Panama | Panama City and the Panama Canal

Some of our friends moved to Panama over a year ago and it was in our mind to visit them sometime and explore this country in Central America.  When we met up with them in Calgary after Christmas and heard all great things about Panama, we decided to make our thoughts of going on a winter vacation a reality!  After we booked our flights, my parents asked to join and we invited our uncle as well so we had a fun crew to tour around with!!  It was the first trip with my newly purchased Canon 5DmIV camera and a great chance to quickly see how much I prefer it over the previous model.  I’m really happy I upgraded!

We started off with a few days right in Panama City, staying at the Eurostars Hotel which was nice and the location worked great.  There was an incredible view of the city from the pool deck on the 27th floor.  The first day we did a hop on/hop off city bus tour and spent the morning at the Miraflores Visitor Centre.  It was really interesting to learn about the Panama Canal, how it was built and watch a couple ships pass through the locks from the viewing terrace.  We also enjoyed lunch out on Flamingo Island and then wandering the cobblestone streets Casco Viejo admiring the Spanish Colonial architecture and colorful buildings.  It was fascinating to be in the historic area of the city and then look across to the pretty, modern skyline all part of the same city.  We got into a sketchy yet interesting area – there were many security guards around – but seems we missed a good portion of that part of the old city before we ended up by the fish market.

BEAUTI photography travel photography Saskatchewan travel photographer Panama Central America Panama City Panama Casco United Airlines cobblestone street photo beautiful Spanish colonial architecture photo
BEAUTI photography travel photography Saskatchewan travel photographer Panama Central America Panama City street photo
BEAUTI photography travel photography Saskatchewan travel photographer Panama Central America Panama City Panama Casco cobblestone street photo beautiful Spanish colonial architecture photo
BEAUTI photography travel photography Saskatchewan travel photographer Panama Central America Panama City Miraflores Visitor Centre ship passing through locks photo
BEAUTI photography travel photography Saskatchewan travel photographer Panama Central America Panama City Panama Casco cobblestone street photo beautiful Spanish colonial architecture church photo
BEAUTI photography travel photography Saskatchewan travel photographer Panama Central America Panama City Flamingo Island hop on hop off bus tour photo
BEAUTI photography travel photography Saskatchewan travel photographer Panama Central America Panama City skyline highway over the Pacific Ocean photo
BEAUTI photography travel photography Saskatchewan travel photographer Panama Central America Panama City Panama Casco cobblestone street photo beautiful Spanish colonial architecture palm trees photo
BEAUTI photography travel photography Saskatchewan travel photographer Panama Central America Panama City Panama Casco cobblestone street photo beautiful Spanish colonial architecture photo
BEAUTI photography travel photography Saskatchewan travel photographer Panama Central America Panama City Panama Casco cobblestone street photo beautiful Spanish colonial architecture doorway photo
BEAUTI photography travel photography Saskatchewan travel photographer Panama Central America Panama City Panama Casco street photo photo
BEAUTI photography travel photography Saskatchewan travel photographer Panama Central America Panama City Panama Casco cobblestone street photo beautiful Spanish colonial architecture pink building photo
BEAUTI photography travel photography Saskatchewan travel photographer Panama Central America Panama City Panama Casco cobblestone street photo beautiful blooms gardens photo
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BEAUTI photography travel photography Saskatchewan travel photographer Panama Central America Panama City Panama Casco cobblestone street photo beautiful Spanish colonial architecture traffic photo
BEAUTI photography travel photography Saskatchewan travel photographer Panama Central America Panama City Panama Casco cobblestone street photo beautiful Spanish colonial architecture Pacific Ocean photo
BEAUTI photography travel photography Saskatchewan travel photographer Panama Central America Panama City skyline Eurostars Hotel pool deck city view photo
BEAUTI photography travel photography Saskatchewan travel photographer Panama Central America Panama City skyline Eurostars Hotel swimming pool deck city view photo

It was great to learn about the canal at the visitor centre and see ships pass through from that perspective and the following day take a Panama Canal partial transit boat tour.  It was amazing to be out on the water and better understand how the canal works.  An engineering marvel of the world!

It takes ships 8-10 hours to pass from the Pacific Ocean to the Atlantic Ocean (or vice versa) and the record toll paid by a ship to pass through is getting close to a million dollars in the new expanded locks but saves nearly 3 weeks of travel when ships have to go around South America so it’s worth it.  In three sets of locks on the west side of Gatun Lake, our boat raised up 86 feet from sea level to match the lake’s elevation.  We were tagging along with the Mermaid Express and found it neat to watch the tugboats help manoeuvre such a massive ship through the canal and into the locks.  I have to say the Panama Canal was really interesting.  A new experience for me!  And incredible to think of the work that went into creating the canal and the constant management required to keep everything organized as so many ships use this shortcut to move freight around the world.

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BEAUTI photography travel photography Saskatchewan travel photographer Panama Central America Panama City Viator Panama Canal partial transit boat tour harbour photo
BEAUTI photography travel photography Saskatchewan travel photographer Panama Central America Panama City Viator Panama Canal partial transit morning boat tour Pacific Ocean photo
BEAUTI photography travel photography Saskatchewan travel photographer Panama Central America Panama City Viator Panama Canal partial transit boat tour Pacific Ocean canal pilot boat photo

We went under the Bridge of the Americas and later the Friendship Bridge.

BEAUTI photography travel photography Saskatchewan travel photographer Panama Central America Panama City Viator Panama Canal partial transit boat tour Pacific Ocean Bridge of the Americas Pan-American highway photo
BEAUTI photography travel photography Saskatchewan travel photographer Panama Central America Panama City Viator Panama Canal partial transit boat tour Pacific Ocean ship loading yard photo
BEAUTI photography travel photography Saskatchewan travel photographer Panama Central America Panama City Viator Panama Canal partial transit boat tour massive ship Pacific Ocean ship docks photo
BEAUTI photography travel photography Saskatchewan travel photographer Panama Central America Panama City Viator Panama Canal partial transit boat tour Pacific Ocean Mermaid Express ship tugboats photo
BEAUTI photography travel photography Saskatchewan travel photographer Panama Central America Panama City Viator Panama Canal partial transit boat tour Pacific Ocean Miraflores Locks photo
BEAUTI photography travel photography Saskatchewan travel photographer Panama Central America Panama City Viator Panama Canal partial transit boat tour Pacific Ocean Miraflores Locks Mermaid Express photo
BEAUTI photography travel photography Saskatchewan travel photographer Panama Central America Panama City Viator Panama Canal partial transit boat tour Pacific Ocean Miraflores Locks Mermaid Express tugboats photo
BEAUTI photography travel photography Saskatchewan travel photographer Panama Central America Panama City Viator Panama Canal partial transit boat tour Pacific Ocean Miraflores Locks Mermaid Express tugboat in lock photo
BEAUTI photography travel photography Saskatchewan travel photographer Panama Central America Panama City Viator Panama Canal partial transit boat tour Pacific Ocean Miraflores Locks Mermaid Express tugboat photo
BEAUTI photography travel photography Saskatchewan travel photographer Panama Central America Panama City Viator Panama Canal partial transit boat tour Pacific Ocean Miraflores Locks Mermaid Express water photo
BEAUTI photography travel photography Saskatchewan travel photographer Panama Central America Panama City Viator Panama Canal partial transit boat tour Pacific Ocean Miraflores Locks Mermaid Express Gatun Lake photo
BEAUTI photography travel photography Saskatchewan travel photographer Panama Central America Panama City Viator Panama Canal partial transit boat tour Pacific Ocean Miraflores Locks Mermaid Express San Pedro locks photo
BEAUTI photography travel photography Saskatchewan travel photographer Panama Central America Panama City Viator Panama Canal partial transit boat tour Pacific Ocean Miraflores Locks Mermaid Express water level difference photo
BEAUTI photography travel photography Saskatchewan travel photographer Panama Central America Panama City Viator Panama Canal partial transit boat tour Pacific Ocean Miraflores Locks Mermaid Express Friendship Bridge photo
BEAUTI photography travel photography Saskatchewan travel photographer Panama Central America Panama City Viator Panama Canal partial transit boat tour Pacific Ocean Miraflores Locks WWII crane cruiseship photo
BEAUTI photography travel photography Saskatchewan travel photographer Panama Central America Panama City Viator Panama Canal partial transit boat tour Pacific Ocean Miraflores Locks Gatun Lake Culebra cut photo

I hope to share the second part of our trip soon…Playa Coronado and a couple day trips into the jungle!

1 May 2017 - 7:47 pm

Laurie - wow, wow, wow!! gorgeous!!

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