Las Tablas, Los Santos

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Las Tablas
Las Tablas is located in Panama
Las Tablas
Las Tablas
Coordinates: 7°46′N 80°17′W / 7.767°N 80.283°W / 7.767; -80.283
Country  Panama
District Las Tablas
Founded 1671
 • Total 698 km2 (269 sq mi)
Elevation 42 m (138 ft)
Population (2010)[1]
 • Total 27,146
 • Density 39/km2 (100/sq mi)
Time zone ETZ (UTC-5)

Las Tablas is the capital of the Panamanian province of Los Santos. It is located a few kilometers inland from the Gulf of Panama on the Azuero Peninsula. Las Tablas is a recognized national center of Panamanian folk: Art, music, gastronomy, architecture, culture and literature. The only Panamanian president to serve three terms, Belisario Porras, was from Las Tablas.

It is known for a lively yearly Carnival, in which the city splits into two competing factions, "Calle Arriba" (Uptown, literally "Street Above") and "Calle Abajo" (Downtown / Street Below), both centered on two streets of the same name. Each faction will have a carnival queen, a parade, fireworks, music, a decorated plaza, food stands, presentations, concerts, surveys, games, contests, etc., all attempting to overpower the other faction's efforts.


According to folklore, the town takes its name, which translates as "The Boards", from planks of wood salvaged from a Spanish ship used to construct the first houses in the town. The ship had run aground on the coast near the city's future location after fleeing Panama City before the arrival of Henry Morgan.

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Coordinates: 7°46′N 80°17′W / 7.767°N 80.283°W / 7.767; -80.283