- Last Updated on 19 July 2013
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It is told that Christopher Kolumbus shouted „porto belo“ (Catalan translation for „nice port“) when he spotted a bay in November 1502. The port of Portobelo was later protected by several forts and fortresses which are listed as UNESCO World Cultural Heritages. One year later - in 1981 – Darién National Park in the south-east of Panama was likewise declared a World Cultural Heritage. This is the largest national park of Central America with an area of 5.970 km. It is characterised particularly by various kind of the tropic rain forest. Since the year 1990 La Amistad International Park has also been a further Panamanian UNESCO World Cultural Heritage. Belonging partly to Costa Rica (194.000 hectares) and partly to Panama (207.000 hectares), this national park mainly comprises cloud- and rain forest. Furthermore 263 amphibian- and reptile species are living in this park. Two further sites which have meanwhile also been classified as UNESCO World Cultural Heritages are the archaeological sites in the old town of Panama City as well as the historical centre of the capital city. Today the old town of Panama (Panamá la Vieja) represents a monumental area of ruins which has been one of the world cultural heritages since the year 2003. Two years later the Coiba National Park and various marine areas were nominated as well.