Gatun Locks, Colon

4.7
#1 of 18 in Things to do in Colon
Watch southbound ships raised 29.5 m (97 ft) from the Caribbean to Lago Gatun at Gatun Locks, a set of locks leading to the Panama Canal. Opened in 1914, the locks represented one of the finest engineered structures at the time, and the world's largest concrete construction until the building of the Hoover Dam in 1930. It takes around two hours to move the ships through the locks, so grab a seat at the viewing stand opposite the control tower to see the whole process unfold. Use our Colon trip planner to visit Gatun Locks on your trip to Colon, and learn what else travelers and our writers recommend seeing nearby.
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Gatun Locks Reviews
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TripAdvisor Traveler Rating 4.5
671 reviews
Google
4.7
TripAdvisor
  • This was a wonderful and fascinating experience. To sail into these locks, with a tiny amount of clearance on either side, and watch the whole process unfold was just a treat. I’m not a geek, and nor ...  more »
  • Although displacement is long depending on whether you are in Panama City or on the beaches of cocle, experience is interesting, enter, wait for the entry of the ship, see the process of filling and then the passage of the ship, there are that make good job. For me this is like something to delete list of things to see, but which would not repeat.
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  • It was something we wanted off of our bucket list and now we have accomplished that. Due to the time constraint we could not have any shore excursions so cannot say anything on the area other than see...  more »
Google
  • It was outstanding to do a full transit of the canal. It was a great experience to see it. The original locks are still in operation as well as the new ones that were just completed. It's amazing how the locks were designed and operated. The locks raise or lower you 85 feet depending on which way your going. The trip is well worth it to see one of the best engineering feats in the world. The tall bridges over the canal are really amazing as well.
  • Be sure to check out the locks from both the bow (front) and the stern (rear) of your vessel. These locks have a mechanism that works entirely by gravity and it's really amazing to watch! We we're lucky enough to also have another ship entering next to us so we could see their progress as well. It was very cool! 🛳️
  • It is the Panama Canal. This is a west coast to east coast full transit through the canal. They have locks and so do many other places. I have been through different locks and what sets these apart is the west coast basalt hill and the other volcanic deposits. Both the west coast and east coast have fantastic local arts.
  • Beautiful site. You can see the old Gatun locks as well as the Aguas Claras locks. We saw multiple ships crossing in less than two hours.
  • Best view of the new locks, but that and a movie is all you get for your admission. High price for a good view. The visitor center and museum at Miraflores Locks on the Pacific side is a better deal for the money. You can't see the new locks but the museum is worth it.
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60 days in South America, Central America & Mexico BY A USER FROM NETHERLANDS August, culture, historic sites, museums, wildlife, popular PREFERENCES: August, culture, historic sites, museums, wildlife ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular PACE: Medium 3 days in Colon BY A USER FROM PANAMA June, popular PREFERENCES: June ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular PACE: Medium 17 days in Panama BY A USER FROM NETHERLANDS August, teens, culture, outdoors, romantic, beaches, historic sites, shopping, popular & hidden gems PREFERENCES: August, teens, culture, outdoors, romantic, beaches, historic sites, shopping ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular & hidden gems PACE: Medium 60 days in Central America BY A USER FROM GERMANY April, culture, outdoors, beaches, historic sites, wildlife, popular PREFERENCES: April, culture, outdoors, beaches, historic sites, wildlife ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular PACE: Medium 31 days in Panama City BY A USER FROM BELIZE September, culture, outdoors, relaxing, beaches, museums, wildlife, hidden gems PREFERENCES: September, culture, outdoors, relaxing, beaches, museums, wildlife ATTRACTION STYLE: Hidden gems PACE: Medium 23 days in Panama BY A USER FROM CANADA December, culture, outdoors, relaxing, romantic, beaches, historic sites, museums, shopping, wildlife, popular PREFERENCES: December, culture, outdoors, relaxing, romantic, beaches, historic sites, museums, shopping, wildlife ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular PACE: Medium 60 days in Africa, South America, Caribbean, Central America, United States, Europe, Asia & Middle East BY A USER FROM NETHERLANDS August, culture, historic sites, museums, wildlife, popular PREFERENCES: August, culture, historic sites, museums, wildlife ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular PACE: Medium 2 days in Colon BY A USER FROM UNITED STATES June, teens, culture, outdoors, relaxing, romantic, beaches, historic sites, wildlife, hidden gems PREFERENCES: June, teens, culture, outdoors, relaxing, romantic, beaches, historic sites, wildlife ATTRACTION STYLE: Hidden gems PACE: Medium 10 days in Panama City BY A USER FROM BRAZIL January, popular PREFERENCES: January ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular PACE: Medium 56 days in Panama BY A USER FROM CANADA January, culture, outdoors, relaxing, romantic, beaches, slow & easy, popular & hidden gems PREFERENCES: January, culture, outdoors, relaxing, romantic, beaches ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular & hidden gems PACE: Slow & easy 36 days in Panama City BY A USER FROM UNITED KINGDOM June, shopping, popular PREFERENCES: June, shopping ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular PACE: Medium 60 days in Central America BY A USER FROM UNITED STATES November, culture, outdoors, relaxing, beaches, historic sites, museums, wildlife, popular & hidden gems PREFERENCES: November, culture, outdoors, relaxing, beaches, historic sites, museums, wildlife ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular & hidden gems PACE: Medium
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