"rendered peripheral by the Panama Canal"
Panorama of the Pacific Entrance of the Panama Canal - Credit: Brian Gratwicke
The Panama Canal
, built between 1904 and 1914, bisects the country of Panama
and allows ships a direct passage from the Atlantic Ocean to the Pacific Ocean, without having to travel around the tip of South America through the Straits of Magellan
. The opening of the canal
had an enormous effect on Valparaiso
, which used to be a traditional stopover for ships, and the economy of the city suffered greatly. In recent years it has improved – the city still functions as a busy seaport, but now relies more on tourism to keep the economy running.