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

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