Last updated: 07:38 AM ET, Wed August 31 2022
Large ships navigate the Panama canal (hstiver / iStock / Getty Images Plus)

Panama Canal

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Aerial view of Panama Canal on the Atlantic side (dani3315 / iStock / Getty Images Plus)
Aerial view of the Panama Canal. (photo via dani3315 / iStock / Getty Images Plus)

“Honoring the past by building the future” is the idea that the Panama Canal was created on, and it continues to uphold this belief. The vision of this heroic achievement was brought to life in 1914, after years of dreaming, planning and constructing what would eventually lead to Panama’s independence and become one of the Seven Wonders of the Modern World.

The Panama Canal is a waterway that was created to provide a connection from the Atlantic Ocean to the Pacific Ocean. At 48 miles long, this global landmark reduces a 14,000 mile journey from California to New York into a mere 8,000 miles, allowing large vessels to navigate across the Isthmus of Panama. By looking to the future, the Panama Canal has become one of the planet’s greatest milestones; bringing worlds together by the diligence of the French and later the United States, who completed the mission of transforming a small dream into a great reality. With more than 14,000 ships passing through the famous canal annually and a myriad of shipping possibilities, the Panama Canal continues to make a grand splash across the seven seas.

Located in the vibrant country of Panama, there are several ways to experience this iconic symbol of hope, which took 34 years in the making. The Interoceanic Canal Museum of Panama (Panama Canal Museum) transports its guests to the origins of the canal through eventful stories and exhibitions. The Visitor Center at Miraflores Locks is also a must-see. It is decorated with exhibits demonstrating the technical improvements of the canal; you may even see a ship passing by from the museum’s viewing deck. The Canal Administration Building depicts its past with an impressive mural; however, what better way to experience this historic journey than by cruising through its magnificent realm on a boat tour.

The Panama Canal bridged the gap between cultures, brought insight to advancements in architecture, and forever changed the navigation of the inter-oceanic passage.