Panama is a great destination at any time of year, not least because it's so close to the Equator that temperatures don't change by season. However, its tropical maritime climate, with distinct wet and dry seasons, differs by region and elevation. Plus, there's a year-round calendar of festivals and events to consider when planning the best time to visit, such as the immensely popular Carnaval in Las Tablas preceding the Catholic season of Lent.
Panama Travel Insights
You can have a great getaway in Panama in as short as a long weekend if you stick to Panama City and its immediate environs. However, spending at least a week to discover a more meaningful section of this small yet diverse Central American nation is recommended. With up to 17 days, you can comfortably explore several of the country's diverse regions, experiencing the best colonial cities, island retreats, cultural highlights, and plenty of exciting activities.
December is the start of the dry season in Panama, so combine that with the major holiday of Christmas and it's a busy time of year to visit. But with great weather, you might find the peak season worth it anyway. Read on to learn more about visiting Panama in December.
With relentlessly wet weather and a series of national holidays that close things down, November isn't a favorite month for travelers to visit Panama. However, if you can only visit the tropical Central American country during this month, you can still have a great time. Here's what to know about traveling to Panama in November.
One of the wettest months of the year in Panama, October isn't every traveler's ideal time to visit the tropical country. However, you can still enjoy certain activities and sights in October, despite the rain. Read on to learn more about visiting Panama in October.
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.
August is the middle of the rainy season in Panama, and while most travelers won't want to spend much time lounging on a beach during this month, there are other compelling reasons to visit this tropical country in August. Read on to learn more.
Right in the middle of the rainy season, July is a quiet and cheaper time to visit Panama City. While you might not want to lounge on a beach, cultural sightseeing activities are worthwhile in any weather. Read on to learn more about visiting Panama in July.
June is the rainy season in Panama, with soaring humidity and rain showers, but periods of clear weather too. If you're on a tight budget, it's not a bad time to visit the tropical country. Read on to find out more about visiting Panama in June.
May is the start of the rainy season in Panama, which stretches for about half the year. If you don't mind getting a bit wet, May is a more affordable time to visit. Read on to learn more about traveling to Panama in May.
Panama's dry season comes to a soggy end later in April, but you can enjoy some idyllic beach time earlier in the month. Read on to learn more about making the most of your trip to Panama in April.
March is one of the hottest and driest months of the year in Panama. Combine this with the major festival of Easter, and March is a busy time to travel to Panama. Read on to learn more about visiting Panama in March, including where to go and what to do.
February falls right in the middle of the dry, high season in Panama. It's an ideal time to hit the beaches on both the Pacific or Caribbean coasts, but you won't have the country to yourself. Read on to learn more about traveling to Panama in February.
January is peak season for travel to Panama, and with (mostly) clear skies and hot temperatures, who can blame vacationers for flocking to Panama's beaches at this time? Read on to learn more about traveling to Panama in January.
Enjoy the freedom of the open road on this 17-day self-drive journey through Panama. Discover dazzling diversity, from lush national parks and mountainous regions to the buzz of Panama City and the dreamy beaches of the Caribbean and the Pacific. Along the way, you'll hike to waterfalls, zipline through cloud forests, visit coffee farms, relax on tropical beaches, and sail to pristine island paradises.
Discover the quieter corners of Panama on this 10-day journey between cities, mountains, and coasts. Escape to an island paradise in the Gulf of Chiriquí, explore the lush coffee region of Boquete, and immerse yourself in Caribbean culture in the laid-back fishing village of Portobelo. Your getaway ends in the capital of Panama City, where you'll tour the historic Casco Viejo and watch ships transit the famous Panama Canal.
This 10-day tour of Panama takes you from the city to the islands. Visit the world-famous Panama Canal and UNESCO World Heritage Site of Casco Viejo in Panama City. Then, venture to the Pearl Islands for some whale watching, hiking, and beach relaxation. Return to the city for more exploration, and head to Bocas del Toro for a few more relaxing free days by the beach enjoying nature walks and the surrounding waters. Spend a bit more time in Panama City to close out your visit.
Panama is a great place for a scenic and adventurous road trip. In 15 days, this self-drive itinerary will take you around the most notable regions of the country. Begin in Panama City, then hit the road to discover the jungle, beautiful mountains, charming villages, and pristine islands. Some stops along the way include Gamboa, El Valle de Anton, Boquete, and the Pacific Coast.
This 10-day trip to Panama’s Pacific Coast is the perfect mix of exploration and relaxation. Begin in Panama City, where you’ll tour the iconic Panama Canal, Casco Viejo, and take a day trip to visit the indigenous Emberá. Then, rent a car and drive to the beach—you’ll stay in Playa Reina for two nights, where you can observe turtles nesting and hatching. Next, enjoy some surfing and downtime in Santa Catalina, followed by a whale-watching excursion, before you return to Panama City.
Ideal for hikers, birders, and lovers of wild nature, this off-the-beaten-path trek takes you to Darien National Park—an ecologically-diverse rainforest at the tip of Central America. In addition to rare species of flora and fauna, the region is full of history and native people who are happy to display their artistry and hospitality. Start and end the trip in cosmopolitan Panama City for a dose of urban culture.
Get ready for an active trip to an undiscovered region of Panama that combines beautiful landscapes, exuberant nature, and pleasant weather. On this 11-day multi-sport itinerary, you'll fly through a cloud forest, raft along a river, and trek up a volcano where you can witness two oceans from above before camping under the stars—an unforgettable experience!
Harken back to the days when Panama was rich with colonial ports and pirate invasions on this 8-day itinerary. Starting in the capital, you’ll explore historic neighborhoods, see the Panama Canal by train, and visit ruins of a UNESCO-listed fort. Finish the trip with a catamaran ride in the same waters as the pirates once sailed. You’ll also hike in two national parks laden with exotic birds, monkeys, and tropical plants.
Melding colonial history and bold modernity, the cosmopolitan capital of Panama is a thriving hub in Central America. With this active weeklong itinerary, you'll explore the city's best neighborhoods, boat through the Panama Canal, and take day-trips to nearby national parks and indigenous villages. Finish with a ferry to the Pearl Islands in the Gulf of Panama for a dose of beachy relaxation.
Panama is a beautiful country brimming with history and diversity, and this 7-day itinerary offers an exciting sampling of its many charms. You'll explore the capital, from its quaint colonial streets to its famous canal to its more modern attractions. Then venture out into the countryside, where you'll learn about the customs of indigenous locals, meet rainforest wildlife, and tour the Caribbean beach town of Portobelo.
Discover the colorful streets and magnificent beaches of Panama on this week-long, family-friendly trip. Spend a few days in Panama City, where you'll sail down the Panama Canal and explore the city's vibrant, historic neighborhoods. Then head to the Caribbean paradise of Bocas del Toro for beach time and wildlife encounters before ending your journey back in the capital.