Panama City is great to visit at any time. With its hot weather, cool rooftop bars, and incredible wildlife, you won’t regret it!
Panama is located right near the equator and has two oceans – which also means two seasons – wet and dry. And because it’s not in the hurricane belt, it stays sunny all-year round.
Panama City has some amazing things to offer. It is home to a huge city with a rainforest, two special places called Unesco World Heritage Sites, and incredible feats of engineering. This guide will help you figure out the best time for your vacation in Panama City.
Discover Panama’s Unique Rainforest Oasi in the City
In Panama, things are a bit different. It has two seasons – the dry and wet season – but in the dry season, temperatures don’t change much month to month and rain usually doesn’t last too long when it does come. This time is known as “summer” (verano) and runs from mid-December to April. Lots of people travel here during this period because of its nice weather, lots of activities, and clear skies!
Panama City is a great place to visit if you want to explore its beautiful scenery, bleach-white beaches and over 1000 islands. Even within the capital itself, there’s so much fun stuff to do when it’s not raining! History buffs would love taking a walk through Casco Viejo, as there are many treasures still left behind from the past like old ruins and well preserved buildings.
Why not grab a spot on the rooftop of one of this modern city’s high-rise buildings and admire its view? Or you can even wave at incoming ships from the iconic Panama Canal. With its great weather, there are plenty of activities to do like sightseeing, dining outdoors, walks by the bay, biking or trekking.
In Panama City, there is a special rainforest that is located inside the city boundaries! This rainforest covers 573 acres and it’s called Parque Natural Metropolitano. You can spot lots of different animals here including toucans, motmots, monkeys and iguanas! The best time to explore this rainforest is during dry season.
Capture the Beauty of Panama’s Wet Season
In Panama, it’s usually sunny and hot all year round. However, between the months of May to mid-December is called the “winter” or “green season” which is when it gets really humid and rainy. This makes it a great time to visit since it’s less expensive compared to other times of the year.
What’s interesting is that there are two different climates at each coast: The Caribbean side gets more rain than the Pacific side – where Panama City is located.
In Panama City, the wet season comes at a predictable time and can last for months. Despite all the rain, there are still plenty of outdoor activities you can do if you plan ahead and get organized. At this time of year, sunny skies appear and tropical flowers start to bloom making it an enjoyable experience outdoors.
The mornings are usually sunny, but between 2pm and 5pm, you should bring an umbrella because it will rain. Luckily, it won’t stay raining for the whole day and storms tend to pass quickly. Also keep in mind that taxi prices go up when it rains a lot. When going on a hike at Parque Natural Metropolitano or Cerro Ancon, you should be careful since it might be tricky due to the rainy weather.
In the evenings, you can have a great time go stargazing and enjoying the calming sound from Panama Bay from Cinta Costera. It is a beautiful waterfront boardwalk or from an awesome rooftop restaurant. Although it is cooler than the dry season, nights are still pleasant enough warm and fun.
The wet season is the best time to save money by grabbing special deals and avoiding huge crowds at the same time. If you want to spend this perfectly, then here’s what you should do over the weekend in Panama City!
Experience the Magic of Music and Coffee at Panama’s Unique Festivals!
January is a special month in Panama! The country hosts two amazing festivals: the Panama Jazz Festival and the Flower and Coffee Festival. You can find an incredible variety of jazz music from all over the world at the Panama Jazz Festival. Plus, you’ll be able to taste Geisha coffee – also known as ‘the Champagne of coffees’ – which is only made during the Flower and Coffee Festival held in Boquete, a province in Chiriquí.
Every year during the month of February, people in Panama City come together to celebrate Carnaval by partying right there on the streets!
“Escape to Paradise
In February, the city comes alive with Carnaval. It’s a fun and exciting event with bright costumes, music, and lots of joy! This is also one of the best times tovisit San Blas Archipelago, where its 365 islands look like a piece of paradise. On top other events that month are Micro Brew Fest and Bocas Invitacional.
Come to Panama for the Exciting Events this Spring!
In March, lots of people from North America go to Panama for their spring break. If Easter is during this month, some shops and businesses will be closed and there might be more people than usual needing a place to stay. Also, two events may happen in April: Panamá Burger Week and Semana Santa (which is like Easter).
“Experience La Villa de los Santos this April!”
April is the perfect month to wear t-shirts and travel somewhere with beautiful white sand, blue water, and green forests. During this time, La Villa de los Santos hosts an international fair called Feria Internacional de Azuero.
Celebrate Labour Day and Explore Panama City’s Indoor Attractions
When it starts to rain in Panama City, there are lots of things you can do indoors. One great option is visiting the BioMuseo museum, which was designed by Frank Gehry and is dedicated to teaching people about biodiversity. There are also plenty of shopping complexes like Albrook Mall with the latest fashion trends. Another exciting thing happening in Panama City around this time is Labor Day!
Join the Fun of World Pride Panama and Whale Watching in June!
If you come to Panama in June, you will experience World Pride Panama. This event includes lots of fun parties at certain clubs and parades through Cinta Costera and the old town. Other key events are Corpus Christi in La Villa de Los Santos. Finally, during this time frame (July – October), humpback whales swim by the coast in large numbers which is a sight worth seeing.
Experience the Majestic Humpback Whale Migration and the Festival Nacional de la Pollera in Las Tablas!
From July to October, the humpback whale migrate. That’s when you should visit Gulf of Chiriquí National Marine Park for a fun time snorkeling or diving in beautiful blue and green waters. Also don’t miss the Festival Nacional de la Pollera in Las Tablas!
Celebrate the History & Culture of Panama City This August!
This August, people from Panama City are getting ready to celebrate! 15 years ago, on August 15, the city was founded by the Spanish. Then 100 years later on the same date, a canal was completed for ships to cross between two oceans. That canal still runs today and a great time to visit is when it opens at the Miraflores Visitor Center in the morning.
In September, you’ll find the best surfing waves of the year on either of Panama’s coasts. Plus, don’t forget to check out the Panama La Vieja Day celebrations, the annual Panama International Book Fair (FIL) and IFF Panama International Film Festival. Keep in mind that dates for these events can change every year.
“Surf, Dive, Party
During the wet season, both coasts are perfect for diving and surfing. In September, people can visit Bocas del Toro and join in on the Feria Internacional del Mar. This event is full of fun with lots of Caribbean food, live music, and exciting parties! Plus don’t forget the Panamá Fashion Week too.
Celebrate the Festival del Cristo Negro in Portobelo
If you’re spending time in Panama during October, you should plan an exciting trip to Portobelo! Every year in this Caribbean city, the Festival del Cristo Negro takes place where people parade a statue of Black Jesus. It might be rainy during this month, but at least it’s cooler than usual because of all the water.
Visit Panama in November and Celebrate with Panamá Cocktail Week!
November can be a great or bad month to visit Panama, depending on how much your budget is and what you want to do. All Panamanians like to party and since November is full of national holidays, a lot of shops and banks in the city are closed. Everyone usually goes to beaches and waterfalls for fresh air and relaxation, so the capital looks almost deserted. If you plan on going too, don’t forget to book your accommodation early!
Panamá Cocktail Week is a key event to celebrate. On November 3, Panamá celebrated its independence from Colombia; the next day (November 4) was Flag Day, and on November 5 it was Colón Day. The first call for Panamá’s independence from Spain was made on November 10th and then on November 28th, Panamá officially gained independence from Spain.
Beat the Crowds and Make Sure You Don’t Miss Out on Christmas & New Year’s Eve in Panama
If you’re planning to visit Panama in December, you’ll need to make hotel reservations ahead of time and also have a good amount of money ready. Hotels will be at full occupancy and the prices for rooms will be higher than usual due to it being the best time to go since the weather during this month is usually nice and dry. The two major events that happen in Panama during December include Christmas and New Year’s Eve.