The narrow isthmus separating the Atlantic from the Pacific Ocean had a colorful and turbulent history long before Ferdinand de Lesseps first dreamed of building a transcontinental canal.
Spanish conquistadors hauled Incan gold through the dense rainforest to ports on the Atlantic. English freebooters sought to ransack those ports and attack the treasure ships that sailed from Portobelo. And 49ers braved mosquitoes and yellow fever to get to the California gold fields. While the Panama Canal remains one of the great American engineering feats of the 20th century, visitors to Panama will discover a whole range of scenic wonders. Hike into the dense rainforest, home to over 1,000 species of animals. Or pay a visit to an Embera Indian village in the heart of Chagres National Park.
Central America's historic and cultural roots are celebrated and displayed in Panama's oldest settlements, where exceptional museums, archeological ruins, and Colonial streets, churches, and monuments tell the story of the city's tragic past.
On the Atlantic side, the three chambers of the Gatun Locks raise ships 87 feet above sea level, while the Miraflores Locks transfer 26 million gallons of water in under 7 minutes at its Pacific end.
Panama Canal Railway
Ride the world's first transcontinental railway. Experience Panama's rainforest setting along the historic route originally built in 1855 during the heyday of the California gold rush.
Panama Canal Transit
Experience the thrill of canal transit and the intricacy of the lock's system firsthand as your ferry is lifted over 85 feet above sea level, from one body of water to the next.
Cruise Gatun Lake
A jungle boat excursion through the dense rainforest highlights the abundance of exotic wildlife and breathtaking scenery found along this vital waterway, a key component of the Panama Canal's intricate system.
Experience traditional Embera hospitality when you are invited into a world of ancient ritual, native culture, and timeless wonder. Watch a ceremonial dance routine, explore the unspoiled grounds, and marvel at the exquisite handmade crafts.
Aerial Tram & Sobernia National Park
Nestled within the vast Soberania National Park, an aerial tram soars over the Gamboa Rainforest, a jungle paradise and complex ecological system that showcases some of the most spectacular vegetation and wildlife in the world.
Panama Canal Expansion
Get a close-up view of the engineering and construction behind the canal's expansion. The massive project includes widening Gatun Lake and creating two new sets of locks in 2016.