As we anchored in the calm, beautiful bay surrounded by lush rainforest this morning, we understood how this port was named by Admiral of the Seas in 1502. During our second day on the Panamanian Caribbean Coast, we enjoyed visiting historical forts, extensive mangroves, and hillside forests. We started our day with Zodiac explorations and walks along the trail.

After a productive morning of activities, we entered the historical town of Portobelo. As we walked the narrow streets, we admired forts built in the early 1600s. These forts tell the story of battles that included famous buccaneers and British admirals, including Edward Vernon in the War of Jenkins’ Ear and the infamous buccaneer Henry Morgan. Morgan severely punished the Spanish and eventually forced his way overland in 1671 to sack old Panama on the Pacific side.

Portobelo is also known for its colorful cultural drum dances. Local Congo dancers depict times of despair, religious themes, and carnival. These dances are a favorite component of the folkloric culture.

Cameras clicked away as all were lured to dance. Captain Tim Lyon joined in, and he got all the applause and laughter. What a great way to finish our visit to Portobelo.

We lifted anchor in the late afternoon and traveled on with spectacular views of the Gatun Locks.