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Gatun Locks

Colon, Panama
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Ranked #1 of 15 Attractions in Colon
Certificate of Excellence 2014
Type: Historic Sites
192 visitor photos
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177 reviews from our community

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Date | Rating
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English first
Reviewer
4 reviews 4 reviews
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
4 of 5 stars Reviewed September 1, 2014

I've visited the locks at Miraflores and Gatun, and by far the locks at Gatun give you a better view of the action. You're so close you can see how the locks open and the water level rises, and you can better appreciate the precision of the movements. The down side is that you will need a car to get... More

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Rochester, New York
Senior Contributor
31 reviews 31 reviews
22 attraction reviews
12 helpful votes 12 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed August 19, 2014

Our Holland America cruise ship docked at Fuerte Amador, Panama, on the Pacific side of the Panama Canal. The Gatun Locks was on the Atlantic side, and almost a 2-hour drive from where we had tendered to shore. The Gatun Lock was still a piece of engineering. We stood there on the observation deck at the Visitor Center for over... More

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Ivry-sur-Seine, France
Reviewer
3 reviews 3 reviews
3 attraction reviews
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 16, 2014

The Gatun Locks are more interresting the Miraflores for several reasons : - You are closer to the ships (really close). - There is much less people. - The price is $5 instead of $15.* Some km from there, go to the canal enlargement site, this is so impressive !

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Alberta
Top Contributor
78 reviews 78 reviews
35 attraction reviews
43 helpful votes 43 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 18, 2014

We had visited the Miraflores Locks prior to coming here and were impressed but this was even better! You can get so close to the ships and you have an excellent view of the gates as they open. The staff were very friendly and easy to understand as they talked about the lock operations. I would highly recommend visiting this... More

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Duluth, Georgia
Top Contributor
121 reviews 121 reviews
62 attraction reviews
63 helpful votes 63 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed July 9, 2014

Our cruise ship entered the locks early in the day, just after breakfast. Wifey and I grabbed some coffee and spent the next 90 minutes on a forward balcony, watching the operations. It was hot and sunny (shade and/or sunscreen are a must) and binoculars are highly recommended. The locks are in three stages with 2 side-by-side lanes. We were... More

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Contributor
17 reviews 17 reviews
4 attraction reviews
9 helpful votes 9 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 7, 2014 via mobile

Having been to the Miraflores Locks visitor centre a few time, this was my first trip to the Gatun Locks. Though not as touristy as it's Panama City counterpart, the Gatun visitor centre is a much better place to get up close to vessels and lock operations. It is less crowded and had someone giving a live audio explanation when... More

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Fort Worth, Texas
Senior Reviewer
6 reviews 6 reviews
12 helpful votes 12 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 6, 2014

First, I'd like to mention that this review discusses two different locations: the Panama Canal Expansion Observation Center and the (older) Gatun Locks Visitor Center. Both are two distinct locations that are very near each other. The Panama Canal Expansion Observation Center is very near the Gatun Locks (maybe 10 minutes by car). From this observation point, you are able... More

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Laurel, Maryland
Senior Reviewer
6 reviews 6 reviews
4 attraction reviews
4 helpful votes 4 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 4, 2014

My second time here. It is alot better now, they have built a beautiful visitor center. Well worth the time, excellent. Loved it.

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Nashville, Tennessee
Top Contributor
100 reviews 100 reviews
61 attraction reviews
39 helpful votes 39 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed June 5, 2014

Happened to be on location on the 50th Anniversary. Being so close on the locks and ships -- help put the sizes and the movement of vessels a new perspective.

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Appleton WI
Top Contributor
63 reviews 63 reviews
20 attraction reviews
54 helpful votes 54 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed June 2, 2014

The Gatun Lock experience offers twice the adventure. First the observation deck of the current lock system enables you to see all three locks at one place (unlike the Pacific side). Also, this observation deck is much closer to the action of the canal compared to the Miraflores deck. Second, there is another observation deck at the new locks under... More

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