One of the principal attractions on the coast of the Province of Colon is the town of Portobelo which hosts the ruins of a set of fortifications that protected the strategic Bay of Portobelo, a critical port that supported and supplied the Spanish silver and gold trade from the 16th to 18th centuries.
Three main forts comprise the defensive fortifications of Portobelo: San Geronimo, Santiago and across the bay, San Fernando. These ruins still boast their impressive batteries of canons and visitors are free to explore the ruins and imagine the many battles that were waged at this site as famous pirates such as Sir Francis Drake and Captain Henry Morgan attacked and pillaged the town. Nearby, visitors can also go into the Customs House where materials and wealth were housed for trading when the Spanish fleets would come to port. Inside, there is a small museum with various artifacts and a short video on the history of Portobelo.