Panama with Canal Transit

Unique opportunity to transit the entire Panama canal in a day

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FEBRUARY 15-19, 2017



“The guide’s expert, highly instructive guidance of the Panama Canal was the reason I made the trip. He was absolutely THE BEST. Thank you for your expert preparation for it. Everything went perfectly.” Jack E, retired (NY)

If you do not have the time for a minimum of 10 days Panama Cruise and wish to transit the Panama Canal, then join our tour of 5 days and transit the canal in a day, as well as seeing many interesting places in Panama.

New York Times ranked Panama #1 of “45 Places to Go in 2012”


  • Daytime full ocean-to-ocean transit
  • Pass through 3 locks
  • View Panama skyline
  • Pass through the Galliard Cut, the continental divide where water flows both North and South to each ocean


  • Relive early Panamanian history at Panama La Vieja, a UNESCO World Heritage site.
  • Visit the Embera Village in a dug-out canoe
  • Marvel at the Biodiversity Museum designed by Frank Gehry
  • Optional evening of dinner and folk dancing

Panama with Canal Transit

Day 1: Panama City

Today at the appropriate time a tour representative will meet you at the Tocumen International Airport to assist and transfer you to Toscana Inn Hotel, located in Panama City. In the evening, you will have an Orientation Session, followed by a Group dinner at the hotel or nearby restaurant.

Panama City Skyline

Panama with Canal Transit

Day 2: Panama City

First you will visit the ruins of Old Panama (Panama La Vieja), a UNESCO World Heritage Site. You will see (and can climb) the ruins of the cathedral in this first settlement on the Pacific Coast which was established by the Spanish colonialists.
Next, you will visit the former U.S. Canal Zone to tour the Miraflores Visitors Center. Enjoy a presentation by the Panama Canal Authority about the history of the Panama Canal and marvel at the workings of this feat of human engineering. While on the observation deck, you may see a ship passing through the locks. We will have lunch (not included) at Niko’s Cafeteria.
Afterward, we visit Casco Antiguo which was built in 1673 after the destruction of Panama La Vieja. On your tour you will see the beautiful Spanish, Italian and French architecture of this area and visit the golden altar of the San Jose Church.
The tour will continue to the newly-opened Biodiversity Museum, located on the Amador Causeway. It was designed by renowned U.S. architect Frank Gehry, and is his only artistic masterpiece in Latin America. After the tour you will be transferred to your hotel in Panama City.
Free evening in cosmopolitan Panama City to enjoy one of the many excellent restaurants, casinos or nightclubs. Highly recommend the optional typical Panamanian Dinner and Folkloric Show at Las Tinajas Restaurant. The show features the elaborate pollera dresses, the national symbol of Panama.

Old Panamacanal lockBiomuseo panama

Panama with Canal Transit

Day 3: Embera Village

Your adventure today will be long-remembered. Early in the morning you are picked up at the lobby of your hotel by our guide and transferred to El Corotu on the shores of Madden Lake. You will board a motorized piragua (dugout canoe) and travel up the Chagres River to the indigenous village of Embera Drua.

The boat journey takes you through the rainforest of the 320,000-acre Chagres National Park, which is the largest of the National Parks protecting the Panama Canal Watershed. At the Embera village you will be greeted with dancing and music. You will learn about the Embera customs and their relationship with nature. They are master artisans, known for woven baskets and masks as well as quality wood and intricate tagua carvings. There will be handcrafts available for sale.

You will have a chance to be painted with the traditional jagua, a natural dye the Embera use to adorn their bodies. You can take a short hike on a botanical trail where you will see plants from which many common pharmaceuticals are made.

You will have a typical lunch of freshly-caught fish from the Chagres River and cooked bananas. Afterward you will transfer back to your hotel in Panama City.

CRT Tour Group goes up Chagres river in cayuco!embera village

Panama with Canal Transit

Day 4: Panama Canal

Your driver will pick you up early at the hotel to transfer you to board your ship to begin your full (Pacific Ocean-to-Atlantic Ocean) transit through the Panama Canal. Being on a small ship (300 passengers), you will have a perspective of the enormity of the three locks that you cannot appreciate on a large cruise ship. The canal passes through Panama at its narrowest location of only 50 miles.
Once in the Pacific Ocean, you will be able to admire the Bay of Panama and Panama City’s skyline before passing under the Bridge of the Americas. The vessel will then transit through the first set of locks, the Miraflores Locks, and continue on to Miraflores Lake.
After traveling through the Pedro Miguel Locks, you cross through the Gaillard Cut which is one of the main points of interest for visitors because it was carved through the Continental Divide and this section of the Canal is full of history and geological value.
Next, you cross Gatun Lake, traveling by the Smithsonian Institution Research Station and passing through the Gatun Locks.
The canal transit will take approximately 9 hours. Upon completion of the transit in Colon on the Atlantic coast, you will board a motor coach for your land transfer (90 minutes) to Panama City. Your private driver will be waiting for you at Flamenco Marina to transfer you to your hotel.

In canal with tugLocks on Panama CanalPanama Canal transitNext to ship in lock

Panama with Canal Transit

Day 5: Fly home or extend trip

Your once-in-a-lifetime Panama Canal Transit is complete and time to head home with all your memories and photographs. You will be transferred to Tocumen International Airport for your flight home.
Continue your adventure in Costa Rica by joining our Variety Tour that immediately follows this tour. You can also extend your tour in Panama with a stay at an ocean or rainforest resort, or a lodge in a Kuna community in the San Blas Islands.

Panamanian dancer

Panama with Canal Transit

Optional extension: San Blas Islands

Spend two nights in the tropical San Blas Islands located in the Caribbean Sea where you will visit a Guna community and have time to enjoy snorkeling, scuba and relaxation.

San Blas

Panama with Canal Transit

Optional Extension: Pacific Beach

Add time to relax on the beach on the Pacific Ocean side of Panama.
The beach along the Pacific Coast offers a great range of activities and is shared by a fisherman’s ́ villages, condos and hotel developments.

Hammock Pacific Coast
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