Panama climate: average weather, temperature, precipitation (2023)


  • Introduction
  • North-west - Bocas Town
  • North side - Colón
  • South side - Panama City
  • The south-west - Santiago de Veraguas
  • Hills and mountains
  • Hurricanes


In Panama, a Central American country located just north of the Equator, the climate is tropical, hot all year round.
The main difference is found in the rains, which are determined by the seasonal shift of the sun, which in turn determines the prevailing currents.
From May to November, the north-east trade wind meets the southwestern currents of equatorial origin, and it rains all over the country, even on the southern side exposed to the Pacific Ocean, so this is the rainy season.
In contrast, from December to April, the northeastern trade winds prevail, which bring abundant rainfall on the north side overlooking the Caribbean Sea, especially in the first part (December-January), that is to say, when the sea is warmer, while on the south side, beyond the mountain ranges that stretch across the interior of the country as a backbone, this is the dry season.
The rains mostly occur in the form of heavy downpours or thunderstorms (called aguaceros), usually in the afternoon or evening, but they can continue even in the early hours of the night.
However, there are some variations from one year to the next, which make the weather quite unpredictable, especially on the north side, while on the southern side, the seasons are more defined.
On the north side, temperatures vary little throughout the year, and the humidity is stably high. The south side is warmer than the north side, moreover, the coolest months, or rather the least hot, are usually October and November, at the end of the rainy season, although the humidity during this period makes the heat unpleasant. The hottest months are usually March and April, before the rainy season.
The amount of sunshine in Panama is not great, in fact, some cloudiness can always form, however, it's better at the height of the dry season, from February to April. On the other hand, even in the rainy season, the sun makes its appearance for a few hours a day on average, at least in the plains and along the coasts. The cloudiest areas are the east, towards the border with Colombia, and the mountainous inland areas.


In the north-west, the province of Bocas del Toro has an equatorial climate, ie with no dry season. Near the border with Costa Rica, the northern side of the mountain range called Cordillera de Talamanca, where the Amistad International Park is found, is occupied by a cloud forest.
In this zone (see Changuinola and the Bocas del Toro Archipelago), where more than 3,000 millimeters (118 inches) of rain fall per year, there are two periods when there's a relative decline in rainfall: February-March and (a little less) September-October, while the wettest months are July, August, November and December.

Bocas Town

Temperatures on the Caribbean side are not too high, even though the air is humid. In Bocas del Toro, or Bocas Town, located on Colón Island, which is part of the Bocas del Toro archipelago, the average temperature ranges from 26 °C (78 °F) in December to 28 °C (82.5 °F) in May and June. Here are the average temperatures.

Bocas Town - Average temperatures (1995-2013)
MonthMin (°C)Max (°C)Mean (°C)Min (°F)Max (°F)Mean (°F)

Here is the average precipitation in Bocas Town.

Bocas Town - Average precipitation

In this zone, the period of the northeastern trade winds, though rainy, is quite sunny, especially from February to April, when the rains become a little less frequent. Here are the average sunshine hours per day.

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Bocas Town - Sunshine hours

On the north side of Panama, the sea is warm all year round, as can be seen in the following table.

Bocas Town - Sea temperature
MonthCelsius (°C)Fahrenheit (°F)

Apart from to the northwest, there are other areas of Panama that have an equatorial climate: the northern slopes of the highest mountains, and, in the south-east, the interior of the Darién Province, on the border with Colombia, where an impenetrable rainforest grows, so much so that even the Pan-American Highway, which otherwise would connect the whole American continent from Alaska to Patagonia, is interrupted south of Yaviza (the interruption is called "Darién Gap"). In this area, more than 3,000 mm (118 in) of rain fall per year, and the only time when precipitation goes down to around 150 mm (6 in) per month is January to March.

North side

In the rest of the coast overlooking the Caribbean Sea, although the rainfall is more abundant than on the southern side, there is a decrease from January to April which is more pronounced than in the northwest.


In Colón, near the Caribbean entrance to the Panama Canal, rainfall amounts to 3,300 mm (130 in) per year. In the wettest month, November, the rains become monsoon-like, reaching as high as 550 mm (21.5 in) in a month.
Here is the average precipitation in Colón.

Colón - Average precipitation
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North-east of Colón, we find the San Blas archipelago, made up of coral islands which are inhabited by the Kuna Indians.

South side

The southern side, being leeward from the trade winds, is not as rainy as the northern side, in addition, it is a bit hotter.

Panama City

In Panama City, the capital, located on the south coast, at 9 degrees north latitude, the monthly average temperature ranges from 27 °C (80.5 °F) in October and November to 28.5 °C (83 °F) in April. The January-April period is the hottest, driest and sunniest of the year, although the humidity is lower than in the rainy period. The hottest months are March and April.
Here are the average temperatures at Tocumen International Airport.

Panama City - Average temperatures (1991-2020)
MonthMin (°C)Max (°C)Mean (°C)Min (°F)Max (°F)Mean (°F)

In Panama city, rainfall amounts to about 1,900 mm (75 in) per year, almost all of it falling in the rainy season, from May to mid-December. This period is also characterized by hot and muggy weather, with poor sunshine.
Here is the average precipitation.

Panama City - Average precipitation

Here are the sunshine hours per day in Panama City.

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Panama City - Sunshine hours

In the south side of Panama too, the sea is warm enough for swimming all year round: the water temperature ranges from 26.5 °C to 28.5 °C (80 °F to 83 °F), as we can see from the data of Panama City.

Panama City - Sea temperature
MonthCelsius (°C)Fahrenheit (°F)

Panama climate: average weather, temperature, precipitation (1)

The south-west

Panama climate: average weather, temperature, precipitation (2)

In the southern plain to the west of the Gulf of Panana (see David, Santiago) and in the Azuero Peninsula, the rainfall drops below 100 mm (4 in) already in December. During the dry season, the sun shines along the coast and it is very hot in the interior, with highs around 35 °C (95 °F).

Santiago de Veraguas

In Santiago de Veraguas, in the inland plain, on the hottest days, which generally occur from February to April, the temperature reaches 36/37 °C (97/99 °F), but can sometimes reach 38/39 °C (100/102 °F), especially in El Niño years, such as 1998 and 2016. Here are the average temperatures.

Santiago - Average temperatures (1991-2020)
MonthMin (°C)Max (°C)Mean (°C)Min (°F)Max (°F)Mean (°F)

In Santiago de Veraguas, almost 2,500 mm (98 in) of rain fall per year.

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Santiago - Average precipitation

South of the coast, we find the pristine island of Coiba, which is home to a national park, and is also a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
In the southern provinces of Herrera, Coclé and Los Santos, in the part overlooking the Gulf of Panama (see Anton, Chitré, in the small area circled in light red), precipitation drops to around 1,500 millimeters (60 inches) per year. In this region, the vegetation is less thick, in fact, there are also grasslands and shrubs. In the interior, in the Sarigua National Park, there is even a desert, actually due to deforestation occurred during the last century to make room for grazing, rather than to the climate.

Hills and mountains

To find a bit of cool weather, you have to climb above 1,000 meters (3,300 feet), in the so-called tierras templadas ("temperate lands"), which have a milder climate.
In Boquete, 1,200 meters (3,900 feet) above sea level, on the slopes of Barú volcano, which is the highest peak in Panama with its 3,475 meters (11,401 feet), the average temperature hovers between 20 °C and 21 °C (68 °F and 70 °F) throughout the year.
Here are the average temperatures.

Boquete - Average temperatures
MonthMin (°C)Max (°C)Mean (°C)Min (°F)Max (°F)Mean (°F)

In Boquete, 2.900 mm (114 in) of rain fall per year; rainfall exceeds 300 mm (12 in) from May to November, while it drops below 100 mm (4 in) per month from January to March.
Above 2,000 meters (6,500 feet), in the tierras frías ("cold lands"), nights can be cold, especially during the period from December to March. Above 3,000 meters (10,000 ft), it can get cold even during the day.


Panama is almost always spared from hurricanes, which pass through the Caribbean Sea and Central America at a higher latitude. The only hurricane that hit Panama in historical times was Martha, which followed an abnormal trajectory (from north to south) and hit the coast in Mosquito Gulf, in November 1969. More recently, two hurricanes, Otto in November 2016 and Nate in November 2017, have affected Panama, even though they affected the Caribbean Sea more to the north. However, the hurricane season runs from June to November, even though at such a low latitude they almost always form at the end of the period, that is, in October and November.


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What is the average daily temperature in Panama? ›

The Pacific coast of Panama receives 50 to 70 inches of rain a year, while Caribbean and mountain regions get 100+ inches. Temperatures at sea level tend to average 88 F during sunlight hours and about 78 F after sunset/before sunrise. The highlands tend to be 10 to 15 degrees cooler.

What are the average temperatures in the Panama Canal? ›

Panama Canal weather

On a Panama Canal cruise, you can expect pleasant temperatures of 26-28°C (79-83°F) all year round. However, it's not the sunshine that you need to be concerned about, it's the rain! Panama is a tropical destination with a rainy season that runs from mid-April to Mid-December.

Does Panama have 4 seasons? ›

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.

Does Panama have extreme weather? ›

Panama experiences a series of extreme weather events including intense and protracted rainfalls, windstorms, floods, droughts, wildfires, earthquakes, landslides, tropical cyclones, tsunamis, and El Nino Southern Oscillation impacts.

What is the weather and climate of Panama? ›

Panama has a hot and humid, tropical climate, with a long rainy season from May to January and a short dry season from January to May. The rainy season is between May and December and brings an estimated 250-700 millimeters (mm) of rainfall across the country.

What is the average water temperature in Panama? ›

Average annual water temperature on the coast in Panama City is 82°F, by the seasons: in winter 81°F, in spring 82°F, in summer 84°F, in autumn 84°F. Minimum water temperature (77°F) in Panama City it happens in February, maximum (86°F) in June.

What is the average humidity in Panama? ›

The tables below give the typical yearly temperatures, rainfall, sunshine and humidity for cities and towns in Panama.
Panama CityPanamá76
3 more rows

Where is the best weather in Panama? ›

The Azuero gets about 50% less rain than the rest of the country. So it is a good choice if you want warm weather combined with less rain. Panama's microclimates can be extreme, with a relatively dry environment next to a rain forest.

What is the driest place in Panama? ›

The driest part of Panama is the Azuero Peninsula on the south coast. The hottest part of Panama is around David (on the southwest border near Costa Rica). The length of day is 12 hours year-round because Panama is near the equator.

What are 5 interesting facts about Panama? ›

  • There's a rainforest in the capital city. ...
  • You don't have to change currency here. ...
  • Its population figures are crazy. ...
  • The sun rises and sets over two different oceans. ...
  • It's home to the oldest operating railroad. ...
  • It has two independence days. ...
  • One of the seven wonders of the world is here. ...
  • It's not affected by hurricanes.
Nov 29, 2017

Does Panama get a lot of hurricanes? ›

Hurricane/Rainy Season

The Atlantic hurricane season runs from June to November; although Panama is not directly impacted by hurricanes, this season frequently coincides with heavy rains, which may cause flash floods and landslides. October and November normally have the heaviest months of rainfall.

Is Panama hot in winter? ›

The weather is generally hot and dry, and although humidity is lower than during the wet season, temperatures are higher. As a tropical country not far north of the equator, temperatures in Panama are hot year-round and fairly uniform across the country.

Does it get cold in Panama? ›

In Panamá, the wet season is overcast, the dry season is windy and partly cloudy, and it is hot and oppressive year round. Over the course of the year, the temperature typically varies from 75°F to 90°F and is rarely below 74°F or above 93°F.

What is the coolest climate in Panama? ›

The coolest temperatures in Panama are found in the Cordillera Central Mountain range. At 6600 feet (2000 meters) above sea level, nighttime temperatures can drop to freezing or below. Very rarely a frost or light snow may occur.

How many climate zones Does Panama have? ›

The Panamanian mountain slopes create three climatic zones: a low, hot zone, lying at elevations below 2,300 feet (700 metres), which makes up nearly nine-tenths of the country's territory; a temperate zone, at elevations ranging from 2,300 to 4,900 feet (700 to 1,500 metres), which accounts for most of the rest of the ...

What is the coldest month in Panama? ›


What is the best time of year to visit Panama? ›

The best time to visit Panama is between January and mid-April. This is the driest part of the year and shows off this tropical country at its most stunning. However, it's also worth considering traveling to Panama during the rest of the year, when you can experience local events and festivals.

What month has the best weather in Panama? ›

The dry season is one of the best times to visit Panama. Between December and April, the rains subside, and the sun shines across Panama. During this time, you'll find plenty to do.

How much does a maid cost in Panama? ›

Hiring a maid to do the housework is popular among capitalinos (Panamanian Panama City dwellers) and expats alike. A full-time live-in maid costs around $250 per month, whereas as-and-when visits for quick cleans or cooking meals are usually priced at around $15 apiece.


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