2. Chagres River in Expedition Kayaks
Paddle these last twelve kilometers of the Chagres River on its way to the Caribbean Ocean in one of best Panama kayak adventure. In this circuit you will see some of main Panama Canal components such as the the Gatun Locks (not a visitor center), the Gatun Dam. You will also see Panama nature and wildlife at the wilderness Reserve of Forth San Lorenzo. And then, when we reach the Ocean we will visit one of Panama ruins attractions, Forth San Lorenzo. This fortress was built by Spaniard Conquistadores to seal this route from pirate incursions searching to attack Panama City located by the Pacific Ocean.
To establish the Panama Canal waterway the Gatun Lake was created in 1913 by building Gatun Dam at the Chagres River before it reaches the Atlantic Ocean. It was once the world's biggest artificial lake.
Every time a Ship crosses the canal toward the Pacific Ocean at the Miraflores Locks or toward the Atlantic Ocean at the Gatun Locks 52,000,000 gallons of fresh water are spilled from Gatun Lake.
With the creation of Gatun Lake many mountain tops became islands. This offers endless channel possibilities to scout. In its shores covered by dense tropical forest you will find all kinds of tropical flora and fauna. This was deemed as an opportunity for research by the Smith Sonian Research Institute that operates the famous Research Station at Barro Colorado since 1946.
Our tour begins by picking up guests at Panama City around 7:00 a.m. We will arrive to Panama Canal Gatun Dam, one hour and 30 minutes later to start kayaking around 9:30 a.m.
To drive in and out this area, we will go across the Panama Canal by ferry in our vehicle while the third bridge that goes across the canal is being built. Before, the Old Gatun Locks where used to crossed vehicles working as a bridge when they were closed. However, due to consideration for the new set of Aguas Claras Locks this is no longer possible.
We will start an exciting 3-4 hours tour paddling expedition kayaks through dense tropical forest all the way to the Caribbean Ocean where Spaniard Conquistadores built Forth San Lorenzo. Since the XVI century it has silently kept away the Caribbean pirates that used this waterway to take by surprise assault Panama City in the Pacific.
The actual paddling time will depend on the participants conditions and skills, strength of wind, and river current. And we had done it as fast as in two hours or as long as 4 hours. We do will paddle as fast as the slowest kayak.
After visiting Fort San Lorenzo we will head back toward Panama City to reach original pick up place about 5:00 p.m.
You will be able to see the jungle awakening and it is very likely that you might still encounter some morning mist. You will go back in time to imagine episodes of the Spaniard American Conquest.
We should arrive at the take out zone around 12:00 - 1:00 p.m. and be back to the original pick up place about 5:00 p.m. - You can also meet us by the Gatun Dam ramp.