Located in the Colon province of Panama, Portobello was founded in 1597. It is located on the Caribbean coast of Panama and was established to protect the Transatlantic trade by the Spaniards and for their treasure fleets, which in turn led to numerous raids by privateers and pirates. The name Portobello means beautiful port if translated literally from Spanish and was declared a world heritage site in 1980 by UNESCO.


There are numerous sites for the tourist who enjoys exploring ruins, with a rich history of pirates and ongoing attacks. The Santiago Fort and Battery was the second line of defense and built in 1760, located at the entrance and still mostly in tact with cannons and fortifications. The Santiago Trench fort was built in 1586, destroyed by Drake in 1597, later rebuilt and attacked again. The ruins are visible at the entrance of Portobello Bay. Other ruins available for viewing include San Jeronimo Fort and Battery and the Santiago De La Gloria Castle.

The area falls within the Portobello National Park, a protected conservancy of over 86,000 acres, 20% of which is actually marine area. This is a star attraction for historians, and the eco tourist, with bird watching, and naturist activities to delight all. For those not traveling with their own The culture is diversified by the influence of the African and Spanish legacy and offers the visitors a vibrant experience where one can even learn the contagious Congo dance of the Afro-Caribbean’s. This region is accessible by road or by air.

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