Portobelo is a port city in Central Panama. It is located on the northern part of the Isthmus of Panama.

6 things to do

All Places Panama

Sunset Cabins

This excellent Resort in Portobelo consists of six cabins and five rooms, all with ocean-view balcony, air condition, hot water, king or queen sized beds. They also have a restaurant with local cuisine prepared with products selected fresh from the sea and farm.

SLEEP   —  +507 2613841 —  Map


Diving Panama; either snorkeling or with tanks (scuba). Panama offers both, a vivid and colorful submarine world of the Atlantic Ocean, with clear Caribbean waters; also the vast and mysterious Pacific Ocean, with plenty of the great marine species.

DO   —  +507 261 3841 —  Map

Pizza Place

This small place does pizza and sandwiches roughly from 1200 until 1930. The food is excellent despite the grumpy staff and slow service. They also do very good real fruit milkshakes (available without milk). Beer is very cheap too.

EAT   —  Map

Panama Divers

Dive company owned and operated by seasoned PADI professionals dedicated to ensuring the safety and enjoyment of every customer and committed to protecting environment.

DO   —  +507 448 2293 —  Map

Hostel Portobelo and Captain Jack's Canopy Bar

Hostel Portobelo features dormitories, private rooms, bar and restaurant. Located 2 min walk from the center of town. Up the hill with a great view over the bay.

SLEEP   —  +507 448 2009 —  NO 3 Genea

Pirates Cove

Pirates Cove has private rooms. Tiki Bar and restaurant on premises.

SLEEP   —  +507-448-2504 —  Map

About Portobelo

Portobelo was founded in 1597 by Spanish explorer Francisco Velarde y Mercado. From the sixteenth to the eighteenth centuries it was an important silver-exporting port in New Granada on the Spanish Main and one of the ports on the route of the Spanish treasure fleets.

The city was also victim of one of Captain Henry Morgan's notorious adventures. In 1668, Morgan led a fleet of privateers and 450 men against Portobelo, which, in spite of its good fortifications, he captured and plundered for 14 days, stripping it of nearly all its wealth. This daring endeavour, although successful, also proved particularly brutal as it involved rape, torture, and murder on a grand scale.

On November 21, 1739, the port was again attacked and captured by a British fleet, commanded this time by Admiral Edward Vernon during the War of Jenkins' Ear. The British victory created an outburst of popular acclaim throughout the British Empire, and many streets and settlements in the British Isles and the Thirteen Colonies were named Portobello such as the Portobello Road in London.

However, the town was quickly recovered by the Spanish and Admiral Vernon suffered a major defeat against the stronghold of Cartagena de Indias in 1741. Vernon was forced to return to England with a decimated fleet and over 18,000 casualties. Despite the Portobelo campaign, British efforts of gaining a foothold in the Spanish Main and disrupting the galleon trade were fruitless. Following the War of Jenkins' Ear, the Spanish switched from large fleets calling at few ports to small fleets trading at a wide variety of ports. They also began to travel around Cape Horn to trade on the West coast.

Today, Portobelo is a sleepy city with a population of fewer than 3,000. It has a deep natural harbor and is home to many cruising yachts. In 1980 the ruins of the fortification, along with nearby Fort San Lorenzo, were declared a World Heritage Site.

When Francis Drake died of dysentery in 1596 at sea, he was buried in a lead coffin near Portobelo bay. They're still looking for him. There are two dive centers operating here. It is also a place to book passages on boats to Colombia.


Source: wikivoyage