The Panama Canal is a 77 km ship canal that joins the Atlantic Ocean and the Pacific Ocean and a key for international maritime trade. Annual traffic was 14,702 vessels in 2008.
One of the largest and most difficult engineering projects ever undertaken, the canal had an enormous impact on shipping between the two oceans, replacing the long route via the Drake Passage and Cape Horn at the southernmost tip of South America. A ship sailing from New York to San Francisco via the canal travels 9,500 km, well under half the 22,500 km route around Cape Horn. The canal opened in 1914. This video shows the canal and a ship passing through.
While visiting Panama Canal we stayed in Panama City. I really liked Panama City. It was a nice change to the more dodgy capitals of Central America. Particularly interesting for tourists are various sites located in the old quarter (also commonly referred to as “Casco Viejo”, “Casco Antiguo” or “San Felipe”). Casco Viejo is designated a World Heritage Site.