September is the wet season in Panama, but if you can put up with the humidity and rain showers, there are good reasons to visit this tropical country in September—lower prices and whale watching among them. Read on to find out more about visiting Panama in September.


Tropical Panama has two seasons: the dry season and the rainy season. The rainy season runs from late April until November, but October and November are the wettest months. In September you'll encounter rain every day in most places, but it's unusual for it to rain all day every day. The Pacific coast and Caribbean coast have slightly different climates, with the Caribbean coast generally being wetter but with the odd exception of the Bocas del Toro Archipelago, which is generally dry in September and October.

Wet or not, the temperature will still be hot. The annual average temperature in Panama is 86°F (30°C). Temperatures are a bit cooler in the rainy season but humidity is higher, so you may find these conditions more uncomfortable than hot and dry conditions. The higher-altitude highlands are always a bit cooler than coastal areas.

Crowds & Costs

The rainy season is low tourism season in Panama so costs are low and crowds thin. If you're traveling on a budget, you may be able to find good deals on accommodation and flights to Panama in September. The exception is the Bocas del Toro Archipelago, for which September is shoulder season, thanks to the comparatively dry climate. Book accommodation and transport in advance if you have any strong preferences here.

Where to Go

Although September falls right in the middle of the rainy season for most of the country, the Bocas del Toro Archipelago, off the northwestern Caribbean coast, is remarkably dry. If you're looking for a beach vacation but can't visit Panama during its more traditional dry peak season (December to mid-April), head straight to these islands. There are three main islands and lots of smaller ones. With rainforests, indigenous people, and gorgeous beaches, there's a lot to enjoy here—there's also an interesting festival in Bocas del Toro in September, the five-day International Festival of the Sea (see more below).

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What to Do

Spot whales, sharks, and orca off the Pacific coast and off-shore islands in September. Humpback whales breed off the Archipielago de las Perlas (Pearl Islands) in southeastern Panama in August and September. Another place to spot cool sea life in the wild is the Coiba National Park on Coiba Island, a marine preserve in the southwest of Panama.

You can also see nesting loggerhead and green sea turtles nesting along the coast between May and September. Bocas del Toro or Isla Cañas (Cane Island), southeast of Panama City, are good places to do so.

Events in September

International Festival of the Sea, Bocas del Toro. Held during the second week in September, this five-day festival celebrates the fishing traditions of the area with music and dancing, handicrafts, folkloric presentations, and more.

Festival de la Mejorana, Guararé. The small town of Guararé, near Las Tablas, hosts this folkloric festival in the last week of September. It brings together hundreds of dancers, musicians, and singers, as well as thousands of spectators.

Traveling to Panama in September? Check out these great itineraries

Panama's Pacific Coast: Panama City, Playa Reina, & Santa Catalina - 10 Days. Enjoy a mix of cultural attractions in Panama City with turtle spotting at Playa Reina and whale watching in Santa Catalina.

Best of Panama City - 7 Days. Melding colonial history and bold modernity, the cosmopolitan capital of Panama is a thriving hub in Central America. 

The Wonders of Panama - 7 Days. Panama is a beautiful country brimming with history and diversity, and this week-long itinerary offers an exciting sampling of its many charms. 

More Helpful Information

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Panama in October