The Panamá Canal Locks: Miraflores and San Miguel on the Pacific side

The Panamá Canal is a short drive or taxi ride from Panamá City. A must-see, even for those not typically interested in feats of engineering.

The main visitor center is at the Miraflores Locks with a cheaper ticket for viewing platforms only or a few dollars more grants access to the interesting museum and 10-minute film. The thrill depends on boats passing through, so the museum, film and cafe are a good fall-back if nothing is happening or determined to wait for a ship. There is no access to any of the operational facilities.

The canal’s official website has a wealth of information and live cameras so you can get an idea.

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Miraflores Locks

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The approach from the Pacific

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Bell of first ship to pass through the canal

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Mock control room

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Simulator ship

Just a few minutes further north is the San Miguel Locks for completists only. There is a small car park but no facilities and the view is obstructed by a chain link fence.

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San Miguel Locks

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Reaching for a clear view

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San Miguel Locks

Completists will want to continue to the coolest of the locks, a 1-hour drive north to Gatun on the Caribbean side, to be covered in the next post.

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