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Panama Canal Gatun Lake

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Limon Bay, Colón, Panama

Just inside the breakwaters of Limón Bay on Panama’s Caribbean coast, vessels of all sizes wait their turn to enter the canal—from tugs to tankers, pleasure craft to cargo ships. At the tip of Fort Sherman, a former American...

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Gatun Lake, Panama

In the 17th century, the pirate Henry Morgan traveled the Chagres River to attack Panama City. In the early 20th century, the Chagres River was dammed to create the 53-kilometer-long (33-mile-long) Gatún Lake, at the time the largest...

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Barro Colorado Island, Panama

In reality, the 1,620-hectare (4,000-acre) Barro Colorado Island is a hilltop. Or, at least it was until the creation of Gatún Lake turned it into the largest island in the Canal Zone, one where the Smithsonian Institute operates a research...

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The Culebra Cut, which links Gatún Lake with the Pedro Miguel and Miraflores locks, is a catchy name for a channel that the French started digging. Under the Americans, the canal's most backbreaking work took place here where hills once...

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Panama

As you sail through the narrow Culebra Cut, the 220-square-kilometer (85-square-mile) Soberanía National Park stretches past you to your east. In the 16th century, the Las Cruces Trail in this park was used to transport gold. Today, a...