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“an awe inspiring visit”
Review of Gatun Locks

Gatun Locks
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US$165.00*
and up
Chagres River Kayak Expedition From Panama City
Ranked #1 of 23 things to do in Colon
Certificate of Excellence
Attraction details
Reviewed 20 November 2013

a must see when you are in Colon. while visiting for business had the opportunity to enjoy lunch at Gatun overlooking the lake, locks and new construction. truly an amzing engineering feat. lunch was good, but the real bonus is looking down into what will become the post Panamax 3rd locks and looking from the observation platform out to the atlantic side and also seeing the lake and picturing how they are builidng the new lock

if you can drive down to the small bridge (single lane) that crosses directly in front of the final lock gates and if you are luck sitting perched above you will be 100,000+ tons of water and vessel/cargo ready to be lowed to the Atlantic sea level so their voyage can continue

simply fabulous

Thank Alan B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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262 - 266 of 634 reviews

Reviewed 27 October 2013

A very up close and personal experience on how the lock system functions on a daily basis. At 7:00 AM the local pilot boarded our ship (Coral Princess) and at 8:30 we entered the Gatun Lock system. We exited the lock system 9:35 and entered Gatun Lake en route to the San Pedro Miguel Locks. We had the opportunity to get a very close up view of a number of container / cargo ships transiting the locks. An awesome experience to say the least. Would like to do the transit trip again when the new Panamax lock system opens in the within the next year !

1  Thank GerryV160
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 18 September 2013

The Gatun Locks are on the Atlantic side of the Panama Canal and they lift or lower ships 27 meters in three steps, going from sea level to the level of Gatun Lake. There is no museum at Gatun Locks, just a viewing area. However, the elevated viewing area is very close to the east set of locks. When you are on the viewing platform, it is only about 30 feet to the ships as they pass through the middle of the three locks. The mules keeping the ships centered in the locks pass right below the viewing area.The view is pretty amazing, especially when the big Panamax ships pass through. It looks like they have zero clearance on either side. Great place for close up pictures.

We did this as part of a tour with Rudy's Tours that included the Panama Canal Railroad, Fort San Lorenzo, Colon, and Portobelo. Fort San Lorenzo is on the west side of the Canal and you pass over a single lane bridge over the locks that opens and closes to alternate ship and vehicle traffic to get to the road to San Lorenzo. Rudy is a great guide. He speaks excellent English (and Spanish, Italian, and German), has very nice vehicles, is very knowledgeable about Panama, and was always on time.

6  Thank MIHorseman
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 12 September 2013

If you visit Colon you have to go to the Gatun locks. You get a birds I eyed view of the process from start to finish. The best part is that you are able to see the ships passing through up close. Cost is $5.00 per person and Panamanian citizens do not pay the entry fee.

1  Thank Amed A
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 11 September 2013

I was not a huge fan of Colon, and its construction traffic. However, the Gatun Locks are not crowded and give you an outstanding opportunity to watch the locks in operation I VERY close proximity. We were able to watch 3 ships come through. The informational guide at the Locks was very good. This is really all there is at this location but it is the best location for watching the ships come through the Locks. It is an entirely different experience and perspective than taking the canal marine tour through the locks.

1  Thank Suzyd1964
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

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