Panamá Canal’s Gatún Locks: Beyond the Visitor Center

Picture 4

The Panama Canal consists of three set of locks, two at the Pacific Ocean side and one at the Atlantic side.  The two locks at the Pacific side are the Miraflores Locks and the Pedro Miguel Locks.  At the Atlantic side is the Gatún Locks.  Navigating from the Pacific Ocean a ship will first find the Miraflores Locks (Picture 2) after passing under the Bridge of the Americas (Picture 1).  These locks have two stages, meaning the vessel will rise twice before leaving the locks.  Next is the Pedro Miguel Locks (Picture 3) which have one stage, thus raising a vessel once.   These two set of locks place the vessel in the Gatún Lake; the vessel then navigates the lake, passing under the Centennial Bridge (Picture 4).  After crossing the lake, the vessel reaches the Gatún Locks which have three stages.  Here the locks lowers the vessel three times into Bahía Limón and the Atlantic Ocean.

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