The Panama Canal is an artificial 82 km (51 mi) waterway in Panama that connects the Atlantic Ocean with the Pacific Ocean. The canal cuts across the Isthmus of Panama and is a conduit for maritime trade. Canal locks are at each end to lift ships up to Gatun Lake, an artificial lake created to reduce the amount of excavation work required for the canal, 26 m (85 ft) above sea level, and then lower the ships at the other end. The original locks are 34 m (110 ft) wide. A third, wider lane of locks was constructed between September 2007 and May 2016. The expanded canal began commercial operation on June 26, 2016. The new locks allow transit of larger, post-Panamax ships, capable of handling more cargo.
France began work on the canal in 1881, but stopped due to engineering problems and a high worker mortality rate. The United States took over the project in 1904 and opened the canal on August 15, 1914. One of the largest and most difficult engineering projects ever undertaken, the Panama Canal shortcut greatly reduced the time for ships to travel between the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans, enabling them to avoid the lengthy, hazardous Cape Horn route around the southernmost tip of South America via the Drake Passage or Strait of Magellan.
Colombia, France, and later the United States controlled the territory surrounding the canal during construction. The US continued to control the canal and surrounding Panama Canal Zone until the 1977 Torrijos–Carter Treatiesprovided for handover to Panama. After a period of joint American–Panamanian control, in 1999, the canal was taken over by the Panamanian government. It is now managed and operated by the government-owned Panama Canal Authority.
Puntarenas is the capital and largest city in the Province of Puntarenas, on the Pacific coast of Costa Rica.
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Aqaba is the only coastal city in Jordan and the largest and most populous city on the Gulf of Aqaba. Situated in southernmost Jordan, Aqaba is the administrative centre of the Aqaba Governorate. The city had a population of 148,398 in 2015 and a land area of 375 square kilometres (144.8 sq mi). Today, Aqaba plays a major role in the development of the Jordanian economy, through the vibrant trade and tourism sectors. The Port of Aqaba also serves other countries in the region.
Aqaba's strategic location at the northeastern tip of the Red Sea between the continents of Asia and Africa, has made its port important over the course of thousands of years.
Huatulco, formally Bahías de Huatulco, centered on the town of La Crucecita, is a tourist development in Mexico. It is located on the Pacific coast in the state of Oaxaca. Huatulco's tourism industry is centered on its nine bays, thus the name Bahias de Huatulco, but has since been unofficially shortened to simply Huatulco. Huatulco has a wide variety of accommodations from rooms for rent, small economy luxury hotels, luxury villas, vacation condominiums, bed and breakfasts, as well as several luxury resorts standing on or near the shores of Tangolunda Bay. The Camino Real Zaashila (formerly the Omni Zaashila), Quinta Real Huatulco, Las Brisas (formerly a Club Med), Dreams Resort & Spa (formerly the Royal Maeva then the Gala hotel), and the Barceló (formerly the Sheraton hotel) are examples of the most popular larger resorts in the area.
Huatulco is located in the state of Oaxaca where the foothills of the Sierra Madre del Sur mountains meet the Pacific Oceanapproximately 500 km south of Acapulco, Guerrero. The population is 50,000.
Puerto Vallarta is a Mexican beach resort city situated on the Pacific Ocean's Bahía de Banderas. PV or simply Vallarta is the second largest urban agglomeration in the state after the Guadalajara Metropolitan Area. The City of Puerto Vallarta is the government seat of the Municipality of Puerto Vallarta which comprises the city as well as population centers outside of the city extending from Boca de Tomatlán to the Nayarit border (the Ameca River). The city is located at 20°40′N 105°16′W. The municipality has an area of 1,300.7 square kilometres (502.19 sq mi). To the north it borders the southwest part of the state of Nayarit. To the east it borders the municipality of Mascota and San Sebastián del Oeste, and to the south it borders the municipalities of Talpa de Allende and Cabo Corrientes.
Puerto Vallarta is named after Ignacio Vallarta, a former governor of Jalisco. In Spanish, Puerto Vallarta is frequently shortened to "Vallarta", while English speakers call the city P.V. for short. In internet shorthand the city is often referred to as PVR, after the International Air Transport Association airport code for its Gustavo Diaz Ordaz International Airport.
Cabo San Lucas or simply Cabo, is a resort city at the southern tip of the Baja California Peninsula, in the Mexican state of Baja California Sur. As of 2015, the population of the city was 81,111 inhabitants. Cabo San Lucas together with San José del Cabo is known as Los Cabos. Together they form a metropolitan area of 305,983 inhabitants.
Cabo has been rated as one of Mexico's top 5 tourist destinations; it is known for its beaches, scuba diving locations, balnearios, the sea arch El Arco de Cabo San Lucas, and marine life. The Los Cabos Corridor has become a heavily trafficked vacation destination for tourists, with numerous resorts and timeshares along the coast between Cabo San Lucas and San José del Cabo.
Cabo houses a range of wildlife, including rays, sharks, birds, and a range of fish, such as mahi-mahi (dorado), and striped marlin.