It may not be a world heritage site, but I couldn’t visit Panama without seeing the canal, so I took the bus out of town to the visitor centre sited right next to the Miraflores locks.
Just a few years shy of its 100th anniversary, the canal is an impressive feat of engineering ambition. It is also now too narrow for the newer larger cargo vessels now so the government has a project to widen, add locks and generally increase the capacity which is currently around 35 to 40 ships per day making the eight to ten hour journey.
The first attempt to dig a canal was started by the French in the late nineteenth century. The present canal was an American project and it and the land around it were only returned to the Panamanians in 1999, in line with a 1977 agreement.