, leaving you with the tools to get the most out of your visit to this beautiful and modern city.

Panama City: Historic District and Canal Tour with Transfer

7. Panama City: Historic District and Canal Tour with Transfer

Explore the highlights of Panama City in the company of a local to acquire a deeper sense of appreciation for its history and culture. Travel through the many landmarks along the Panama Canal, explore the Causeway Islands, and stroll through the historic Casco Viejo. Enjoy a transfer from your accommodation and begin your journey by heading over to the canal. Stop by the Miraflores Locks to observe how ships travel through them. Allow your guide to give you a thorough explanation of the locks' functions and the canal's operations. Move on to gaze at the famous Bridge of the Americas. Drive around the incredible Causeway Islands, sitting at the end of the canal and connected to the mainland by a narrow road. Take in the city skyline from afar, then stop for an optional Panamanian lunch at your own expense. Explore the historic district of Casco Viejo, the oldest part of the city. Walk around the charming streets as you learn about the major sites and browse through the ancient squares for the most amazing handicrafts. End your journey with a transfer back to your hotel.

Panama: Miraflores, Canal, & Casco Viejo Private City Tour

8. Panama: Miraflores, Canal, & Casco Viejo Private City Tour

Discover the sights of Panama City on this private multi-stop day tour with a local guide. Visit the Miraflores Locks and the Panama Canal and its museum before continuing to Amador Causeway and Casco Viejo, Panama City’s colonial quarter. In the morning, meet your private Panama guide at your hotel or residence, then set out for an unforgettable excursion to the city’s most historical sites and the Panama Canal Miraflores Locks. Take a 30-minute ride to the Miraflores Locks to observe the huge vessels passing the Panama Canal. The busiest hours are from 9 AM to 11 AM and from 2 PM to 5 PM, so you will be able to see many ships getting lifted or lowered 16 meters in two distinct steps. Take in the views on the locks from a sheltered terrace and listen to the explanations of your guide. To complete your visit to the Canal, visit the Panama Canal Museum and Visitor Center to get a good idea of the construction of the canal, a masterpiece of engineering. Before the next stop, learn about the history of the canal and its significance for Panama and the entire world trade as well as on the current expansion project. Continue the tour to the Panamá Viejo, the ruins of Old Panama. Old Panama was the first European settlement and community on the Pacific Coast of the Americas. This first Panama City was looted and destroyed by the notorious English buccaneer Henry Morgan in 1671 and therefore was abandoned. Today, there are only ruins left of Old Panama. Still, the tower of the ancient cathedral is standing and has become a landmark of the town. Head to Amador Causeway next, a road that connects three Islands in the Pacific Ocean and offers unbeatable views of the canal on one side and of the city skyline on the other. Lunch will be served in a Panamanian restaurant on the causeway (cost not included). After lunch, the tour continues to the Casco Viejo, where you will feel set back in time as you admire and enjoy the view of the characteristic colonial houses, the narrow roads, and the awe-inspiring churches. Before drop-off back at your hotel or residence, get a better picture of Panama’s history by driving or walking through the main attractions of this historic quarter. 

Panama: Panama Canal Tour through Two Locks with Lunch

9. Panama: Panama Canal Tour through Two Locks with Lunch

Experience the wonder of the magnificent man-made maritime passageway of the Panama Canal with this attraction ticket. Enjoy watching the ship as it is lowered at two separate locks. Have a delicious lunch and some refreshing soft drinks.  Disembark from Isla Flamenco in Panama city and take in sweeping views of the city as make your way to the canal at the north end of the Gaillard Cut, where the Chagres river flows into the canal. Admire the serpentine curvature of the Gaillard Cut which was carved through the continental divide. Uncover the history and geological value of this region as your boat travels along a 13.7 kilometer route to the Pedro Miguel locks. Pass through verdant landscapes of rolling hills and forests as you drift along. Appreciate the continuous work that is required to maintain this passage. Observe the Panama Canal expansion project, an engineering feat that is set to double the capacity of the canal. View the Bridge of the Americas which crosses over the canal. Enter the Pedro Miguel locks where the ship is lowered 9 meters and released into Miraflores lake. Venture across Miraflores lake to the Miraflores locks where the ship is lowered 16 meters in two distinct steps. Continue sailing to the small town of Gamboa. Disembark in Gamboa and board a bus back to Isla Flamenco.

Tocumen or Albrook Airport: Panama Layover Tour

10. Tocumen or Albrook Airport: Panama Layover Tour

Make the most of your layover at Tocumen or Albrook airport with a sightseeing tour to Panama city. Learn about the engineering feat that was required to create the Panama Canal maritime trade route at the Miraflores lock visitor center. Meet your guide who will be holding a sign with your name on it outside the customs doors at the airport. Head to Panama city to see the old Spanish-style colonial buildings contrasted with the modern skyline in this coastal city. Continue to the Miraflores locks visitor center. Watch from an observation deck as vessels make their way through the canal by being lifted or lowered 54 feet. View a short film about the history of the canal and the massive engineering work that went into its construction. Return to Tocumen or Albrook airport where you can catch your connecting flight.

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What people are saying about Miraflores Locks

Overall rating

4.7 / 5

based on 250 reviews

Mario was our guide and he was wonderful! Very informative, and knew the perfect timing for seeing a ship go through the Miraflores locks. He took us to his favorite vendors in Casco Viejo and to a wonderful lunch at the Mercado de Mariscos. The group size was perfect - only 4 people and felt very personal. Thanks for a wonderful experience!

This was my first time in Panama, and I'm glad that I chose this wonderful, very informative tour. Chris was awesome and very knowledgeable. I would definitely recommend I loved every part of the tour. If I could give 10 stars I certainly would.

Good organisation of the trip. In both Spanish and English. Lovely food. Plenty of drinks. We were lucky as we were the only boat going through the locks, isually there would be a ship in front, but not today.

Great trip to the locks and the monkey island was surprisingly fun too. I think this trip is a bit overpriced but all excursions in Panama air expensive… would still recommend going to this one!

Very knowledgeable and friendly guide regarding the city's history and culture. Thoroughly enjoyed the experience.