Fort San Lorenzo


The historic ruins of Fort San Lorenzo are located along the banks of the river Rio Chagres in the province of Colon. Situated on a high

cliff, with a strategic view of the Atlantic Ocean and Rio Chagres it was one of the most important fortresses built by the Spanish. Nobody knows the exact date when the fort was actually built. However, it is assumed that San Lorenzo was created in about 1570. The fort, along with the nearby fortified town Portobelo served, as defense against pirates to protect the transatlantic trade route of the Spanish monarchy. Before the Panama Canal was built,  Rio Chagres was an important point of departure for pirates like Sir Henry Morgan and Sir Francis Drake to pass through the Isthmus of Panama, from the Atlantic to the Pacific. San Lorenzo was also a hub for the American gold rush during the 1840s. In 1980 UNESCO declared both, the town of Portobelo, and Fort San Lorenzo as World Heritage Sites.

How to get to Fort San Lorenzo:

Coming from Colon it takes about 40 minutes to get to Fort San Lorenzo. Another highlight on the way is to pass the Gatun Locks and the Panama Canal.

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