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“Panama Railway Tour - It was ok, BUT.....”

Panama Canal Railway
Book In Advance
More Info
US$390.00*
and up
Private Tour: Panama City in 1 day
Ranked #3 of 15 things to do in Colon
Certificate of Excellence
Type: Other
Attraction details
Beverly Hills, Florida
Level Contributor
28 reviews
3 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 21 helpful votes
“Panama Railway Tour - It was ok, BUT.....”
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 27 December 2013

While on our cruise, we took the train ride on The Panama Canal Railway. The ride was nice and the 2 conductresses were very pleasant. We were fortunate to book the Dome Car, which I recommend. It places you up higher so you can see more of the scenery. During the ride they served a compimentary cup of Panamanian Coffee (which was delicious), refreshments and snacks and upon leaving you were given a boxed snack. While there was no food available for purchase on the train, you could buy alcoholic drinks. During the ride, the girls performed a traditional song & dance, which we never got to see in the dome car. THAT WAS DISAPPOINTING. We were all waiting for them to come up and perform for us, but they didn't. There is a souvenier area at the station. The worst part was the bus ride back to Colon. We made a stop at the Duty Free Station, but only stayed 1/2 hour (should have been 1 hr) and at the Miraflores Locks (Pacific side) we stayed 1 hr, when 1/2 hr would have been sufficient. It would have been much better taking the train back.

Visited December 2013
Helpful?
6 Thank ButterflyLady68
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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The Villages, Florida
Level Contributor
21 reviews
5 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 17 helpful votes
“A perfect add-on when going through Panama Canal”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 16 December 2013

Never realized the awesome achievement of the Panama Canal until I experienced it first hand. And this train trip was truly the icing on the cake. We went through the first set of locks at Gatun Lake and then disembarked the ship and got on the train. We traveled the rails along beautiful countryside and got to the Pacific Ocean in time to see a freighter going through the last set of gates, Miraflores Gates. This trip provided everything promised and then some.

Visited November 2013
Helpful?
5 Thank Bonnie T
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Peachland
Level Contributor
168 reviews
89 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 73 helpful votes
“Dome train”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 14 December 2013

When on a cruise ship, Panama Gov't does not allow passengers to disembark unless they are on a tour. We chose the train as we went through the Gatun Gates, into the lake but did not go to the Pacific side. By taking the train we were able to also see the Mirafore Gates, the museum and the building site(s) for the new canal. Well worth the money and better than staying on ship.

Visited December 2013
Helpful?
4 Thank Jan B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Bergen, Norway
Level Contributor
13 reviews
6 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 13 helpful votes
“Not quite the real thing but near enough”
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 4 December 2013

There are two carriages for passengers, both equipped with open ceilings so that you can connect with the canopy overhead. Price is skyhigh by Panamanian standards, and this definitely isn't the way locals would travel the short distance between the Atlantic and the Pacific (buses run all the time and are much cheaper)
However, although it's a bit of a tourist trap, it's still the only opportunity you'll have to get on a train in Central America, and if you close your eyes and make an extra effort, you might just get a vague feeling what it was like in the good old days

Visited July 2013
Helpful?
2 Thank Dan T
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Fairfield, California
Level Contributor
34 reviews
14 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 25 helpful votes
“just so you can say you crossed the Isthmus of Panama”
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 4 August 2013

The train ride from Corozal to Colon(left at 07:15AM) could be improved to make the expense worthwhile.It costs $25.00 one way.
First the distance is quite short,not even 50 miles so we wondered why the company programmed it to be run in an hour.No other train was on the track & the train will return to Corozal only at 05:15PM. It was so fast that you only have fleeting views of the 2 locks(Pacific side),Gamboa
& mostly Gatun Lake.Second,there was no narrative over the PA system so the significance of what you are viewing is not appreciated.The only consolation is at least you can state that you crossed the Isthmus from the Pacific to the Caribbean.It is much better to do this by doing a full transit cruise(which we did the following day).Once you reach Colon,there are several options, one of which does NOT include a tour of Colon itself ( the place looks dismal & not safe).By taxi Portobello Or Gatun Locks can be reached or just take the public air conditioned bus(not the "Diablo Rojo") back to Albrook Terminal which costs $3.50 & takes more than an hour & a half.Now do NOT attempt to walk to the bus station in Colon from the train station per advice of the ticket agent at Corozal due to safety issues.Take a taxi that will cost $2.00 per person for a 6 min. ride.We chose the last option & got back to Albrook for a quick lunch & had enough time to reach the Miraflores Locks/Museum by taxi.

Visited July 2013
Helpful?
10 Thank l u
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

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