Panama Journals

Portobelo Panama - A Superstitious Town

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A January 2010 trip to Panama by RoBoNC

Iglesia de San Felipe Photo, Portobelo, Panama More Photos
Quote: Portobelo is a superstitious town due to the Black Christ located in the center of town. It also home to three different forts that helped to defend the town from pirates such as Henry Morgan. Tourists come here for the history and to dive and swim the crystal blue waters.

Fort San Lorenzo

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Attraction | "A UNESCO Site at the Mouth of the Chagres River"

Path to San Lorenzo Photo, Panama, Central America
Quote:
Fort San Lorenzo and the three forts in Portobelo together make up a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Although they are grouped together because they performed the same purpose, Fort San Lorenzo is a good distance away from the three forts in Portobelo. San Lorenzo is about twenty five miles west of Colon while Portobelo is about thirty miles away in the opposite direction. The drive time between Fort San Lorenzo and Portobelo, depending on the wait time at Gatun Locks, is about three hours. To get to Fort San Lorenzo, head west from Colon on Highway 32 and follow the signs for Gatun Locks. This is one of three locks systems on the Panama Canal with a small observation platform for watchin...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on April 20, 2010

Iglesia de San Felipe

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Attraction | "Home of the Black Christ"

Iglesia de San Felipe Photo, Portobelo, Panama
Quote:
The town of Portobelo, about an hour and a half drive from Panama City, sits on the northern part of the Panama Isthmus. It is a town that immerses itself in superstition and where one believes that your faith in God determines what kind of live that you will lead. Portobelo, once had a thriving population as a port city during the 16th and 17th centuries, it now has around 3,000 residents. Many tourists flock to this area because of its beautiful coastline, clear blue waters, and the isolation from the hustle and bustle of the big city. Within the center of town is Panama’s most revered statue, Cristo Negro or Black Christ. This statue has a long history and is a testament to the com...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on April 20, 2010

Iglesia de San Felipe
Calle Principal
Portobelo, Panama

Sunset Cabins

Hotel | "A Scuba School and Hotel on the Coast of Portobelo"

Sunset Cabins Photo, Portobelo, Panama
Quote:
Portobelo is a small seaside town on the northern part of the Panama isthmus. While there is plenty to do from exploring the historical forts to diving the crisp blue waters, there is not much in the way of lodging or restaurants. The nearest major city to Portobelo is Colon about thirty miles west and Panama City is an hour and half drive south. Portobelo’s lack of hotels though should not deter you from visiting this unique town on the Caribbean coast. We first encountered problems when we began searching for a hotel in the area. We originally had planned to visit Isla Grande, also located on the northern part of the Isthmus. Traveling to this island would take us right through the...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on April 20, 2010

Sunset Cabins

Portobelo, Colon City
507-261-3841

Fort San Jeronimo

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Attraction | "Protecting Portobelo from Pirate attacks"

Fort San Jeronimo Photo, Portobelo, Panama
Quote:
In 1502, Christopher Columbus on his final trip to the Americas anchored in the bay of what is now Portobelo. He named the town Portobelo, which in Italian, means "beautiful port." A little seaside town about 25 miles east of Colon, it now draws tourists for its clear blue waters, beautiful coastline, historical forts, the Black Christ, and the many different islands, such as Isla Grande, a short distance away. The town was officially founded in 1597, when the Spaniards decided to move their port city from Nombre de Dios to Portobelo. The Spaniards believed they could better defend against pirate attacks if they relocated to Portobelo. Portobelo became a famous port city because of the...Read More

Member Rating 5 out of 5 on April 20, 2010

Fort San Jeronimo
Center Of Town
Portobelo, Panama

Restaurant La Torre

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Restaurant | "A Tale of Two Restaurants"

Restaurante Los Canones  Photo, Panama, Central America
Quote:
While Portobelo attracts tourists because of its historical forts, annual festivals, and a diver’s paradise, it also lacks the high rise resorts and five star restaurants found in Panama City and certain places in Colon. The absence of these overpriced and impersonal tourist traps adds to Portobelo’s small town charm. The accommodations here tend to be small, but are reasonably priced and equipped with friendly staffs and personalized service. The same can be said about the few restaurants in and around Portobelo. There is not a huge selection of restaurants in Portobelo. Because Portobelo sits on the Atlantic coast of Panama, seafood covers the menu. If you don’t like seafood, you m...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on April 20, 2010