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Dry Season in Panama! Is it the Best Time to Visit?

December to April, the dry season in Panama, offers a unique blend of experiences within the country consisting of a mere 4 million people. It’s the perfect time to bask on the golden sands or venture into the lush rainforests. From Christmas to Easter, beach destinations buzz with the energy of both local and international visitors. To make your trip memorable, consider a mix of coastal relaxation and thrilling rainforest adventures, perhaps even some scuba diving! Alternatively, you could check out Panama’s tourism website for further inspiration!

However, it’s important to note that Panama’s term “dry season” is relative. While areas along the Pacific Coast, including Panama City and regions south of the continental divide, enjoy sunny weather, the highlands and Caribbean Coast may still experience occasional showers. Let’s look at the dry season in Panama and if it’s the best time to visit!

Top Things to Do During Dry Season in Panama

Visit Casco Viejo, UNESCO World Heritage Town

Dry Season in Panama! Is it the Best Time to Visit?
Image: 1 Adventure Traveler, 2024

The first thing you need to do during the dry season in Panama is to visit Casco Viejo. The Casco Viejo historic neighbourhood of Panama City protrudes into the bay, offering breathtaking views of the coastline and the city skyline. This fascinating area was on the verge of decline and destruction when it was saved and granted the UNESCO certification in the early 1990s. Today, Casco Viejo, also known as Casco Antiguo, is a must-see destination in Panama City, next to the well-known Panama Canal entrance.

With its protrusion into the bay, Panama City’s historic Casco Viejo area offers stunning views of the city skyline and the coastline. This intriguing area was nearly extinct when preserved and awarded UNESCO certification in the early 1990s. Situated next to the well-known Panama Canal entrance, Casco Viejo, sometimes called Casco Antiguo, is a must-see in Panama City today.

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Scuba Diving

Dry Season in Panama! Is it the Best Time to Visit?
Image: Polk Army MWR, 2024

Panama’s underwater world is a diver’s paradise, offering diverse settings to suit every diver. Also, during the dry season in Panama, reefs come alive with colour and schools of rainbow fish. With one of the most biodiverse ranges in the world, you can witness two distinct undersea marvels in a single day by diving in two different oceans.

The dive logs at Coiba Marine Park often describe humpback whales, reef sharks, and maybe orcas. Sheltered waters surrounding offshore islands draw a rainbow of butterflies, angelfish, reef sharks, and rays. Since you may dive into two separate oceans in Panama, the water temperatures fluctuate considerably: the Caribbean is warm and tropical, while the Atlantic is chilly. August and September are peak months for humpback whales, reef sharks, and orcas sightings.

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Hike in Boquete During the Dry Season in Panama

Dry Season in Panama! Is it the Best Time to Visit?
Image: Desk to Glory, 2024

With its many routes waiting to be discovered and breathtaking natural beauty, Boquete, Panama, is a hiker’s heaven. Especially during the dry season, these trails offer a haven for those wanting to escape the crowds. Tucked away in the province of Chiriquí’s hills, this quaint hamlet has a wealth of outdoor activities to suit the interests of novice and experienced hikers alike. Boquete has everything you could want, including thick cloud forests, secret waterfalls, and expansive vistas of the mountains. Here are a few hiking routes to consider.

The Lost Waterfalls

Without question, one of the most fantastic walks in Boquete, Panama, is The Lost Waterfalls. This trail boasts rich flora, picturesque waterfalls, and tranquil settings, allowing hikers to immerse themselves in nature fully. Prepare to go through deep forests over hanging bridges and find hidden treasures.

The Quetzal Trail

An essential destination for those who enjoy the outdoors and birds is the Quetzal Trail. Boquete is well-known for its wide variety of bird life, which includes the elusive and beautiful Quetzal bird. Hiking here offers a unique chance to take in the splendour of the area’s feathered residents. Take in the sights and sounds of nature as you explore the enchanted cloud woods with your binoculars in hand.

The Baru Volcano

With its elevation of more than 3,400 metres above sea level, trekking atop the Baru Volcano is both difficult and rewarding. Set off on your journey and take in expansive views of the surroundings, including the Pacific and Caribbean Seas, on a clear day. You should take advantage of the once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to stand atop the volcano at sunrise.

Pianista Trail

Adrenaline junkies and seasoned hikers alike love the Pianista Trail. This trail offers an exhilarating hike through thick undergrowth and steep terrain that culminates in spectacular vistas of the neighbouring valleys and mountains. Though the climb may be challenging, the satisfaction of reaching the summit will make the effort worthwhile.

The Pipeline Trail

The Pipeline Trail is a fantastic option for a picturesque and kid-friendly hike. Hiking along the route of an abandoned water pipeline, this trail provides a relatively straightforward and pleasurable walk-through scenic setting. Stroll along this well-kept trail and enjoy the splendour of Boquete’s vegetation and fauna.

The Hanging Bridges

As you travel over the Hanging Bridges, take in the breathtaking grandeur of the cloud forest. On this walk, you’ll cross several suspended bridges that provide breathtaking sweeping views of the surrounding mountains and rich foliage. Look out for various bird species, sloths, and monkeys, among other creatures.

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Top Beaches to Visit During the Dry Season in Panama

Dry Season in Panama! Is it the Best Time to Visit?
Image:, 2024

The dry season in Panama allows you to visit some of the country’s best beaches! Amazing beaches are everywhere in this magnificent country because there are so many options, yet many top recommendations face the Pacific.

Isla Contadora, Pearl Islands

Isla Contadora shines as the ultimate beach escape for those yearning to break free from the hustle and bustle of Panama City. Nestled within the stunning Pacific Coast archipelago dubbed the Pearl Islands, this gem boasts pristine white sand beaches, graceful pelicans, and luxurious mansions harmonising with nature’s touch. It’s the perfect blend of opulence and serenity, drawing visitors seeking both relaxation and adventure.

Playa Las Lajas, Chiriquí

Tucked away along Panama’s Pacific Coast lies a hidden treasure: a pristine beach stretching over 12 kilometres. While some seek solace in leisurely strolls along its sandy shores, the waves beckon body surfers seeking thrills. When the sun’s embrace becomes too intense, a refreshing plunge into the water awaits while gentle breezes dance among the swaying palm trees. Amidst the tranquillity, you’ll find only a scattering of rental huts and towering palm trees, inviting you to unwind and bask in nature’s splendour.

If you enjoy this article, be sure to read about Nairobi National Park accommodation.

Dry Season in Panama is THE Season!

Dry Season in Panama! Is it the Best Time to Visit?
Image: Family Destinations Guide, 2024

If you are okay with crowds and prices soaring high, then the dry season in Panama is the season for you! There are always specials to look out for, as well as lesser-known gems that you can find and keep for yourself until the surge of tourists picks up on them long after you’re gone. So, visit Panama during the dry season—it’s such a vibe!

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Hi there! I’m Megan, an absolute lover of words, literature, books, stories, anything that has to do with writing, reading, imagining. Because of my passion, I decided to make writing my life, and with that, I decided to study BA Languages at the University of Pretoria and am happy to report that I made my dream come true by graduating and becoming a travel writer. During my final year I wrote for my campus newspaper, the PDBY, where I learned to trust my writing voice. Now, as I sit here writing my petit little bio, I feel more in love with writing than I’ve ever been. Turns out, like much of my personality, my writing can equally showcase both the calm and put-together, as well as the crazy.