Panama // The Panama Canal and Colón Province //

Parque Nacional Portobelo

The PARQUE NACIONAL PORTOBELO encompasses the town and surrounding coast, although the area receives little protection or responsible management and you don’t need permission from ANAM to enter. It does have good beaches and some of the best diving and snorkelling on the Caribbean coast, including coral reefs, shipwrecks and, somewhere in front of Isla de Drake, the as-yet-undiscovered grave of Francis Drake, buried at sea in a lead coffin after he died of dysentery in 1596. Most of this area can only be reached by sea; you can either hire a boatman in Portobelo, Isla Grande, or Puerto Lindo, a fishing village 14km northeast of Portobelo (also the best option for accommodation), or join an excursion; PADI-certified dive trips take place within the park.

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