Though Las Tablas is an important provincial “city,” it has very little in the way of sights. After taking in the museum and church around Parque Porras in downtown Las Tablas, there’s little left to do but wander around and people-watch. A good place to start is along Avenida Belisario Porras, which begins at Parque Porras and heads east.
Museo Belisario Porras
The town museum (Avenida Belisario Porras and Calle 8 de Noviembre, tel. 994-6326, 8:30 a.m.–5 p.m. Mon.–Fri., 9:30 a.m.–5 p.m. Sat.–Sun., US$0.50 adults, US$0.25 children), on the south side of the church plaza, contains personal effects, important documents, and memorabilia from the life of Porras, a national hero who is considered one of Panama’s founding fathers and was its president three times. He was born in Las Tablas in 1856 and died in 1942. The displays have been damaged in recent years, according to preservationists, through neglect and smoke from Carnaval fireworks.
Parque Porras and Iglesia Santa Librada
The name of the town plaza is Parque Porras, though it contains more cemento than parque. It’s at the heart of Las Tablas, where the north–south highway into town intersects Avenida Belisario Porras, which runs west–east. This is ground zero during Carnaval.
The town church, Iglesia Santa Librada, on the west side of the plaza, is more notable for the constant devotion of the worshipers inside than for the building itself. The centerpiece is a large altar covered with gold leaf.
© William Friar from Moon Panama, 3rd Edition