When to go

The Best time to go to Panama

As a country with a tropical climate and year-round pleasant temperatures, there really is no bad time to visit Panama. With two oceans – the Pacific to the West and the Caribbean to the East – it’s packed with tropical beaches, wonderful wildlife and some of the most beautiful rainforests in Central America. 

Whilst Panama is growing in popularity amongst tourists, part of its charm is that it is still relatively undiscovered. With so much on offer, there really is no bad time to visit Panama.

Panama in January

Avg. Temperature: 26.2°C / 78.8°FSun: 7.4 hrs per day 
Rain: 29.3 mm per monthAvg. Humidity: 70%

If you’re in need of an enticing escape from the typical harsh colds of the northern hemisphere’s winters, then look no further than Panama in January! With long, sunshine-filled days, pleasant temperatures and next to no rain, it can be one of the best (and most popular) times to visit the outdoor adventureland that is Panama. And, as the rainy season has just ended, the natural landscape is thriving from the water it received in the previous months. Read more.

Panama in February

Avg. Temperature: 26.3°C / 79.3°FSun: 8.8 hrs per day 
Rain: 10.1 mm per monthAvg. Humidity: 66%

In Panama in February, it is the heart of the dry season, with only one rainy day on average throughout the whole month. Expect clear, bright skies, almost guaranteed! Bear in mind that this leads to bigger tourist crowds, which in turn means prices on travel and accommodation can soar compared to quieter months. Despite that, it’s a great time to relax on the islands of Bocas del Toro, revel in the rainforest at Soberanía National Park or enjoy the hustle and bustle of Panama City! Read more.

Panama in March

Avg. Temperature: 26.6°C / 79.9°FSun: 5.9 hrs per day 
Rain: 13.1 mm per monthAvg. Humidity: 56.5%

If dry skies appeal to you there can be no better time to visit Panama than during the month of March. Temperatures soar, the sun blazes and there’s barely a cloud in sight. It’s paradise! It is the ideal time to explore the highlands of Panama and indulge in some epic treks and hiking, or for a more relaxing holiday the Caribbean Coast is the place to be. Read more.

Panama in April

Avg. Temperature: 27.5°C / 81.5°FSun: 5.8 hrs per day 
Rain: 64.7 mm per monthAvg. Humidity: 79%

Looking for some serious heat? Then April is the time to visit Panama! With almost 6 hours of glorious sunshine, high temperatures and very little rain, Panama in April will feel like a summer vacation came early. Enjoy the beaches of the Pacific Coast, or the best waterfalls the country has to offer, while the skies are almost guaranteed to be clear, bright and dry. If you’re in Panama over Easter, be sure to check out some local celebrations, too! Read more.

Panama in May

Avg. Temperature: 27.8°C / 82°FSun: 3.5 hrs per day
Rain: 225.1 mm per monthAvg. Humidity: 71.7%

Considering a trip to Panama in May? It’s the start of the rainy season, but don’t worry, there’s so much to do and the great outdoors can still be enjoyed! If you’re hitting the city, the capital has plenty of interesting museums and galleries to escape from a downpour. For outdoor adventurers, Lake Gatun is a beautiful artificial lake that has plenty of exciting activities on offer year-round. Read more.

Panama in June

Avg. Temperature: 27.5°C / 81.5°FSun: 3.9 hrs per day
Rain: 235 mmAvg. Humidity: 81%

It may be the wet season but fear not, there’s still plenty to do in Panama in June! There are fewer crowds, too, which generally leads to better prices on travel and accommodation, as well as having more of this beautiful country to yourself. June can be one of the very best times to explore the rainforest, thanks to the warm, tropical rain that has a magical effect on the vegetation and the wildlife. Read more.

Panama in July

Avg. Temperature: 27.5°C / 81.5°FSun: 3.4 hrs per day
Rain: 168.5 mm per monthAvg. Humidity: 80%

If you’re thinking about visiting Panama in July, it can be a great time thanks to the pleasant temperatures and fewer tourist crowds. The rainy season has started but July is one of the drier months, so don’t let this put you off booking your Panama stay. While there are on average 17 rainy days in July, the good news is that this tends to be concentrated to an hour or so in the mid-late afternoon. As long as you pack a waterproof layer, we’re sure you’ll love Panama in July! Read more.

Panama in August

Avg. Temperature: 27.4°C / 81.5°FSun: 3.8 hrs per day
Rain: 219.9 mm per monthAvg. Humidity: 81%

August is a hot and humid month to visit Panama, at the heart of the wet season, but thanks to the heat there’s barely a trace of rain after the downpours end as it evaporates at lightning speed. The natural landscape of Panama simply thrives in the rain, the lush rainforests and jungles coming to life and the wildlife buzzing with excitement as its natural habitat is revitalised. Read more.

Panama in September

Avg. Temperature: 21°C / 79.8°FSun: 3.3 hrs per day
Rain: 253.9 mm per monthAvg. Humidity: 81%

Although Panama is a wet month in September, it experiences a slight relief from the heavy rainfall of neighboring months and as such, can attract more visitors than other parts of the rainy season. The rain wakes the flora and fauna of the country and creates a beautiful, vibrant and lush green landscape from the Caribbean coast to the Pacific Ocean. The San Blas Islands off the Caribbean coast have some of September’s best weather. Read more.

Panama in October

Avg. Temperature:  27°C / 80.6°FSun: 3.4 hrs per day
Rain: 330.7 mm per monthAvg. Humidity: 81%

At the heart of the wet season, October can be a good time to visit Panama to grab a bargain on your travel and accommodation. Also known as the green season, it can be a fantastic time to visit Panama if you’re looking for a natural paradise, as the stunning landscape and vegetation thrives from the rain. Read more.

Panama in November

Avg. Temperature: 26.8°C / 80.2°FSun: 4.7 hrs per day 
Rain: 252.3 mm per monthAvg. Humidity: 82.8%

November isn’t the most popular choice for visiting Panama, thanks to the rain, but we don’t think you should write it off until you’ve read our guide to Panama in November. It is true that the rainfall is heavy throughout the month, but it is also quite predictable and contained to just a couple of hours in the late afternoon, so it’s quite easy to plan around the weather! November is a month of celebration in Panama, with five national holidays providing the entertainment for locals and visitors alike. Read more.

Panama in December

Avg. Temperature: 26.25°C / 79.25°FSun: 3.9 hrs per day
Rain: 104.6 mm per monthAvg. Humidity: 75.5%

If you are considering visiting Panama in December, then you’re just in time for the festivities as the Christmas season kicks off around the 14th of the month! After months of rain, December is finally seeing some dry weather and the rainfall reduces significantly from the months passed. Whilst sunshine hours are quite low, the days are long with 11.6 hours of daylight. It’s not too hot, not too cool – December is just right to visit Panama! Read more.

When to go

Visiting Panama in September

Panama weather in September

Avg. temperature: 26.5°C / 80°FRain: 280 mm per month
Sun: 5 hrs per day (sunshine) / 12.2 hrs per day (daylight)Avg. Humidity: 81%

The dog days of August are behind you, and summer makes a poignant punctuation into fall, you can often find yourself missing the fun in the sun that you were enjoying throughout the last few months. You search for places, but you are swayed away from the tourist rush that countries like Mexico, Dominican Republic or Colombia might be experiencing; so you find the next best option — Panama

Make sure to book quickly! Your last chance to visit Panama during its nice weather period is September before the peak rainy season sets in. Still being a wet month, Panama experienced 280 mm of rain during 15 days of the month, albeit mostly occurring during the late evening or early night. Impressively, the country experiences temperatures peaking at the late 20s and early thirties which is very stable in comparison to the weather changes experienced in other parts of the Central and South American region. The best thing about Panama’s weather during the month of September is the fact that it wakes the flora and fauna of the country up. This creates a beautiful, vibrant and lush green landscape from the Caribbean coast to the Pacific Ocean. 

Full disclosure, if you are into underwater activities, September might prove slightly difficult to visit as you will experience less visibility when scuba diving since a lack of rain creates peak visibility. The Caribbean generally gets a lot less rain than on the Pacific side of the country, since the highlands between the two coasts create two particular weather conditions that are unique and separate from one another. 

Experience the boating culture that dominates the Panamanian Caribbean, admire the craftsmanship of the Panamanian boaters, explore the tropical expanse of the highlands, and marvel at the innovation of the Panama Canal!

Panama is a path less traveled by, but sworn by with everyone who takes this wondrous path. Being the gateway between the two Americas, you will find an amazing mixture of cultures. The vibrant indigenous culture that traverses the north to the Caribbean spice that peppers the Atlantic Coast, and the colourful colonial past that is quintessential to its very important trading past, present and future. 

Things to do in Panama in September

Isla Coiba

Located at the heart of the Gulf of Chiriqui, Coiba National Park is one of Panama’s best examples of marine wildlife. Formerly a penal colony in Panama’s colonial territory, the natural wonders of the island remained untouched for centuries. This has facilitated a thriving biosphere filled with animals, sea life and unique plants. This UNESCO World Heritage Site has survived poaching, illegal logging and trespasses thanks to the vehement protection of the Panamanian government. 

Only a handful of tour operators are licensed to make the trip to the Coiba National Park. They offer ecotours, very popular due to the country’s up and coming ecotourism sector. They also offer light fishing tours, and even scuba diving trips as well as providing scuba diving permits. For a taste of the Panamanian wild, Coiba National Park is one of the best places to visit! 

San Blas Islands

What may be surprising is that the San Blas Islands are especially calm during this time. Located along the Caribbean coast, it is your best bet to snorkel and boat during the rain season. Despite the showers in the late evening, there is great visibility which facilitates the perfect environment for snorkeling and scuba diving in the beautifully protected waters. The generally flat seas create the perfect conditions for underwater activities. 

One of the defining features of the San Blas Islands is its boating culture. The ‘Cayuko’ are an innovative tradition of dug-out canoes built by the indigenous population that inhabit the Islands. A huge tradition of floating life and fishing is one of the most important factors that incubate and allow these people to flourish. The Guna people are the main inhabitants of the area. Driven out of the Panamanian mainland by the Spanish Colonists, the Guna ended up inhabiting the 378 islands. Another selling point of the San Blas Islands is that although hurricanes are rare in Panama, the San Blas area especially experiences a huge lack of hurricanes, this will create great conditions in a region battered by hurricanes much of the time. 

Panama Canal

The Panama Canal is the country’s bread and butter. What began as a symbol of French Innovation, quickly became a failure due to infectious disease and horrible working conditions. After the spread of inoculation as well as a takeover in construction by the USA, the Panama Canal ended up breaking barriers throughout the world. The Panama Canal quickly became a vital component of the expansion of trade throughout the 20 th and 21st century. 

Today, the Panama Canal hosts thousands of ships a year and is a major factor in Panama’s as well as the world’s economy. Between 13 to 14,000 ships use the canal each year, to which American ships traverse the canal the most. You are able to view the crossing of the lock in one of two ways: 

  • You can watch the lock procedure in a limited way through the Miraflores Visitor’s centre, which is a short drive from the city centre; or
  • You can experience some of the lock procedure by taking a brunch boat through the canal where you can enjoy some food, and fun with friends and family while admiring the human innovation that has gone into this wondrous piece of architecture. 

The Panama Canal is one of the best examples of what people can do in the name of prosperity and economy, and what better way to appreciate that than going there yourself!

Have lunch in El Trapiche

El Trapiche is one of the most well-known lunch spots in Panama City. Established in 1983, El Trapiche is one of the best and most accessible places to try authentic Panamanian food. You can enjoy delicious homemade Panamanian food in the heart of the city, which adds to its young and up-and-coming atmosphere. Located in an area less travelled by tourists, El Trapiche has a very less touristy atmosphere, especially considering its location. 

Take a promenade through Casco Viejo

Casco Viejo, or Panama City’s old town, is one of the most beautifully maintained old towns in Panama. It is a great place to escape the chaotic atmosphere of Panama City and makes you feel like you have entered a time warp, even though modernity is right around the corner. Once a very run-down part of town, it has since experienced a major facelift and become a beautiful mixture of varied architecture. 

Visit the Golden Altar in one of the most visited churches in Panama. It is said to have been saved from a pirate ship, but was actually constructed and covered in gold in 1915. The Museo de la Mola is also one of the good places to visit if you would like to escape the rain and see a bit of the cultural roots of the Panamanian Guna people. To experience a local crowd, go to the many bars that dot the quarter, as this is where all the city’s netizens hang out and let loose!

Try a Geisha Coffee

Said to have originated in Ethiopia, the Geisha coffee is one of the rarest and sought after coffee beans in the world. This extremely silky and slightly fruit coffee has a beautiful floral scent and smell with a touch of tropical fruitiness, which creates a unique and rare brew. Its recent rise in popularity has contributed to its popularity (and price). If you have money to spare and a taste for a really, really, really nice cup of joe, then head on over to the Bajareque and get a taste of the finer things in life. Make sure to savour it, as it is rare!

Best time to visit Panama: JanFebMarAprMayJunJulAugSepOctNovDec

When to go

Visiting Panama in December

Panama weather in December

Avg. temperature: 26.25°C / 79.25°FRain: 104.6 mm per month
Sun: 3.9 hrs per day (sunshine) / 11.6 hrs per day (daylight)Avg. Humidity: 75.5%

After months of rain, December finally sees a dramatic decrease in rainfall as the dry season fast approaches. For the best of the weather, we’d recommend visiting in the second half of the month, but be aware that with clearer skies come more crowds and, of course, it’s the Christmas holiday season meaning even more tourists!

Whilst this should by no means put you off visiting Panama in December, you should book early in order to secure the best deals, beat the crowds and ultimately, avoid disappointment.

The Panama temperature in December is ideal; not too hot, and certainly not nearly cold. For those looking to escape the typical harsh winters of the Northern hemisphere Panama is definitely a welcome respite.

As the rain eases, the benefits of months of downpours are evident in the natural surroundings of Panama’s many visit-worthy destinations. The trees are bright green, the wildlife buzzing and vibrant and nature is at its very best, awaiting your visit to explore.

Things to do in Panama in December

Get into the festive spirit in Panama City

If you’re in Panama for the festive season, one thing you shouldn’t expect is a White Christmas. But let’s be honest – that’s probably why you’re there!

We recommend that you head to the Panama City Christmas Parade, typically held around the 14th of December. The streets of Downtown fill with elaborately decorated floats, locals dressed in wild Christmas costumes and masses of lights and festive decorations.

Locals and tourists come together to attend the parade and enjoy dancing to traditional Christmas music while enjoying the smells and tastes of the delectable food on offer from any of the street vendors lining the pavements.

Read our guide: What to do in Panama in Christmas

Take a dive into the depths of the ocean

If you’re planning to visit Panama in December, toward the latter half of the month is one of the best times for diving, snorkelling and sailing in the Pacific Ocean or the Caribbean Sea. Thanks to the reduced rainfall, visibility in the waters is uninterrupted making for some of the best underwater experiences you’ll get in Panama.

Some of the greatest diving spots include the Bocas del Toro Islands, over on the Caribbean coast, The Pearl Islands on the Pacific side and the Coiba National Park, also on the Pacific coast. The best thing about the Coiba National Park versus the typical island dive, is that you’ll also have the chance to see humpback whales, orcas and whale sharks!

Have a wild time whitewater rafting

If you’re an outdoor adventurer, head to Panama in early December as the rivers of the Western highlands, in Chiriqui, are at a high level following the previous months vast rainfall. The rivers will be full of life with chopping twists and turns, making for a truly thrilling experience as you cascade through the water in a raft.

Surfs up in Central America

Again thanks to the rain, you’ll get to enjoy some of Panama’s top surfing spots! On the Pacific Coast, the surf is best during the rainy season as the downpours cause the waters to be rugged, choppy and just right for riding the waves. Thankfully, the first part of December still benefits from the previous months’ rain for surf.

Along the Pacific coast some of the best places for surfers (or keen observers) include Santa Catalina, known as the most reliable place for good surf, and Playa El Palmar, a less crowded version with three popular breaking spots.

Over on the Caribbean coast, December to March boasts the best time for surfing, the top spot is definitely Bocas del Toro, a real-life surfers paradise. The rustic beach towns have a laid-back charm, typical of the Caribbean, and boast plentiful surfing areas that are all located off the shores of the archipelago. 

Take a hike up Ancon Hill

If you’re an avid hiker and you fancy panoramic views of Panama City and the outstanding Panama Canal, we recommend ascending Ancon Hill, Panama City’s highest point. At 654 feet high, the hike takes only around 30 minutes to reach the summit and is not too strenuous.

From the top, you’ll be treated to some pretty spectacular views, ones that are even better at sunrise or sunset (though sunrise is probably a better idea, so it’s light for the climb back down!). If you go in the morning, you’ll also avoid the heat.

Once you’re done gazing at the city views, there’s plenty of jungle area to explore, too, and you may even be lucky enough to spot sloths, deer and more!

Best time to visit Panama: JanFebMarAprMayJunJulAugSepOctNovDec

When to go

Visiting Panama in November

Panama weather in November

Avg. temperature: 26.8°C / 80.2°FRain: 252.3 mm per month
Sun: 4.7 hrs per day (sunshine) / 11.7 hrs per day (daylight)Avg. Humidity: 82.8%

If you are thinking about visiting Panama in November, you may hear that it isn’t the best time to go. It is true that the weather in Panama in November isn’t the most desirable, but if you wait until the latter half of the month you’ll experience quite a dramatic difference from the former!

In reality, there is no bad time to visit, and the temperature in Panama in November is certainly very appealing. There will be plenty of rain at the beginning of the month, which begins to tail off as December approaches and the rainy season draws to a gradual close, particularly on the Pacific coast.

In contrast, on the Caribbean coast, November marks the start of a rainier period so you may prefer to avoid the otherwise enticing Caribbean beaches and islands.

Another reason to visit Panama in November is that it is a month of celebration! It is known as “mes de la patria”, or “patriotic month” in which most of the country’s non-religious holidays are held. We will tell you more about some of the top celebrations in this guide!

Things to do in Panama in November

Attend “Fiestas Patrias” throughout the country

During November there are five national holidays, all of which are non-religious, including two official independence days – one from Colombia, and one from Spain – a flag day, and a number of days that commemorate the battles that led to Panama’s independence.

The first thing to be aware of is that almost everything closes throughout the country for these 5 national holidays. It is a chance for the local people to shut up shop and take some time off work to celebrate. Bear that in mind so that you can plan in advance, and make sure your itinerary won’t be affected by potential closures!

Typical of many Latin American countries, the people of Panama love to party! These national celebrations are a prime opportunity for just that, so you can expect plenty of crowds, plenty of noise and plenty of fun.

Panamanian neighborhoods host family-style parties all over the country, the streets filled with people from the local communities and beyond, music blaring, drinks flowing and street food galore. Head to central parks and town squares for some of the best celebrations, wherever in Panama you are, and expect barbecues, salsa music and a warming sense of togetherness.

You should definitely attend a patriotic parade if your itinerary allows, with some of the best being hosted by the capital, Panama City. There are marching bands and lavishly decorated floats, outstanding costumes and traditional dress donned by locals as they proudly parade the streets of their city.

We recommend getting there early to get a prime spot on the street, for your viewing pleasure!

Enjoy the nature of Panama City at the Parque Natural Metropolitano

You might find it hard to believe you’re in the city when you get there. With hiking trails, monkeys, flawless fauna, a butterfly house and thousands of singing birds you will be transported from city life to a natural paradise, all within the city limits.

One of the greatest things about the wet season is the life it gives to nature. In Panama, a country with a stunning natural landscape, forested mountains and masses of rainforest, it thrives in the warm November rain. This is why the wet season is also known as the “green” season; the landscape becomes verdant as the dense forests are revitalised by the rainfall, and Parque Natural Metropolitano is one of the best places to enjoy these luscious effects!

Even more natural wonder at the Panama Rainforest Discovery Center

Just 40 minutes from Panama City is the Panama Rainforest Discovery Center, an ecotourism and environmental education project that can be enjoyed all year round, regardless of the weather. Like we’ve mentioned before, the rainy season does wonders for the country’s forests and you’ll get to experience that here!

We think that the green season is one of the very best times to learn about the environment, and at the Discovery Center there is a specific focus on conservation and sustainability.

There is an observation tower of the canopy where you’ll overlook the forest and see the landscape at its finest. Then, take a moderate hike along the short but impressive forest trail where you will see the beautiful Lake Calamito. There are more than 350 species of bird there so expect to observe – including hummingbirds, herons, toucans and eagles. Even more exciting (to some) is the chance to see monkeys and crocodiles, if you’re lucky!

Whale watching in the Gulf of Chiriqui

Between the months of August and November you’ll have the opportunity to see humpback whales in Panama; actually, it’s one of the few areas in the world where whales from both the northern and southern hemisphere migrate to mate and give birth!

The adult humpbacks are huge and impressive and the babies just adorable – you’ll get to see the whales teach their young how to swim and how to dive! 

Accommodation in Panama in November

Whilst November isn’t quite the height of the tourist season – that tends to fall during the drier months – due to the number of celebrations taking place throughout the month and throughout the country, prices do tend to rise a little in comparison to November’s rainy neighbours.

The month of November is prime time for domestic travel for Panamanians, so the crowds are a mix of locals and tourists looking for the best deals on travel and accommodation.

Because of the national holidays, people tend to plan far in advance to ensure they get the best deals on their stay in Panama. We definitely recommend doing the same as, the closer the dates get, the higher the prices will crawl as travel and accommodation providers know that the options are getting slim.

So do your research, shop around, and book early to avoid disappointment!

Best time to visit Panama: JanFebMarAprMayJunJulAugSepOctNovDec

When to go

Visiting Panama in October

Panama weather in October

Avg. temperature: 27°C / 80.6°FRain: 330.7 mm per month
Sun: 3.4 hrs per day (sunshine) / 11.9 hrs per day (daylight)Avg. Humidity: 81%

Panama in October sits at the heart of the wet season – or, as we prefer to call it, the “green” season. The affectionate nickname for the unfavourable sunding “wet” season gives thanks to the stunning effect the rain has on the natural landscape that Panama is so famous for.

As a country with a tropical landscape, filled with mountains, lakes, rainforests and more, the vegetation simply thrives in the warm rain and the trees and plants come to life with colour, more vibrant than during drier parts of the year.

It may not ordinarily be appealing to visit a country during a time where rain is guaranteed daily, but thankfully the benefit to the environment makes it a truly wonderful time to visit. You can expect to see some of the best scenery during the wetter months, and the wildlife becomes more active, the birds singing louder and forests abuzz with cheeky monkeys and plenty of interesting animals.

Not to mention, unlike other parts of the world that may experience long spells of rain throughout the day, if you are visiting Panama in October you will be pleasantly surprised by the fact that the downpours tend to be confined to an hour or two in the late afternoon. The weather is actually fairly predictable, meaning you can easily plan your day around the rainfall, and it won’t get in the way of you having a good time!

Things to do in Panama in October

Explore the charms of Casco Viejo

Chances are, regardless of when you plan to visit Panama you won’t be doing so without spending some time in the capital, Panama City.

We recommend the neighborhood of Casco Viejo for a stark contrast from the capital’s metropolitan downtown area, where you’ll be transported to another world in an area filled with colonial buildings, trendy cafes, boutique hotels and more.

On a rainy day, there’s no better time to explore the area and take cover in one of the many museums, churches or restaurants lining the colourful streets.

The Panama Canal Museum is one of the most visited attractions in Casco Viejo and tells the story of the construction of one of the Seven Modern Wonders of The World.

The Casco is Iglesia San Jose is the area’s most visited church and is home to the famous Golden Altar that was supposedly saved from Captain Morgan’s pirate attack of the city in 1671, according to ancient legend.

The Paseo Las Bovedas is a stunning covered walkway in Casco Viejo that is home to artisans selling their crafts, and street vendors serving up delicious local delicacies. 

Casco Viejo is also a great place to watch the sun set, with many rooftop bars in the area offering panoramic views of the surroundings. The sunsets are best during the wet season, as the skies glimmer a stunning shade of orange and pink as the sun goes down.

Read our detailed guide: What to do in Panama City

Head to the San Blas Islands off the Caribbean Coast

With a geographical location of around 9° degrees on the Northern hemisphere, the islands are warm year round so there really is no bad time to visit! Summer lasts 365 days a year as far as the temperature and sunshine goes, and the rain during the wet season really doesn’t dampen the mood on these lush Caribbean islands.

In fact, some of the best water activities can be enjoyed during the wet season, including October, as the plentiful rain lends itself to a more wild time in the water! The worry with coastal locations during the rainy season can often be storms. But do not fear – the San Blas islands are located outside the hurricane belt, which prevents them from getting hit by large storms.

Go snorkelling, diving, paddleboarding, and even visit shipwrecks on these beautiful waters that feel like something straight from a movie set!

Discover David in Panama’s western highlands

Panama’s third largest city and capital of the Chiriqui province, David is right now just slightly off the beaten tourist path but certainly emerging as a new force for Panamanian tourism. Firstly, it is a very convenient and accessible stop off point and base for many important destinations in the region, which you may be more familiar with.

For example, you may have plans to visit Boquete, a haven for coffee-lovers surrounded by forested mountains and is towered over by Panama’s highest peak, Volcan Baru. It is also only around 45 minutes driving from the Costa Rican border, so a good place to stop before you head into new territory.

David is a market town with a quaint central park, popular with locals for relaxation, people watching and simply watching the world go by. Visit coffee farms, taste some of the delicious tropical fruits that grow in the region, or take a hike in the iconic highlands that surround the charming city.

Accommodation in Panama in October

One of the most appealing parts of organising a Panama vacation in October is the deals to be had on travel and accommodation. Fewer tourists tend to visit during the wet season, meaning that travel providers and hotels are eager to fill their seats and beds.

With this in mind, prices can dip as low as 20% below the standard you might see in the drier months! Be sure to plan ahead, as always, and look for a bargain as you plan your October vacation in Panama.

Best time to visit Panama: JanFebMarAprMayJunJulAugSepOctNovDec

When to go

Visiting Panama in August

Panama weather in August

Avg. temperature: 27.4°C / 81.5°FRain: 219.9 mm per month
Sun: 3.8 hrs per day (sunshine) / 12.4 hrs per day (daylight)Avg. Humidity: 81%

If you’re thinking of visiting Panama in August, you should know that it is the wet season so you should expect some rain! But as long as you pack a lightweight, waterproof layer, this shouldn’t put you off visiting the tropical country during the month of August.

The temperature in Panama in August is wonderful, and the summer heat means that there’s barely a trace of rain after the downpours end as it evaporates at lightning speed. The natural landscape of Panama simply thrives in the rain, the lush rainforests and jungles coming to life and the wildlife buzzing with excitement as its natural habitat is revitalised.

We’d recommend a visit to Panama in August, and here are some of the best things to do.

Things to do in Panama in August

Explore the highlands in the authentically Panamanian town of Santa Fe

You might not typically think about heading to the highlands during the wet season, but in fact, we’d say it’s worth doing. With an elevation of around 1,500 feet, or 457 meters, it boasts a near-perfect climate with cool but pleasant temperatures that are a welcome relief from the heat of the lowlands.

The Santa Fe National Park is made up mainly of evergreen forest and is stunning during the green season as the forest and foliage thrives from the daily rain. It is the perfect place for hiking and a win with nature-lovers, thanks to the many popular trails and the birds that sing in the trees of the forest.

Trekking through the jungle means breathtaking sights along the way, overlooking the valleys and hills below and with waterfalls along the way, that are wild during the wet season.

While you’re visiting Santa Fe we recommend immersing yourself in the local coffee culture and taking a tour of a coffee plantation where you’ll see how the world’s favourite hot beverage is cultivated and produced.

Head to Panama’s heartland, the Azuero Peninsula, for a relaxing escape from the hustle and bustle of the city

For surfers and nature lovers this is the place to be, and during the wet season rarely does it rain all day. Rather, expect a shower in the afternoon or even but certainly nothing that will drown out your day.

Pedasí is located on the south-eastern tip of the peninsula on the Pacific coast. It’s a small town known mainly for fishing, with unspoiled beaches and a laid-back vibe reminiscent of what you’d expect on the Caribbean coast. It’s a popular spot for snorkeling, whale watching (and August is prime time for this!) and exciting adventures such as zip-lining and horseback riding. The beaches of Playa del Toro, Playa El Lagarto and Playa Arenal are hotspots for surfers looking to catch some of the best breaks.

For a coastal forest retreat go to Cambutal, a popular place for outdoor activities such as hiking, fishing and camping within a beautiful natural landscape setting. Majestic mountains set the scene in this small town that attracts travellers from far and wide, who go there to get away from the crowds and stress of city life to be at one with nature. The air is so fresh here, the skies beautiful and the sunsets not to be rivalled.

Playa Venao is where the jungle meets the beach; a true natural beauty. It is unique for its black sand beaches which you will only see along the Pacific coast, a striking contrast from the lush jungle that serves as backdrop beyond the sand. Thanks to the rain of the wet season, the verdant jungle is thriving during August, the trees as green as they get and the residing wildlife lively and energetic. You’ll have the chance to see monkeys and birds, reptiles and more as you explore the wild lands of Playa Venao. Plenty of hidden waterfalls fill the jungle which make for some truly spectacular views.

Also read: Best Beaches in Panama

Get a taste of island life on Caribbean San Blas Islands

The picturesque San Blas Islands are stunning all year round, with their white sandy beaches and sunny blue skies that are simply postcard perfect. The rainy season is a little shorter her, lasting only 5-6 months rather than the typical 7-8 months as in the rest of the country.

While you might expect the wet season to be drab and gloomy, don’t be mistaken – this is tropical Panama and really, it is quite the opposite! The mornings on San Blas Islands are warm, humid and sunny, with blue skies that remain till mid-late afternoon. The rain rolls in, lasting usually a maximum of an hour, clearing the skies and providing relief from the high humidity. The atmosphere as the rain falls is beautiful, and it’s even somewhat enjoyable getting caught in the rain. It sounds strange, but trust us, there’s nothing quite like a tropical rain storm!

The effect that the rain has on the island vegetation is breathtaking, and the landscape during the wet season is out of this world. Some top island activities include sailing (which goes with the territory when you travel to an island!), snorkeling, fishing, surfing. The more adventurous can even try windsurfing or diving!

Regardless of the season, there is much to be enjoyed on the San Blas Islands, so don’t be put off visiting in August.

Accommodation in Panama in August

It’s a shame that many travellers don’t wish to travel during the wet season. They can be put off by the thought of day-long downpours, but the truth is that these are incredibly rare and rain is generally confined to a short burst in the late afternoon. Thanks so the year-round heat in tropical Panama, the rain dries so quickly there’s barely a sign it was ever there.

What fewer crowds does mean, though, is that hotels and accommodations are fighting for custom and enticing travellers with sweet deals that are easy on the wallet. Expect prices to be 25-30% cheaper than during the high season, meaning more of your budget can go toward exciting activities during your Panamanian stay!

Best time to visit Panama: JanFebMarAprMayJunJulAugSepOctNovDec

When to go

Visiting Panama in July

Panama weather in July

Avg. temperature: 27.5°C / 81.5°FRain: 168.5 mm per month
Sun: 3.4 hrs per day (sunshine) / 12.6 hrs per day (daylight)Avg. Humidity: 80%

It’s the middle of the wet season but temperatures are more than pleasant so don’t let the rain put you off visiting Panama in July! Panama’s weather in July can be wet, but it’s quite a lot drier than the months of May and June, so there’s a little respite from the heavy downpours you may expect during the rainy season.

While there are on average 17 rainy days in July, the good news is that this tends to be concentrated to an hour or so in the mid-late afternoon. So, as long as you check the weather forecast, it’s quite easy to plan your day around the expected drizzle!

The coasts tend to be the wettest areas, and the Pacific coast can experience storms during July. We’d still recommend spending at least a couple of days in a beach town (or even an island!) though, as the sunshine warms the sea in the mornings, when the skies are dry and clear.

Our main advice for travelling to Panama in July is to pack for the heat, with a lightweight waterproof layer you can easily pack away once the rain goes away!

Here’s our short guide on how to enjoy Panama in July.

Things to do in Panama in July

Have a whale of a time off Panama’s Pacific coast

In an escape from the ice cold waters of the far north, Humpback Whales in their thousands journey to the warm waters of Pacific Panama between June and October each year to mate and give birth. 

One of the best places in the world to observe Humpback Whales is in the Pearl Islands, a group of over 200 islands located around 30 miles off Panama’s Pacific coast. The adult whales can measure up to 15 metres and weigh an average of 40 tons, and to see them playing with the young whale calves as a truly majestic experience.

And if the whales don’t interest you, you might be interested to know that there’s a high chance of spotting various dolphin species, that regularly swim right up to the sailboat!

Attend the National Festival of the Pollera in Las Tablas on July 22nd

This official holiday has been part of tradition since 1961 and marks the celebration of traditional Panamanian dress, the pollera. Hundreds of women parade through Las Tablas wearing the traditional dress, in a celebration of the hard work of artisans who carefully craft these intricately designed costumes, which are worth tens of thousands of dollars.

The main event held during the festival is a contest where ladies wearing polleras made all over Panama compete for the “Margarita Lozano Medal”. There are other contests held during the festival, including musical competitions and even one dedicated to hats. Yes, hats!

The festival is hugely popular and the city of Las Tablas promotes it as a cultural tourism, successfully attracting around 300,000 tourists each year.

Expect a wild street festival complete with music, food and dancing!

Stick around Las Tablas for the Fiesta de Santa Librada

If you have time, we’d recommend arriving early if you’re attending the Pollera festival to experience this 4 day event. In true Latin American style, in celebration of the patron saint of Las Tablas expect street parties, religious services and processions in Península de Azuero.

Have a taste of city life in Panama’s capital

We think that any rainy season is a great time to explore the city, as there are plenty of places to take shelter when the downpour hits, and in cosmopolitan Panama City there’s plenty to keep you occupied indoors. There are many museums and galleries in Panama City where you could easily while away a few hours on a particularly wet day, if you’re looking for a little culture, history and education.

If that’s not your bag, then maybe shopping is! If so, you’re in luck as Panama City is home to some massive shopping malls, and is even known as the fashion hub of Latin America. The Multiplaza is a mega-massive mall with more than 150 stores and 30 restaurants, while the Albrook Mall is the biggest in all of Panama. 

We know that one of the greatest pleasures of travelling overseas is exploring the great cuisines of the world and tasting different cultures through food. Thankfully, Panama City is a rising star in the culinary world and with hundreds of restaurants and cafes you certainly won’t go hungry. 

There’s plenty of variety, from upscale fine dining establishments to more relaxed, low-key restaurants with an effortless and tropical vibe. Restaurants serve up locally sourced food, typically in a fusion of Spanish, Asian, and Latin techniques and flavors.

Best time to visit Panama: JanFebMarAprMayJunJulAugSepOctNovDec

When to go

Visiting Panama in June

Panama weather in June

Avg. temperature: 27.5°C / 81.5°FRain: 235 mm per month
Sun: 3.9 hrs per day (sunshine) / 12.7 hrs per day (daylight)Avg. Humidity: 81%

With an average of 17 rainy days during the month of June and near-constant cloud cover, it is one of the least favourable months for a visit to Panama. However, if you are thinking of visiting Panama in June there is still plenty to do that won’t be tarnished by the rain!

Although the skies are quite overcast over the course of the month, the good news is that the downpours are typically contained to an hour or two, usually mid-late afternoon. Since the rain does not tend to last throughout the day, this means you can plan your itinerary around the weather quite nicely and avoid getting (too) wet.

We actually think that the wet season is one of the best times to visit Panama. There are fewer crowds, which generally leads to better prices on travel and accommodation, as well as having more of this beautiful country to yourself. 

And when we say beautiful, we mean that the beauty of Panama’s natural landscape reaches its very peak during the wet season. The rain brings it to life and the colours are outstanding! The lush, green rainforests sprout beautiful, bright flowers, and the wildlife comes out to play as the water makes its home so very vibrant.

If you are a lover of wildlife (and let’s be honest, who isn’t?) June can be one of the best times of the year to see so much wildlife in just one afternoon on a jungle trek, or a boat tour through the forest.

We think you’ll be surprised by how enjoyable Panama can be during the wet season. Here’s our handy guide on the best things to do!

Things to do in Panama in June

Take a trek in the rainforest and experience Panama’s warm rain

We know it sounds a little strange, but there’s just something so magical about being in the rainforest during a downpour. The animals for one create an electric atmosphere as they come to life in the excitement of the rain. The birds sing louder than ever, and the sounds of the frogs and the insects is magnified as it echoes through the trees.

It can also be an important experience as far as conservation goes, as you’ll really appreciate the importance of keeping the forests intact, preserving the natural environment and keeping protecting the world’s biologically diverse habitats.

Some of the best rainforest destinations include the Parque Natural Metropolitano, which surprisingly sits within the city confines of Panama City

If you prefer to travel further afield than the capital city, Parque Nacional Soberanía is probably the country’s most popular destination. Here you can hike through the lush tropical rainforest, go birdwatching, and spot monkeys and toucans and all kinds of exotic birds through the forest canopy.

For a cloud forest experience – by definition an area within a rainforest that is at an altitude of 2,500-3,000 metres – head to the Boquete in the Western Highlands. Boquete is surrounded by forested mountains and is towered over by Panama’s highest peak, Volcan Baru. It is the best starting point to trek Panama’s most famous trail, Sendero de los Quetzales, which takes you through the fairytale-like magical cloud forest.

Also read: Best Waterfalls in Panama

Indulge in some water-based activities

Panama is known for its water activities thanks to its many lakes, the famous Panama Canal and of course the surrounding Pacific and Caribbean seas. The very best time to experience many of the water activities is during the wet season as the lakes fill with fresh rain water and oceans and marine life become lively in the rain.

There are so many options, from whitewater rafting deep in the jungles of Boquete, kayaking on the Chagres River and exploring the Gatun Lake, or snorkeling in Chiriqui Marine National Park.

Panama’s Caribbean coast has some of the very spots for exploring the depths of the ocean, including the San Blas Islands, Red Frog Beach in Bocas del Toro and the Bastimentos National Marine Reserve on Bastimentos Island.

You’ll be mesmerised by the crystal-clear, turquoise waters and surrounding verdant rainforests, in what is widely regarded as one of the most beautiful parts of the world.

Read our guide on: Best Beaches in Panama

Relax in the beautiful surrounds of the Caribbean sea

Unlike the rest of Panama, the Caribbean coast does not experience the typical wet and dry seasons. Rather, it rains a little all year round so, with the exception of November which experiences far too many heavy downpours, it’s a great place to visit all year round.

The coast features more than 1,000 miles of gorgeous blue waters that crash onto white sand beaches, typical of most Caribbean destinations. There are some many fabulous beaches that you won’t be short of amazing options, from the San Blas islands to Isla Grande, Isla Escudo de Veraguas to Bocas del Toro.

The Caribbean coast is less developed than mainland or Pacific Panama, which adds to the lazy charm of this beautiful part of the country. Colon is a great starting point and by far the most developed part of the coast, being the capital of Colon County and known as Panama’s second city. It is the ideal spot to connect to the surrounding islands and beaches as you get ready to go on a Caribbean adventure.

Booking your stay in Panama

During the wet season, hotels offer lower rates with typical discounts of more than 25% compared to the peak tourist season, and with fewer people travelling airfares tend to be slightly lower as well.

It’s also the best time to seek a free upgrade, as many hotels and resorts will have empty premium rooms during the month of June. Don’t be afraid to be a little cheeky… The worst they can say is no!

Best time to visit Panama: JanFebMarAprMayJunJulAugSepOctNovDec

When to go

Visiting Panama in May

Panama weather in May

Avg. temperature: 27.8°C / 82°FRain: 225.1 mm per month
Sun: 3.5 hrs per day (sunshine) / 12.5 hrs per day (daylight)Avg. Humidity: 71.7%

The wet season has officially started, but don’t let that put you off visiting Panama in May! Did you know that the wet season is also known as the green season?

This is thanks to the stunning effect the excessive rainfall has on the natural environment. The rainforests glow a spectacular green, indigenous flora come to life and pop with vibrant, vivid colours, and the wildlife thrives as its natural habitat is revitalised from the skies offerings.

Thankfully, though it is known as the wet season, while the downpours can come down heavy the rain rarely lasts more than an hour. Thanks to the heat the water quickly evaporates, so if you go indoors for an hour or two to shelter there may be no sign of the rain by the time you come out!

While some travellers may be put off by the rain, we think it’s a great opportunity to experience some of the best of Panama’s cultural and historical sites, some of the greatest restaurants and seek shelter in one of many great indoor activity centres. 

On the flip side, the rain causes water to rise and even localised flooding. Since Panama is a country whose tourism industry is based largely around outdoor activities, this is no bad thing! In fact, it opens Panama up to plenty of water-based activities, which are more popular than ever during the wet months.

Things to do in Panama in May

Check out the best of Panama City’s museums

The Biomuseo is focused on the natural history of Panama and an interactive place dedicated to the evolution of biodiversity. Set across 4,000 square meters are 8 galleries that house permanent exhibitions as well as additional temporary exhibition spaces, and even a beautiful botanical garden.

You’ll learn about biodiversity, the evolution of Panama and its people and how the isthmus of Panama formed the Pacific and Caribbean seas and more. A plethora of sculptures, models, artworks and educational displays await to immerse yourself into the history and culture of Panama at the Biomuseo.

The Panama Canal Museum does exactly what it says on the tin, so to speak. It is a non-profit establishment dedicated to the impressive history and construction of the Panama Canal, a vital link in the world shipping trade.

You will be taken on a journey through time as you see the Canal in its various stages, from the original French attempt to the later United States attempt before control was transferred to Panama.

The Museo de Panama Viejo… Ok, this one is outdoors so it’s no escape from the rain, but it’s worth a visit nonetheless. It features the ruins of the first European settlement on the Pacific Coast of the Americas, and the archaeological site was declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 2003. The museum traces the history of Panama from pre-colonial times to today. There are exhibitions showing religious art, ancient maps and even pirate history! Plus, you’ll have the option to climb the impressive lookout tower, Mirador de la Torre.

The Natural Science Museum features exhibitions with specimens of geology and palaeontology, and has a strong focus on research and conservation into endangered plant and animal species. There is a taxidermy laboratory where biological material is preserved, and a Vertebrates Room which showcases a variety of mammals, birds and reptiles.

Also read: What to do in Colon

Take a boat tour along the Panama Canal

This might not be your first thought when you’re wondering what to do during the wet season, but trust us, your boat tour experience will not be dampened by a little rain. Rather, you’ll sail through the natural landscape surrounding the canal on a covered pontoon boat, yacht or a ferry as the trees and foliage come to life.

The landscape thrives in the rain, so during the wet season it is at its most vibrant and colourful making for some spectacular views during your trip on the Panama Canal. Not only is this a beautiful setting for a boat tour, but an educational one as you’ll learn about the canal operation, observe cargo and cruise ships bound for the ocean, and see how the tug boats operate as they navigate the passage of the huge ships that stand in their way.

It is a fantastic opportunity that simply cannot be missed from your Panamanian itinerary.

Visit one of the world’s largest artificial lakes that services almost two thirds of the Panama Canal

This vast artificial lake is one of the worlds largest, providing 32.7 km of the waterway that services the Panama Canal. It provides the millions of gallons of water necessary to operate the Panama Canal locks each time a ship passes through, and even provides drinking water for nearby Panama City and Colon.

Not only is its construction and use impressive, but its surroundings are hard to rival. Monkeys, sloths and tropical birds fill the trees that are densely packed on the outskirts of the lake. For nature lovers, Lake Gatun is simply paradisiacal as you can observe the abundance of bird species, the vibrant vegetation and also the aquatic life housed within this beautiful section of rainforest.

Tours and activities are available here that include zip-lining through the forest, taking an aerial tram about the canopy and boating and fishing and hiking tours. During the wet season the landscape thrives from the rain, which falls for only around one hour a day, so the outdoors can be enjoyed at their very finest during the month of May.

Booking your Panamanian stay

If you can handle a little rain during your vacation (which we think you can, given the many benefits of travelling to Panama in the wet season!) your wallet may be pleasantly surprised by the cost of travel and accommodation.

Thanks to fewer crowds, the cost of travelling to Panama during May is significantly less than in the few months preceding. We always recommend booking in advance to secure the best deals, but we’re sure that you’ll bag a bargain on your Panamanian May adventure.

Best time to visit Panama: JanFebMarAprMayJunJulAugSepOctNovDec

When to go

Visiting Panama in April

Panama weather in April

Avg. temperature: 27.5°C / 81.5°FRain: 64.7 mm per month
Sun: 5.8 hrs per day (sunshine) / 12.3 hrs per day (daylight)Avg. Humidity: 79%

If you’re visiting Panama in April you’ll experience some of the hottest weather the country has to offer. The temperature in Panama in April is at its peak and humidity rises as the rainy season is almost upon us; to avoid the rain, we recommend visiting at the beginning of the month as the clouds roll in toward the second half of April.

As the midpoint between Panama’s busy dry season and quieter wet season, the tourist crowds start to dissipate throughout April in line with the incoming rain. It can therefore be a great time to grab a bargain as hotel prices and airfares tend to gradually reduce near the end of the month.

Even if you visit once the rain has officially begun, don’t fear! The wet season – or “green” season – can be one of the best times to visit Panama thanks to the effects the rain has on the natural environment.

Aside from the weather, there are some other great reasons to visit Panama in April. The most significant is to attend the celebrations of the biggest and most important national holiday observed in the country; Easter.

Here’s our guide for some of the best things to do in Panama in April!

Things to do in Panama in April

Have a fantastically floral time in Boquete at the annual Orchid Festival

While not as grand as the Flower Festival that occurs each January, April’s Feria de Orquideas, or Orchid Festival, is still worth a visit if you’re in the region. It symbolises the return of Spring and showcases thousands of varieties of orchid in spectacular displays in the towns fairgrounds in mid-April.

Experience the Holy Week – or Semana Santa – in traditional Panamanian style

Cayambe / CC BY-SA

Easter typically falls during April and in Panama, much like other Catholic Latin American countries, it is celebrated across a whole week. Easter is considered the holiest day of the year for Panamanians and, while tourists are welcomed to join the festivities, bear in mind that local traditions should be respected and we recommend avoiding the churches and processions if you do not wish to get involved.

On Good Friday, a national holiday in Panama, most locals will attend church to mark the day that Jesus Christ died on the cross. Parades tend to occur during the afternoon, and even on the Saturday, commemorating the death of Jesus Christ.

While the celebrations so far have been of a solemn and religious nature, the Saturday and Sunday of Easter weekend are some of the most popular days of the year for partying. Popular activities include spending the days lazing on the beach, attending beach clubs and sipping cocktails in coastal bars.

Some of the best places to spend Easter include the capital of course, Panama City, the San Blas Islands off the Caribbean coast and Puerto Armuelles along the Pacific coast.

Head to Miraflores Locks to see ships transit through the Panama Canal

While the weather’s still dry it is a great time to see one of Panama’s most famous and well-known attractions and an incredible feat of engineering; so impressive it is named the 8th Wonder of the Modern World

The Panama Canal connects the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans and the Miraflores Locks is one of the best places to watch as massive ships piled high with brightly coloured shipping containers sail on their way to global destinations.

At the Miraflores Visitor Centre has exhibition halls showcasing the history of the canal, a series of observation decks to watch the ships glide through the locks and it even offers 2 hour long tours.

Surf in Santa Catalina along Panama’s Pacific Coast

The town is only small but that is one of the reasons it is so charming. Santa Catalina is a quaint, laid-back surfers paradise with lots of small, family-run guesthouses and quirky boutique hotels and restaurants. 

If surfing isn’t for you there are plenty of snorkelling and scuba diving spots, or even horseback tours through the surrounding rural countryside if the water doesn’t entice you.

Just off the coast of Santa Catalina is Coiba National Park, located on Isla Coiba and encompassing 38 surrounding tiny islands. It is one of Panama’s biodiverse beauties and in particular is a diving hotspot due to the vast population of whale sharks in the area. Expect to see birds, crocodiles, turtles and snakes during your visit!

See the brilliant beaches of Rio Hato on Panama’s Pacific coast

One of the main appeals of Rio Hato is the blissful isolation from the hustle and bustle of Latin American city life. It is surrounded by multiple national parks and the beaches are seemingly endless – so long, in fact, you’re almost guaranteed to find a secluded spot that’ll make you feel like you have the whole beach to yourself!

Before the wet season kicks in, it is the perfect time to enjoy some tranquil relaxation in the heat of the blazing sun, with all the necessary amenities at your fingertips in the quant beachside location.

Read more: The Best beaches in Panama

Take a trek to visit some of Panama’s best waterfalls

Panama’s waterfalls can be enjoyed year-round, but the benefit of adding these to your itinerary during the dry season is ease of access. During the wet season it can be difficult to access some of the best waterfalls due to the dangerous conditions created by the rain, so your best bet is to visit while rainfall is low, if only for your safety.

While the rain can be a welcome respite from hiking in the rainforests, so can a dip in the crystal clear pools of the spectacular waterfalls!

Some of the best and most popular waterfalls in Panama include The Lost Waterfalls of Panama near Boquete, in the Chiriquí Highlands, the Anton Valley Waterfalls located in a volcanic crater and the Aguila Waterfalls that will transport you to another world (one akin to an Indiana Jones movie set).

Best time to visit Panama: JanFebMarAprMayJunJulAugSepOctNovDec