Agua Clara Locks
Agua Clara Locks
4.5
Points of Interest & LandmarksObservation Decks & Towers
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2-3 hours
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  • BigMerk
    Glasgow, United Kingdom2,274 contributions
    Good viewing point of the Panama Canal
    Our cruise ship tour took us here. It was great seeing the ships passing thru the locks from a high vantage point. There was a short film presentation on the history of the canal which was interesting too.
    Visited February 2023
    Written 22 February 2023
  • Jim S
    Mount Dora, Florida119 contributions
    Great way to see lock in operation but ship presence not a given
    This is a great way to see the upgraded Panama Canal lock but you may not see a ship pass through!. I did it as part of a cruise ship tour and we stayed about an hour. A ship was just entering the lock and I was able to see it go through the first change in water level from entry to exit, but there were no other ships in sight. I expected a line of ships waiting to get through, but only a few in the distance. So if your tour gets there with no ship in process you may be disappointed. The vantage point offers a good view of the lock from above. There is a live person voicing the process in Spanish and English. There is a video that shows the history but I did not watch because I wanted to see the whole operation from start to finish. Used the short time the water was going down to grab a souvenir shirt from the gift shop.
    Visited March 2023
    Written 18 March 2023
  • KathrynH
    Central Florida, Florida129 contributions
    1st Visit to Panama Canal
    We took a shore excursion to see the Panama Canal. Our driver took us to the old locks first, then to the new locks. The new locks (Agua Clara) have a very nice viewing platform and beautifully maintained grounds with lots of information about the locks. They also have a room with a short film you can watch and clean restrooms.
    Visited November 2022
    Written 26 March 2023
These reviews are the subjective opinion of Tripadvisor members and not of TripAdvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.
Detailed Reviews: Reviews order informed by descriptiveness of user-identified themes such as cleanliness, atmosphere, general tips and location information.
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KathrynH
Central Florida, FL129 contributions
Nov 2022
We took a shore excursion to see the Panama Canal. Our driver took us to the old locks first, then to the new locks. The new locks (Agua Clara) have a very nice viewing platform and beautifully maintained grounds with lots of information about the locks. They also have a room with a short film you can watch and clean restrooms.
Written 26 March 2023
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Jim S
Mount Dora, FL119 contributions
Mar 2023
This is a great way to see the upgraded Panama Canal lock but you may not see a ship pass through!. I did it as part of a cruise ship tour and we stayed about an hour. A ship was just entering the lock and I was able to see it go through the first change in water level from entry to exit, but there were no other ships in sight. I expected a line of ships waiting to get through, but only a few in the distance. So if your tour gets there with no ship in process you may be disappointed.

The vantage point offers a good view of the lock from above. There is a live person voicing the process in Spanish and English. There is a video that shows the history but I did not watch because I wanted to see the whole operation from start to finish. Used the short time the water was going down to grab a souvenir shirt from the gift shop.
Written 18 March 2023
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Steve M
12 contributions
Feb 2023
Good bilingual explanation of the process as ships came through. The lookout spot provided a great view.
Written 6 March 2023
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

BigMerk
Glasgow, UK2,274 contributions
Feb 2023
Our cruise ship tour took us here. It was great seeing the ships passing thru the locks from a high vantage point. There was a short film presentation on the history of the canal which was interesting too.
Written 22 February 2023
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Scott
San Francisco, CA5,248 contributions
Dec 2022
I loved it here. While the surrounding area is a bit rough, these locks have a great observation and tourist area. Like the Miraflores Locks, there's a live narrator. But the crowds are smaller and the views are more close-up. There's even a nice video in English Language explaining the canal. There's no café or snack bar, but there are a few vending machines. Parking is FREE and convenient.
Written 15 December 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Michelle T
New York City, NY666 contributions
Sep 2022
Our tour took us to the Agua Clara Locks to see the Panama Canal. The Center offers panoramic views of the Canal - starting from Gatun Lake and through all 3 chambers of the Agua Clara Locks.

As ships pass through the locks, there is a running commentary with fun facts about the canal and the locks. They're made in both English and Spanish, which make it super tourist friendly.

The gift shop is excellent and I picked up one of my favorite souvenirs of the entire trip - a gorgeous Panama tote bag.

Staff were all very nice and professional. This really lets you get up close and watch the action. With the Miraflores Visitor Center museum and cafe still closed, this is actually a much more enjoyable option to seeing the canal.
Written 17 September 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Atravelfan
Atlanta256 contributions
Jul 2022
We have visited Mirafores several times in the past and wanted to experience the new locks during this visit. We had a driver take us from Panama City to the Agua Clara locks and were so glad we did. The new viewing area was lovely with excellent views of the entire transit. Great narration as a large container ship traversed the locks- he gave lots of really interesting information - this was done in both Spanish and English. I had pre- reserved times but not necessary as it was not busy at all when we were there at 1030am- YMMV.
Not really a gift shop person but this one, although small, was quite nice- with some lovely items.

Be sure to visit Agua Clara-it was well worth the time to drive there.
Written 18 July 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

alainl03
Quebec City, Canada116 contributions
Mar 2022
I was on a cruise and we stop for one day in Colon. We went there with a taxi we hire out of the cruise port. We loved the point of view we had on the Panama canal and this lock. It's a perfect point of view to see the new lock and the boat coming in the lock. The entrance cost is $10 and you don’t need to reserve it in advance.
We also really enjoy our taxi driver who was a proud Panamanian. He was an excellent guide: we all enjoy his humor and knowledge of Panama, the canal and Colon. He also went (with a stop) on the new bridge and we had a Colon city tour (interesting but it’s a city who desperately need money to renovate the building, streets…). If you cave have this taxi driver (Rigoberto Calderon +507-66-99-6480) you will have a wonderful day!
Written 16 April 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Larry T
Milford, DE553 contributions
Mar 2020
We made a transit through the locks on our Princess cruise ship. It was quite early in the morning so you had to get up early if you wanted to see the entire process. It does take quite a while to transit all three locks before going into Gatun Lake. These are the new, larger locks yet there was not much room on either side of our ship as we passed through. It was interesting to see the gates open and the water level lift the ship. On Gatun Lake we saw several large ships waiting their turn to go through the locks. We took a water shuttle to shore for an excursion while our ship transit back through the locks.
Written 18 March 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

FTichy
Celebration, FL2,510 contributions
Feb 2020
These are the new locks in the Panama Canal, very cool.

I had already visited Miraflores and thought this was much better.

It has great viewing area, with 180 degree view of the whole process.

We were lucky to see a large container ship do the process (only one of the locks because it takes a while). The engineering is great.

The place is very clean. It has a nice gift shop and a lot of places to sit and enjoy the view.

It is kind of far from the city (about 1 hours drive), so you either have to rent a car or do a tour.

It is worth it because it is much nicer than Miraflores.
Written 14 March 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

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Agua Clara Locks - All You Need to Know BEFORE You Go (with Photos)

Frequently Asked Questions about Agua Clara Locks