The Canal and Central Panama

We’ve compiled the best of the best in The Canal and Central Panama - browse our top choices for the top things to see or do during your stay.

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  • 1. Isla Barro Colorado


    The Isla Barro Colorado reserve is home for more than 400 species of birds, 225 ant species, and 122 mammal species, including collared peccaries...Read More

  • 2. Refugio Ecológico del Chorro Macho

    Nature Preserve/Wildlife Refuge

    El Valle's most user-friendly forest experience is available at the small, private Refugio Ecológico del Chorro Macho, west of Cerro Gaital...Read More

  • 3. The Panama Canal

    Nautical Site/Lighthouse

    The most interesting spot for viewing the Panama Canal is the visitor center at the Miraflores Locks.North of Miraflores the road to Gamboa...Read More



    Orchid enthusiasts will want to check out this small botanical garden run by a local organization dedicated to orchids. They have more than...Read More

  • 5. Colón 2000


    Two blocks from the Zona Libre is the city's cruise-ship port, Colón 2000, which is basically a two-story strip mall next to the dock where...Read More

  • 6. El Nispero


    El Nispero (named after a native fruit tree) is a private zoo and plant nursery hidden at the end of a rough dirt road. It covers nearly seven...Read More

  • 7. Esclusas de Gatún


    Twelve kilometers (7 miles) south of Colón are the Esclusas de Gatún, a triple-lock complex that's nearly a mile long and raises and lowers...Read More

  • 8. Fuerte San Lorenzo


    Perched on a cliff overlooking the mouth of the Chagres River are the ruins of the ancient Spanish Fuerte San Lorenzo, destroyed by pirate Henry...Read More

  • 9. Iglesia de San Felipe

    Religious Building/Site/Shrine

    One block east of Real Aduana is the Iglesia de San Felipe, a large white church dating from 1814 that's home to the country's most venerated...Read More

  • 10. Iglesia de San José

    Religious Building/Site/Shrine

    Ell Valle's town center is basically the area west of the market, where you will find the library and the town church, Iglesia de San José,...Read More

  • 11. Isla Mogo Mogo


    Isla Mogo Mogo, 6 km (4 miles) south of Contadora, on the other side of Isla Chapera, has a sugar-sand beach in a deep cove where snorkelers...Read More

  • 12. Isla Pacheca


    Isla Pacheca, 5 km (3 miles) north of Contadora, has a lovely white-sand beach and a brown pelican rookery where about 8,000 birds nest, whereas...Read More

  • 13. Lago Gatún (Gatún Lake)

    Nature Preserve/Wildlife Refuge

    Gatún Lake was created when the U.S. government dammed the Chagres River, between 1907 and 1910, so that boats could cross the isthmus at 85...Read More

  • 14. Mercado


    One traditional tourist attraction worth checking out is the Mercado, an open–air bazaar under a high red roof on the left side of Avenida Principal...Read More

  • 15. Monumento Natural Cerro Gaital

    Nature Preserve/Wildlife Refuge

    El Valle's northern edge is protected within the 827-acre (335-hectare) nature reserve Monumento Natural Cerro Gaital, which covers the hills...Read More

  • 16. Panama Canal Expansion Observation Center


    Not far from the Gatún Locks, this visitor center offers the best view of work on the new part of the Panama Canal. A video presentation provides...Read More

  • 17. Panama Canal Railway

    Transportation Site (Airport, Bus, Ferry, Train)

    The one-hour trip on the Panama Canal Railway from Corozal, just north of Albrook, to the Caribbean city of Colón, offers an interesting perspective...Read More

  • 18. Panama Rainforest Discovery Center

    Nature Preserve/Wildlife Refuge

    Just beyond Gamboa, adjacent to the Parque Nacional Soberanía and near the start of Pipeline Road, lies the Panama Rainforest Discovery Center...Read More

  • 19. Parque Nacional Chagres

    Park (National/State/Provincial)

    Covering more than 320,000 acres, Parque Nacional Chagres is one of Panama's largest parks. It holds an array of ecosystems and expanses of...Read More

  • 20. Parque Nacional Portobelo

    Park (National/State/Provincial)

    Parque Nacional Portobelo is a vast marine and rain-forest reserve contiguous with Chagres National Park that protects both natural and cultural...Read More

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