When to go

Visiting Panama in January

Panama weather in January

Avg. temperature: 26.2°C / 78.8°FRain: 29.3 mm per month
Sun: 7.4 hrs per day (sunshine) / 11.7 hrs per day (daylight)Avg. Humidity: 70%

Thinking of escaping to Panama in January? The average temperature in Panama in January is an enticing escape from the typical harsh colds of the northern hemisphere’s winters.

Not to mention, it’s the start of the dry season so the monthly rainfall takes a huge plunge from more than 100mm in December to less than 30mm. Sure, there may be the occasional thunderstorm, but you certainly shouldn’t expect your days to be dampened by anything too significant.

As the rainy season has just ended, the natural landscape is thriving from the water it received in the previous months. Did you know that the rainy season is also known as the green season? You can expect the trees leaves to be vibrant green, flowers to be popping with beautiful, bright colours and the native birds to sing louder than ever as they bask in the freshly revived forests.

As summer is just beginning, January is one of the most popular times to visit Panama, and with good reason. There’s so much to do and so much to see, and we will break down some of the highlights in this guide.

Things to do in Panama in January

Book a beautiful beach break on the Caribbean or Pacific Coast

With coastlines straddling two tremendous seas, in the height of the summer season there’s no shortage of beach breaks on offer in Panama in January. Head to the Caribbean coast for small beaches and calm waters that lend themselves to a relaxing, sleepy vacation, or the Pacific coast for bigger beaches, wilder waters and a more bustling atmosphere for a little bit more adventure.

For keen surfers, Playa Venao on the Pacific side offers some of the best breaks in the country, and for spectators the golden-sand beaches are a great place to sit back and take in the sport in comfort.

Read more: What to do in Playa Venao

Sticking to the Pacific Coast, the town of Santa Catalina offers surfing, beach horseback riding, great cycling trails through the sand or smaller beaches for you to unwind.

Over on the Caribbean coast you can expect white sand beaches, bright turquoise crystal clear waters and the ultimate destination for a beach escape. With many small islands dotted just off the coast, there are many beautiful places to explore that are easily accessible by boat.

Some of the best include the Bocas del Toro Islands, one of Panama’s most frequented tourist destinations, and The Pearl Islands, offering a more remote, rustic feel.

Expect a pleasant breeze off the water along the Caribbean coast, which is a welcome escape from the hot heat of the beaming sun.

For flowers and coffee, head to the Boquete Flowers and Coffee Fair

The small mountain town of Boquete might not typically find itself on a Panamanian itinerary, but it’s certainly worth a visit in January as it hosts a 10 day flower and coffee event. 

This is by no means what you would expect of a traditional Latin American festival; in fact, it is a much sleepier and slower-paced event, but enjoyable nonetheless as the beautiful landscape is decorated with delightful floral displays and local coffee producers occupy the towns fairgrounds selling their homemade produce.

Did you know that Boquete coffee is considered some of the best in the world?

Panama Jazz Festival

For a more lively experience head to Panama City for one of the country’s biggest musical events, the Panama Jazz Festival. It runs for a week and the city’s theatres and venues play host to a vast range of events, with the week ending with a free open-air concert at the Plaza de la Independencia. A must for jazz-lovers!

Celebrate Panama’s national dress at the The Thousand Polleras Parade

No visit to a Latin American country would be complete without attending one of their famous parades. In January, Las Tablas is transformed from a quiet, uneventful small town to a lively destination as it hosts The Thousand Polleras Parade.

The parade is a celebration of the ‘polleras’, Panama’s national dress, and consists of locals dressing in the traditional clothing and filling the streets as they are transported on carriages and decorated floats through the town. There is music and food and drinks and the ultimate community feel as the town lights up with an atmosphere of excitement and pride.

Booking your Panama trip in January

As the weather is improving and the landscape is thriving from the previous few months’ rainy season, January is one of the most popular times to visit Panama. With this in mind, travel and accommodation costs begin to increase as more and more tourists book their Panamanian adventures.

We recommend booking early to avoid disappointment, and look out for deals particularly at resorts with offers typically providing free nights if you book, say, 3 or 4 consecutive nights. Many resorts offer package deals including drinking and dining options, which can be a great way to go if you’re looking for a bargain.

Best time to visit Panama: JanFebMarAprMayJunJulAugSepOctNovDec

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