Panama Canal Hotel
If you want to stay in a Panama Canal hotel, then Veneto is the hotel for you. In addition to all of our great amenities and services, Veneto is a short car trip away from the famous Panama Canal.
Learn more about the canal right here before booking your tour.
The Purpose of the Panama Canal
The Panama Canal is the most famous man-made canal and has been used as a major shipping cargo route since it was completed in 1914. But before it was completed, ships had to go all the way to the southernmost tip of South America and pass through the Drake Passage to get from the Pacific Ocean to the Atlantic Ocean or vice versa. The Panama Canal can cut that trip by thousands of miles and many days or weeks at sea. In addition, traveling along the canal is much safer than venturing along more dangerous route that goes all the way down and around South America and through the Drake Passage.
The History of the Panama Canal
Though the Panama Canal was finally completed in 1914, it has a long history that precedes it. As early as the 16th century, Charles V was looking for a way to cut through the area that is now Panama to bring back the riches of South America. However, it wouldn’t be until hundreds of years later in the early 1880s that the French, led by a man named Ferdinand de Lesseps, would start carving out a canal in what was, at the time, a part of Colombia. Due to disease, financial problems, and insurmountable obstacles, the French had to abandon their plans in the late 1890s. Theodore Roosevelt seized the opportunity and the Americans began work in 1904 on what would become the Panama Canal.
Interesting Facts about the Panama Canal
Along with its interesting history, there are many interesting facts about this waterway that you may not know:
· The Panama Canal was completed in 1914 and has been operating successfully ever since.
· It took ten years and $352 million for the United States to complete it.
· It’s estimated that approximately 30,000 people lost their lives during both the French and the American construction of the Panama Canal.
· It was controlled by the United States and called the Canal Zone until 1977, but didn’t come under complete control of Panama until 1999.
· It is fifty-one miles long and takes eight to ten hours for a ship to pass through it.
The Panama Canal Today
The Panama Canal has been so successful that tens of thousands of ships pass through it every year, from small tourist ships to large cargo ships. Businesses want to use it to transport their goods and tourists want to travel along its famous route.
Plans for Expansion
That success, however, is taking its toll on the canal. More and more cargo ships are being built to exceed the maximum size that it can handle. For Panama to continue being the main shipping route between the Pacific and Atlantic Oceans, it will have to expand its most famous waterway. Currently, there are plans to build two new locks, to be used along with the three existing locks, that will allow larger vessels to pass through.
Tourism in Panama
Many people who vacation in Panama want to see the canal. There are several day trips available that take the entire route. Certain points along the canal are also surrounded by the lush greenery of the forests of Panama, such as the Soberania National Park, and provide beautiful scenery for fishing, bird-watching, or just relaxing.
Regardless of the reason for your stay in Panama, the Panama Canal is definitely a highlight. Make plans to visit it today.