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

    Island

    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

  • 4. APROVACA

    Garden/Arboretum

    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

    Neighborhood/Street

    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

    Zoo/Aquarium

    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

    Marina/Pier/Dock

    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

    Archaeological Site/Ruins

    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

    Island

    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

    Island

    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

    Market/Bazaar

    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

    Viewpoint/Scenic Overlook

    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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