Portobelo is a port city in Colón Province, Panama, established during the Spanish colonial period. Located on the northern part of the Isthmus of Panama, it has a deep natural harbor and was used as a center for silver exporting before the mid-eighteenth century and destruction in the War of Jenkins' Ear.
It slowly rebuilt and the city's economy revived briefly in the late nineteenth century during construction of the Panama Canal. But, today Portobelo is a sleepy city with a population of fewer than 3,000. In 1980 the ruins of the Spanish colonial fortifications, along with nearby Fort San Lorenzo, were designated as a UNESCO World Heritage Site.