Agua Clara Locks
Agua Clara Locks
4.5
Points of Interest & LandmarksObservation Decks & Towers
About
Duration: 2-3 hours
Suggest edits to improve what we show.
Improve this listing
Tours & experiences
Explore different ways to experience this place.
What is Travellers’ Choice?
Tripadvisor gives a Travellers’ Choice award to accommodations, attractions and restaurants that consistently earn great reviews from travellers and are ranked within the top 10% of properties on Tripadvisor.
Top ways to experience Agua Clara Locks

Most Recent: Reviews ordered by most recent publish date in descending order.

Detailed Reviews: Reviews ordered by recency and descriptiveness of user-identified themes such as waiting time, length of visit, general tips, and location information.

Popular mentions

4.5
159 reviews
Excellent
101
Very good
42
Average
10
Poor
4
Terrible
2

Shanelle
Santa Monica, CA2,793 contributions
Jan 2024 • Friends
A chance to see a ship cross the Panama Canal using the newest set of locks? Count me in. It may be a bit anticlimactic but it was cool to see how Amazon packages get sent. The center had seating and a clear view of the canal with a narrator in both English and Spanish. There was a 10 minute film that played every half hour, and alternated between English and Spanish. The restrooms are clean and there’s a small souvenir shop. Note that they don’t have a lost and found, so if you lose a pair of sunglasses there (like me), just know that you probably won’t see them again. There was a security check of your bags at the beginning as well as a metal detector. There wasn’t a lot of people there when we went on a Monday morning, so it was nice not having to deal with a crowd.
Written February 4, 2024
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.

NewJerseyBen
New Jersey31 contributions
Jan 2024 • Family
We drove from Panama City in a rentacar (Via España Thrifty) and no regrets - the only iffy part is Panama City itself (drivers are a little crazy) and you'll need a navigator to know where to go. (One of us had an iphone navigator.) We never entered Colon - the neopanamax locks are a ways south of Colon. The Agua Clara visitor center is very well set up for viewing the function of the new locks. We watched two gigantic ships go thru. Be sure to go to the second viewing site - next to the huge control tower - by taking the shuttle, or it's a short walk. We also looked at the old Gatun Locks (from a distance as we drove by just west of them) and took the short drive to Gatun dam which creates Lake Gatun. To get there you cross the Atlantic Bridge, completed in 2019, an experience in itself. You'll also cross a short bridge across the Chagres river. Anyone into the history and the engineering of the Panama Canal will love all of this. Check it out!
Written February 1, 2024
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.

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 March 26, 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, FL120 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 March 18, 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
19 contributions
Feb 2023
Good bilingual explanation of the process as ships came through. The lookout spot provided a great view.
Written March 6, 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, UK2,290 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 February 22, 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, CA5,297 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 December 15, 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
Sept 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 September 17, 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
Atlanta257 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 July 18, 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 April 16, 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.

Showing results 1-10 of 99
Is this your Tripadvisor listing?
Own or manage this property? Claim your listing for free to respond to reviews, update your profile and much more.
Claim your listing

AGUA CLARA LOCKS - All You Need to Know BEFORE You Go (with Photos)

Frequently Asked Questions about Agua Clara Locks