Fuerte Amador, situated at the Pacific entrance to the Panama Canal, is a man-made peninsula extending out into the Pacific Ocean.
The one-mile causeway was created by connecting four small islands with rocks excavated from the Panama Canal. There are several shops, restaurants, and other specialty stores centered around a large marina that serves as a tender dock. The causeway also affords a panoramic view of Panama City's impressive skyline and serves as the home for the Smithsonian Institute of Tropical Research.
Note: Fuerte Amador is an anchorage port, passengers transfer to shore via ship's tender. On complete transits of the Panama Canal, the ship typically arrives in Fuerte Amador in the morning, operates tours and spends the full day at anchor.
More about Fuerte Amador, Panama (for Panama City) Points of Interest
Panama Viejo / Casco Viejo
Central America's historic and cultural roots are celebrated and displayed in Panama's oldest settlements, where exceptional museums, archeological ruins, and Colonial streets, churches, and monuments tell the story of the city's tragic past.
On the Atlantic side, the three chambers of the Gatun Locks raise ships 87 feet above sea level, while the Miraflores Locks transfer 26 million gallons of water in under seven minutes at its Pacific end.
Panama Canal Railway
Ride the world's first transcontinental railway. Experience Panama's rainforest setting along the historic route originally built in 1855 during the heyday of the California gold rush.
Panama Canal Transit
Experience the thrill of canal transit and the intricacy of the lock's system firsthand as your ferry is lifted over 85 feet above sea level, from one body of water to the next.
Cruise Gatun Lake
A jungle boat excursion through the dense rainforest highlights the abundance of exotic wildlife and breathtaking scenery found along this vital waterway, a key component of the Panama Canal's intricate system.
Experience traditional Embera hospitality when you are invited into a world of ancient ritual, native culture, and timeless wonder. Watch a ceremonial dance routine, explore the unspoiled grounds, and marvel at the exquisite handmade crafts.
Aerial Tram & Soberania National Park
Nestled within the vast Soberania National Park, an aerial tram soars over the Gamboa Rainforest, a jungle paradise and complex ecological system that showcases some of the most spectacular vegetation and wildlife in the world.
Panama Canal Expansion
Get a close-up view of the engineering and construction behind the canal's expansion. The massive project includes widening Gatun Lake and creating two new sets of locks in 2016.
Special Child Pricing Available! Children age 12 and younger, savings up to 50%.
New Locks & Former Panama Canal Zone
5.15 hours | Fuerte Amador | PA6-120
Panama Canal Expansion
See history in the making when you depart from port in Fuerte Amador for an approximately 1.5 hour, scenic motorcoach drive to the Panama Canal Expansion Project Observation Center. Covering four hectares, this sprawling park-like setting offers multiple viewing platforms in which to take in the largest project in the canal since its construction. Upon arrival, view an extensive photographic display, learn the history of the canals and watch an informative movie. Step outside and, from partially covered terraces and roofed decks, you will have unobstructed views of the new lock system, which was created to allow larger vessels to pass. The expansion now doubles the waterway's capacity. Take in the views of the glistening Gatún Lake and, if lucky, watch ships transit the chambers. There is also a nearby nature trail though the woods for up close exploration of the indigenous vegetation. At the completion of your visit, travel past the former Panama Canal. Relax on your drive back to port.
Enjoy an in-depth view of the Panama Canal and the United States military bases that once occupied the area. Board your transportation for a short drive along the Amador Causeway to the Panama Canal Interoceanic Museum which is a non profit and public museum located in Panama City. Re-board your transportation and drive to Fort Clayton, the Army base that once housed the Southern Command Headquarters. Experience a unique opportunity to see how the U.S. Army troops lived during their stay in Panama. Your tour takes you past the City of Knowledge and through portions of Albrook Air Force Base. See the tender dock and pass by the community of Balboa, the main area where workers and important buildings were located during the canal's construction.
Celebrate the cultural and historic significance of ancient Panama on a guided tour that highlights the country's glorious beginnings and tragic past. La Viejo (Old Panama) is where the main city originally stood until destroyed by a band of pirates under buccaneer Sir Henry Morgan in 1671. An architectural richness is still evident in many of the structures. Then, visit charming Casco Antiguo, an old colonial city founded in 1673. Wander through the French Plaza, photograph the monuments and climb the walkway for superlative view of Panama City. Stroll by Cathedral Square to admire the cathedral's gleaming spires.
Colonial Panama & Miraflores Locks Observation Center
4.25 hours | Fuerte Amador | PA6-105
Panama Canal Expansion
Celebrate Panama's historic past and modern ingenuity on a half-day adventure that begins when you board a comfortable motorcoach and travel to Casco Antiguo, the home of most of Panama City's main monuments. Upon arrival, embark on a pedestrian tour led by a knowledgeable guide who will discuss the Caribbean, Republican, art deco, French and colonial architecture that reflects the city's cultural heritage. As you stroll, pause to take photographs of such sights as The Presidential Palace, The National Theater and Plaza Bolivar. At the conclusion of your walk, enjoy an extra 30 minutes of free time to explore on your own. Reboard the motorcoach and proceed to the Miraflores Locks Observation Center to view a documentary on the history of the locks. You will also have the opportunity to take in close-up views of the passing ships and the functioning of the locks from the top-floor deck. Relax on the return to port.
Discover the colorful sights and sounds of Panama City on a five-hour guided tour that begins with a scenic drive to Panama Viejo, the site of the original city followed by a visit to Reprosa, Panama's renowned handicraft boutique and showroom. On a workshop tour you'll learn about the "lost wax" process, a signature trademark in artisanship that ancient goldsmiths used to produce their art pieces. Don't miss the famed gold Orchids of Panama, and discover the secret to making Panama's national flower come alive in precious metals. A photo stop awaits you at Plaza Quinto Centenario, which celebrates the 500th anniversary of Christopher Columbus's first voyage to the Americas. Then, you'll continue on for a sightseeing tour through Panama City's historic quarter known as Casco Viejo. The route back to the pier will take you past the 100-year-old town of Balboa, the administrative headquarters of the Panama Canal Zone.
Enjoy a two-and-a-half-hour excursion into Panama City that begins with a tour of the Frank Gehry-designed BioMuseo, which pays homage to Panama's ancient history and diverse genetic, ecological and biological bounty. Located at the entrance to the Panama Canal, the museum's colorful façade reflects the country's rich flora and fauna. Inside, the eight exhibition halls hold a wealth of fascinating displays such as a six-million-year-old sandstone slab with mollusk fossils, barnacle plates and sea urchin fragments embedded in the rock and fiberglass creatures like the extinct Texas glyptodont. Next, rejoin your transportation for a scenic tour of Panama City. Sit back and relax as you travel along the Cinta Costera 3 and the busy waterfront boulevard known as Avenida Balboa, which offers great views of the Bay of Panama and Casco Viejo, Panama City's historic district. Then, your transportatin will wind its way back to your waiting ship.
Travel by dugout canoe deep into the heart of Chagres National Park, home of the Embera Indian Village. A delightful one hour voyage through the lush rainforest scenery is a wonderful opportunity to get acquainted with your surroundings and to admire the local flora and fauna. When your canoe reaches the Embera Village, the Tribe Chief will come out to greet you. A traditional performance of song and dance welcomes you and immediately displays the warm and inviting nature of the Embera people. Interaction with the natives is encouraged and is a wonderful way to learn firsthand about their culture. Make sure to browse the shopping area, where exquisite handmade goods are displayed and sold. Before you depart, delight in a light meal of fresh fish and fried plantains provided by the Indians. Re-board the canoe for a trip down the river to your waiting transportation.
Leave your ship and head to the shores of Gatun Lake. Board your tour boat for a one hour- and-30-minute eco-cruise on Gatun Lake. Gatun Lake is a large artificial lake situated in the Republic of Panama; it forms a major part of the Panama Canal, carrying ships during their transit across the Isthmus of Panama. Glide past lush rainforest to a secluded region of the lake and witness first-hand the splendor and excitement of the jungle. Exotic birds, monkeys, sloths, iguanas, and crocodiles are just a few of the animals that you may see in their native surroundings. The Panama Canal rainforests span 50,000 acres of pristine jungle, hosting an incredible 105 species of mammals, 525 species of birds and 124 species of reptiles and amphibians. After exploring the lake, board your air-conditioned transportation and head to Agua Clara Visitor Center or New Panama Canal Locks. Spend approximately a half hour observing the locks in operation. Your guide explains the engineering feat required to move ships over a continental divide that separates two oceans.
Visit the spectacular Gamboa Rainforest Resort located at the mouth of the Chagres River and cruise through the Gatun Lake and the labyrinth of jungle covered islands located in Gatun Lake. Your naturalist guide will orient you to the area, discuss the flora and fauna, and help you to spot the animals. The main attraction is of course Monkey Island and the adorable creatures that inhabit the area. Listen for the loud call of the Howler Monkey and delight in the friendly white-faced capuchin monkeys, the most likely to greet you. The area teems with wildlife so keep your camera ready to capture all the wildlife action. On your return to the dock, you'll pass the Panama Canal at water level. This intimate view of the Gatun Lake canal system is something only a small boat experience can provide.
Panama Canal: From the Miraflores Locks to the New Expansion
6 hours | Fuerte Amador | PA6-235
Panama Canal Expansion
Considered the 8th wonder of the world, the Panama Canal consists of a series of locks. The focus of this tour is designed to showcase the Miraflores Locks on the Pacific and to get an up close look at how the canal has been expanded just now. After boarding your transportation you'll make your way through to the Miraflores Locks Visitors Center. In here take the opportunity to pause and view the gargantuan ships that make their way through the Panama Canal and visit the four exhibition halls, organized by themes that constitute the heart of the this center. After observing this amazing feat, you'll travel to the New Panama Canal Locks (Agua Clara Visitor Center) where you'll see the addition of a new traffic lane. This new lane created two new sets of locks, one on the Pacific and one on the Atlantic, which will double the canal's capacity and allow longer and wider vessels to transit. At the end of your tour, you'll return to port.
An exceptional half-day sightseeing experience discovers Panama City from all angles: land, sea and on foot. Set sail on the Red Cat Mega Catamaran into Panama City Bay, cruising past Panama City's stunning cityscape taking in all the highlights and the huge ships waiting to cross the Panama Canal. Next, you'll board a motorcoach for a panoramic drive that follows the La Cinta Costera, the Coastal Byway, for different views of the skyline and the colorful sights along this oceanfront boulevard. Finally, you'll stop in the culturally significant colonial section of Panama to explore on foot the area also known as Casco Viejo (Old Quarter), the oldest European settlement on the Pacific Ocean. This tiny but vibrant historic district and UNESCO World Heritage Site showcases a mix of architectural styles, each telling the tales of the country's storied past. After your guided tour, enjoy some free time before returning to the ship.
The lush Gamboa Rainforest comes to life as you soar over the treetops in a unique aerial tram ride. The Swiss-engineered tram traverses a mile-long tract of Humid Forest that lies within the Gamboa Rainforest boundaries. Ascending 280 feet, over half a mile, it ends atop a hill where an observation tower offers superlative views. A nature guide accompanies you on you ride among the treetops, and shares information and history about the area as you take in the vast richness of the forest and the abundance of wildlife that calls the rainforest home. When you reach the top station, an optional short walk brings you to the observation tower. From here, breathtaking views of the Canal and the Chagres River as well as the town of Gamboa and the surrounding 55,000 acres of the forested Soberania National Park can be seen.
Thrill to an intimate perspective of the Panama Canal on a small watercraft excursion that includes lunch. Sail to the enormous Miraflores Locks, the first system encountered by ships when they enter from the Pacific side. When your boat is inside, you will have the awesome experience of being raised 56 feet. Once the gates open, continue into Miraflores Lake and proceed to the Pedro Miguel Locks. This time you are raised 28 feet to enter Gatun Lake, one of the largest man-made lakes in the word. Your ferry then crosses the Continental Divide and travels the Gaillard Cut, the most challenging section of the canal to build. This artificial valley is one of the greatest engineering feats of all time. The water portion of the tour concludes at the headquarters of the Panama Canal dredging division in Gamboa, home to some of the largest floating cranes in the world.
Panama Canal Railway & New Locks of the Canal Expansion
5 hours | Fuerte Amador | PA6-175
Panama Canal Expansion
Panama Canal Railway
This is the same tour as PA6-170 however you will travel in a restored executive rail car with booth seating on one side and rows of two seats with small tables on the other. Your car has a rest-room and shares a small open-air observation deck with the dome car described in PA6-170. The Executive Car does not have the glass dome viewing area. Travel the hemisphere's first transcontinental railroad, built in 1855, and see the Panama Canal in style aboard a deluxe 1938 vintage executive railway car.
Panama Canal Railway & New Locks of the Canal Expansion (Dome Car)
5 hours | Fuerte Amador | PA6-170
Panama Canal Expansion
Panama Canal Railway
Enjoy a leisurely five-hour tour around the Panama Canal in a deluxe 1938 air-conditioned dome car. After boarding your air-conditioned transportation you'll make the short drive to the Pacific railroad station. Here, you'll board your unique dome car that features an upper deck with full-length observation windows and booth seating. Then, you'll leave the station for an approximately one hour train trip from the Pacific terminus of the Panama Canal, passing Gatun Lake and the isthmus' dense rainforest. During your railroad journey, you guide will provide commentary on the railroad, Panamanian history, and the canal. When your train arrives at Colon's station, you'll transfer to the New Locks Observation Center to view the operation of the locks and watch vessels enter the locks. At the end of this fascinating adventure, you'll return to the pier.