Miraflores Visitor Center
Miraflores Visitor Center
4.5
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  • yyesiamtrish2
    Victoria, Canada1,370 contributions
    Worth the visit
    This is a must do experience. Great IMAX movie. Very interesting, and informative. It’s fascinating to learn about the history and then also to watch the ships progress through the Canal. There’s also a great gift shop. It’s well worth spending several hours here.
    Visited January 2023
    Travelled as a couple
    Written 26 February 2023
  • PMDMA
    Ottawa, Canada124 contributions
    When in Panama….
    We visited because we were staying close to the centre. We saw the ships lined up everyday waiting for their time slot and also recognized the canal is one of the 8 wonders of the modern world…..so to us, it would have been a mistake to not at least see and learn about this incredible location. We took a regular taxi 1 way for 20 USD from our resort (Dreams Playa Bonita). We arrived shortly after 8 am when it opened and paid just over 17 USD each for access. Over all it was a few hours we stayed for. Originally we went to the top viewing area immediately after clearing security. Please know that you can only access the viewing area once, after you get screened into the viewing decks ( bag search and walk through metal scanner) and leave, you can not go to that area again. We went to to the upper deck and it was quite crowded, so we went down to the lower level where hardly anyone was…it was like a secret spot that wasn’t a secret. We stayed there and saw all we needed or could want. 3 ships were passing through when the first IMAX started so we stayed in the viewing area and chose to miss the first show. It repeats a little over an hour later and it was a nice morning. We saw a ship from the UK in the upper locks, a Canadian Ship and 1 from Indonesia all at once. It was pretty cool to see all the crew and captains celebrating this part of their journey waving and playing instruments on one ship. We caught the second viewing of the IMAX and enjoyed learning so much. Morgan Freeman is the narrator in this and it was about 45 minutes. We saw what we wanted, learned all the information we could ask for, accessed clean washroom facilities and left. All for 17 dollars. We caught a taxi outside the door at the bottom of the stairs and went to Old Town for 10 USD. Easy.
    Visited February 2023
    Written 4 March 2023
  • Denise30906
    Temecula, California87 contributions
    Amazing Experience even if you did the canal tour
    We did the canal tour but this was a whole different perspective and experience. Well worth the admission price. I saw a tour for $155 which I'm not sure what that's about. We paid like $35 to get in. The IMAX movie was awesome and informative and the viewing balcony to watch a ship or two go through the locks is fantastic. The narrative out on the viewing balcony was good as well. Would definitely recommend.
    Visited February 2023
    Written 6 March 2023
  • hbhakh
    Roanoke, Virginia2,242 contributions
    Interesting
    We had the opportunity to visit the locks and visitor center while on a tour from a cruise ship. Unfortunately, no ships were transiting during the time we visited but it's still interesting. There's an IMAX movie about the Canal that's very well done.
    Visited March 2023
    Written 9 April 2023
  • Sharina
    New Zealand3 contributions
    Ok experience!
    My husband and I visited the Miraflores Visitor Center during our trip to Panama City, and while the center was interesting, we would definitely recommend doing a transit tour instead of just visiting the center on its own. The exhibits at the center were informative and gave us a good understanding of the history and mechanics of the Panama Canal, but we found ourselves wishing we could see more of the canal in action. We later learned that transit tours, which take you through the canal on a boat while ships are passing through, provide a much more exciting and memorable experience. While the visitor center is a good place to start to learn about the canal, we would recommend spending the extra money and time to take a transit tour for a more immersive and unforgettable experience.
    Visited April 2023
    Travelled as a couple
    Written 12 April 2023
  • Kim G
    Pacific Grove, California3,187 contributions
    Observe Miraflores Locks in Action
    Fascinating adventure to view the Miraflores Lock on the Panama Canal in action, as large container ships queue up and await their turn, ultimately transiting through the locks toward their final destination. The visitor is self-lead through the Visitor Center, up to the massive, covered, observation deck, along an informational path with displays of the history of the Canal. The Panama Canal is considered one of the top ten “Greatest Engineering Achievements” in the world, and is thrilling to visit. Such an essential passageway benefiting ships from throughout the world. It was exciting watching the ships below us, their flags representing countries from all over, as they were lowered from lake level down to the next, by water displacement. We took an Uber there, but had a bit of a wait for an Uber returning back into Casco Viejo. TIP: It is important to inquire as to the best times to see the ships passing from each direction. We visited at 3:00 pm and were entertained by a continuous parade of ships, while other times may not have any activity. This is NOT to be missed!
    Visited April 2023
    Travelled as a couple
    Written 18 April 2023
  • betteskid
    Boston, Massachusetts1,328 contributions
    Great place to experience the Panama Canal
    We really enjoyed our visit to the Miraflores Locks. We were able to watch several large ships pass through the locks and also went to the visitor center to see the film they have. It was a 3D movie and very informative about the history of the canal and how it has shaped Panama. This is a special thing to see in Panama and I really recommend taking advantage of this when you are in the area.
    Visited March 2023
    Written 1 May 2023
  • SilverTraveler2
    Castle Rock, Washington232 contributions
    A Must See While In Panama City
    Had a great time. Took a $7 Uber from downtown Panama City and paid $17 each for Imax movie and lock observation area. The 3D movie was exceptional and lasted almost 40 minutes. We arrived at 10:45am and was well informed that there wouldn't be any ships passing through the locks until 2pm. Everyone was polite, and we didn't have any problems. There is a nice cafeteria on the 2nd floor. We did wait for the shops to come through, and it was very crowded by that point. However, the upper viewing area has a theater type seating area so you can see no matter where you're seated. The best view is right behind the railing though if you'd like to stand there for a half hr to secure your position. I would visit again and take visitors there to see this man made wonder.
    Visited August 2023
    Travelled as a couple
    Written 17 August 2023
  • Chris G
    9 contributions
    Panama Canal visit - viewing platform and IMAX
    Great viewing deck which allows you to watch the ships going through the locks. iMac film is very entertaining. During our visit in August 2023 the rest of the exhibition was not open. One point to note is that you are not allowed back in to the viewing platform once you have left - allow plenty of time for the viewing platform as it takes a while for a ship to transit both locks!
    Visited August 2023
    Travelled as a couple
    Written 21 August 2023
  • jerrypayne63
    38 contributions
    one week in panama
    flew into panama city, spent the first and last night at rio auroporto hotel, it's fabulous, could spend a week there! rented a car for the week, drove to pedasi the first day, it was nice, then to santa catalina and stayed at nativo boutique hotel, it was awesome except for the road to get there, 11 kilometers of pure hell!, then to boquette, beautiful! nice little mountain town with lots of expats, the hotl valle del rio was the best room i had all week, really nice balcony overlooking a small river and the mountains, would definitely stay there again! then drove to rio hato,stayed at Lq Perla de farillion bed and breakfast, very nice hosts and very reasonable price, no Tv though, close to the beach, driving in Panama is fine excep
    Visited September 2023
    Travelled solo
    Written 25 September 2023
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CoffeeGuyz
Playa Coronado, Panama204 contributions
Dec 2023 • Friends
Always a hit with visitors. Wish the top floor was open, but love the new IMAX theatre and 3D movie. Don’t forget to check the vessel transit times do you don’t miss the action
Written 14 February 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.

P6373QEthomasm
Savannah, GA21 contributions
Feb 2024 • Family
Total zoo. Everyone must go to see the canal but they need to do a lot better. The place is under construction. I understand. That is fine. But selling that many tickets and then cramming everyone into a space where you can’t even move is dangerous. Literally packed. No breathing room couldn’t get up the stairs cause there was no more room on second floor. People were pushing shoving With all the money they make off these ships they really need to do better. It was down right dangerous to be there. And 1 bathroom 1 stall and 4 soda machines in viewing area. Crazy. Like I said everyone needs to see the canal but maybe wait till they are done.
Written 10 February 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.

Jack2811e
Peterborough, UK27 contributions
Feb 2024 • Couples
You have to pay $17 to enter the viewing deck, this ticket includes a cinema experience which we didn’t go to however you have to buy the ticket even though they give you 2 separate tickets you are forced to buy the whole package. There is no way to enter for free anymore and just buy a drink. Seeing the ship pass through was interesting but make sure you check the times before visiting so you catch a ship passing if not it’s pointless to go.
Written 2 February 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.

Paul
Toulouse, France3 contributions
Feb 2024 • Solo
Very interesting. The Imax is an excellent lesson of local history.
And to get there is straightforward; the bus C810 leaves Albrook terminal quite frequently. And the final stop is right at the entrance of the center.
Written 1 February 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.

Jenny S
Los Angeles, CA48 contributions
Jan 2024 • Couples
This is a nice place to see cargo ships going through the locks. There is also a nice short film of how it was built. Very nice visit.
Written 26 January 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.

Kari W
Madison, WI6 contributions
Jan 2024 • Couples
The IMAX show was really informative and was the best way to see how the locks worked. Watching from the crowded viewing area didn’t give too good of an idea.
Written 24 January 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.

Tricia C.
Bridgetown, Barbados8 contributions
Jan 2024 • Friends
We went to the canal for 8am on a Monday only to discover that no ships would be passing until after 2pm. Bummer. The staff were very helpful however. They advised us to purchase our tickets for the movie and for the viewing platform at that time and that we could watch the movie now and then return in the afternoon after two for the Canal viewing, which we did. The movie experience was awesome! The theater is large with comfortable seats and the surrounding sound experience did not disappoint. Note there is a gift shop before you go up to watch the movie. If you’re looking for keychains or fridge magnets, save your money for the gift shop before the viewing platform level. It has a much better selection.

We left the visitor center and went to the mall and returned after 2 PM. At this point, we were able to skip the long ticket line and go straight to the viewing platform because we had purchased our tickets in the morning. There were only two viewing areas available out of 4 and all were crowded and very, very HOT. There was an announcer who outlined what was happening in both English and Spanish. This was good. There was no way to get a good view of the passing ships by sitting your seat, so everyone ended up standing and going into the sun next to the fence to observe the ships. People were even crowding the stairs up to the second platform. Wear sunscreen and a good hat if you plan to visit in the afternoon. If possible, the visitor center could publish a schedule to help visitors plan ahead. This would have helped a lot. The exhibit is also closed for some reason so we missed whatever that contained.
Written 24 January 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.

MSM923
Lafayette Hill, PA161 contributions
Dec 2023 • Family
If you aren't going to do a partial or full transit through the Panama Canal, I would say you should go to the Miraflores locks to at least witness the locks from the land. If you are going on a boat, however, I would not make a separate visit to the Miraflores visitor center. To be fair, the exhibit section was closed for refurbishment, but that really was not one of the issues. One issue was the line. We had to wait about 45 minutes to get our tickets and enter the viewing area. The other issue was that the viewing area was packed with people because only the main level and the first level of stadium seating were open. There are two additional levels of stadium seating that were inexplicably closed. Had they been open, I suspect that they not only would have made the viewing more pleasant, but would have cut down the entry time which I believe was being somewhat managed based on capacity.
Written 14 January 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.

lkpm3
Albany, NY131 contributions
Jan 2024 • Couples
I felt we had to see the locks and I was curious. But I was underwhelmed. We had gone to the canal museum the previous day so we skipped the movie. Maybe in retrospect we should have done movie and not museum. Anyway waited in huge line to "get in". Then went up to viewing platform where we were jammed in like sardines. Hard to see around everyone. Very unpleasant. A big boat was there and it left the lock. Nothing else to be seen coming from either way. Basically after Uber ride of 30 min (BTW Uber was quick and easy. About $10), 20 min wait to get in, we were ready to go in about 10 minutes. Not sure I would recommend....
Written 7 January 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.

PolarBear777
Toronto, Canada336 contributions
Dec 2023 • Friends
Terrible experience at the canal today. Complete chaos on entry, with no clear lines at entry.

Forced to buy IMAX ticket even if you don’t want to watch the movie. The IMAX movie was outdated and the screen was scratched. YouTube has better explanations for free. The theatre was filling up so many people were yelling as they couldn’t use their tickets.

Couldn’t get to the viewing area as an employee claimed our ticket was invalid due to reentry. Another foreign family was similarly targeted with this explanation, despite also having valid tickets. The woman scanning tickets then demanded a cash payment (like a bribe) unless we purchased a second set of tickets. Thankfully I paid by credit card so I’ll get a refund, but my experience was ruined.

The whole situation was strange, and I’m quite shocked that the Panamanian government is allowing its signature attraction to be run in such a way. I recommend skipping Miraflores Visitor Centre, and trying an alternative location (like the free viewing at Mirador Pedro Miguel, or visiting Colon).
Written 30 December 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.

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MIRAFLORES VISITOR CENTER: All You Need to Know BEFORE You Go (with Photos)

Frequently Asked Questions about Miraflores Visitor Center

Miraflores Visitor Center admission prices can vary. Entrance tickets currently cost S$207.63, while a popular guided tour starts around S$40.19 per person.

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