Panama Canal Water Trails

Lago Gatun and the Soberania National Park

The construction of Gatun Dam in the Chagres Valley in the early 1900’s has provided waters for thousands of ships to transit across the Isthmus of Panama. Today these waters are the massive 470km2 Gatun Lake, that in years past, was the largest manmade lake in the world. Paddling Lake Gatun along its pristine bright green banks, between its numerous islands, over the extensive underwater vegetation and through the still standing tips of submerged trees is a real neo-tropical safari. Thousands of refugee wildlife species live in this spectacular environment.
Soberania National Park touches Gatun’s borders. This park is one of the most accessible tropical forests in the country. Paddling along the Soberania National Park, the primary rainforest edges provide some of the best wildlife viewing in the world. This can include manatees, sloths, kinkajous, coatimundis, capybaras, caimans, crocodiles, white faced capuchins, Geoffroy’s tamarins, spider monkey, night monkeys and howler monkeys are all common in the area. Legendary beautiful species like jaguars and harpy eagles also call this home.