4.5 star rating: Recommended 22 Reviews

Add your review

  • Address: 40km (25mi) north of Panama City, Panama
  • Admission: Free, costs for tours vary

Panama City ATTRACTIONS See all

Gatún Lake Tours

The tree-lined shores, tiny islets, and blue-green waters of Gatún Lake (Lago Gatún) cover what was once the fertile Chagres River Valley. When it was created in 1913, Gatún Lake was the largest man-made lake, buttressed by the biggest dam, in the world. Today, it forms an integral part of the famous Panama Canal.

The Basics
Gatún Lake eco cruises explore islands and lakeside villages before continuing along the Chagres River or the Panama Canal. Zip around the lake on a motorboat, take a small-boat tour to Monkey Island, or kayak around the Gamboa Rainforest Resort. A full-day Gatún Lake tour from Panama City may also include a hike through Chagres National Park, a stop at the Miraflores Locks or the Gatún Locks Visitor Center, or a visit to the indigenous villages of Soberanía National Park. 

Things to Know Before You Go
  • Outdoor activities on the lake include freshwater fishing, waterskiing, and even scuba diving.
  • Wear layered clothing—even when it’s hot on land, it can get chilly out on the water.
  • Some boat cruises are wheelchair accessible, but it’s best to check in advance.

How to Get There
The main gateway to Gatún Lake is Colón on the Atlantic coast, from which regular buses and taxis make the short trip to the Gatún Locks. Most tours set out from Panama City on the Pacific coast, an hour away by road.
 
When to Get There
Gatún Lake cruises run all year round, but the main cruise season is October to April. For the best views of the Panama Canal, avoid visiting between midday and 2pm, when the canal changes direction and no boats pass through the locks. 
 
Wildlife Watching on Gatún Lake
The Panama rainforest that surrounds Gatún Lake is renowned for its biodiversity. Common sightings include capuchin, tamarin, and howler monkeys; iguanas; and a huge variety of exotic birds. As you cruise around the islands, look out for three-toed sloths hanging in the trees, crocodiles lounging by the lakeside, colorful toucans swooping overhead, and perhaps even coati and agouti darting along the shores. 

Tours & Tickets

See all

Panama Canal and Gatun Lake Jungle Eco Cruise, Panama City, null
TVRM_SORTED : true ESSENTIAL : 1 ADMISSION : 3

Panama Canal and Gatun Lake Jungle Eco Cruise

5 star rating: Highly Recommended 48 Reviews

In this tour that departs from central Panama City you will get up close with the Panama Canal and the abundance of wildlife on its shores.  You will take a ...  Read more

Location: Panama City, Panama
Duration: 3 hours (approx.)

From USD $70.00
Panama Canal Eco-Cruise and Rainforest Discovery Center, Panama City, Day Cruises
TVRM_SORTED : true ESSENTIAL : 1 ADMISSION : 3

Panama Canal Eco-Cruise and Rainforest Discovery Center

5 star rating: Highly Recommended 28 Reviews

In this tour you will travel the Panama Canal by boat and see transiting ships up close as well as the diverse wildlife on the shores of Gatun Lake.  ...  Read more

Location: Panama City, Panama
Duration: 6 to 7 hrs

From USD $110.00
Panama Canal Eco Cruise and Embera Village Combo Tour, Panama City, Day Cruises
TVRM_SORTED : true ESSENTIAL : 1 ADMISSION : 3

Panama Canal Eco Cruise and Embera Village Combo Tour

5 star rating: Highly Recommended 5 Reviews

This unique tour of the Panama Canal and its watershed takes you through the modern operations of the canal and a visit to a remote indigenous village on the ...  Read more

Location: Panama City, Panama
Duration: 8 hours (approx.)

From USD $135.00
Eco Canal Cruise On Gatún Lake And Miraflores Locks, Panama City, Day Cruises
TVRM_SORTED : true ESSENTIAL : 1 ADMISSION : 3

Eco Canal Cruise On Gatún Lake And Miraflores Locks

1 star rating: I do not recommend this 1 Review

This tour combines the engineering marvel of the Panama Canal with an ecological boat ride on the Gatún Lake. Upon departing from the pier, your ...  Read more

Location: Panama City, Panama
Duration: 5 hours (approx.)

From USD $165.60
Ocean to Ocean Panama Canal and Jungle Tour, Panama City, Day Cruises
TVRM_SORTED : true ESSENTIAL : 1 ADMISSION : 5

Ocean to Ocean Panama Canal and Jungle Tour

5 star rating: Highly Recommended 114 Reviews

This unique tour of the Panama Canal goes from the Pacific to the Atlantic ocean as you see the canal from the water and by foot. An exciting boat ride down ...  Read more

Location: Panama, Panama
Duration: 9 hours (approx.)

From USD $135.00
Full-Day Monkey Island and Indian Village Tour from Panama City, Panama, Panama City, Full-day Tours
TVRM_SORTED : true ESSENTIAL : 1 ADMISSION : 5

Full-Day Monkey Island and Indian Village Tour from Panama City, Panama

4.5 star rating: Recommended 6 Reviews

Small group tour of Lake Gatun and Soberania National Park, searching for wildlife and visiting an indigenous village. This is a great combo of 2 popular ...  Read more

Location: Panama City, Panama
Duration: 8 hours (approx.)

From USD $145.00
Gatun Lake and Monkey Island Sightseeing Cruise from Panama City, Panama City, Day Trips
TVRM_SORTED : true ESSENTIAL : 1 ADMISSION : 5

Gatun Lake and Monkey Island Sightseeing Cruise from Panama City

4.5 star rating: Recommended 12 Reviews

Join an exciting half-day eco journey along the Panama Canal and experience some of Panama's secret sights and sounds. You'll hop aboard a high-speed motorboat ...  Read more

Location: Panama City, Panama
Duration: 4 hours (approx.)

From USD $188.99
Gatun Lake Expedition, Gamboa, Day Cruises
TVRM_SORTED : true ESSENTIAL : 1 ADMISSION : 5

Gatun Lake Expedition

5 star rating: Highly Recommended 7 Reviews

Enjoy a panoramic tour along the world famous Panama Canal. Go to Gatun Lake, a major part of the Panama Canal, where you will see and learn about the ...  Read more

Location: Panama City, Panama
Duration: 45 minutes (approx.)

From USD $37.45
Chagres River Kayak Expedition From Panama City, Panama City, Day Cruises
TVRM_SORTED : true ESSENTIAL : 1 ADMISSION : 5

Chagres River Kayak Expedition From Panama City

5 star rating: Highly Recommended 1 Review

The Panama Canal is much more than a canal to transit vessels. To establish the waterway, the Gatun Lake was created in 1913 by building a dam at the ...  Read more

Location: Panama City, Panama
Duration: 10 hours (approx.)

From USD $165.00
Tour Monkey Island and Indian Village, Panama City, Kayaking & Canoeing
TVRM_SORTED : true ESSENTIAL : 1 ADMISSION : 5

Tour Monkey Island and Indian Village

Amazing excursion to visit the Gatun Lake at the Panama Canal, monkeys in their wild enviroment at Monkey Island and a Panamanian indigenous community in the ...  Read more

Location: Panama City, Panama
Duration: 5 hours (approx.)

From USD $150.00

See all

Viator uses cookies to improve your experience on our website. Learn more about how we use cookies and how to change your cookie settings | Close message