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Destination: Portobelo and Isla Grande

Because of all the wealth that passed through the area of Portobelo, it became a favorite for pirates such as Captain Henry Morgan, Sir Francis Drake, and Admiral Edward Vernon of the British Empire. The last attack proved the vulnerability of the Spanish trading practices and devastated Portobelo’s economy, which did not rise again until the Panama Canal was build.

Now a days, Portobelo is a sleepy city with a population of less than 5,000. It has a deep natural harbor and has become an well known eco tourism and adventure tourism destination in Panama. In 1980 UNESCO declared the Portobelo and the nearby Fort of San Lorenzo a World Heritage Site.

Isla Grande’s name is a misnomer, as it is actually a rather small island in the Caribbean, off the mainland town of Portobelo, which is located an hour and a half from Panama City.

Much of Isla Grande is protected and open only to limited tourism. Hopefully, the restrictions will protect this gorgeous, emerald paradise forever. Covered by virgin tropical rainforest, there are two walking trails, one leading to a lighthouse and the other leading to the other side of the island where you will find a postcard-perfect beach, known as La Punta. The beach is surrounded by coral reefs, which give the water a greenish hue. A little further down the beach, the waters are ideal for snorkeling and scuba diving. With the water perpetually at 28 to 30 degrees, no matter what the weather may be like, a dip in the water is always heavenly.

Adventure Tours:
Longest Canopy Line of Panama or Jungle Camping
Horseback Riding Tours in Portobelo
Errabache Embera Native Experience
Tubing down Rio Piedra
Snorkeling and Diving Tours:
Snorkeling and Scuba Diving on the Caribbean of Panama
Dive 2 Oceans: Pacific and Atlantic

•    Sunset Cabins and Dive Center
•    Octopus Garden Hotel and Dive Center
•    Coco Plum Hotel

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