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Gamboa is a small town in the Republic of Panama. It was one of a handful of permanent Canal Zone townships, built to house employees of the Panama Canal and their dependents. The name Gamboa is the name of a tree of the quince family.LocationGamboa is located on a sharp bend of the Chagres River at the point which feeds Lake Gatun. Just south of Gamboa, Lake Gatun and the Chagres meet the Culebra Cut (Gaillard Cut) where the Canal cuts through the Continental Divide. Thus, though Gamboa is closer to the Pacific side of Panama, its watershed is on the Atlantic side. A single lane iron and wood bridge crosses the Chagres and is the only road access to Gamboa. This bridge is still in use today. Vehicles waiting to pass over the bridge must wait for a stoplight to enter the bridge, since it is only capable of providing space for one lane of traffic at a time. In December 2010 this bridge was the site of massive flooding and huge floating islands passing under the bridge, with trees violently hitting it, which led to the temporary closure of the Panama Canal.HistoryGamboa was built near the site of the former village of Santa Cruz. Three miles further up the Chagres river was the town of Las Cruces, where 19th-century travelers and cargo disembarked from river barges to take the overland Las Cruces trail by mule. After the completion of the Panama Railroad in 1855, the railroad ran near the area, but made no stops and no PR maps list any towns in Gamboa's present location.Plan your holiday in Gamboa and other destinations, from the rural, to the urban, and everything in between, using our Panama tour itinerary planner.
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Top Gamboa tours
Panama Canal Full Transit Tour BOOK WITH VIATOR FROM $180
Duration: 12 hours
Aerial Tram Tour in Gamboa BOOK WITH VIATOR FROM $46
Duration: 1 hour
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