If transiting the Panama Canal is not already on your bucket list, then add it right now! Located at the southern end of Central America, Panama holds an important strategic position in Central America, thanks to its eponymous canal.

Following independence from Columbia in 1903, the country negotiated a treaty with the USA to allow the digging of a canal from coast to coast. The 48-mile-long canal was finished in 1914 and created an essential shipping route that saved ships negotiating the hazardous 8,000 nm trip around Cape Horn. While you’re in Panama, make sure you visit its rainforest – the largest in the Western Hemisphere, apart from the Amazon Basin. It boasts a diverse and abundant mix of tropical plants, animals and birds, some unique to Panama. Nearly half the country’s four million people live in the capital, Panama City. This is a vibrant modern city with skyscrapers and contrasting colonial buildings in the Casco Viejo district and is definitely worth a visit.

Next destination


  • See transiting vessels from the Miraflores Visitors Centre and learn about the canal and its operations. You can see the history of its construction and find out about its vital importance to the world of commerce.
  • Visit Fort San Lorenzo, the UNESCO World Heritage Site, built in the late 16th Century to protect the entrance and exit of the main route to the Americas. It offers stunning views of the Chagres River and out to the Caribbean Sea.
  • Soak up the atmosphere at Casco Viejo, the historic district and cultural gem of Panama City.
  • Watch the sun rise in the Pacific and set over the Atlantic Ocean.
  • The San Blas Islands, an archipelago of 365 islands off the north coast of Panama, are well worth a visit for their picture-perfect setting.


Transiting the Panama Canal


A flavour of Panama


Oyster 595/01 Panama Canal Transit


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