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“OK I guess”
Review of Gatun Locks

Gatun Locks
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Chagres River Kayak Expedition From Panama City
Ranked #1 of 23 things to do in Colon
Certificate of Excellence
Attraction details
Bergen, Norway
Level 3 Contributor
13 reviews
6 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 13 helpful votes
“OK I guess”
Reviewed December 4, 2013

Fewer amenities than Miraflores, but it's also cheaper and easy to reach from Colon. Watching the great ships passing through locks is the experience everybody comes there for, and few people leave disappointed

Visited July 2013
2 Thank Dan T
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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615 reviews from our community

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Camarillo, California
Level 6 Contributor
585 reviews
289 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 271 helpful votes
“Nearly 100 years in operation”
Reviewed November 30, 2013

Nearly 100 years in operation and still ticking like clockwork. The Gatun Locks were fun to watch as they opened and closed. Better than that was to watch the ships rise and fall as water filled the canal chamber. Some might be blasé about the Panama Canal, but after 100 years it still works. Awesome!

Visited November 2013
Thank Cavydad
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Level 5 Contributor
70 reviews
8 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 26 helpful votes
“an awe inspiring visit”
Reviewed November 20, 2013 via mobile

a must see when you are in Colon. while visiting for business had the opportunity to enjoy lunch at Gatun overlooking the lake, locks and new construction. truly an amzing engineering feat. lunch was good, but the real bonus is looking down into what will become the post Panamax 3rd locks and looking from the observation platform out to the atlantic side and also seeing the lake and picturing how they are builidng the new lock

if you can drive down to the small bridge (single lane) that crosses directly in front of the final lock gates and if you are luck sitting perched above you will be 100,000+ tons of water and vessel/cargo ready to be lowed to the Atlantic sea level so their voyage can continue

simply fabulous

Visited November 2013
Thank Alan B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Pembroke, Ontario, Canada
Level 4 Contributor
19 reviews
6 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 23 helpful votes
“Amazing construction feat”
Reviewed October 27, 2013

A very up close and personal experience on how the lock system functions on a daily basis. At 7:00 AM the local pilot boarded our ship (Coral Princess) and at 8:30 we entered the Gatun Lock system. We exited the lock system 9:35 and entered Gatun Lake en route to the San Pedro Miguel Locks. We had the opportunity to get a very close up view of a number of container / cargo ships transiting the locks. An awesome experience to say the least. Would like to do the transit trip again when the new Panamax lock system opens in the within the next year !

Visited May 2013
1 Thank GerryV160
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Haslett, Michigan
Level 6 Contributor
79 reviews
33 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 131 helpful votes
“Close Up View of Ships”
Reviewed September 18, 2013

The Gatun Locks are on the Atlantic side of the Panama Canal and they lift or lower ships 27 meters in three steps, going from sea level to the level of Gatun Lake. There is no museum at Gatun Locks, just a viewing area. However, the elevated viewing area is very close to the east set of locks. When you are on the viewing platform, it is only about 30 feet to the ships as they pass through the middle of the three locks. The mules keeping the ships centered in the locks pass right below the viewing area.The view is pretty amazing, especially when the big Panamax ships pass through. It looks like they have zero clearance on either side. Great place for close up pictures.

We did this as part of a tour with Rudy's Tours that included the Panama Canal Railroad, Fort San Lorenzo, Colon, and Portobelo. Fort San Lorenzo is on the west side of the Canal and you pass over a single lane bridge over the locks that opens and closes to alternate ship and vehicle traffic to get to the road to San Lorenzo. Rudy is a great guide. He speaks excellent English (and Spanish, Italian, and German), has very nice vehicles, is very knowledgeable about Panama, and was always on time.

Visited September 2013
6 Thank MIHorseman
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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