New Locks at Cocoli

The new third set of locks built to accommodate Post-Panamax ships was opened to the public on Sunday, May 17, 2015.  Thousands of people visited this site in Cocoli, just outside of Panama City. The public was able to witness first hand the immensity of the multi-billion dollar project and be a part of history […]

The People of the Canal

It has been calculated that over 30,000 people died during the construction of the Panama Canal.  The work force was plagued by disease, dangerous landslides, unsanitary living conditions, and unfair treatment due to discrimination. Today conditions are totally different and almost 10,000 people are employed in the operation of the Canal. Here are some of […]

Panama Canal Railway

http://www.panarail.com/en/history/ The Panama Canal Railway is a railway line that runs parallel to the Panama Canal. The route stretches 47.6 miles  across the Isthmus of Panama from Colón on the Atlantic side to Balboa  on the Pacific side. It is operated by Panama Canal Railway Company.  The infrastructure of this railroad  was of vital importance for the construction of the Panama Canal. It has been in operation since 1855.

Cruisin’ the Canal

http://www.panamagreatadventures.com/ To celebrate the 100th anniversary of the Panama Canal, I decided to take a partial transit tour of this amazing engineering feat.  I have lived here for 34 years and had never actually transited the Canal.  I boarded the boat at Gamboa at 11 a.m. and arrived at the Causeway around 8 p.m. It […]

Gray Ghost

This iconic gray lighthouse is familiar to everyone in the area of Gamboa.  It was built in 1914 and  is roughly 14 meters high (45 ft.) Although it is now inactive, it still greets southbound ships at the entrance of Gaillard Cut (Corte Culebra), a silent gray ghost that whispers of its once glorious past. […]

Danger: Explosives!!!

  The Panama Canal  is expanding its capacity to allow for more than double the traffic it currently serves. To be completed in 2015, the project that includes a third set of locks which are larger and wider than the existing ones, will cost $5.6 billion. This extreme makeover requires the use of explosives.  In the […]

100 Years Old and Still Going Strong

The Panama Canal was inaugurated in 1914.  This important waterway has serviced the world for 100 years.  When you take into account that it was built 100 years ago, you realize what an amazing engineering feat it was for its day.

Mega Construction Site

The Gatun Locks in Colon are undergoing a major expansion to allow larger ship to transit through the Panama Canal. A new set of locks are being built next to the existing ones.  It is amazing to be able to observe this Mega Construction as it is being built.  http://www.salini-impregilo.com/en/projects/in-progress/dams-hydroelectric-plants-hydraulic-works/extension-of-the-panama-canal-third-set-of-locks.html  

Flag Day

November 4th is the day we celebrate the Panamanian Flag as the symbol of this lovely paradise. This beautiful flag flies majestically from Ancon Hill, declaring Panama’s independence and sovereignty. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ancon_Hill

Tri-Color

The entire month of November you will see the country dressed in the three colors that represent it: red, white and blue.  I especially enjoyed seeing the flag placed all over the area of Clayton, in the City of Knowledge.  This area was once part of the U.S. controlled Panama Canal Zone, an area which […]

Viva Panama!!!

November is a month of celebration in Panama.  It is the month of National Pride, when all Panamanians take to the streets to commemorate their separation from Colombia on November 3 and their independence from Spain on November 28.  The Panamanian flag can be seen flying all over the city.  This picture was taken at […]

In Transit

These ships were captured in transit on their way through the Panama Canal. These pictures were taken at the visitor’s center at the Gatun Locks in Colon.

Gatun Locks Restaurant

There is a very good restaurant at the Gatun Locks visitor center. This service is provided by the prestigious Hotel El Panama.  The menu is varied and offers a range of delicious meat, fish and pasta dishes.  

Witness History in the Making

You can be witness to the expansion of the new Gatun Locks when you arrive at the new Visitors Center.  There is a small entrance fee that ranges from $7-$3 dollars depending on you age and resident status. This fee will give you full access to the facilities, including a hiking path.  If you opt […]

New Gatun Locks

The expansion of the Panama Canal is one of the largest projects being built at this moment. This venture will establish a new lane of traffic along the Canal by building a new set of locks designed to double the capacity of this important waterway. You can visit the site and see the progress of […]

Miraflores Locks Visitor Center

Miraflores Locks Visitor Center is a excellent place to visit.  You can watch the boats go by from the observation deck or have a bite to eat at the restaurant and watch the ships transit through the locks as you sip your afternoon coffee. http://www.tripadvisor.com/Travel-g294480-d547531/Panama-City:Panama:Miraflores.Locks.Visitor.Center.html

Panama Canal Museum

The Panama Canal Museum is located in Casco Antiguo right in front of Plaza Catedral, between Calle 5 and Calle 6. It is housed in this beautifully renovated building.  http://cascoviejo.com/canal-museum/

Lighthouse

This old lighthouse still stands overlooking ships as they transit through the Panama Canal.  In the background, you can see a barge go peacefully on its way.  This is such a common sight here that we sometimes overlook the incredible engineering feat that makes that transit possible. http://www.unc.edu/~rowlett/lighthouse/pan.htm

Welcome to Panama. It’s so much more than a canal.

When someone mentions Panama, two things might come to mind.  Some people might automatically think of Panama City, Florida and wild parties at the beach during spring break. If you have a wider view of the world, the image of the Panama Canal might jump into your mind. This ex-pat has been here for over […]