The Bay of Portobello was discovered by Christopher Columbus on November the 2nd 1502 during his fourth trip. Representing the Spanish crown, Field Master Juan de Tejada and Military Engineer Juan Bautista Antonelli chose Portobello in 1586 as the Caribbean transshipment center because of its magnificent natural harbor and convenient location. It became one of the most important sites for transferring South and Central American riches.From this port, tons of gold and silver flowed to the Commercial capital of the Spanish empire, Seville. Ruins of the solid fortification can still be seen today.

The wealth that arrived at Portobello was a strong temptation for pirates like Henry Morgan, who worked the Spanish Main. With an assault troop of 450 men, he succeeded to loot Portobello during 14 days. On November the 21st 1739, The Harbor was taken by the English Admiral Edward Vernon. After that, the Spanish decided to transfer their goods from different places and used the Cap Horn road to reach Europe.