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Free images of Panama

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Panama is a country in Central America bordered by Costa Rica, Colombia and the Caribbean.  Its capital is Panama City.  It is a country that is  well-known for its Canal that crosses the Isthums of Panama.  Built by the United States from 1904 to 1914, the Canal allows ships to travel between the Atlantic and Pacific oceans.  Dredged waterways at each end of the Canal hold three sets of locks.  The Miraflores lock is at the Pacific side, while the Gatun lock is at the Atlantic side.  The waterway is about 40 miles long.

As a youngster, I imagined the canal to be a narrow, straight, cement canal like the ones I was used to seeing locally.  In fact, however, the Panama Canal is made up of artificially created lakes, channels, and water-filled chambers that wind their way through the mountainous terrain of the area.

 

gatun locks panama canal sign

Gatun Locks - 1

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Panama canal cruise ship in gatun lock

Panama Canal - 1  A cruise ship passes through the Gatun locks.

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two ships enter the gatun locks of panama canal

Panama Canal - 2  At Gatun locks entrance.

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mule pulls ship through gatun locks panama canal

Panama Canal - 3  A "Mule" pulls a ship through the Gatun locks entrance.

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The steel vehicle above that looks like a railroad car running on tracks, is called a "mule".  The Canal has many specially trained workers and canal pilots that steer ships through the waterway.  When a ship enters the Canal, workers called Line Handlers attach steel mooring cables to the ship.  These are in turn attached to the electric train locomotives - the "mules".  The mules pull the ship through the locks and hold it steady while each lock fills with water.

 

Gatun locks panama canal

Panama Canal - 4  At Gatun locks entrance.

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railroad tracks used to pull mules panama canal

Panama Canal - 5  At Gatun locks entrance.

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In the image below, we see a cruise ship slowly being lifted as water is pumped into the lock on the right.  It will ultimately be lifted to the water level on the left.

 

cruise ship passing through gatun locks panama canal

Panama Canal - 6  At Gatun locks entrance.

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panama canal administrative building

Panama Canal Administrative Building - 1 

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The Panama Canal Administration Building (1914) is located at the Canal's Pacific entrance at Balboa Heights.  The building houses administrative offices and includes beautiful murals depicting the construction of the Canal.

When exiting the Panama Canal towards the Pacific Ocean, ships leave the Canal and enter into the harbour of Balboa.  Ships complete their journey by sailing under the Bridge of the Americas and onto the Bay of Panama.

 

panama canal pacific coast entrance

Pacific Coast - 1
The Bridge of the Americas is at the center of the image in the far distance.

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panama canal exit to pacific coast

Pacific Coast - 2
Ships exit the canal to the Pacific Coast.

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pacific coast at panama canal exit

Pacific Coast - 3

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  Did you know....

that an entire trip through the Panama Canal takes about 8 - 10 hours PLUS waiting time at either end of the Canal for your vessel's turn to enter?!

also.....

many types of small and large vessels travel through the Canal including cargo and passenger ships, cruise ships, private and naval vessels.

Some ships are so large that they don't fit into the Canal.  Only ships that are in the "Panamax" size category have dimensions that can pass through the Canal.

 

If you'd like to read more about the History and hydrology of the Panama Canal, 
here's a great article from the US Army Corps of Engineers, Hydrologic Engineering Center 
(16 page pdf) - External Site

 

new panama city view

Modern Panama City skyline - 1

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Panama Image Pages    [1]    [2]  

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World Travel


Cabot Trail-Canada

 


Puerto Rico Artwork

 

"The world 
is a book 
and those 
who do not travel, 
read only one page." 

~ St. Augustine ~

 


Banff - Alberta, Canada

 


Capilla de Cristo, Puerto Rico

 


Chichen Itza-Mexico

 


Niagara Falls-Canada

 


Carnton Plantation-USA

 


Chichen Itza-Mexico

 


Paris-France

 


Heidelberg-Germany

"Now more than ever
do I realize 
that I will never be content 
with a sedentary life, 
that I will always be haunted 
by thoughts 
of a sun-drenched elsewhere."

~ Isabelle Eberhardt ~


Athabasca Glacier-
Canada

 


Kohunlich-Mexico

 


Lake Morraine-Canada


"The journey of a
thousand miles
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with a single step."

~ Lao Tzu ~

 


El Morro - Puerto Rico

 


Rocky Mountains-Canada

 


Ottawa-Canada

 


Peggy's Cove-Nova Scotia

 


Trevi Fountain-Italy

 


Niagara Falls-Canada


"I travel not 
to go anywhere,
but to go.
I travel 
for travel's sake.
The great affair
is to move."

~ Robert 
Louis Stevenson ~

 


Venice-Italy

 


Washington Monument

 

 

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