Panama -- adventure, nature, and The Canal. Seeing the canal has long been on our "bucket list" and we finally made it. In addition to seeing the daily workings of the canal, it was a thrill to see the new locks under construction. The scope of these projects is almost beyond comprehension!
We began our trip in El Valle, a small town in the crater of an ancient volcano where we hiked, zip lined, biked around the town and markets.
Next, we moved to the Gamboa Eco Lodge on the shores of Gatun Lake, the lake formed when the canal locks were built. Visited the Barro Colorado Island, operated by the Smithsonian since the island was first created; scientists from all over the world come here to study tropical forests. For several days, we watched the canal life in action and had one of the most fun kayak trips ever in the backwaters of the lake. Wildlife galore!
Lastly, our itinerary took us into Panama City, a fast-growing, extremely modern city. I don't know quite what we expected the city to look like, but this wasn't what we had pictured! Toured the city, the "old city," which is getting a big facelift, and The Canal.