Panama Canal: Miraflores Locks

After our fantastic visit to the Azuero Peninsula, we took a few days to relax in Panama City before flying to Costa Rica.

We’d gotten a few great views of the Panama Canal from Gamboa, from our numerous crossings of the Puente Centenario and the Puente de las Americas, and from the Gatun side, but we had not yet gone to the observation deck at the Miraflores Locks. If you aren’t familiar with how the canal works there is a great animated cross section of the workings of the locks on Wait But Why and more on Wikipedia.

As we’ve been discovering on this trip, tourists pay an significant amount more than residents and so we paid $80 bucks. Upon turning in our tickets, the guide at the door rushed us upstairs, warning us the last ship of the day was passing. It wasn’t really, just after the big ship went through, another smaller one entered the locks so we’re not sure what that was about. But anyway, when we got to the observation deck there was indeed a very large container ship halfway through the locks.

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There were so many people on the observation deck we had to squeeeeeeze into a spot to get any kind of view of the action. There’s two other levels with empty decks, but they are restaurants or something so no one can stand there, a bit ridiculous, especially when you pay a bunch of money to get in and then can’t see much due to the crush of people. But I digress.

As the ship progressed people cleared out a little and we were able to get a better spot.

As part of our canal outing, we stopped by the administrative offices in Balboa to see the statue in honor of the Goethals.

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