The Isthmus of Panama is one of the most famous isthmuses in the world due the importance of the Panama Canal. The Canal was constructed in 1880 and opened a shortcut to the Pacific Ocean. This isthmus is also the land boundary between the North and South American continents.
Additionally, the Isthmus of Panama is the most narrow portion of the Americas, ranging from 30 to 120 miles wide. It is the land barrier between the Pacific Ocean and the Caribbean Sea. The entire country of Panama lies within the isthmus.
The explorers Rodrigo de Galván Bastidas and Christopher Columbus were among the first Europeans to visit the area.