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“Return to the Canal”

Panama Canal Railway
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Private Tour: Panama City in 1 day
Ranked #3 of 23 things to do in Colon
Certificate of Excellence
Type: Other
Attraction details
Reviewed December 31, 2012

Boarded a bus at the pier in Colon for the trip to the Railway Station. Reynaldo, our guide was so friendly and full of info for everyone. Boarded the train for the trip to Panama City. Snackbox provided was cute and had pringles, raisins, peanuts, cookies and a mint along with a bottle of water. Just enough. Followed the Canal and crossed the Chagres River and Gatun Lake.
This is an all day (6 hous) excursion but worth the money.

6  Thank moo17j2002
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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102 - 106 of 174 reviews

Reviewed November 23, 2012

After being in Colon in the pouring rain, it was a nice escape to get on the train.
We were a little disappointed that we didn't see more of the locks, and canal, it was more the lake and jungle. Also leaving at 5pm with cloudy weather it got dark pretty quick.
One thing to say when you arrive back in Panama city we were just left stranded at the station with no taxis, the staff just pointed to the open door as means of exit. My husband ended up waiting on the highway trying to flag one down, which eventually happened.

4  Thank gilbyhiggins
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed May 12, 2012

While in Panama my best friend and her husband from the US visited us. We had them picked up at the airport by Denise and Neil (PanamaRoadRunner.com) and they also took them back to the airport. While visiting we took 2 tours with them. We went to the Panama Canal, The Amador Causeway, and Olde Panama City. Denise was excellent and very knowledgeable. The next tour was a trip to Colon/Carribbean side of Panama. Neil took us and we went to Oyster Bay for a great lunch, then ride/tour on a boat to see the fort, island where the battles took place and the island where Captain Morgan was. Then went on the beautiful Train which was fanatastic. Saw lakes, wild animals, and the mahogany walls of the train were spectacular. These two are wonderful and great professional tour guides. Jack and Carol, Coronado Panama

7  Thank John294480
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed March 1, 2012

While touring in Panama, we enjoyed the ride on the Panama Canal Railway, which links Colon with Panama City – the Caribbean to the Pacific. We elected to take this train ride as part of a small organized tour as we didn’t want to organize how to get back to our rental car if we took the train in only one direction as planned. We boarded the train in Colon and were able to be seated in the Dome car. The train and the station are newly refurbished and very pleasant and comfortable. Drink and snack service is available on the train. The ride in one direction takes approximately one hour and the cost is $22.00 for adults. The ride itself is not narrated. It would be a great plus if it was. Maybe this is something the rail operators would like to consider in the future.

The rails border the canal stretch at all times, but the canal is not always in sight. There are glimpses of the expansion project. Often, there is lush rainforest greenery surrounding the train, as in the area of Gamboa. One can view the immense expanse of man- made Gatun Lake which provides the water needed each time a ship passes through the canal, losing over 53,000,000 gallons of water to the sea each time a ship transits the canal. On occasion one is surrounded by water while riding the train. The locks of Pedro Miguel and Miraflores come into view, along with the Centennial Bridge. By the time the train reaches the station in Panama City, a clearer understanding is apparent of the land formations surrounding the Panama Canal.

29  Thank School's Out 3
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed February 24, 2012

Don't bother taking the 0700 train from Panama to Colon - otherwise you'll have to fill in the day in a not overpleasant city waiting for the 1715 return. Just be adventurous, go to Albrook Bus Terminal, and take one of the regular buses to Colon. Takes about 1hr 30mins, and get off just as you see the train station on the left (just a tin roof).

The train ride is great: go to the carriages at the front of the train which the few commuters use (the ones for the tourist groups are towards the rear), and stand at the open platforms at the end of the carriage as the train trundles along - absolutely superb.

The train goes both slowly, and surprisingly fast on some sections, passing freights in the passing loops waiting to go the other way. There are great views of the canal and of the jungle, and it's altogether a very pleasant ride. Each carriage has a refreshment point, so you can get a drink. The price is $22 one way - not cheap, pay on the train (make sure you get a receipt, we didn't!).
The train only runs once a day, Mon-Fri,

Stay at the Toscana Hotel in Panama City - see separate review.

24  Thank davidfisher
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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