Portobelo Travel Guide

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virgen de la iglesia

virgen de la iglesia


Portobelo is one of the oldest Spanish settlements on the Caribbean coast and at one point was the center of the Spanish Main. It was through Portobelo that almost all of Spain's plunder was accounted for before being shipped back to Spain.
The bay was heavily guarded by forts on both sides and was host to one of the largest annual fairs in the Americas at the time.

It was also fair game for the English pirates, like Drake and Morgan. Much of the old settlement has been overrun by the local village but there are still some good ruins and examples of the Spanish fortifications.  The Customs House has been restored and is a good place to see some of the history.

Portobelo is also famous for it's Black Christ - kept in the church just off the main square.

Portobelo is about 1-1/2 hours drive from Panama City.  Head towards Colon on the Transisthmian Highway, turn right at Sabanitas (Rey Supermarket) then follow the signs.


January 16, 2006 change by giorgio

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