A vital trade and tourism resource that connects the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans, the Panama Canal has earned the distinction as the "Eighth Wonder of the World." More than 250,000 people from two countries contributed to its creation over the course of 35 years, saving boatloads of time and money for trade ships. Consider: A ship traveling from San Francisco to New York saves 7,872 miles by using the canal instead of going around Cape Horn, just off the tip of Chile.
By boat tour, railroad, or even an elaborate visitor center, guests to our luxury penthouse have multiple opportunities to take in the pride of Panama and experience the Canal firsthand.
Miraflores Visitor Center
This state-of-the-art visitor center has four exhibition halls that capture the history, uniqueness and importance of the Panama Canal. Guests can enjoy interactive modules, video presentations, and scaled models. There is also a snack bar and a restaurant with stunning Canal-side views. Tickets are $10 for adults, $5 for children under 12, and children under five get in for free.
The Miraflores Visitor Center is located just under 10 miles outside of Panama City. For more information, visit their website.
Panama Canal Railway Company
Another interesting way to see the Panama Canal is by rail. The railway stretches just under 48-miles from Panama City to Colon. Passengers can jump aboard Monday thru Friday and enjoy a picturesque path across the Isthmus of Panama. The line runs parallel to the canal, passing through lush rainforests full of rare wildlife. Guests can ride in style - which reflects the golden age of railway travel - with wood paneling, tables, carpeted floors, soft lamp lighting and large windows that open up to allow you to truly enjoy the Panama countryside.
Visit www.panarail.com for more detailed passenger service information with ticket prices and schedules.
Panama Marine Adventures
Hop aboard the Panama Marine Adventures' Pacific Queen, a Norwegian built cruiser with plenty of space for up to 300 passengers, perfectly suited for a day trip along the Panama Canal. The trip begins and ends at Panama City's Flamenco Resort and Marina. Passengers board motor coaches for a 45-minute ride to the town of Gamboa, where the Panama Canal Dredging Division is located. You'll enter the canal at the Gailard Cut, the point in which the Chagres River flows into the canal. From there riders travel down towards Panama City into the Pedro Miguel Locks, learning about the full history and geolocial value of this great man-made structure.
When the Pacific Queen enters the Locks, it will be lowered nine meters in one simple step, placing you in Miraflore Lake. You're now just outside of Panama City, and ride in towards the beautiful metropolitan skyline to close out your four-hour tour.
Guests on the Pacific Queen are served a full-lunch, soft drinks and water, with a bilingual tour guide informing you of all the important landmarks along the canal.
Learn more about ticket prices and scheduling by visiting www.pmatours.net.
Following your tour of the Canal, unwind and cool off by visiting one of Panama City's great restaurants.