On March 15, 2017, while on a Road Scholar trip, thirty of us traveled by train along the Panama Canal from Colon, Panama to Panama City, Panama.
We had traversed the Panama Canal by small ship, spent the night in Colon and toured the city the next morning.
At 5:15 PM the train left from an old loading platform in Colon. We had seats in the dome car and rode along the canal for an hour and fifteen minutes to Panama City. The train runs once a day in each direction.
Our tour director lined us up to board at 5:00 and he had staked out the dome car for our group; sharing the dome with another tour.
Seniors get a break in the fare if they are Panama Citizens or Permanent Residents. Other wise it is full fare: $25. But the extra $7.50 is probably worth it; and, I am sure that our Road Scholar had worked some sort of deal.
The history of the Panama Canal Railway is fascinating as it predates the canal, was used during the California Gold Rush, and, in 1852, when it opened, was the only transcontinental railway. It was also immensely profitable, as the Panama Canal is today.
Don’t plan on taking a boat trip through the canal and catching the train the same day. It won’t work. There are too many variables in getting through the locks and to the train station. You don’t want to be stuck in Colon without a hotel reservation.
If you need transportation and are not on a tour, remember that Uber works in Panama and is reasonable.
Panama Canal Railway – Wikipedia
Road Scholar: Grit and Glory: Exposing the Panama Canal
The BioMuseo in Panama City, Panama is one of Frank Ghery’s museums around the world. The BioMuseo reflects the flora and fauna diversity of Panama. It is educational as well as entertaining. It would be a wonderful place for grandchildren. It also has a $4 discount for non-resident seniors, making admission cost $18.
Uber is faster and cheaper than taxis in Panama City.
A good place for a rainy day. There is a video and a shop, of course.
One level is full of models of birds and animals unique to Panama, past and present.
This was an optional part of the Road Scholar Trip, Grit and Glory: Exploring the Panama Canal.
You can easily spend an afternoon there; or a year.