Victoria 3: Panama Canal [Complete Guide]

Understand the importance of the Panama canal in Victoria 3 and the steps to construct it.

Currently, in Victoria 3, there are 11 monuments and the Panama Canal is one of them. The Panama Canal is a strategic asset that connects the Atlantic Ocean to the Pacific Ocean. It has great value since it reduces the long voyage of ships around south America and provides them with a shorter alternative.  The Panama Canal provides a whole new Trade Route to your country and this passage is not only safe but also saves time which makes the trading of many goods feasible.  

So, it is important to construct the Panama Canal to ensure safe and faster supply lines.

Key Highlights:

  • The Panama Canal is an important asset that is required for safer and shorter trade routes
  • To construct the canal first you need to survey the land
  • then you need to own the land either a treaty port or the whole state, and then start its construction
  • The Panama canal requires a ton of resources and time so be sure to keep an eye on other variables.

What Is The Panama Canal

All details of Panama Canal in Victoria 3
Panama Canal Details [Image Credit: eXputer]
The Panama Canal can be considered a unique building since it has special inputs and provides outputs. Like other buildings, it consumes goods but instead of providing any output, the Panama Canal provides a better passageway for sea convoys.

When built, the Panama Canal not only reduced the cost of convoys for trading but also makes the supplying of armies much easier. Additionally, it saves your convoys from the threat of getting attacked by enemies and disrupting your supply routes. And it also provides employment in case there are too many unemployed peasants in your country.

How To Construct Panama Canal

Being one of the 11 monuments in Victoria 3, unlocking the Panama Canal is not at all an easy task. There are certain steps the game makes the player take to reach up to unlocking the Panama Canal.

Survey The Panama Isthmus

The decision of panama canal survey
Decision of Survey the Panama Isthmus [Image Credit: eXputer]
Before you even start construction on the Panama Canal, you need to survey the land. This survey is quite extensive, lasting up to 30 months, and can cost a great deal of Bureaucracy to the surveyor. Not every country can just survey the Panama Canal, so the game ensures your country is eligible to work on the Panama Canal before even allowing the survey. To unlock the survey you need to enact the Panama Isthmus decision.

Where To Find The Decision

Go to your journal to find the Survey the Panama Isthmus decision. There are certain conditions to enact this decision which include enough technological advancement and a ton of bureaucracy.  

Requirements For The Decision

Your country must be a Great Power, or you must own the Panama State, in order to have access to this decision. This way Victoria 3 ensures that the construction of the Canal is according to historic events. Through these conditions, there is no way of building this canal before its set time.

Great Powers are usually countries in the top 6 ranks. Your country must also be recognized since unrecognized major powers don’t qualify as a Great Power. And the ranks, in Victoria 3, are measured by your country’s prestige and recognition, in comparison to the other countries in the world.

Or you must own the Panama state to start working on the Panama Canal. This is a less likely event unless you are playing as New Granada or have conquered the state of Panama through wise Diplomatic Plays.

The Panama Survey

The Panama Canal Survey
The Panama Survey [Image Credit: eXputer]
After the survey the Panama Isthmus decision is enacted, you can see the 30 months long survey progress on the journal tab. Wait for 30, in-game, months for the Panama Survey to complete. After that, the game will prompt you to make a decision.

Panama Isthmus Surveyed
Panama Isthmus Surveyed [Image Credits: eXputer]
You must now have the land from the Country that rules over Panama, New Granada in this case. There are 2 ways to have the land; either through a hefty amount of money or by coercive means. You can purchase a treaty port for about 10% of your taxes as weekly payments to the state which already owns it. For this, you would need to convince the already ruling party to provide you with the treaty port, which is unlikely.

Or you can choose to keep your money and start a diplomatic play for the treaty port or the entire State Region of Panama. This can result in a war outbreak and you need to be very careful of your resources during this time.


Now, after obtaining the state, all you have to do is begin construction. Go to the buildings tab by clicking the Panama Canal location and scroll down to development to find Panama Canal. Just click on the + sign, and if you have enough required resources and workforce, the construction should start.

The construction itself is a pretty long process, lasting up to 100 weeks. During this time focus on recovering your GDP and try to improve relations with other countries.

There is also a ‘construct the Panama Canal’ entry available in the journal at this time. But it is bugged at times so we would suggest avoiding that.


Now that the canal is constructed your ships will take less time to travel between the Atlantic and Pacific oceans. This will also make your sea convoys safer and will cause a huge boom in your country’s economy. 

There are a lot of factors affecting the construction of the Panama Canal. Since the whole process is quite a lengthy one, so make sure not to affect your country’s GDP in the way. If you are looking to increase your GDP while constructing the Panama canal make sure to check out our guide on how to increase GDP in Victoria 3. 

Be sure to keep a look out for other countries too, since only you don’t have the exclusive right to Panama Canal. Hopefully, after reading our guide you will be able to successfully complete the construction of Panama Canal in Victoria 3. if you have any queries regarding the article then make sure to leave your questions in the comment section below.

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Sameer Noman is a Guides Writer on eXputer who’s fascinated by the eSports scene in the gaming industry. You’ll find Sameer grinding away at Valorant or any other FPS game when he’s got the time. He’s got several years of writing experience under his belt, you can find out more about Sameer's gaming journey on his Steam profile. Experience: 2+ Years || Education: BBA || Published 150+ Guides || Mainly Covers Guides

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