The Panama Canal

As anyone who has visited Panama City will tell you, one of the most important landmarks to see is the Panama Canal. Just 15 minutes from the city center, the Canal links the Atlantic Ocean with the Pacific and forms one of the world’s most important trade routes.

Panama City, super modern and super fun

A look at the two lane highway that is the Panama Canal

Opened in 1914 for international trade, the canal is made up two lakes and three sets of two lane locks that stretch over 80 kilometers long. The system was developed to lift ships 26 meters above sea level in order to cross Gatun Lake and then lower back to sea level on the opposite side.

Best friends at the Panama Canal

Gillian checking out the hydraulics at the Panama Canal

Leah checking out the Mira Flores lookout point at the Panama Canal

What most people don’t know is that the Panama Canal has quite the sordid past. Construction on the Canal began in 1880 by the French. Things looked promising as the project kicked off but in just eight years, an estimated 22,000 workers had died from disease and other precarious working conditions unique to the Panamanian jungle. In 1893 the French tossed up their hands and abandoned their mission to build the Canal. It wasn’t until the Americans ponied up in 1904, bought all the French equipment and helped Panama gain independence from Colombia the Canal was finished.

A look at the Construction of the Panama Canal

In 1999, Panama took over full responsibility to administer, operate and maintain the Canal.

Seeing the sights in Panama's old city, Casco Viejo

Plaza Bolivar in Casco Viejo

A shot of downtown Panama city

Taking a stroll and hiding from the heat