Have you decided on giving Panama a visit yet? If so, know that this beautiful Central American country has some of the most spectacular sights. You’ll enjoy its azure seas, rustic coffee farms, and their majestic rainforests. But if it’s your first time visiting the country, you might wonder: when is the best time to visit Panama? After all, you don’t want to visit when everything is in turmoil due to inclement weather. That would make your vacation unforgettable, but all for the wrong reasons.
The truth is, Panama has a tropical climate. It means it will have two seasons: rainy and dry. The meaning of these seasons can become misleading since Panama’s climate is perfect for visits throughout the year.
Are you ready to learn the best time to visit wonderful Panama? If so, read on and find out.
What is General Weather in Panama?
Panama’s location is below eight degrees above the equator. That means the country’s general weather is hot and humid. With its tropical climate, the country has a wider variation for its plants, forests, grasslands, and woodlands.
Although the country’s entire territory is still 40% woodland, deforestation is a constant threat. If you’re planning to visit Panama City, know that the temperatures in this place can go as high as 95 °F (35 °C). On average, the temperature can range between 77 and 86 °F (25-30 °C).
Panama’s Pacific side will often have lower average temperatures compared to its Caribbean region. It’s possible since the cool breeze blowing from the ocean help in reducing the heat. Also, Panama has regions located in higher altitudes, making it cooler than the other parts of the country.
Specifically, the weather in western Panama can get cold. Some people even saw frost in this region. With that, most ex-pats looking for colder weather can go to this region and bask in the mild temperature without risking a heat stroke.
What Is the Average Precipitation in the Country?
If you’re looking to visit Panama and enjoy dry weather, your best chance is during March, January, and February. These are the months with the lowest chance of having a significant amount of precipitation. Take note, a significant amount refers to precipitation levels of 0.1” or more.
The lowest amount of precipitation in Panama happens during late January and early February. For instance, you don’t need to expect any precipitation during January 29 on an average day. Compared to early to mid-October, you’re going to get two straight days of significant precipitation during the week when October 8 falls.
As for snow, you don’t need to worry about it since Panama is far enough south. Take note, while snow is a rare occurrence in the country, it’s often unreported. Regardless, it will often appear in the abovementioned western Panama region.
What Is the Average Humidity and Wind in Panama?
Panama has both very humid and mildly humid months. If you want to visit on the least humid month, your best bet is during March since its relative humidity is 56.5%. In comparison, November is Panama’s most humid month at 78.2% relative humidity.
As for the winds, Panama is usually calm. March is the country’s windiest month, with February and January following suit. The wind speed average during Marth is approximately 6.7mph (10.8 km/h). Experts consider this wind as a light breeze when compared to the global standard.
You’ll feel the maximum sustained winds during early March. The average speeds can reach 12.1 knots, considered as a moderate breeze.
Is It Safe to Travel to Panama?
Most data gathered by experts say that Panama’s climate is safe enough to travel to. That means you don’t have to worry about going to the country no matter the time of the year. With the exception of some regions, you only need to practice normal safety precautions.
It’s especially the case during June since Panama’s busiest month is during this time. March and July follow as the most congested months for tourists. That means your hotel and flight expenses will be at its peak during these months.
In comparison, tourists aren’t as likely to visit the country in November. If you’re willing to visit Panama during this month, the expenses will be at its all-time low.
How Is the Overall Travel Experience by Season?
If you’re visiting Panama at a specific season, know that you’ll enjoy a lot of different activities depending on the weather. Here are some things you should consider:
The average temperature combined with the humidity makes Panama’s climate feel warm. A Panamanian spring’s average highest temperatures are anywhere between 87.8°F (31 °C) and 91.5°F (33 °C). In later months, you can expect the same.
As for precipitation, it’s rare since each month will have 0-4 significant showers of rain. That makes spring the busiest season for Panama’s tourism. After all, you’ll find a lot of things to do and have a good time during these months.
These months are in the middle of the year, giving it comfortable weather. Its high temperatures are warm but the moderate precipitation makes up for it. It means you’ll often see 4-5 days of rain each month.
With that, summer is the second busiest season for Panamanian tourism. Thankfully, it isn’t as congested and the demand for accommodations is lower. But it’s still comparatively higher than the other seasons.
The fall season in Panama can have high-temperature ranges, from 88.7°F (31.5 °C) to 85.1°F (29.5 °C) every day. It can still give off a nice feeling since the wind and humidity are present. The precipitation rate during this season is 5-6 days each month.
During the fall, tourism is at its slowest, meaning your flight and hotel costs are at its lowest. If you’re lucky, you can get some promos and packages. Make sure to do your research and look for reputable hotels in Panama.
Are you a traveler who prefers the warm weather? If so, spending the winter in Panama is your best bet since the weather is perfect at this time. The average highest temperature during these months ranges from 89.7°F (32.5 °C) to 86°F (30 °C).
The average rate of precipitation in this season is low. You can only expect around 0-2 times of rain each month. Even so, winter isn’t that popular with tourists, but not as unpopular as the fall season.
Best Seasons for Specific Activities
Most visitors from the United States and Europe come during the winter months. But the best season for you to visit will depend on the type of activity you’re looking to do. Here are some activities and their corresponding ideal season:
If you want to spot migratory birds, you can go to Panama from December to May. It’s ideal since it’s the dry season, perfect for seeing some snowbirds. Don’t forget to get some binoculars when visiting.
September through April is the ideal time for most major cruise lines to sail through the world-famous Panama Canal. If you want to get the best rates, make sure to go on either the beginning or end of the season.
This is also ideal if you want to avoid the full swing of the crowds. Also, check for repositioning cruises during May and September. Some cruise ships will move from Florida to California to keep up with the Alaska cruise season.
Panama’s literal meaning is “abundance of fish”. Its Tuna Coast will give you a great time for some deep-sea fishing. For best results, make sure to go from January to June since that’s when the yellowfin tuna is at its most bountiful.
For black marlin, dorado, and sailfish, you can reel them in at any point of the year.
Surfing and Other Water Sports
The good news is that surfing is a sport that can span Panama’s entire year. But if you want to get the best waves, make sure to go to the Pacific Coast from April until November. For the Caribbean side, December-March is your best bet.
For other water sports, go during the dry season. The rain-free days will offer you a good level of visibility. It’s ideal when you’re riding a boat, scuba diving, or snorkeling.
Kayaking and Rafting
During the rainy season, whitewater rafting as at its peak due to the swelling rivers. It’s best to go with these activities in the morning. That way, you’ll avoid getting caught out during the brief afternoon rain showers.
Visit Panama Today!
The best part about being in Panama is that hurricanes are very rare, practically none. The country is at its wettest during the summer months, but the good news is that it won’t last the entire day. At most, the average rainstorm will subside within a couple of hours or less.
But regardless of your preferred activities, Panama will have something for you all year long. So, what are you waiting for? Pack your best tropical clothes and go to Panama today.
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