Fuerte Amador, Panama
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Approximately 7 Hours
It's a 45-minute drive from Fuerte Amador to Gatún Lake. Along the way, you will learn about the Panama Canal and its stunning rain forests that represent some of the most accessible green zones in the world. The canal requires a vast rain forest watershed to feed water to its system of locks, which use millions of gallons of water each day. Because of this, the rain forests are vital to the national economy and are assiduously preserved. They are also home to an astounding 105 species of mammal, 525 species of bird, and 124 species of reptiles and amphibians.
At Gatún Lake, board a motor launch for a one-hour cruise. The lake was created in 1907 by damming the Chagres River. It forms a major part of the Panama Canal passage, carrying ships during their transit across the Isthmus of Panama. Keep an eye out for monkeys, toucans, and sloths on the shoreline.
Make the most of an opportunity to encounter the Emberá Native people. This tribe still lives in harmony with the natural surroundings in the rain forest. Witness traditional song and dances along with music performed on handmade instruments. The Emberà possess an excellent botanical knowledge, and they are a warm and friendly people. You will have a chance to purchase Emberà Native handicrafts directly from the villagers.
Spend approximately one hour observing operations at the Agua Clara Expansion Locks observation area. Your guide will explain the engineering feat required to move ships over the Continental Divide that separates two oceans. The new locks offer a perspective of the Panama Canal that encompasses past, present and future. Learn about the recent Panama Canal expansion project with a detailed explanation from an expert. The design, construction and operation of the largest engineering project in the world are quite astounding.
After witnessing the locks in action, board your transportation for the drive back to the ship.
Wildlife sightings are likely but are not guaranteed.