A world class visitor center with 12 minute video viewing theater, museum section and of course the enormous covered viewing platform. Transited the canal a dozen times in past work profession and have come here over the years and they continue to improve this vistor venue and its at world class now.
There is a buffet restaurant one level below the viewing tower if you want to avoid the crowds on the upper level and take amaxing photos of the ships coming thru the locks from your table... You must reserve a table if you want covered balcony rail (vs inside).
The largest ships transit the canal during daylight for safety reasons, they go in conveys of 6-8 ships with starts on both the Atantic and Pacific side and they they pass each other in the Gatun Lake where there is enough room to do so. This means after the last morning North bound morning ships clears the Mira Flores locks (usually by 11am) you will not have any ships in the Mira Flores Locks til the first Southbound large ship arrives @1-2pm depending on the number in the convoy that day.
Tip: You really want to be there when there are ships in the locks being moved with aid of locamatives from one lock to the next so either go early morning 8-10 or for a late lunch with reservations @130-2pm or any time in late afternoon from the covered viewing deck but heat might make you cut you viewing short.
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