Situated just 10-15 minutes north of Panama City, Miraflores Locks contains two chambers and is the Canal's southernmost set of locks. A visitors center, complete with museum, restaurant/bar, souvenir shop and auditorium resides just in front of the locks' control tower, providing visitors with close-up views of the locks and vessels during transit. Visitors have the option of viewing the Canal from the roof, offering scenic views of Miraflores & Pedro Miguel Locks, Miraflores Lake, Centenary Bridge and surrounding area or, the second level, which has comfortable, shaded seats. Pamphlets and other printed material about the Canal are available upon entering the visitors center.
Hours: 9:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m
Cost: Adults - $15.00 (includes entrance to museum & movie presentation)
Pedro Miguel Locks resides just north of Miraflores Locks, on the northern most part of Miraflores Lake, and contains only one chamber. Unlike Miraflores, there is no visitors center, however, there is a large parking area in front of the locks allowing visitors to get an close up view of the vessels as they enter into and out of the single chamber. There are bathroom facilities here.
Gatun Locks, which has three chambers, provides arguably the best opportunity to view the Panama Canal in operation. Southbound and northbound vessels can be seen throughout the day, allowing visitors to follow the vessels as they navigate between Gatun Lake and the Caribbean Sea.
Situated just in front of the Locks'' control tower is a large, comfortable viewing area, where bilingual speakers are always present to narrate and answer any questions you may have. There is also a small souvenir shop at the entrance.
Hours: 8:00 a.m. - 4:30 p.m. 7/week
Cost: Adults - $5.00
Panama Canal Transits
Partial and full transits through the Panama Canal are offered regularly. Partial transits include a trip under the Bridge of the Americas, through Miraflores and Pedro Miguel Locks, up Gaillard (Culebra) Cut, under the Centenary Bridge, and on to Gamboa where you'll disembark. Full transits continue northbound from Gamboa through Gatun Lake, passing Barro Colorado Island (Smithsonian Institute) to your left, through Gatun Locks, and then on to Colon where you'll complete your tour. Most partial and full transits depart from Panama City, however, on occasion your tour will consist of a southbound transit, in which case you will be transported, by bus to Gamboa or Colon where you'll begin your tour.