The Panama Canal: 100 Years

On August 15, 1914, the SS Ancon became the first vessel to make the ocean-to-ocean passage through the Panama Canal. Over the next hundred years, more than a million ships would cross the man-made channel, carrying commerce and culture to far-flung places and uniting disparate nations into a global community. To mark the 100th anniversary of that first transit, we’re offering books to help you plan an adventure through the historic waterway and beyond to Panama and Costa Rica.

The Path Between the Seas.  A great story, admirably told in vivid, page-turning detail. David McCullough reveals the full scope of the Panama Canal, its characters, technical difficulties and Byzantine politics, capturing all the international intrigue. It's 700 pages long but reads like a suspense novel.

Panama Canal by Cruise Ship. This outstanding guide to the Panama Canal and popular ports of call in Mexico, the Caribbean and Central America features a mile-by-mile guide to the transit, a history of the building of the canal and a detailed pull-out map. With a roundup of popular ports from Florida to the Mexican Riviera and California, helpful city maps and color photographs.

Cruising Panama's Canal. Al and Sunny Lockwood are a pair of intrepid retirees who lovingly documented their 17-day cruise through the Panama Canal. The subtitle, "Savoring 5,000 Nautical Miles and 500,000 Decadent Calories," says it all; while Sunny documents the practical details, historical facts and unexpected encounters of their cruise, Al reviews the desserts and delicacies -- luxuries large and small -- served aboard their 1,200 passenger ship. Aimed at travelers who may be veterans of life, but first time cruisers.

What Is the Panama Canal? This fun, illustrated book for young travelers narrates the dangers and innovations of the man-made 48-mile-long Panama Canal. Includes illustrations and 16 pages of photos.

Costa Rica, A Journey Through Nature. Organized by region, BBC Wildlife Photographer of the Year Adrian Hepworth's color photographs showcase the diversity of wildlife and landscapes of Costa Rica. This second edition includes more than 100 new photos and maps with updated text and introduction.

Costa Rica, The Complete Guide. From pristine beaches and jungle waterfalls to high-altitude coffee plantations, award-winning author and photographer James Kaiser shows readers the best of Costa Rica, including the country's stunning collection of national parks.