All photos (40)Panama Canal Museum
Panama Canal Museum
Panama Canal Museum

Panama Canal Museum

53 reviews
Sights and Museums, Landmark
Popular with:
  • 9.8
    History Buffs
  • 7.5
    Family Travellers
  • 6.7
    Backpackers
  • 6.6
    Adventure Travellers
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Plaza de la Independencia, Calle 5a Este, Panamá, Panama
+507 211-1649
http://www.museodelcanal.com/
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Description
This 48-mile long canal that joins the Pacific and Atlantic Ocean is a modern technological marvel worthy of its very own song (a Van Halen song, or perhaps a sea shanty sung by sailors). The best ... Read more
place to watch ships slide by is from the pedestrian walkway at the Bridge of the Americas, or watch the ingenious lock system in action -- the solution to different water levels between the two oceans the canal connects -- at the observation decks at Gatun and Miraflores. The best part is that the rest of the country, and its Caribbean and Pacific coasts, is the unspoiled, unsung beauty of Central America.

Member Reviews(53)

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Brighton and Hove

This museum is dedicated to the construction and history of the Panama Canal. Housed in a beautifully restored colonial building, which was previously the office for a French canal company and later a post office, it is situated in the heart of Casco Viejo. The exhibits include some excellent photographs and artefacts and are spread out over three floors. The majority of the signage is in Spanish, but you can rent an audio guide in English.

Recommended for:History Buffs
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Scottsdale

I’ve been here twice now- and not so much by choice. :) The Panama Canal is full of history; some of which we know and some which we do not. I learned something new each time I went and saw different perspectives of the canal my second time around. I also was able to get footage of the passing of ships; they have to lower the water of one side so that the ship can migrate from one body of water to the next; it’s actually incredible. The ships are monstrous! The kids love it!! He cost is $15 and they’re constantly upgrading the facility and it’s tourism program. Food and drinks available. There’s also a photo station to capture family or friend memories.

Recommended for:Family TravellersBackpackersHistory BuffsAdventure Travellers
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You are 25 minutes away from Panama Canal Miraflores Locks information center. You will observe up close the transit of all sort of vessels including "Post Panama" Giants 14,000+ Ultra Luxury Yates, Luxury Cruises or military/navy vessels or submarines. The place has a Museum, Cafeteria and Restaurants right in front of the locks.

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this place is a must !! its like going to france and not visiting the eiffel tower.

schedule a panama canal tour with me !!

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Great place , unforgettable for many reasons, you feel like a part of the world History

Recommended for:LGBTQGreen TravellersAdventure TravellersArt & Design Lovers
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San Francisco

They call it the 8th wonder of the world-engineering and human imagination that connects the Atlantic and pacific. $15 to go up to the 4th floor of the visitor center to get the best view. I was in luck and saw it in action when I ship was passing by. Apparently the next ship doesn't come by til 4pm. Best 5 hour layover ever !

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New York City

When visiting panama city.. the miraflores lock is a must see.. there is a full museum and simulators that explain the canal and its history. There is also an observatory deck where you can see the ship passing but while a guide explain the working and history of the canal. In the ticket price,a movie about the canal is included as well . You can also watch the ships go by in the second floor restaurant as well. Best time to go is between 9am and 2 pm..

Recommended for:Family TravellersStudentsHistory Buffs
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San Francisco
Ambassador

Passing through the Panama Canal is something I'll remember for the rest of my life. Simply a marvel.

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Old Greenwich

Visit the canal after 2:00pm to see ships going through the locks. It can great crowded, but the museum is well managed.

Recommended for:Budget TravellersFamily TravellersStudentsHistory Buffs
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Rochester

I remember reading about the building of the Panama Canal in school to allow global shipping get from the Pacific Ocean to the Atlantic Ocean without having to go all the way around South America. When the opportunity came to visit the canal, I had to go.

I don't know what I really expected the canal to be, as I had never been to locks on a river, let alone the Canal. I guess I expected the series of locks that lifted the ships up away from sea level to be spread out more, and for there to be lake-like holding areas after each step up or down, at least a couple of miles between each one. That isn't the case at all. All of the locks are in rapid succession as they raise or lower the traffic through the locks the 85 feet difference. And as the ships go through, with the assistance of mules to hold the ship in place without moving from side to side, they don't have much clearance at all.

As ships traverse the locks (at Gatun), there are announcements in both Spanish and English about the canal, the locks, and the various ships that have gone through, as well as talking about the canal itself.

There are three viewing platforms. The first of these is at ground level after the ships have gone through the locks. We didn't stay there long, so I can't remember if you can hear the announcements from that viewing platform or not. The other two viewing areas are closer to where the ships enter the locks from and give more of a bird's eye view as the ships actually go through the canal.

Recommended for:Family TravellersHistory Buffs
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Puerto Vallarta

Wow! Impressive in ways that you can't imagine until you see it for yourself! Quite a feat of engineering!

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Harrington Park

If you visit Panama, you obviously have to go see the canal, however it is not the most interesting attraction in the world. The museum is pretty interesting, it provides history of the canal and how it works. When you are finished with that, you can go to the fourth floor viewing balcony and if you are there at the right time, (usually midday between 11-5), you will be able to see the boats come through the locks. Don't get me wrong, it is interesting, but it takes a looooong time for the ships get through the locks. By the time the ship has finally passed through, you are ready to get the heck out of there. Definitely worth seeing when you are in Panama, but don't expect to see have your socks blown off.

Recommended for:BackpackersHistory BuffsOutdoor EnthusiastsStudents
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Brisbane

An amazing example of engineering. If you are in Panama City it is an absolute must. The museum and video about the canal construction is relatively small, but pretty interesting. Nevertheless, these attractions are pretty minor in comparison to actually seeing the canal, and seeing how a ship moves through the levies to move from the Pacific to the Atlantic or vice versa

Recommended for:History Buffs
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Los Angeles
Community ManagerAmbassador

Incredible seeing this engineering marvel first hand. The Panama Canal is a must see if you are in Panama City. For $8 you can enter the museum, watch a 3D movie about the history of the canal and stand on tall platforms to watch the ships go through the canal. Must see and must do!

Recommended for:BackpackersHistory BuffsBudget Travellers
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Austin

Panama Canal Eco-Tour with Panama Tours
Tours of the Panama Canal are popular, with many different tour companies offering them. But if you want something different, that allows you to see both the workings of the canal as well as the jungle and wildlife surrounding it, the Small Boat Panama Eco Tour offered by Panama Tours is the way to go.

We ended up with Captain Carl, an American from Missouri who has been in Panama for nearly 12 years now. We were with 7 other people, from Spain, France, India and Canada. The Small Boat Panama Eco Tour was perfect, because it not only took us down the Panama Canal where Carl pointed out history of the canal, boats that have been there since post-WWII, the current dredging and expansion going on, etc. — but he also took us on small tributaries, rivers and lakes that spin off the canal to see the wildlife and jungle that grows on all sides and right up to the edge of the canal.

As we made our way through the tributaries, we saw capuchin and howler monkeys, more crocodiles, iguanas, frogs and many bird species. We drifted through mangrove forests while Carl explained the various native trees and wildlife species. When we stopped by trees that were filled with monkeys, the creatures came right up to the boat. We fed them peanuts and one cheeky bugger even stole a banana from a passenger!

Captain Carl then steered the boat to his Jungle Lodge getaway — a floating home with six guest rooms and an attached houseboat, where we ate lunch and enjoyed a top-tier deck with hammocks in the afternoon breeze.

After lunch Carl led us on a kayak excursion through the tributaries, to a small waterfall. Carl was quite the character, full of jokes and stories, translating from English to Spanish and back again.

All in all, it was an informative, interesting and highly enjoyable day. I liked being on a small boat with just a handful of other people, and considering the fact that the Panama Canal cuts right through the jungle, I really enjoyed being able to see, experience and even interact with the wildlife in the jungle.

http://www.panamatours.com.pa/index.php/Panama-Canal-Tour.html

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Santa Monica

You can't visit Panama City without seeing one of the world's greatest technological marvels. When the new larger locks open in 2015, there will be even more to see. One of the reasons Panama is prospering is due to the $800,000,000 U.S. dollars generated annually in canal tolls. Typically, 30 ships pass through per day. The new locks will double that capacity. In 2014, the Panama Canal celebrates its 100th birthday. Until I visited Panama, I had no idea that the French began the canal, and the Americans finished it.

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San Diego

Loved seeing the canal. You don't have to be interested in engineering to appreciate the canal. There is a movie that is available in English and Spanish that you can watch and will inform you all about the Canal. The museum located at the Miraflores lock is also really interesting. Hopefully you get there and be able to see a ship going through the locks.

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New York City

The Panama Canal is less exciting than you might think, but it's still worth a trip to see this bit of history. You can view the ships going through, but nothing happens quickly.

Recommended for:History Buffs
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Jamaica

This place is a marvel of modern engineering to see these giant gates in action, equalizing the levels of water between the Atlantic & Pacific oceans, watching these huge ships pass thru the locks with mere feet on either side to spare. This to me has got to bee one of the seven wonders of the world.

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Randolph

The Canal is one of the greatest wonders--it's a treat to stand at Miraflores or Gatun locks and see a ship either be lifted up 85 feet, or set down 85 ft, and hear the electric locos running on tracks that assist the pilot keep the ship centered in the lock chamber. If you can take a partial transit, that's awesome, to actually be in the chamber and see the inside of the chamber.

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Panama Canal Museum

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Aliases: Panama Canal, The Panama Canal and Surrounds

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