Playa Blanca


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 boasts some of the least disturbed reefs between Colón and the Archipiélago de San Blas, and its sheltered waters offer better visibility than beaches closer to Portobelo. There’s a colorful reef in the center of the cove near the beach, as well as a second reef that sits in deeper waters about 100m offshore.

Lonely Planet's must-see attractions

Nearby Portobelo attractions

1. Fuerte San Fernando

1.32 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…

2. Fuerte San Jerónimo

1.72 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…

4. Real Aduana de Portobelo

1.76 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…

5. Iglesia de San Felipe

1.78 MILES

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…

6. Fuerte Santiago

1.78 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…

7. Mirador Perú

1.81 MILES

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…

8. Katuma

25.67 MILES

The third most visited Emberá village in the park – and all the more interesting for that reason alone – is where you'll learn all about the history and…