The famous passage that connects the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans turns 100 years old today. The Panama Canal was a massive engineering accomplishment when it was completed on August 15, 1914—it took the United States ten years to build. Now, this strategically located 48-mile-long international waterway is fully controlled by the Panama Canal Authority.
While the country will be celebrating the Panama Canal centennial with events throughout the year, the most exciting news is its ongoing expansion. It includes construction of new sets of locks and is the biggest project to take place since the canal was originally completed. The improvements will increase the capacity of the channel, allowing larger ships to pass through and cementing the region as an important center for worldwide trade.
A cruise down the Panama Canal is one of the best ways to explore the legendary waterway. On land, you can visit the Miraflores or Gatun Visitor Centers to watch the locks in action as ships pass through. The Panama Canal Museum is a great place for discovering its history, and you can also learn about the new improvements at the Expansion Observation Center in the Atlantic side of the Panama Canal.