Panama Canal Miraflores Locks are the most popular of the three locks of this famous waterway. Miraflores point is also the most accessible by tourists coming from the city, like we did in 2012. What makes it even more popular is the visitors center and the restaurant. – a very busy place 🙂 When a boat arrives, everybody goes out to see it and take photos. The authorities don’t let you go too close to the water, therefore they put a fence along the deck.
** Click on the photos to see a larger format in my Panama Canal original gallery.
I also used every possible and available place and took some shots that I will be always proud to show to my friends.
– “We’ve seen the Panama Canal!“, I tell to anyone inquiring about our travels 🙂
Needless to say that Panama Canal is one of the greatest man made marvels of modern history. It literally cuts the American continent in two from the Atlantic to the Pacific for a length of 82 kilometers (about 51 miles). The construction was intended to significantly reduce the time, cost and dangers of water transportation between the two oceans. It was started in 1881 by the French, but they stopped because of technical difficulties at that time. Only in 1904 the United States took over. They finished the project in 1914. Recently (in 2016 ), the Panamanians completed an extension to increase its capacity.
Although it takes about 8 to 10 hours for a ship to cross the canal, Miraflores is always busy. Cargo boats and cruise ships travel alongside. Smaller embrocations travel at night.
But there is a schedule for the boats that go from the Atlantic to the Pacific and vice-versa, so they don’t conflict.
It takes a lot of dexterity to maneuver a boat through the narrow canal and locks. A captain designated by the Panama Canal Authority has to come on board to guide the ship. I’m not sure what the crew does while going through the locks, but they seemed to me quite relaxed 🙂
Because of the high tide in this area, Miraflores also has the tallest locks.The difference in water level between locks is of about 17 meters (54 feet), and the vessels make it in two stages.
What’s great, is that here at Miraflores you can watch the whole process of the crossing operation.
Yes, I liked this red cargo boat crossing the canal – it’s quite photogenic 🙂
If you are interested, I uploaded some of these photos to my Fine Art America gallery, and they are available as high quality art prints for wall, home decor and more