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Sail through one of the world’s most impressive feats of engineering as you set out on a Caribbean adventure on a cruise to the Panama Canal from Florida. See how the mighty Gatun and Miraflores Locks lift some of the world’s biggest ships as you pass through the canal from the Caribbean Sea to the Pacific Ocean.
On a cruise to the Panama Canal from Florida you’ll visit incredible ports like Cartagena, Colombia, and spend time on the dazzling white sand beaches in Aruba. In Panama itself, you’ll have a chance to look for wild sloths in the Gamboa rainforest, walk the cannon-lined walls of historic Spanish forts in Portobelo, and enjoy duty-free shopping in Colon. Once you reach Panama City, stroll the streets of Casco Viejo, the old center, set against a distant backdrop of the glittering skyscrapers of the modern city.
As you cruise through the Panama Canal, you’ll be able to admire this extraordinary feat of human achievement and at the same time, lush natural beauty. Witness the dramatic rise and fall of the water as you’re levered tier by tier through the locks that carry around 40 ships per day from the Caribbean to the Pacific and vice versa. Sail past tranquil forest around Gatun Lake, looking out for birdlife. Before you enter the canal, explore the historic port of Colon, where you’ll find great duty-free shopping in the Colon Free Trade Zone.
Cartagena de Las Indias is one of Colombia’s most vibrant cities, with a perfectly preserved 16th century center that’s a joy to wander around. Explore the leafy squares, cobblestone streets and colorful homes, flowers cascading over their balconies. Tour the old Spanish fort of Castillo de San Felipe de Barajas and sample street foods like delicious corn arepas and empanadas as you listen to salsa music filling the air. Or head out of town and treat yourself to a rejuvenating mud bath at the El Totumo volcano, and then cool off in the waters of La Boquilla Beach.
The Dutch island of Aruba is famed for its brilliant white sand beaches and the astonishing aquamarine hue of the water here. Oranjestad, the capital, is home to a number of excellent restaurants, serving everything from fresh seafood to traditional Aruban, Indian, and Dutch dishes. Be sure to try a Coecoei cocktail, made from agave nectar and a local favorite on the island. Then head to the beautiful warm white sands of Eagle Beach where you can sunbathe, swim, snorkel, or simply enjoy the views.