Things To See & Do
Portobelo’s most famous landmarks are its UNESCO protected Forts and ruins. Spend a few hours strolling around and be sure not to miss out on Fuerte San Fernando, built high up into the hillside over looking the bay with spectacular views.
Aduana & Black Christ Church
Visit the museum at the old custom house, which used to hold so much Spanish bullion it made Portobelo the wealthiest place in the world.
San Felipe Church is the home of the Cristo Negro. Scroll further down this page for more infomation about the Black Christ Festival.
A beautiful laid back Caribbean Island just 40 minutes along the coast. Popular with Panamanians who flood here at weekends from the City. Head down Monday to Friday and you will have the place almost to yourself.
Great scuba diving
Several diving companies are located nearby as the waters around Portobelo have great coral reef, a large range of marine species and even a sunken war plane to discover.
Panama Outdoor Adventures
Canopy ziplining, horseback riding and river tubing are all on offer at one of Panama best adventure companies nearby. Check out their link below.
Great local beaches
Large, clean and quiet beaches can be found a short bus ride away take a water taxi to some even more secluded spots.
Jungle & Mangrove Tours
Go on a guided Kayak tour of the mangroves with an English speaking guide. Plenty of exotic birds, caymen, monkeys and other wildlife will be on show. Walking tours are also on offer.
This beautiful UNESCO World Heritage is located on the Caribbean coast of Panama in the Colon province and in the Portobelo national park. It’s relaxed easy going way of life deceives it’s history as one of the most important and busiest ports on the Spanish Main. Christopher Columbus landed in 1502 and it is said he proclaimed “Que puerto bello!” meaning “what a beautiful port”, the name has stuck since.
The port was heavily fortified however the British privateer Captain Henry Morgan raided the town in 1668, plundering it for 14 days, totally decimating the town and it’s inhabitants. It was attacked again in 1739, this time by the British Navy led by Vice Admiral Edward Vernon ending the settlements main function as an important base for Spanish trading.
Even now you can freely stroll through the remains of the fortifications complete with cannons which are in surprisingly good condition considering the age. Unfortunately much of the surviving sea wall and forts were demolished so the material could make a sea defense for the port of Colon during the construction of the Panama Canal.
The Aduna building in the centre of town was the main hub for the trading of gold and slaves, meaning at one time the town held more wealth than any other place in the world. Today it has been beautifully restored and holds a museum detailing the rich history of the town.