Suggested stay: 2 nights

Setting: Nature; ocean

Best time to go: Year round

In a nutshell: Portobelo was one of the most important cities in the world during the Spaniards’ conquest of the New World. Located about 90 minutes from Panama City, Portobelo still displays magnificent examples of 17th- and 18th-century military architecture, mainly a number of forts, which were part of the defense system built by the Spanish Crown to protect transatlantic trade. These ruins are scattered around Portobelo, complete with cannons pointing out to see, stone walls, etc. The Customs House has been restored and contains a small exhibition on the area’s history. Another attraction is the statue of the Black Christ, which was washed ashore after a ship wreck. After several attempts at returning it to its owner, it was enshrined in a local church. Sir Francis Drake is buried at sea near Drake’s Island where many a hopeful diver has searched for his famous lead coffin


  • Unesco World Heritage Site
  • Colonial ruins
  • The Congo culture
  • Portobelo Bay

How to get there

  • Overland transfer from Panama City (1.5 hours)
  • Overland transfer from Colon port (45 minutes)

What to do

  • Jungle hiking
  • Snorkeling / diving
  • Kayaking
  • Artisanal fishing
  • Water sports
  • Art workshops
  • Canopy tours

Journeys featuring this location:

Secluded Hideaways