Weather: When To Travel To Panama

Nobody looks at the weather report in Panama. It’s pretty much the same throughout the year with the only significant difference being the so-called “summer” starting in December and ending in May.

Temperature wise it’s the same year-round, hurricanes do not reach this area, but if there is one nearby we do get heavier rains. Tornados are only in the movies, and there are no active volcanoes.

The only challenge for those not used to tropical weather is the amount of rain during the “rainy” season, or as they called in tourist-friendly Costa Rica, the “green” season.

But still, even during the “rainy” season, you can do outdoor activities almost every day. I’ve been working in adventure tourism for many years and I only had to cancel a tour once because of bad weather. If you start your day early and finish at about 2 pm, you should be fine most of the time.

Now, if you are allergic to water, then it’s probably best to avoid the “rainy” season. I find it funny when people travel to see the “rainforest” but don’t want to see any rain. Bring appropriate clothes and enjoy the outdoor shower, the water is warm.

Panama is a year-round destination for adventure travelers. The rain is awesome, although sometimes it does get a bit overwhelming. Especially in the month of November. That month is probably better to avoid unless you are planning to move to Panama, in that case, that is the month you must be in Panama. If you can withstand the November rains, you get a diploma.

The seasons

High Tourism Season (Dec-Apr). Even though it is not guaranteed that it will not rain during this time of the year, it is clearly the best time to visit weather-wise. However, because of that, it is the busiest time of the year for attractions, hotels, and tour operators. A word of advice, make your reservations well in advance because the good stuff goes away fast.

Low Tourism Season (May-Nov). You shouldn’t be discouraged to visit Panama during this time of the year, yes, it rains more than in the high season, and yes, it is referred to as the “rainy” season. But it doesn’t mean that it rains all day every day. The average will be to rain for a few hours in the afternoon. Sometimes more, but this is reserved only for special occasions. On those occasions, the amount of water falling from the sky is quite impressive.

The benefits of visiting during the low season are fewer tourists, lower rates on hotels and tours, intense green landscapes all around, and a very important one most people don’t think about: clouds protecting you from the intense sun when you are in a country near the equator.

Main Destinations

Pacific Coast. The best area for those chasing the sun. From Taboga and the Pearl Islands to the Beaches near Panama City and the ones on the Azuero Peninsula. If you want to return home with a tan, there is a good chance you will get what you want regardless of which time of the year you choose to arrive.

Caribbean Coast. It rains more on the Caribbean side than on the Pacific side of Panama, so come prepared. Destinations such as Bocas del Toro and Guna Yala are well worth visiting even if it rains. Besides the dry season, September and October in the middle of the rainy season are also good months to visit.

The Highlands. These areas of the country closer to the clouds get a good share of light rain, providing the perfect conditions for rainbows to appear. The highlands of Panama are the only places where you should wear a sweater or light jacket due to the lower temperatures averaging 22C year round.