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The 2 mile (3.5km) Amador Causeway Panama (Calzada de Amador) is a must see tourist attraction located at the southern entrance of the Panama Canal near Panama City.

Built by the United States Government in 1913, Amador Causeway Panama is unique in that it is the road that connects Panama City (the capital) with four small Pacific Ocean archipelago islands.

For those unfamiliar with this Central American landmark, the Panama Amador Causeway is both a roadway and a walking path between Panama City and these four small islands:

  1. Naso Island
  2. Culebra Island
  3. Perico Island
  4. Flamenco Island

Amador Causeway Panama is a beautiful and picturesque causeway that captures the attention of the locals as well as global visitors enjoying Panama vacations. The roads of Amador Causeway are lined with palm trees and feature magnificent views of the Panama Canal, plus Panama City’s skyline, the Bridge of Americas, and Panama Bay.

You’ll find many recreational things to enjoy plus many great vendors, restaurants, and even nightclubs.

Amador Causeway Construction

The Calzada de Amador was built in 1903, around the same time as the Panama Canal. As a result, the Amador Causeway construction benefited from the 1,250 million cubic yards of rock excavated from the Panama Canal’s Culebra Cut.

The original purpose of the causeway was to prevent sedimentation in the Port of Balboa, which, if left untouched, eventually would clog the southern (Pacific) entrance into the Panama Canal. The causeway was also designed as a breakwater to protect the canal entrance.

The United States investment in the development of Panama, and in particular the Panama Canal, put the Americans at a beneficial position; the United States controlled the Amador Causeway from 1915 until World War II. The United States used the area as a military base, and restricted the Panama Canal’s access to only American ships. During both World Wars, the U.S. Military used the Amador Causeway as a powerful defense system.

Only in September of 1996 did the Amador Causeway become the property of the country of Panama. At this point, Panamanians had complete access to the area.

Amador Causeway Things to Do

Since 1996, when the Panamanians took over ownership, the Amador Causeway area has been redeveloped to attract more locals as well as tourists. Vehicle traffic is restricted to one side of the causeway only, leaving lots of room for foot traffic to access the many vendors and attractions along the Causeway.

Many visitors who enjoy Panama vacations also enjoy a leisurely walk, jog, bike, skate, or roller-blade along the Amador Causeway, visiting all four islands. Others enjoy relaxing along the island beaches and taking swims in the warm Pacific Ocean waters. From the Causeway, anyone can watch Panama cruise ships come and go through the Panama Canal.

Panama’s Amador Causeway provides wonderful views of the Bridge of Americas, Balboa Yacht Club, and Panama Bay. Several projects near the Amador include a cruise port, a marina, the Fuerte Amador Shopping and Restaurant Plaza, plus the Fiagli Convention Centers. Numerous Panama hotels and resorts have popped up in the area as well.

Also worth mentioning is the Marine Exhibition Center of the Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute (STRI), which lets visitors get a close-up look at creatures native to the country of Panama.

While passing through the Panama Canal, it is also worth it to take some time to explore the Miraflores Visitor and Museum.

Caravan Panama Canal Tour

Caravan Tours is family owned and operated and since 1952 we have helped millions of global travellers discover North and Central American on our all inclusive, fully guided tours.

A visit to the Amador Causeway is included as part of your Caravan Panama tour, which is exceptionally priced. Visit Caravan’s Panama Canal Tour page to learn more. All ground transportation, hotel accommodations, meals, and tour itinerary activities are included for one low all inclusive tour price.

To check tour availability and reserve your preferred tour dates visit our Panama tour reservations page.

To speak with a Panama tour representative, please call our Caravan office toll free at 1-800-CARAVAN (227-2826)

panama canal locks cruise

A good number of the 15,000 ships that pass through its three sets of locks annually are now Panama Canal cruises that cater to tourists from around the globe.

Since its completion in 1914, the Panama Canal remains as one of man’s most incredible engineering marvels.

Prior to the building of the Panama Canal ships from North and Central America that wanted to travel between the Atlantic and Pacific oceans had to endure the long and arduous journey around the southern tip of South America.

The distance a ship takes from the Caribbean Sea (Atlantic Ocean) to the Pacific Ocean through the Panama Canal is less than 50 miles; considerably less than the 5000+ mile journey around South America. What used to take weeks can now be travelled in a matter of hours.

The Panama Canal is one of man’s largest and most sophisticated engineering feats.

Canal Route

The Panama Canal operates year round and in recent years Panama Canal cruises have become increasingly popular. Most cruises along the Panama Canal include shore excursions. On Panama’s naturally beautiful, sun drenched coasts, vacationers can enjoy Panama’s rich culture and bewitching natural beauty.

Miraflores Locks – Panama Canal cruise ships entering from the Gulf of Panama on the Pacific side, travel approximately eight miles inland to reach the first set of locks, the two-stage Miraflores locks.

Petro Miguel Lock – After cruise ships traverse the mile long Miraflores Lake they must pass through the single stage Pedro Miguel lock before entering the eight mile, manmade Culebra Cut, which crosses the Continental Divide.

Gatun Locks – The next leg of the journey is along the five mile Chagres River into Lake Gatun, a 20 mile wide (33 mile long) artificial lake created when the Gatun Dam was built across the Chagres River. Panama Canal cruise ships then make the last leg of the journey through the three stage Gatun locks which leads them back down to sea level on the Caribbean side at Limon Bay.

Types of Panama Canal Cruises

There are many tour operators that offer a variety of Panama cruise deals. The itinerary and shore excursions for Panama Canal cruises will vary but may include such popular ports of call as Aruba, Belize City, Cabo San Lucas, Cartagena Cozumel, Grand Cayman, Zihuatanejo, Montego Bay, Ocho Rios, Puerto Vallarta, Puntarenas and St. Thomas.

Themed excursions are also available that allow tourists to discover a world of ancient wonders such as Mayan ruins and world of the Inca bathed in the soul stirring beauty of the Caribbean.

Some Panama Canal cruises last for the entire vacation where vacationers remain with the ship except for various shore excursions.

Other Panama cruises are much shorter and may be part of an all inclusive vacation package tour. Our Caravan Panama Canal cruises are all inclusive and fully escorted.

All Inclusive Tours

Caravan’s Panama Canal fully guided tour also includes a jungle cruise along the Chagres River to visit an authentic Embera Indian village. From Panama City, our tour guests will also explore places like Panama Viejo (Old Panama), Bridge of Americas, Gamboa Rainforest, Colon, and Playa Bonita.

A Panama Canal cruise is included as part of Caravan Tours’ All Inclusive Panama Package Tour. This is a fully escorted 8-day package tour exceptionally priced, starting at just $1,295.

Caravan Tours offers All Inclusive Vacation Packages throughout Central and North America, including Canada.

Call toll free, 1-800-CARAVAN (227-2826) to make a reservation or for more tour information.

More and more travelers from around the globe are discovering the beauty and impressive man made landmarks of Panama. You now have a lot of options for fully guided all inclusive Panama tour companies.

And, while many people vacation in Panama to explore this country’s Spanish colonial heritage or to enjoy world-class resorts, white sandy beaches and rainforest tours, Panama offers so much more.

Caravan Tours wants to show you the amazing man made landmarks in Panama. Explore the Panama Canal and Gatun Lake, both of which remain the most popular tourist attractions in Panama.

On your fully guided Caravan Panama tour, you will have a chance to explore many of these exceptional man-made wonders.

#1 – Gatun Lake Panama – 164 sq. miles

Completed in 1913, it took engineers six years to build the Gatun Dam across the valley floor. Gatun Dam is just six miles inland from the Caribbean Sea on the Atlantic side of Panama. At the time, Gatun Dam was the world’s largest dam, blocking off the Chagres River to create what was then the world’s largest man-made lake, Gatun Lake.

Water from Gatun Lake is integral to the operation of Gatun Locks,  a major part of the Panama Canal project.

Ships passing through the Panama Canal between the Atlantic and Pacific oceans travel approximately 15 miles across Gatun Lake. Canal ships must traverse around man-made islands; remnants of the flooded surrounding hilltops. One of these islands is home to the Smithsonian Tropical Research, a privately funded institute.

#2 – 48 mile Panama Canal Connects Atlantic & Pacific Oceans

Gatun Lake is a man-made lake and part of the Panama Canal. It is one of the largest man made landmarks of Panama and nothing short of an engineering marvel. The Panama Canal was completed in 1914. Cargo ships and pleasure craft (15,000+ annually) that want to travel between the Pacific Ocean and the Atlantic Ocean no longer have to journey for weeks and over 5,000 miles around the tip of South America. Instead, they can traverse approximately 50 miles in a matter of hours across Gatun Lake and through the Panama Canal’s three sets of locks.

#3 – Gamboa & Pipeline Road Trail Panama

The Gamboa Panama area was once a key stop on the gold trail during Spanish occupation. The town of Gamboa was established in 1911 as part of the Panama Canal project and is located in the original Canal Zone. Gamboa’s first inhabitants were employees of the Panama Canal construction.

Hidden by lush rainforests, Gamboa Panama is now a popular destination for biologists, zoologists and bird-watchers because of its thriving animal and plant populations. In fact, Pipeline Road is widely known for its bird species. The Pipeline Road Trail is used for guided tours that take visitors into some of the most highly regarded bird-watching locations in the world.

Gamboa has also become a favorite starting point for avid fishermen who want to try their luck on Gatun Lake. The Rainforest Resort offers excellent accommodations in this beautiful region.

#4 – 5,425 Ft. Bridge of the Americas Panama

Our Caravan Panama Canal tour also includes a canal cruise beneath the Bridge of the Americas, another one of the amazing man made landmarks of Panama. This is a “must see” man-made bridge for vehicle traffic. The Americas Bridge name is derived from the fact that it connects the North American landmass with the South American landmass. Bridge of the Americas took three years to build, is over a mile wide, and was completed in 1962. In fact, it actually crosses part of the Pacific Ocean at the Panama Canal entrance near Panama City, the capital.

#5 – 3,451 Ft. Panama Centennial Bridge

Completed in 2004, Panama’s Centennial Bridge is another one of the impressive man made landmarks of Panama. This structure spans nearly 3,500 feet. Earlier Panama bridges across the Chagres River were built to swing out of the way of the large ships that passed through the canal. Both the Bridge of the Americas and the Centennial Bridge are elevated, non-swinging bridge designs. The Centennial Bridge addressed the need for a new companion bridge to ease the volume of traffic across the Bridge of the Americas.

Panama Canal Tour by Caravan

Family owned and operated Caravan Tours has been conducting North and Central American fully guided tours since 1952.

As part of your all inclusive Panama vacation, Caravan includes a guided Panama Canal cruise across Gatun Lake plus a chance to witness some of the other Panama man-made wonders mentioned in this article. These are some of Central America’s most impressive man-made structures and major Panama tourist attractions!

Caravan Panama tours are exceptionally priced, fully escorted vacations that also include all ground transportation, tour activities, meals, and hotel accommodations. Visit Caravan’s Panama tour reservations page to check tour availability or visit our Panama Canal Tour page

Call us today toll free at 1-800-CARAVAN (227-2826) to reserve the best dates for your all inclusive Caravan Panama Canal tour!