Panama City guided sightseeing tour
Panama Canal & Gatun Lake boat tour
Details: Panama Canal
Fifty miles long, the awesome Panama Canal takes ships eight hours to transverse (and often costs them toll fees of over $100,000). A system of locks and manmade lakes rely on gravitational forces to lift the giant boats over the Panama isthmus -- ships rise as high as 85 feet over sea level -- and set them down again on the other side. The French began construction of the canal after their successful completion of Egypt's Suez Canal, but yellow fever, other diseases, and the difficulty of excavating rock from the middle of the jungle caused them to abandon the project. American President Theodore Roosevelt then took over the project through controversial political maneuvering, and the canal was finally opened under American control in 1914. Ownership passed back to the Panamanians in 1999, and in their hands the canal has consistently exceeded all previous traffic, revenue, and safety records.
Construction is nearing completion on Panama’s newest museum dedicated to biodiversity, designed by distinguished architect Frank Gehry.
Details: Punta Culebra Nature Centre visit
Punta Culebra Nature Center (PCNC) is a non-profit initiative of STRI that relies on the support of the Smithsonian Foundation of Panama and international entities. It offers visitors an open-air museum focusing mainly on marine science and education, conservation and interpretation of marine coastal environments. More than 700,000 students and visitors have visited PCNC since it opened in 1996, and hundreds of schools have taken part in its educational program.