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Chagres River

Chagres River: Our most recommended tours and activities

From Panama City: Panama Canal and Monkey Island Tour

1. From Panama City: Panama Canal and Monkey Island Tour

Spend half a day exploring the Panama Canal while learning about its history and creation. See the famed Miraflores Locks in action and take a scenic boat ride on the Chagres River. Get picked up at your hotel or other location in Panama City, and journey to the Panama Canal Visitors Center for a detailed explanation about how the canal and famous Miraflores Locks work. Visit the museum to learn more about this important water passage between the Atlantic and Pacific oceans. Drive by Miraflores Lake and the Pedro Miguel Locks as you make your way to the Chagres River. Climb aboard for a scenic boat trip across artificial Gatun Lake. Marvel at the surrounding landscape of the biggest and most important lake in the Panama Canal. Watch as large ships pass through the canal to get a sense of the magnitude of this masterpiece of engineering. Arrive at a group of islands to see different species of animals and monkeys. Return to Panama City and get dropped off at your hotel.

Panama: 6-Hour Panama Canal Southbound Cruise & Lunch

2. Panama: 6-Hour Panama Canal Southbound Cruise & Lunch

Travel southbound through the Panama Canal during this 6-hour tour from Panama City. With your local guide, board a bus for a 45-minute journey to Gamboa, home of the Panama Canal Dredging Division. Meet your vessel, the Pacific Queen, for a trip through the Gailard cut, the Pedro Miguel Locks, and the Miraflores Locks. Admire scenic views of the Centennial Bridge, the Chagres River, and the Bridge of the Americas. Eat a complimentary lunch on board during your journey. Disembark at the Flamenco Marina in Panama City. - Journey southbound through the Panama Canal - Travel on a small vessel to see the workings of the locks up close - Navigate through the Pedro Miguel and Miraflores locks - Box Lunch is provided onboard the boat.

Chagres National Park Hike and Embera Village Tour

3. Chagres National Park Hike and Embera Village Tour

Begin your full-day excursion with an hour-long drive from Panama City to the Chagres National Park. Established in 1984, the park comprises 334,000 acres of forest, lakes and rivers. Enjoy a traditional piragua boat ride on the Chagres River, followed by a half-hour walk through the jungle to a waterfall that’s hidden from civilization. Enjoy some free time at the waterfall to swim and relax, and then head back to the boat. Continue to an indigenous Embera village, where you’ll learn about their culture. Listen to a speech by the chief or one of the leaders of the community while enjoying some seasonal fruits, then taken in a live performance of traditional music and dance.

6-Hour Panama Canal Ship Cruise

4. 6-Hour Panama Canal Ship Cruise

Experience the Panama Canal in the most authentic way, by crossing it on board a ship. This 6-hour tour from Panama City will take you to the world famous Miraflores Locks, where you can watch huge ocean-going vessels transiting the canal just a few feet away. Your partial Panama Canal transit starts with a coach ride to Gamboa, where the Panama Canal Dredging Division is located. On arrival, board the cruise ship and enter the canal at the north end of Gaillard Cut, where the Chagres River flows into the canal. The Gaillard Cut, also known as Culebra Cut due to its serpent-like curve, was carved through the Continental Divide, making it one of the canal’s most popular attractions. Travel for 8.2 miles (13.7 kilometers) on the way to Pedro Miguel Locks. As you transit the Cut you will observe the continuous maintenance that the area requires, and the work in progress for the Panama Canal expansion project. View the new Centennial Bridge before you enter Pedro Miguel Locks. Here your vessel will be lowered 29.5 feet (9 meters) in one step. You will then enter Miraflores Lake, a small artificial body of fresh water that separates Pedro Miguel from Miraflores Locks. At Miraflores Locks the vessel will be lowered another 52.5 feet (16 meters) in 2 distinct steps. Once at the Pacific Ocean, sail to the beautiful Flamenco Marina to disembark. On the way to Flamenco, pass under the Bridge of the Americas, and admire the Bay of Panama and Panama City's spectacular skyline.

From Panama City: Monkey Islands Tour on Gatun Lake

5. From Panama City: Monkey Islands Tour on Gatun Lake

Travel to the Gamboa Marina in an air-conditioned tour vehicle with a guide and the rest of the tour group, before a transfer to a riverboat for a ride on the Chagres River, one of Panama's largest rivers, and head for Monkey Island. Observe the different species of monkeys that live on the island, from white-face monkeys, howler monkeys, and Geoffrey´s tamarinds, while taking some time to snap photos, and learn interesting facts and information about the different species from a knowledgeable guide. Return to the marina and to Panama City, and end the tour with drop-off at the hotel.

Panama: Guided Northbound Panama Canal Cruise with Box Lunch

6. Panama: Guided Northbound Panama Canal Cruise with Box Lunch

Experience a relaxing northbound cruise on the Panama Canal aboard the glorious Pacific Queen. Enjoy a complimentary lunch while admiring the breathtaking landscape passing slowly by you.  Pass through the Culebra Cut, the Pedro Miguel Locks, and the engineering marvel of the Miraflores Locks. Learn how the locks are controlled to allow ships to pass through, while tucking into your lunch. Feel the waves beneath your feet as you admire scenic views of the Puente Centenario, the Chagres River, and the brilliant Bridge of the Americas, connecting North and South America. Wave goodbye to the Pacific Queen but hold onto the memories, as you disembark at Gamboa before returning to Panama City.

Private Panama Canal Boat Eco Tour and Monkey Island

7. Private Panama Canal Boat Eco Tour and Monkey Island

Enjoy the unique opportunity to be inside the Panama Canal Watershed as you travel to Gatun Lake eco cruise and visit the Monkey Island where you can see several species of monkeys and lush natural landscapes. Start with an early pickup in the morning at 6:30 AM to avoid the traffic and get to see more species of animals. Hop aboard a high-speed motorboat and marvel at the breathtaking flora and fauna surrounding Gatun Lake.  The lake is one of the sets of locks in the Panama Canal, on the side of the Atlantic Ocean. There you will have an ecological experience in the region, where you can sail by the lake, see animals and the surrounding forest. Enjoy stops at Monkey Island, home to several species of monkeys that are native of Central America. Monkey Island boasts an incredible amount of wildlife. Stay on the lookout for capuchin monkeys, Geoffroy's tamarin and howler, and other species.  Also, see the Sounds of Silence Island, and if you are lucky, come close to some large ships that transit the canal daily.

Monkey Island and Indian Village Tour

8. Monkey Island and Indian Village Tour

Leave the city behind in the morning and head to the Chagres River where you will board a boat for a 2-hour tour of Lake Gatun (once the largest manmade lake in the world) and the Panama Canal. Explore the ins and outs of the nearby bays, search for wildlife, and visit the famous Monkey Island, home of the amazing white-faced monkeys. Also, keep an eye out for turtles, crocodiles, caiman, tons of bird life, and all kinds of other surprises. Return towards Gamboa, pass the dock, and head upstream to the Indian village. Unlike most Indian village tours, this one is authentic. Learn about the local culture, history, and crafts. Then, hike along a short trail to see the plants that grow in this area and how the locals use them (practical, artist, or medical uses) and see dance that is part of their custom. After visiting the village, return to Panama City and stop along the way for lunch and arrive at your hotel in the late afternoon.

Panama City: Embera Indigenous Village Experience

9. Panama City: Embera Indigenous Village Experience

Following pickup from your hotel, you will travel to Alajuela Lake where you will board a piragua, a traditional indigenous canoe. From there you will head to the Mono Waterfall where you can swim and refresh yourself. Following that, head to Tusipono Embera, a small traditional village located on the bank of the Chagres River in the middle of the rainforest. There the Emberas will show you their traditions, including their way of dressing and how they elaborate their handcrafts. They will then perform their traditional dances and music, before you are provided with some time to interact directly with them. You'll finally enjoy a local lunch as prepared by the Embera community, before being returned to your tour starting point.

Panama: Panama Canal Tour through Two Locks with Lunch

10. Panama: Panama Canal Tour through Two Locks with Lunch

Experience the wonder of the magnificent man-made maritime passageway of the Panama Canal with this attraction ticket. Enjoy watching the ship as it is lowered at two separate locks. Have a delicious lunch and some refreshing soft drinks.  Disembark from Isla Flamenco in Panama city and take in sweeping views of the city as make your way to the canal at the north end of the Gaillard Cut, where the Chagres river flows into the canal. Admire the serpentine curvature of the Gaillard Cut which was carved through the continental divide. Uncover the history and geological value of this region as your boat travels along a 13.7 kilometer route to the Pedro Miguel locks. Pass through verdant landscapes of rolling hills and forests as you drift along. Appreciate the continuous work that is required to maintain this passage. Observe the Panama Canal expansion project, an engineering feat that is set to double the capacity of the canal. View the Bridge of the Americas which crosses over the canal. Enter the Pedro Miguel locks where the ship is lowered 9 meters and released into Miraflores lake. Venture across Miraflores lake to the Miraflores locks where the ship is lowered 16 meters in two distinct steps. Continue sailing to the small town of Gamboa. Disembark in Gamboa and board a bus back to Isla Flamenco.

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What people are saying about Chagres River

Overall rating

4.7 / 5

based on 283 reviews

Magnificent, it met my expectations and the interventions and explanations of the guide very well carried out in English and Spanish. I have read a lot about the Canal and its history so I did not consider myself a neophyte on the subject, I am a retired university professor of history and social sciences, hence my interest and my prior information on the subject; The explanations helped me to put facts and situations in context. Thanks.

our guide was very good. he was prepared with food for the monkeys which helped us see them much better than other tour companies on the water and he even provided us with water for the day. very informative and thoughtful guide. safe and smooth driver. very good experience

Good organisation of the trip. In both Spanish and English. Lovely food. Plenty of drinks. We were lucky as we were the only boat going through the locks, isually there would be a ship in front, but not today.

Great trip to the locks and the monkey island was surprisingly fun too. I think this trip is a bit overpriced but all excursions in Panama air expensive… would still recommend going to this one!

Gonzo was an excellent guide and this is a great trip. Rainforest, canal, Indian village and lots of interesting information from Gonzo.