Gatun Lake, Panama City

4.5
#1 of 96 in Parks in Panama
Charter a boat and observe huge cargo ships heading for the Panama Canal at Gatun Lake, a massive man-made lake, and the largest of its kind when it was constructed in the early 20th century. You’ll get to meet lots of confident capuchins and tamarins, who are accustomed to humans and can be fed by hand. Keep an eye out for elusive crocodiles, who lurk in the lake's waters. Consider bringing a picnic along, as sometimes the food served on the boat isn’t enough to get you though the day. A visit to Gatun Lake represents just the start of the adventure when you use our Panama City trip planner to plot your vacation.
Create an itinerary including Gatun Lake
map
Gatun Lake Reviews
Rate this attraction
TripAdvisor Traveler Rating
TripAdvisor Traveler Rating 4.5
908 reviews
Google
4.4
TripAdvisor
  • Loved the tour with PBA - would recommend them over and over again as their guides were simply unmatched! Seeing the wildlife up close and personal was an incredible experience! Small boat, only a few...  more »
  • We crossed the Gatun Lake in the context of the passage through the Panama Canal and were of the rain forest, we could see the ship from very impressed. A pity that this area will be increasingly decimated by construction and deforestation. Like we would have taken still a jungle tour, which however was not possible because of the limited time.
    View original
  • We have been trying to get close to sloths in Costa Rica for some time, but they are always up pretty high in the canopy. Here in Panama we got two sightings in one day with very active 3-toed slots.....  more »
Google
  • If you have the opportunity, stop here during your transit of the Panama Canal. The islets were once the tops of local mountains before the Chagras was dammed. Now they are lush with wildlife. The scenery is spectacular. There is the added bonus of watching the huge ships pass through the canal.
  • Great escape from city in nature. Pretty rural drive. Local fishing tour.
  • Gatun lake is a great experience if you want to enjoy a combination of the canal history and see the huge ships navigating next to you when you are on the speed boat for fishing or on a monkey island tour, you will enjoy the flora and fauna around and you will be able to say "I navigated the Panama canal "
  • the Barro Colorado island preserve is great to hike in
  • Fishing in this place is amazing if you have your boat. It's a nice part of the Panamenian landscape. Crocodiles are present all the time so it's not good for swimming

Plan your trip to Panama City

  • Get a personalized plan

    A complete day-by-day itinerary
    based on your preferences
  • Customize it

    Refine your plan. We'll find the
    best routes and schedules
  • Book it

    Choose from the best hotels
    and activities. Up to 50% off
  • Manage it

    Everything in one place.
    Everyone on the same page.

Where to stay in Panama City

Browse hotels, guesthouses, and unique homes and book your stay on the world's leading accommodation sites.
Live like a local, find unique places to stay
Millions of travel reviews on TripAdvisor

Plans in Panama City by other users

30 days in Texas, Tonala & Central America BY A USER FROM DENMARK March, popular PREFERENCES: March ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular PACE: Medium 14 days in Central America BY A USER FROM BULGARIA April, culture, outdoors, relaxing, beaches, historic sites, museums, wildlife, popular PREFERENCES: April, culture, outdoors, relaxing, beaches, historic sites, museums, wildlife ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular PACE: Medium 14 days in Central America BY A USER FROM BULGARIA April, culture, outdoors, relaxing, beaches, historic sites, museums, wildlife, popular PREFERENCES: April, culture, outdoors, relaxing, beaches, historic sites, museums, wildlife ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular PACE: Medium 14 days in Central America BY A USER FROM UNITED KINGDOM November, popular PREFERENCES: November ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular PACE: Medium 10 days in Panama BY A USER FROM MEXICO January, culture, outdoors, beaches, wildlife, popular PREFERENCES: January, culture, outdoors, beaches, wildlife ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular PACE: Medium 7 days in Panama BY A USER FROM UNITED STATES March, culture, outdoors, beaches, wildlife, popular PREFERENCES: March, culture, outdoors, beaches, wildlife ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular PACE: Medium 6 days in Panama BY A USER FROM UNITED STATES March, culture, outdoors, beaches, historic sites, wildlife, fast-paced, popular PREFERENCES: March, culture, outdoors, beaches, historic sites, wildlife ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular PACE: Fast-paced 11 days in Panama BY A USER FROM UNITED STATES February, culture, beaches, popular & hidden gems PREFERENCES: February, culture, beaches ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular & hidden gems PACE: Medium 60 days in Caribbean, Central America & South America BY A USER FROM UNITED KINGDOM February, culture, outdoors, relaxing, historic sites, popular & hidden gems PREFERENCES: February, culture, outdoors, relaxing, historic sites ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular & hidden gems PACE: Medium 60 days in United States, Caribbean, Central America & South America BY A USER FROM UNITED KINGDOM February, popular & hidden gems PREFERENCES: February ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular & hidden gems PACE: Medium 33 days in Central America BY A USER FROM CANADA May, culture, outdoors, romantic, beaches, historic sites, wildlife, popular PREFERENCES: May, culture, outdoors, romantic, beaches, historic sites, wildlife ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular PACE: Medium 60 days in Central America BY A USER FROM UNITED KINGDOM June, culture, outdoors, relaxing, romantic, beaches, historic sites, wildlife, popular PREFERENCES: June, culture, outdoors, relaxing, romantic, beaches, historic sites, wildlife ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular PACE: Medium
View more plans