Fuerte Amador, Panama Cruise Port
Under the Republic of Panama since 1999, the cruise port of Fuerte Amador (Fort Amador) was established in 1912 and named for Manuel Amador Guerrero, the first president of Panama. Originally a United States Army base designed to protect the southern side of the Panama Canal; it has since become a popular tourist attraction. The fort is actually a man-made peninsula that extends into the Pacific Ocean, connecting four small islands (Naos, Culebra, Perico, and Flamenco) to the mainland via a one-mile-long causeway. It lies below the Bridge of the Americas, which connects North and South American land masses until the Centennial Bridge opened in 2004. Although you won’t find much left as a reminder of its military use, there are still underground tunnel entrances and the outline of artillery batteries in the causeway. Here are some of our favorite experiences while visiting the cruise port of Fuerte Amador, Panama:
- Walking, running, and bike riding are a great way to get back and forth across the causeway. You'll find multiple places to eat and drink, a view of the Panama Canal entrance, and a fantastic view of Panama City's skyline.
- The brightly-colored Biomuseo (or Biodiversity Museum: Panama Bridge of Life) was designed by renowned architect Frank Gehry. Located on the causeway, Gehry says that its vibrant hues represent its tropical location. Biomuseo's eight exhibitions are supposed to showcase Panama's biodiversity, as well as encourage the development of other cultural attractions in the area.
- For retail heaven, there's the Flamenco Shopping Plaza. Here you'll find a duty free store with perfume, jewelry, purses, and the like; other shops in the plaza sell crafts, souvenirs, tropical clothing – even Harley Davidson items.
- If you want to get a closer look at the canal itself, there are several outfits in Amador that can set you up on a Panama Canal tour. Options range from a partial transit tour, to guided north- or southbound tours.