Arriving in Portobelo we realize that this small town has a magic and a history like few towns in the world. The bay of Portobelo was discovered by Christopher Columbus in the year 1502 on the fourth voyage to the Americas, being the first trip he disembarked in continental America. This place amazed him and he named it Porto Bello. During the time when the Spaniards colonized the continent, Portobelo became the most important point of embarkation of the gold and silver that came from Peru and Bolivia to Spain. The merchandise was transported by mules through the Real de Cruces path, between the city of Panama and the town of Venta de Cruces, continuing along the Chagres River through small boats, until reaching Portobelo.
Due to the wealth accumulated by Portobelo, there were many pirate attacks on this site. The town was fortified however it capitulated on several occasions by some of the most famous pirates of the Caribbean. The first pirate who tried to take Portobelo was Francis Drake in the year 1596 after having destroyed the population of Nombre de Dios, but this time he lost the battle and died of dysentery. In 1601 it was sacked by the buccaneer William Parker and in 1668 by Henry Morgan, commanding a fleet of nine ships and 460 pirates. The looting lasted fourteen days, during which there were numerous cases of rape, torture and murder.
Monkey Adventures Panama organizes the "Authentic Pirates of the Caribbean" tour visiting Portobelo and the fort of San Lorenzo considered as a World Heritage Site by Unesco.