Agua Clara Locks, Train & Portobelo

PRICE

USD225.00 per person

AVAILABILITY

Mondays to Fridays.

GROUP TYPE

Private Group.

KIDS

Kids are welcome.

Due to the fact that the train only departs in the mornings at 7h00am, we are for an early morning when choosing this tour.  As we very often experience heavy traffic getting close to the train, your pick up time if you are in a downtown hotel will be at 6h00am.  If you are in a hotel outside city limits, this time may vary.

 

Pick up at your hotel

6:00am

Your driver and tour guide will pick you up at your hotel for the transfer to the train station.  

Check In

6h30am

Upon arrival, we will do our check in to board the train.  We are required to be at the train station with at least 45 minutes for the check in. While doing our check in, you can take advantage to get some t-shirts or souvenirs related to the train, and not available elsewhere.

The Train Ride

7h15am

When the horn is blown, the train will start moving Northbound.  Along the way, the first things you will see are the former military base of Clayton, nowadays home to the City of Knowledge.  Opposite to Clayton, you will see the Miraflores Locks, most likely already handling the Panamax ships that are using the Panama Canal in their route.  While moving ahead, you will see the Miraflores Lake and the town of Pedro Miguel, located right next to the Pedro Miguel Locks.  From there, you will see the Centennial Bridge right before you enter Paraiso town.

After you pass Paraiso, you will enter the forests that are alongside the Gaillard or Culebra Cut.  This landscape will remain until you approach Gamboa Town.  Here you will cross the Chagres River, main source of fresh water for the Panama Canal and the cities of Colón and Panamá.  The ride also passes alongside the Gamboa Dredging Division and the STRI pier. 

A mixture of landscapes will appear, as in some portions you will be riding next to the Gatún Lake, and then enter the jungle once again.  This mixture will last until the Gatún Lake opens up, and you will ride in the tracks surrounded by water in both ways.  You will also have the chance to see some ships anchored in the lake waiting for the time to go thru the locks.

Eventually, you will make it to Colón City, where your driver will be waiting for you.  Due to a massive project that is being developed at the moment, we are not doing a ride around Colon City.  Once this project is finished, we will return to do it.

Agua Clara Visitors Center

8h30am

After some 30 minutes, you will arrive to the Agua Clara Visitors Center, where you will have the chance to inspect the site for approximately 1h30m.  A video presentation of the Panama Canal runs every hour on the hour, and it is highly recommended for you to see it.  A small trail also provides you with the opportunity to observe some examples of the local flora, and if we are lucky, some birds and mammals like toucans and monkeys.  There is of course, the observation platform, from where you can appreciate the enormity of the project of expansion that the Panama Canal achieved to complete in 2016.  If a ship is going thru, we reccommend you go and see the operation.  The expanded locks work, as the original ones, under the needs of the Panama Canal, and at times of visit, there may not be ships in the locks.

Portobelo

10h30am

Once again, we will take our van, and start the journey towards Portobelo, town beaten by pirates and Spanish Fortresses that have witness eons of history developing around their walls.  We will have lunch in a local restaurant where you will be able to enjoy the Caribbean cuisine of Panama. 

After lunch, you will visit the San Felipe Church, home to the famous Black Christ of Portobelo, efigie that attracts pilgrims by the thousands every year around October 21st.  You will be provided with more information by your professional tour guide regarding the Black Christ, as well as the defense system established by the Spaniards in this little bay, and the roll this town played when the Spaniards first arrived to the great empires of South America.

Return to the hotel.

2h30pm

Around 2h30pm, you will start the way back to your hotel.  You should arrive between 4 and 5pm, entirely depending on how traffic behaves that day.  Upon arrival to your hotel, that would be the end of our services for this tour.

 

The Panama Canal Transit

The tour on its own is a highlight for your visit to Panama, yet there are a few elements to look forward while in this tour.

 

  Bridge of The Americas

  Centennial Bridge

  Gaillard or Culebra Cut

  Continental Divide

  Miraflores and Pedro Miguel Locks

This tour includes the following:

  Ferry Ride

  Shared transfers from Hotel to pier and back to the hotel.

  Lunch onboard.

  Water and sodas.

  Panama Canal Expert narrator through your transit.

Irregardless of how hard we try to control everything regarding your tour for your satisfaccion, there are still a few things that escape our control.

  The lenght of this tour is entirely variable and unpredictable, as the ferry has to have onboard a Panama Canal Pilot.

  Once the Panama Canal Pilot is onboard, we are subject to the scheduling program the Panama Canal has for that day, and according to their needs, they can make changes in their schedule to better fit the logistics of their operation for that day.

  Depending on where you are staying, this tour can demand very early wake up times and transfers to be at the pier. This is due to possible traffic, and to the information the Panama Canal provides the ferry the day before for its operations.

  As we just mentioned, we usually don't know the exact time when the tour will start in advance.  When booking, your voucher will express this in the lines of TBD (To be determined).  The day before your tour, we will reach you at the hotel to provide the details as of the pick up time for the tour.  This contact usually takes place around 4h00pm.  If you provided us with your email address, we will send that information to your email, in the case we can't reach you, as well, we will leave a message with the front desk of your hotel.

Traveling with Kids

If you are traveling with kids, we highly recommend that you bring along something for them to keep entertained, as some times, as stated before, this tour can turn lengthy. As well, we recommend you bring the snacks your kid likes so he can have something to eat in the case the menu doesn't fit their likes.

The Panama Canal Partial Transit tour has a cost as follows:

 

Adults:    

USD150.00 per person

Children   

USD95.00 per child

Under 12 years old are considered children.  If your kid is 12 or more, they will be considered an adult.

 

If you choose to have a private transfer from the hotel to the pier and viceversa, do let us know while booking, so we can calculate the price according to your party.