Yes, we’re one of those annoying people that will go out of their way to experience World Wonders. You know, remember the Grand Canyon and Volcan Paricutin? Yeah, we were stoked about the Panama Canal.
The first thing someone should know about when trying to see it is that unless you’re with a tour group, it is a royal pain in the ass to get out there. It is by no means accessible and quite far out of the city.
Secondly, once you do get out there, good luck trying to find your way back. Luckily we saw droves of people leaving and sprinted past them to snag some of the only taxis hanging around.
Thirdly, after all the hassle, while I do appreciate the engineering and ingenuity that went into building something of that magnitude that is still working today, the canal overall is just not that exciting. It was cool to learn that trains pull the boats through the locks.
But this is what the canal really looks like.
And, a video of the trains pulling a boat through – which is kinda cool (sped up quite a bit to save your sanity):
There ya go. That is the Panama Canal. Woo-eee.
At least we were blown away at the beauty of the buildings in Panama City. It is supposedly the new Dubai. Most of the high rises there didn’t exist 4 years ago. They are installing an entire metro system in a period of 2 years. It took 10 to build an overpass in Austin!
So my suggestion?
Watch the canal from afar or on the internet. Save the $8 for the small museum tour and packed bleachers in hopes that you’ll catch a glimpse of a boat floating by.
Go sightseeing through the city. Go replace all the rags you call clothes that are in tatters from backpacking. This city is so much more than the Panama Canal.