Chagres River in Expedition Kayaks Historic Fort San Lorenzo fortress • Pristine Fortress • Canal Engineering
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Highlights 

  • Panama kayak adventures  
  • Paddle Expedition Sea Kayak type
  • Panama nature and wildlife 
  • Colon Panama Gatun Locks
  • Panama ruins attractions: Colon Panama Fort San Lorenzo
  • Age: 12 and up
  • Gateway: Panama City  

Paddle these last twelve kilometers of the Chagres River on its way to the Caribbean Ocean in one of best Panama kayak adventure.  In this circuit  you will see some of main Panama Canal components such as the the Gatun Locks (not a visitor center), the Gatun Dam.  You will also see Panama nature and wildlife at the wilderness Reserve of Forth San Lorenzo .  And then, when we reach the Ocean we will visit one of Panama ruins attractions, Forth San Lorenzo. This fortress was built by Spaniard Conquistadores to seal this route from pirate incursions searching  to attack Panama City located by the Pacific Ocean.

To establish the Panama Canal waterway the Gatun Lake was created in 1913 by building Gatun Dam at the Chagres River before it reaches the Atlantic Ocean. It was once the world's biggest artificial lake.  

Every time a Ship crosses the canal toward the Pacific Ocean at the Miraflores Locks or toward the Atlantic Ocean at the Gatun Locks 52,000,000 gallons of fresh water are spilled from Gatun Lake. 

  With the creation of Gatun Lake many mountain tops became islands. This offers endless channel possibilities to scout.  In its shores covered by dense tropical forest  you will find all kinds of tropical flora and fauna.  This was deemed as an opportunity for research by the Smith Sonian Research Institute that operates the famous Research Station at  Barro Colorado since 1946.


View Chagres River in Expedition Kayaks by Aventuras Panama in a larger map

 

Check out Panama Chagres River Map

ITINERARY

Our tour begins by picking up guests at Panama City around 7:00 a.m.  We will arrive to Panama Canal Gatun Dam, one hour and 30 minutes later to start kayaking around 9:30 a.m.

To drive  in and out this area, we will go across the Panama Canal by ferry in our vehicle while the third bridge that go across the canal is being built. Before, the Old Gatun Locks where used  to crossed vehicles working as a  bridge when they were closed.  However, due to consideration for the new set of Aguas Claras Locks this is no longer possible.

We will start an exciting 3-4 hours tour paddling expedition kayaks through dense tropical forest all the way to the Caribbean Ocean where Spaniard Conquistadores  built Forth San Lorenzo. Since the XVI century it has silently kept away the Caribbean pirates that used this waterway to take by surprise assault Panama City in the Pacific.

The actual paddling time will depend on the participants conditions and skills, strength of wind, and river current.  And we had done it as fast as in two hours or as long as 4 hours.  We do will paddle as fast as the slowest kayak. 

After visiting Fort San Lorenzo we will head back toward Panama City to reach  original pick up place about 4:00 p.m.

You will be able to see the jungle awakening and it is very likely that you might still encounter some morning mist over it.   And you will  go back in time to imagine episodes of the Spaniard American Conquest.

We should arrive at the take out zone around 12:00 - 1:00 p.m., and back to the original pick up place about 5:00 p.m.- You can also meet us by the Gatun Dam ramp.

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

WHAT DOES IT INCLUDE ? All mentioned transportation, expedition kayaks and gear, guides, and meals. Our guides are trained in kayak navigation skills, first-aid and CPR.

WHO CAN GO ? Any person from twelve to seventy years old, in good health. Minors must travel with a responsible adult.

WHAT SHOULD YOU TAKE ALONG ? A pair of short for navigating, sneakers or straped sandals, a cap, sun-block, a light jacket or windbreaker (in case of rain), a towel and dry set of clothes for the trip back.

WHAT SHOULD NOT BE BROUGHT ? Any object than can be deteriorated by water or valuables like jewels, cash, credit cards, etc. 

PRICE:

USD $ 165.00 per person
Group leader will go free for a group of more than ten persons.

SEASON:

This is a year-round Panama kayak adventure.  Usually at the last months of the rainy season, September through November,  the river current might be stronger due to more water release at Gatun Dam. From mid January through March we  usually have to paddle against the north wind using the river banks as shelters.