Panama Canal

If you travel to Panama, for whatever reason, chances are you´re going to want to see the Panama Canal. It´s like a rite of passage. It´s the thing to do when you´re in Panama City. Not visiting it would be equivalent to going all the way to San Francisco, and not seeing the Golden Gate Bridge.

But don´t take my word for it. Go and see it for yourself.

The Panama Canal can be a tourist trap, but it´s worth checking out. Getting there is easy enough and affordable, so why not venture out there for a morning or an afternoon visit.

Most hostels and hotels will recommend that you take the taxi. But I disagree. If you have at least some working knowledge of Spanish and a bearing for where you´re going, then I´d recommend taking the bus.

First, head to the Albrook Terminal, which is quite easy as a lot of buses make a stop at this terminal. Once there, go to the ground floor, and head towards the end of the building where all the buses stop. If you get confused, just ask for the bus that goes to the Panama Canal. Most people will be able to point you in the right direction. You´ll have to pay $.05 to leave the actual terminal building to get to the bus stop.

It might be a little confusing simply because there are tons of buses lining the outside parking lot. Look for the bus that says ¨Gamboa¨ or again, just ask for the bus that goes to the Panama Canal.

There is no need to buy a ticket as you pay on the bus. The fare is $.65

The actual ride to the Panama Canal takes about 20 minutes. You need to get off at the right bus stop, which isn´t as apparent as I thought it would be. There is a sign outside that says ¨Welcome to the Panama Canal¨however if you´re not paying attention, it´s easy to go past it.

My suggestion would be to ask the bus driver to drop you off at the Canal, or simply ask a fellow passenger to let you know where the bus stop for the Canal is.

Once you get off the bus, cross the street, and walk towards the entrance. You´ll walk down a asphalt pavement and will be met by a security guard about 20 km from the main road.

Go past the guard-checkpoint, and you´ll hit the visitor center where you can purchase tickets.

My advice would be to get the complete package that includes the a short movie, entrace into the museum, and a chance to view the Mira Flores lock of the Panama Canal.

Remember to bring your student ID as you can get a student price!

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About Panda Writer
Essay Panda here to help dispel myths and answer FAQs for International Students applying to Colleges in the US.

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