Miraflores Locks – My Shot of the Day – January 21, 2013

panama canal

Miraflores is the name of one of the three locks that form part of the Panama Canal and the name of the small lake that separates these locks from the Pedro Miguel locks upstream. In the Miraflores locks, vessels are lifted (or lowered) 54 feet (16.5 m) in two stages, allowing them to transit to or from the Pacific Ocean port of Balboa (near Panama City). Ships cross below the Puente de las Américas (Bridge of the Americas) which connects North and South America.
As of 2005, the following schedule was in effect for ship transit through the locks. From 06:00 to 15:15, ships travel from the Pacific towards the Atlantic. From 15:45 to 23:00 ships travel from the Atlantic towards the Pacific. At any other time, travel is permitted in both directions.

A modern visitor centre allows tourists to have a full view of the Miraflores locks operation. Binoculars are recommended to also see the Pedro Miguel Locks, visible in the distance. As of 2010, admittance for adults to the visitors centre costs US$5 (observation terrace) or $8 (supporting exhibits and video show added) with lower rates for children, senior citizens, and Panama residents free. Viewing a transit operation at the centre can take more than 30 minutes. A souvenir shop in the base level sells related merchandise. The centre closes at 17:00.


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9 Responses to Miraflores Locks – My Shot of the Day – January 21, 2013

  1. Steve Collins January 21, 2013 at 4:08 pm #

    Doesn't look like there's a lot of room to spare there. I guess when they make them now, they make them as wide as will fit. Great shot!

    • James Baker January 22, 2013 at 8:27 am #

      Yeah, our 43' sailboat had plenty of room but the bulk carrier ahead of us was almost scrapeing the sides..

    • Jim O'Donnell February 6, 2013 at 1:16 am #

      Steve, they were saying there that that particular ship had ONE foot space on each side. ONE freaking food. That is amazing. It is no wonder they are building an expansion.

    • Jim O'Donnell February 6, 2013 at 1:17 am #

      James Baker, did you go all the way thru? What was it like? How much did you pay?

  2. Gary Storch January 21, 2013 at 4:14 pm #

    I love it when the giant Japanese Totota Auto cargo ships travel through…with inches to spare. More fun being in a small boat right behind those big ships. Amazing view.

    • Marcia Stamp-Clarke January 21, 2013 at 5:17 pm #

      In a small boat behind or in a tugboat ahead, great experience too!

    • Jim O'Donnell February 6, 2013 at 1:19 am #

      Did you do that Gary? I'd really like to go through next time I'm down there. And yes…I'm for sure going back.

  3. Marcia Stamp-Clarke January 21, 2013 at 5:15 pm #

    Great shot, so many memories of my childhood spent visiting the locks and the Panama Canal Zone. My mom worked in the Administration building for many years. I just saved this picture as my desktop background. Thanks!

    • Jim O'Donnell February 6, 2013 at 1:21 am #

      Thank you Marcia! I had no idea that was your background. On my last day there I ran the stairs of the admin building. Amazing. What a building. Bizarre too…especially with the McDonalds sign so tall right there…. What are your memories? Just one? You have a very unique experience!

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