Iglesia de San Felipe


This Roman Catholic church dating from 1814 is home to Portobelo's famed Black Christ; it's to the left of the main altar. The faithful attribute scores of miracles to the 1.5m-high statue found floating in the bay, and it's celebrated every October with the popular Festival del Christo Negro.

The church was the last structure built by the Spanish before they withdrew from Panama.

Lonely Planet's must-see attractions

Nearby Portobelo attractions

2. Fuerte San Jerónimo

0.06 MILES

Fuerte San Jerónimo, close to the center of Portobelo, was the largest fortress ever built to protect the bay. Some two dozen embrasures with 16 cannons…

3. Real Aduana de Portobelo

0.08 MILES

Under renovation at the time of research, the handsome, two-story Royal Customs House of Portobelo was originally built in 1638 to serve as the contaduría…

4. Mirador Perú


Atop a hill overlooking much of the bay is a small but well-preserved watchtower called Mirador Perú, which was built at the same time as Fuerte Santiago…

5. Fuerte Santiago

0.34 MILES

Approaching from the west, Portobelo's first fort is Fuerte Santiago. Built in 1753, some 14 years after Vernon’s attack, some walls were 3m thick and…

6. Fuerte San Fernando

0.68 MILES

In 1601 Fuerte San Felipe and Fuerte San Diego were built near the mouth of the bay but were subsequently destroyed by Admiral Vernon in 1739. Fuerte San…

7. Playa Blanca

1.78 MILES

A 20-minute, US$45 return boat ride from Portobelo will bring you to this lovely white-sand beach on a tranquil cove surrounded by dense wilderness. It…

8. San Antonio

23.89 MILES

A Wounaan indigenous community that receives visitors for cultural tours, including traditional dances and rainforest walks, and also sells beautiful…