Panama Canal Railroad, Fort San Lorenzo, Colon & Gatun Locks

TOUR: Canal railroad, Fort San Lorenzo, Colon & Gatun Locks

TYPE OF TOUR: Culture & history

DURATION: 8 hours


  • all entrance fees

  • train ticket

  • multilingual guide (me!)

  • transportation

  • drinks


  • hat

  • sandals & comfortable light clothes

  • sun block

  • sunglasses

  • light raincoat (green season-may to december)

PRICE: US$75 - US$180



From Panama City you will take a train ride across the Isthmus on the historic newly restored Panama Canal Railway in refurbished air-conditioned passenger cars. The need for the railway was inspired by the California Gold Rush.  The passenger line goes alongside locks, across tropical jungle and through Panama's most historic areas. All aboard? I will pick you up at Colon where the train ride ends and head to the Gatun Locks where you will have a very close view on the ships entering or exiting the Panama Canal at the Atlantic Ocean.

Then we will drive for 20 min. to Fort San Lorenzo, one of the two main forts build in the late 16th century, meant to protect the final part of the trail known as “Camino de Cruces”, the trails that the Spaniards had developed across the Panamanian isthmus to carry all the gold looted by the Conquistadores from South America which left for Europe. Then we will drive around in Colon to give you a feeling on what used to be a magistic city.

Please note that because there are no 100% safe places to stop to try local food in Colon City, we will have snacks at the Fort before heading back to Panama City where I can drop you off at a restaurant of your preference or back to your accommodation for a siesta.

Did you know that...?:

-At US$295 a share, the Panama Railroad was at one time the highest-priced stock on the New York Stock Exchange.

-The PRR was the most expensive (per mile) railroad ever built. It cost 8 million dollars and took 5 years to build.

-At US$25.00 in gold, for 47 and a half miles,
the PRR was the most expensive railroad (per mile) to travel

-More than 12000 people died in the construction of the Panama Railroad.

-Disposing of the dead was becoming such a problem, 
that the Railroad started "pickling" the bodies in barrels
and selling them to medical schools. The proceeds  were then used to build a hospital for the Railroad.

-During the first 12 years of its operations, the Panama Railroad carried over US$750,000,000 in gold dust, nuggets, and gold and silver coin--and collected a quarter of one percent on each shipment.

-The Panama Canal would have been impossible to build without the Panama Railroad.