The Best and Cheapest Time to Visit Panama

© Haakon S. Krohn / WikiCommons
Photo of Brittney Schering
9 April 2019

Panama is a beautiful vacation destination all year round. That is not to say that there aren’t optimal times to visit, and most certainly cheaper times of the year, too. Read up on the best times, cheapest, and most popular for visiting Panama.

Weather preference

Panama is a place of two seasons only – dry and wet. The dry season, which locals refer to as their summer, begins in December and wraps up before the end of April. That leaves April to December as the wet season, also known as the green season, and to locals, winter.

Panama City | © Todd Webb, HEADsPACE Photography

Hardly any rainfall occurs during the dry season. On the contrary, it will rain almost daily in the wet season, though these spurts don’t always last longer than an hour.

November is typically the worst month with the hardest, most constant rainfall. If you wish to avoid the most extreme of the rainfall, don’t go in November.

The rainy season does have its perks, however, such as offering a break in the heat during a daily shower, and everything is a vibrant green, as opposed to during the dry season, where what’s normally green turns a bit brown because of the lack of rainfall.

Tree Trek Zipline, Boquete, Panama | © Courtesy of Boquete Tree Trek

When tourists flock

Panama sees the most tourists during the dry season between December and April. This is more about snowbirds in America and Europe fleeing their freezing homelands than it is about Panama’s lack of rain.

Best price possible

The wet season is best if you are traveling on a budget. Both prices and availability are best during this stretch of time.

Caribbean weather wildcard

Panama’s Caribbean side throws a wrench into the wet and dry season weather schedule. Seaside towns such as Colon, Bocas del Toro, and San Blas have their own unique weather patterns with scattered rainfall all year round.

San Blas Panama | © Haakon S. Krohn / WikiCommons

Areas like Boquete, Chiriqui, and el Valle de Anton located in the highlands of Panama fall into the same wet and dry seasons, but they also see scattered rainstorms throughout the dry season, similar to the Caribbean towns, but not as frequent.

Just avoid November

Ultimately any time of the year is fantastic for visiting Panama with one exception: November. Not only is the rainfall the worst of all, November is also a month full of national holidays. This means locals fill up the hotels and many Panamanian businesses that are normally open take holidays themselves. In order to maximize your experience in Panama, book your stay any time of the year except during November.

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