Fuerte Amador, Panama

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The fast-growing city of Fuerte Amador lies at the Pacific end of the Panama Canal on a peninsular jutting out from Balboa. It has a marina and a yacht club, and lies close to Panama City, which is on the other side of Ancon Hill.

But, if relaxation and shopping is not your thing, you can easily head into Panama City to explore its atmospheric old quarter, Casco Viejo - a warren of streets lined with fine French and Spanish colonial houses and site of a neo Classical palace.

Alternatively, watch the Panama Canal in action at the Miraflores Locks where you will find a viewing deck, a visitor centre and a museum with interactive exhibits of the Canal's history.