Today, nearly 100 years after its completion, the Panama Canal remains one of the most vital trade routes in the world. And in addition to Panama's man-made marvel, this voyage includes some of nature's most amazing creations in the Caribbean, Mexico and Central America.
As staggering a concept of digging through the Continental Divide, it also involved constructing the largest earth dam ever built, as well as the most massive canal locks and gates. And through the efforts of over 80,000 workers and the loss of more than 30,000 lives, the greatest single construction project ever undertaken was completed.
The Panama Canal Today
The massive locks control the level of water in the Panama Canal enabling ships to pass through this 51-mile "water bridge". This entire trip takes about nine hours. Ships are lifted and lowered a total of 170 feet as they pass from the Caribbean to the Pacific, crossing over the Isthmus of Panama and straight through the Continental Divide.
The Tortuguero Canal is known as Costa Rica's Amazon due to its rich and exotic flora and fauna. And in Limón, the diversity of the tropical rain forest at La Selva Biological Station is simply amazing.
From white-sand beaches and coral reefs to snorkeling and shopping - the Panama Canal and its surrounding destinations have it all. Watch the stingrays of Grand Cayman's Stingray Sandbar, scuba dive to the shipwrecked Antilla off the coast of Aruba, go kayaking at Cabo San Lucas in the Sea of Cortez, or raft Jamaica's Martha Brae River.
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