PORTOBELO is located 20 minutes northeast of Colon on the northern part of
the Isthmus of Panama.
It is a port city with a current population of 205,000.
Legends say Portobelo was discovered by Christopher Columbus in 1502 and
named it "beautiful port."
Founded in 1597 it became one of the greatest ports of Central America. The
Spanish built Fort San Lorenzo at the entrance to the Chagres River in 16th century
to defend against frequent pirate attacks.
Portobelo is home to great snorkeling and diving, the Church of the Black Christ and
an 1814 Customs House.
COLON is a sea port on the Carribean side of Panama and was founded in 1850
by the Americans as the Atlantic Terminal for the Panama Railroad. Colon was
once a thriving city with many wealthy people living there.