Panama: which way is up?

It’s easy to forget that Panama City is on the pacific coast even though the sun rises over the water.
There aren’t many non-island places on the pacific coast of the Americas that can say that.

So the canal goes roughly east to west from the Pacific to the Atlantic, very counter-intuitive.

Misc notes
– the US$ is used here, though they also have B1 coins (balboas) equivalent to $1.
– you do sometimes see the B currency symbol on price lists (eg entry fees)
– lots of US fast food chains and other companies here (Subway billboard promoted a $2 sub – the 15cm (6″) kind though)
– cabs are all yellow now (as of 2-3 years ago), don’t use meters but are cheap compared to home, and there are lots of them (like NYC)


Panama: Copa lounge at PTY


Safely ensconced in the lounge after breezing through a painless immigration (no more cash departure tax) and negligible security line.

It’s equivalent to a renovated United Club, with the addition of free Bailey’s to make the coffee drinkable.

Flying to Georgetown, Guyana today, also upgraded.
One of my 2 return flights on Friday is also upgraded, I’m surprised the last one hasn’t yet :-)

Panama Canal – Miraflores locks



It’s hard to capture the scale, and with the hazy weather you can barely see the new bigger lock being constructed next door (where the lock will be the size of 4 football fields)

That tanker coming in paid $100K to transit the canal once.

Visitor center (US$15) itself is so so, but I don’t think you can see the lock without going through it (they have several raised viewing decks)

US$8-10 each way for a taxi to get there.