If this is your first time visiting Panama City, then we recommend that you do the Panama City and Canal Tour. It is the most complete option to see all the essentials in the city. This tour starts at 7 or 8 a.m. with a walk in Casco Antiguo or Casco Viejo, which is a world heritage site. In your walking tour you will learn about the dynamic and interesting history of Panama including tales of pirates and gold. Walk through the many plazas in the colonial quarter of the city while marveling at the spectacular architecture. You may even see some of Panama’s indigenous people selling their crafts in the old town. Grab a cup of coffee, something Panama is well known for, in one of the coffee shops in Casco Viejo.
The next stop in the Panama City and Canal Tour is the Amador Causeway which unites four islands on the Pacific entrance to the Panama Canal. The Amador Causeway was done using the rocks excavated during the canal’s construction. At the end of the causeway is a marina with a colorful Panama sign which is great for pictures. The view of Panama City’s skyline is impressive from this causeway.
Panama City and Canal Tour includes a visit to the Punta Culebra Nature Center which is part of the Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute. This is only available on Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, Saturday and Sunday. This is a very important historical place and it is possible to see sloths in the area!
Depending on time and traffic, the tour may take you across the Bridge of the Americas to a viewpoint which is great for photos. Head to the Panama Canal Authority which is at the base of Cerro Ancon (it is not possible to go up Cerro Ancon in a car just walking). The drive through the former Canal Zone will teach you about the history of the Panama Canal. Lunch (which is not included) will be in Clayton, a former American military base.
After lunch you will go to the Panama Canal. Since the IMAX film entrance fee is now mandatory, the tour will take you in time to see a show which is narrated by Morgan Freeman. The Miraflores Locks museum is closed for renovations (you can visit the Panama Canal Museum in Casco Viejo) so visitors will only go to the viewing platforms to watch the ships transit the Miraflores Locks. Head back to your hotel around 3 p.m. to finish your Panama City and Canal Tour.
- Hotel Pickup and Drop-off
- Bilingual tour guide
- Entrance fees to Miraflores Locks
- Entrance fees to Punta Culebra
Does not include:
Time: 7 hours.
What to bring? comfortable clothes, walking shoes, sunscreen, hat, ID, cash and camera.
Important information: the Panama City and Canal Tour runs daily, it is best to book at least a day or two in advance to guarantee space since it starts early there are no same day bookings. Price for adults and children is the same. Infants (under 2 years) are free of charge.