Cris­to­bal

Un­spoiled Par­adise

MSC Buon Gusto - - Contents -

The Panama Canal is con­sid­ered one of mankind’s great­est en­gi­neer­ing achieve­ments. On De­cem­ber 31, 1999, the United States handed over the “keys” to the Panama Canal to the gov­ern­ment of Panama. That mo­men­tous oc­ca­sion ended 96 years of in­volve­ment in the world­fa­mous se­ries of locks that short­ens ship­ping times by months for ves­sels go­ing from the At­lantic to the Pa­cific oceans. Panama’s Cristóbal is best known as the gate­way to the Gatun Lock, one of the canal’s three locks.

And though it may be most fa­mous for its canal, the coun­try’s nat­u­ral at­trac­tions abound, o er­ing some of the nest bird­ing, snor­kel­ing and deep-sea shing in the Amer­i­cas. A na­tion that proudly em­braces seven in­dige­nous cul­tures, its name means “abun­dance of sh.”

Only in Panama can you swim in both the Caribbean Sea and the Pa­cific Ocean on the same day; Cristóbal pro­vides that ac­cess to both bod­ies of wa­ter. Clothes and lo­cal crafts make up most of the fare o ered at Cristóbal’s largest shop­ping com­plex, con­ve­niently lo­cated in the cruise ter­mi­nal.

Gatun Locks, a se­ries of three cham­bers that raises ships over 80 feet above sea level, o ers a beau­ti­fully serene way to take in the Canal. Ac­tive trav­el­ers may en­joy kayak­ing on Gatun Lake, or a jour­ney across the top of the rain for­est via the Gam­boa

Aerial Tram, one of the few in the world to tra­verse the ab­so­lute top of a rain for­est. Lan­gosta Beach is a gor­geous op­tion for those look­ing for more re­lax­ation.

Only in Panama can you swim

in both the Caribbean Sea Ocean on the

same day.

Taste of Cristóbal

Panama’s di­ver­sity is re ected in its cui­sine, with spe­cial­ties like caldo de bo­las de verde — beef dumpling soup tra­di­tion­ally served with pick­led onions, spicy sauces and lemon — bring­ing tra­di­tional in­gre­di­ents from many cul­tures' cuisines to­gether.

Kuna tra­di­tional mo­las

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