The Panamá Canal is a short drive or taxi ride from Panamá City. A must-see, even for those not typically interested in feats of engineering.
The main visitor center is at the Miraflores Locks with a cheaper ticket for viewing platforms only or a few dollars more grants access to the interesting museum and 10-minute film. The thrill depends on boats passing through, so the museum, film and cafe are a good fall-back if nothing is happening or determined to wait for a ship. There is no access to any of the operational facilities.
Just a few minutes further north is the San Miguel Locks for completists only. There is a small car park but no facilities and the view is obstructed by a chain link fence.
Completists will want to continue to the coolest of the locks, a 1-hour drive north to Gatun on the Caribbean side, to be covered in the next post.