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porvenir-2.jpg portobelo.jpg San Fernando (Portobelo) © A. Maiquez (1).jpg Canal de Panama (Ecluses de Gatun) © (5).jpg Colon (Caraïbes) © (4).jpg Festival Congo - Panama (Portobelo) © (8).jpg

In the northern part of the country, Colón is the Atlantic entrance of the Panama Canal. Do not fail to visit the Gatún Locks and to pass through their impressive gates. Above the Caribbean Sea, the ruins of the San Lorenzo and Portobelo fortresses, remnants of the tormented past of Panama, are classified as World Heritage by UNESCO. The area is also the land of the Embera Indians who still live in a traditional way near the Chagres River. The dancing traditions and the interpretations of the Afro-Panamean culture can be felt in the impressive visual shows of those who are named Diablos y Congos de Portobelo. The world "congo" nowadays represents the dances, the music, and the storytellers of folkloric shows of those former prisoners' history. These ceremonies, which correspond to the four days of the carnaval, are not purely "carnaval" activities. In February, in Portobelo and all the Costa Arriba area, this is the occasion to reproduce this colonial history.

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