The Port of Cristobal’s main attraction is the Panama Canal. Cruise ships that dock at the Cruise Terminal enter the locks and are carried up to Gatun Lake where passengers go ashore for shore excursions. The Gatun Locks are worth the visit to watch ships being raised and lowered on the first (or last) step traversing the Canal.
From Gatun, visitors can take the Gamboa Aerial Tram, a 60-minute ride and one of only three in the world that crosses the top of the rainforest. Outdoor lovers can hike the rainforest, kayak or fish for peacock bass in Gatun Lake, of visit one of several native settlements in the area.
The cruise ships that do go to the locks start their shore excursions in the Port of Cristobal. While Cristobal does not offer many places to shop, the Cruise Terminal has a large shopping complex and a flea market where visitors can get souvenirs and hand-crafted items.
Another adventure is the train ride from the Port of Cristobal to the Port of Balboa. The wonderfully-restored train travels the length of the Canal that offers some breathtaking views of the rainforest and the Canal.
Travelers who want to see the Port of Cristobal or the Panama Canal can find a list of scheduled cruises on the Cruise Compete website.