Trans-Isthmian Route


From Spanish conquistadors to gold rush adventurers. On the Trans-Isthmian Route find yourself in the most interesting historical journey in Panama. You will be traversing Panama from South to North on the historical Panama Canal Railway, exploring the forts at San Lorenzo, admire the new Agua Clara Locks from the visitor platform (Panama Canal Expansion) and return back to Panama City over land. NOTE: The Panama Canal Railway is not operating. Roundtrip transfers in tour van.

PRICE (without train, roundtrip in tour van. Currently available)
4+ persons: 
US$190 per person + 7% tax
2-3 persons: 
US$310 per person + 7% tax

PRICE (including one way by train - currently not available)
4+ persons: 
US$215 per person + 7% tax
2-3 persons: US$335 per person + 7% tax

INCLUDES Bilingual naturalist guide, lunch, entrance fees to San Lorenzo and the Agua Clara Locks Visitor Center (Panama Canal Expansion), transportation from/to your hotel in Panama City (please note that a $35 per person roundtrip surcharge based on 2+ persons must be added to day tours beginning and/or ending at Gamboa Rainforest Resort, Canopy Tower, Playa Bonita or hotels near Tocumen Airport)

DISCLAIMER Prices and itineraries are correct at the time of printing, however they are subject to change due to weather or local conditions, availabilities or factors beyond our control.


Current itinerary (roundtrip in tour van, due to train not operative)

This morning you will be picked up at your hotel lobby by an Ancon Expeditions of Panama guide. You will cross the country from the Pacific to the Atlantic side on an approximately 90 minutes transfer.

Your first stop will be at the new Panama Canal visitors’ center at Agua Clara Locks. Opened in 2016 the locks are part of the Panama Canal expansion. The US$5.25 billion project included, among other tasks, dredging work on both ends of the canal and the route itself in order to increase water depth and the straightening of bends along the route that will allow larger ships to transit through the canal. The most important aspect of the project, however, was the building of two new sets of locks, one at each terminus of the canal, which will increase the waterway’s capacity to move cargo from one ocean to the other by 50% within the next 15 years and will allow the passage of bigger ships (almost 3 times the capacity of the largest size vessels that can cross the old locks. The new locks accommodate Neopanamax ships that can carry up to 14,000 containers.  A ship with this capacity pays an average of US$850,000.00 in toll fees to cross the Panama Canal.  The new locks were designed to reuse up to 60% of the freshwater that would flow into the ocean by using recycling water basins.

You will then continue to drive west with your guide over the Panama Canal to San Lorenzo National Park where you enjoy wildlife viewing opportunities, including Howler monkeys, Two and Three-toed sloths, Coatimundi, Keel-billed and Chestnut-mandible toucans among others. Reach the Castle of San Lorenzo, at the mouth of the Chagres River. A UNESCO World Heritage Site, this Spanish colonial bastion completed in 1601 served to fortify and protect the river entrance to Las Cruces Trail that led to Panama City on the Pacific Ocean and was later also used as the port of entry for gold diggers on their way to California during the second half of the 19th century.

Enjoy lunch at the Shelter Bay Marina.

Return to your hotel back in Panama City by road enjoying the views of the countryside.



  • 8:00 a.m. Approximate pick up time at your hotel in Panama City (depending on your hotel location)
  • 7-8 hours Approximate tour duration
Check our SPECIALS SECTION for current "open tours" with already passengers signed up or review our green season Specials!


  • Available daily


  • Binoculars 
  • Refill water bottle 
  • Camera
  • Cap or hat
  • Sunscreen lotion
  • Insect Repellant
  • Light clothing
  • Light raincoat
  • Good traction footwear


Ancon Expeditions is Panama’s top eco-tourism operator. Our Natural & Cultural History Guides are the country's finest. Due to frequently asked questions from our clients about suggested guide & staff gratuities, we would like to provide you with the following universal tipping guidelines:

  • Day tour guide: US$10.00 per person/day
  • Tour driver: US$5.00 per person/day


"Alfredo & our trip were excellent!!! ***** Will rate later on Trip Advisor! Carlos excellent driver. Site spectacular. Alfredo extremely knowledgeable & freely shared. Thank you!! Pat".

Patricia Jernigan, USA

"Monday's tour to Portobelo, Colon, the Canal extension and the Panama Canal Railway train back to the city was very good. Our guide, really helped to make it a good experience. He has lots of knowledge about the history of the areas and about Panama. Everything was excellent.....and we had a very good driver, too. Also, thank you for finding others to do the tour with us. Their company was appreciated, for sure."

Deborah Connors, USA

“Abdiel, our guide was superb! Good humor, very knowledgeable, and could not have done a better job. Absolutely was Edgar our many-hatted driver. We had an exceptional tour and clearly, I would use Ancon Expeditions of Panama again.”

Glenn, Canada

“Very informative guide who made sure to tell us about the local history of the places we visited.”

Kelly Carey, USA