Portobelo and  Colon

The region of Portobelo is rich in history and the city of Colon just as much. A true starting point for the Spanish Conquistador’s Gold Route, the region has an important heritage.

History and Geography :

Discovered by Christopher Columbus, the bay owes its name to “pretty port” or Portobelo in Spanish. Located on the Caribbean coast, the city was the main port for the departure of gold and other goods to Europe. In addition, the city of Colon has long been nicknamed “the pequena tasa de oro” (small cup of gold) but for musical reasons. The city indeed has long been one of the popular venues of Salsa music. Colon is then the gateway to the Atlantic Ocean for the Panama Canal and many boats pass daily through this port. Finally, there is the fort of San Lorenzo which was erected to defend the mouth of the Rio Chagres. This fort was intended to facilitate the “Camino de Cruces”, transport of gold by river.

Hotels and other accommodations:

The area has a few chains but the boutique hotels on the Caribbean are worth remembering. Isla Grande which is a small island in front of the coast, offers some charming hotels. Then there are small hotels dedicated to scuba diving very famous in this province.

To discover or to do:

First of all San Lorenzo fort and Portobelo guns for the historical part. Then, the new locks of Agua Clara to realize the importance of the new Panama Canal. In addition , discover the coast for its tropical beauty and Isla Grande for its small wild beaches. The population is predominantly black, descended from slaves and migration of the Caribbean peoples to the construction of the Canal. The African culture “Congo” is an important part of this trip.


The church of Portobelo houses the black Christ (Christo Negro). Legend has it that the Spanish galleons brought three Christ back from Europe, but a storm capsized the body that ultimately remained in the village. Portobelo will not be affected by a cholera epidemic and a party on October 21 celebrates this miracle. The procession starts from all over the country.