José del Mar Trail

In this article we want to show you a path which will drive you from a small fishermen´s village Jose del Mar to a beautiful bay inside the Portobelo National Park – Playa Blanca. This trail is located within the Portobelo National Park in the province of Colon. The walk start at the village Jose del Mar, which is about 20 km from Portobelo. The path follows the shore of the Caribbean almost all the time, this allows us to enjoy the beautiful scenery and something better, in the course of the journey there are countless places suitable for a refreshment immersion into the crystal waters of the sea.

The first part of the road runs between the village houses, crossing small bridges over streams that are ending in the sea. On the road we can see several summer houses on the left side and on the right side there are a piers and two small islands. Passing the last house, the path follows the rocky shore, closed between the jungle of Portobelo National Park and the Caribbean Sea. After 40 minutes we reached a place with a home where a fisherman´s family is living, the place is called Boca de la Quebrada. From here the road gets little bit harder and you have to climb up and down over the rocks and large stones that border the sea. If all goes well, within an hour you will reache a small beach with a few coconut trees. Front of you there is a rather steep slope. You will climbe the hill which forms a small edge and will continue about 100 meters along the edge as far as you reach a small clearing. Here you must turn right and look a path well-defined in the woods (the path is near, no more than 20 meters ). Where you find the path follow it to the right. A few meters after you will see a barbed wire fence. From this place you just need go down the last 400 meters and ABRACADABRA you are on white send corral beach – Playa Blanca de Portobelo.

Distance: 5 km (one way)
Time: 2 hours (one way)
Difficulty: Medium-high

Important: Carry on all the supplies you’ll need, especially plenty of water. Never forget that you’re walking in a park and there are living the animals like snakes and scorpions. Good trekking boots allow you to climb safely over the rocks and you can walk more comfortable over the stones.

Como Llegar

By car: Our place of departure is village Jose del Mar, which is located only 123 kilometers from Panama City, approximately 2 hours by car. The best way to go there is to leave the city by the Northern Corridor and continue on the Panama-Colon highway. At the end of highway continue 5 kilometers to the town Sabanitas (67 km) here you have to turn to the right and follow the road as far as you rich Portobelo. Beware! The entrance has a small sign, easy to pass. But there is on the right hand a supermarket El Rey and the entrance is just behind this supermarket. When you arrive to Portobelo (102 km) follow the road and after 8 km you will arrive to the crossroad like 'Y', take a left road towards La Guayra and continues another 7 kilometers. Here just before the Porto Lindo village you have to turn to the left (there is a sign that says Cacique) and follow a narrow dirt road toward the Cacique village. Soon will come another Y. Here take a right and ride about 4 kilometers to Cacique (119 km). Just before entrance to Cacique you will see another road on your left hand which climbs to the hill. Take this one and follow it last 2 km to reach the Jose del Mar, the place of departure of the path. Public Transport: The buses leave from the Albrook Terminal, take a bus Panama – Colon line, which offered normal and express service. Get off at the Sabanitas town, next the supermarket El Rey. Here you have to take the bus to Portobelo (The buses depart also from Colon). The buses to Portobelo depart from 7:00 every hour until 7 pm. From Portobelo take a bus to Puerto Lindo (15 km) is the same bus as to Guyara and Isla Grande. The entrance to José del Mar is just before Puerto Lindo and from here leave buses to Cacique sometimes. For more information needs to ask local peoples. But you can walk, Jose del Mar is only 6.6 km away from the main road Portobelo - Guaira. To return the buses leave from Guayra from 4.00 am to 5.00 pm every hour.

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