The town of Balboa, founded by the United States during the construction of the Panama Canal, was named after Vasco Núñez de Balboa, the Spanish conquistador credited with discovering the Pacific Ocean, or South Seas as it was called back then. The name was suggested to the Canal Zone authorities by the Peruvian ambassador to Panama. Prior to being drained, filled and leveled by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, the hilly area north of Panama City was home to a few subsistence ranches and unused marshlands.
The Port of Balboa was first located at the former La Boca French Port, on the Pacific entrance of the Panama Canal. The port was refurbished by the Americans at the beginning of the construction of the Canal into a modern facility named Ancon. Later it received its present name—Balboa. Since its inauguration in 1909, it was a vital port for maritime trade on the Pacific because it was the only one in its category between Salina Cruz, Mexico, and El Callao, Peru which represented the vessels of great fret of those days (3,000 tons) a passage of two thousand miles between both points.
The Port of Balboa has had the geographic advantage that is the narrow Isthmus of Panama, as well at the opportunity to grow according to the demands of world markets. This has caused the largest shipping lines in the world to focus on it. The growth has granted the operators of the port, the satisfaction of having 30 percent of the cargo market moving through the Panamanian ports (according to official numbers given by the Panamanian Maritime Authority).
Durante a recent visit to Ancon Hill, I had the opportunity of taking several shots of the Port of Balboa and its adjacent facilities, like the Marcos Gelabert Airport (former U.S. Albrook Air Force Base). It was a bright and sunny day, which was great for photo shootings. Here we go.
Snapshot of the Port of Balboa taken from an observation point on top of Ancon Hill in Panama City, Panama. Photo by ©Omar Upegui R.
A wide-angle view of the Port of Balboa located at the Pacific terminal of the Panama Canal. Photo by ©Omar Upegui R.
A landscape view of the busy Port of Balboa, one of the most important port facilities in Latin America. Photo by ©Omar Upegui R.
A very wide photograph created by stitching several photographs together to encompass the whole port facility. I was able to do this using a special image edition software known as PhotoFlexer. Created by ©Omar Upegui R.
Snapshot of the Marcos A. Gelebert Airport used for domestic flights. This airport was previously a U.S. Air Force Base used to protect the Panama Canal during World War II. Photo by ©Omar Upegui R.
A closer view of the landing strip of the Marcos A. Gelebert Airport located in the former Canal Zone. Photo by ©Omar Upegui R.
Snapshot of the Marcos A. Gelabert Airport and the entrance of the Miraflores Locks in the background. Photo by ©Omar Upegui R.
While taking these pictures, I was strongly impressed with the photographic features of my ole P&S Canon PowerShot A720 IS camera. I’ve been taking pictures with this camera for nearly three years with highly satisfactory results. Good Day.
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