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Panama is a beautiful country, even away from the famous canal.

date of entry 01/02/1999
mileage 242,000

capital Panama City

area 75.517 km²

population 3.332.576

GDP 24.711 M. US-Dollar

official language Spanish

The famed Pan-American Highway is just a legend. It does not run from Tierra del Fuego to Alaska: there is no motorable land connection from South to Central America. Therefore, Otto was loaded onto a container, and his journey took him from Guayaquil in Ecuador to Panama City.
  • Some 14,500 ships cross the Panama Canal every year instead of sailing all the way around South America via Cape Horn. This makes it one of the most important waterways in the world.
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  • The 117-metre-high Bridge of the Americas spans the Panama Canal at its southern entrance, coming from the Pacific.
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  • Christine and Gunther Holtorf watched in fascination as the container ships entered the canal’s locks – there was very little space left on either side.
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  • Ships that fit into the locks used to be classified as Panamax. Larger container ships, identified as Postpanamax or Overpanamax, are now the rule. The locks are now being widened to enable these ships to navigate the canal.
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  • The 82-kilometre-long canal is also used by cruise ships to get from the Pacific to the Atlantic, or vice-versa. On their first trip, the Holtorfs were still able to get close to the canal entrance unimpeded. On their second visit, in 2002, the zone was closed off over a wide area – a consequence of the 9/11 attacks.
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  • Video: Panama – identified by its canal