Canal Zone

Located just outside the city, the Panama Canal, which runs for 80 kms across the isthmus between the Atlantic and the Pacific Ocean, is one of man’s greatest engineering achievements and arguably the defining feature of this tiny country.

Why visit Canal Zone ?

  • Watch some of the world’s largest ships head through the Miraflores locks
  • Enjoy a fascinating cultural visit to a local Embera community
  • Enjoy some world class bird watching at sunrise
  • Go kayaking around the beautiful Gatun Lake
  • Head out on a night boat safari in search of caiman & crocodile

The canal itself was initially started by the French in the 19th Century, but they abandoned the project and so the Americans then took it over and finally opened it in 1914. Interestingly the Canal Zone, which was a five mile wide strip of land either side of the full length of the canal, was officially US territory until 1977 and then in 1999 full control of the canal was handed over by America to Panama.

There are locks at either end of the canal that shift the boats between the different water levels such as the Gatun and Miraflores Locks and it is fascinating to see these enormous ocean going ships at such close quarters.

The canal passes through some beautiful scenery including the Gatun Lake and pristine rainforest, which is home to a huge variety of flora and fauna. The Gamboa Rainforest and Soberania National Park are areas of rich biodiversity and offers some of the best bird watching in the world.




No visa is required for UK passport holders.

Health Requirements

No mandatory vaccinations are required.

Time Difference

GMT - 6 Hours

Flight Time

13 hours with one stop


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