The Panama Canal (@) is an artificial 48-mile waterway in Panama that connects the Atlantic Ocean with the Pacific Ocean. If you are visiting Panama City then you have to visit the Canal. You can take a bus, taxi or uber. I opted in for the last and paid around 10 USD from Machico Hostel (@) to the Miraflowers locks. There you can visit the museum which is on four floors, after that you can go to the observation desk to watch a ship passing by. Tip: Ask at the entrance on which time a ship will pass by. For the museum you will need between 20 to 50 minutes. The best time to view big liners passing through is from 9am to 11am and from 3pm to 5pm, when they are more frequent. There is also a film which starts at certain times but the film is currently in Spanish only.
Hint for bus travelers: you can take any Paraíso or Gamboa bus from the Albrook Bus Terminal in Panama City. Buses pass along the highway to Gamboa and will let you off at the Miraflores Locks sign on the highway. From there it’s a 15 minutes walk to the Miraflowers Visitor. On the way back you should be able to catch a bus in front of the entrance. Buses are sometimes late due to bad traffic jams during rush hour. However, Taxis in front of the entrance will charge around USD 20. So it’s advisable to request an Uber taxi which will cost you half the price.
OPENING HOURS AND ENTRANCE FEE
Tuesday to Sunday: 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. Ticket office closes at 4:30 p.m. Closed on Monday and national holidays. Free admission for Panamanian nationals and residents with ID on Sunday from 9:00 am to 12:00 noon. For all others, the entrance fee is currently USD 10 (November 2016).