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
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