PORTOBELO & SAN LORENZO (COLON)
The San Lorenzo Fort was built by the Spanish in 1596. Standing at the farthest point, 25 meters above the sea level, to get a clear view of the Chagres River and the Caribbean Sea, you can only wonder how many people admired the same view during these 400 years of history of the fort.
The Caribbean side of Panama with beautiful virgin beaches, islands and bays, will tell you about the history and the conquest of Portobelo. Once a destination for huge amounts of gold and riches extracted by the Spanish from the South America, Portobelo was subject to numerous raids and was highly coveted by notorious pirates such as Francis Drake, Henry Morgan, and Edward Vernon. Trying to save his treasures from the pirates, King Philipp II of Spain ordered a fortress to be built on the Caribbean coast. Some of these forts can be seen nowadays including San Lorenzo, San Geronimo, Santiago de la Gloria, San Fernando, and San Fernandin.
In 1980, the ruins of the fortification, along with the nearby San Lorenzo Fort, were declared a UNESCO World Heritage site.
Portobelo, on the other hand, is an old colonial town with rich Afro-Panamanian traditions including delicious Caribbean-style gastronomy.
We will tour the impressive sights including San Geronimo, Santiago de la Gloria, San Fernando and San Fernandin forts. Some of Portobello’s favorite tourist attractions are the Royal Customs house and San Felipe Church, also known as the Black Christ Church.