"rendered peripheral by the Panama Canal"


Panorama of the Pacific Entrance of the Panama Canal
Creative Commons AttributionPanorama 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.