7 Tips for Adjusting to the Rainy Season in Panama

There are only two seasons in Panama – the dry season and the rainy season.  The temperature doesn’t change much but the amount of rain and wind do.

The dry season is from mid-December to mid-April.  It is more windy during the dry season.  By the end of the dry season, most people who live in Panama cannot wait for the rains to start.  During the dry season, there is not much rain.  At lower elevations, it is especially dry so grass turns brown.  In higher elevations, it is more green all year.

Starting about mid-April, we start getting rain again.  Usually, the rainy season starts slow, with a little rain in the late afternoon (about 4pm) a few times a week.  Gradually, as the rainy season progresses, the rains may start a little earlier in the day and/or rain a 3-4 times a week.

Rarely does it rain all day.  Rarely is there rain in the morning.   Panama mornings are absolutely beautiful with blue skies and birds singing everywhere.  Morning air is especially fresh if we had rain the night before.

In late September we start getting rain more often.  It might rain 5-6 times a week in the late afternoon about 4 or 5pm.  The big finale for the rainy season happens in November.  In November, it could start raining about 2 or 3pm every day and rain for 30-60 minutes or longer.   Usually by mid-November the rains subside as we start easing back in to the dry season.

So, the rainy season is not as bad as you might think.  People in Panama learn to plan their day around the possibility of rain in the late afternoon.  It’s good for you to see what the rainy season it like in Panama too.

The rainy season is my favorite time of year.  Everything is lush and green.  Flowers are popping out everywhere. And the sound of the rain is relaxing.

Use Umbrella in PanamaHere are 7 tips that will help you adjust to the rainy season in Panama:

  1. Always have an umbrella with you. Keep one or two umbrellas in your car.  Have an umbrella by the front door of your house.  The small compact umbrellas don’t take up much room.  If you don’t like using an umbrella, use a poncho.  Many “dollar” stores sell ponchos that fold up to 2” x 3” x 1/2”.  Keep several ponchos in the glove box of your car too.
  2. During the rainy season, if we get a huge amount of rain, it could cause a power outage. Not always, but it could happen.  So you need to be prepared.  Have portable lanterns, flash lights, or candles readily available.  A power outage is usually 15 – 30 minutes.  But it could be longer.   Sometimes the evening rains could cause a tree to fall down on the road and taking power lines down with them.  If there’s no electricity, there’s no internet service to your house but you can still use the internet on your cell phone.
  3. Matches! Always have matches available.  You use them to light a candle.  But mostly you use them to start the gas stove so you can still cook if there is a power outage.  Most homes in Panama have a gas stove.  In addition to your electric coffee pot, you should also have a French Press for making coffee when there is no electricity. I think coffee tastes better made with a French Press.
  4. Damp Rid for the Rainy Season in PanamaHang Damprid in your closet. DampRid is an amazing product that absorbs moisture.  DampRid has a product with a hanger on the top so you can hang it in your closet or even on the bathroom door.  This will keep your clothes from getting moldy.  Damprid has other products in decorative bowls that you can sit around your house to absorb any excess moisture in the air.   Of course, you could also use a dehumidifier but they use electricity. DampRid does not use electricity.
  5. In lower elevations, below 2000 feet, you will likely get a film of mold on your solid surfaces like counter tops or coffee tables UNLESS you have a dehumidifier or a ceiling fan going all the time.  You may need to clean these surfaces daily with a Clorox solution mixed with water.  We don’t have that problem at higher elevations like Boquete or Volcan.
  6. It is so wonderful to live in a place where I can have my windows open to get fresh air all day. But when the rains start, it is time to close the windows to keep the moisture out of the house. If you have a ceiling fan, turn it on to keep the air circulating.
  7. Plan your day to get all your errands finished by 2pm. Go to the bank, pick up mail, meet friends for lunch, then buy groceries so you can head home before the rains start.   Statistics prove that driving in the rain is more dangerous everywhere, not just in Panama.  There are more auto accidents when it is raining.  So plan to be off the roads before the rains start.  If necessary, get off the road, go to a restaurant, and wait out the rains over dinner.

The rainy season is only a problem if you are outside with no umbrella when it starts pouring down rain.  Getting soaking wet is no fun.  Driving in the rain is more dangerous too.  You will learn to plan your day around the rain when you live in Panama.

Everyone I know in Panama prefers the rainy season to the dry season.  Come see why!

Come check out what the rainy season is like it Panama.  During the tours, our bus usually pulls in to hotels by 4pm…before the rains start.

Jackie Lange

Jackie Lange is the founder of Panama Relocation Tours and lives in the highlands of Boquete Panama. She has helped thousands of people relocate to Panama.

Reader Interactions

Comments

  1. Mike Carlson says

    I got raingear; PNW resident here!

    • Rhonda Miller says

      Hi Mike
      I still live here in the PNW and lived here all my life and I really hate the rain. I am pretty sure I will feel the same when I move to Panama but I will have to tolerate it to enjoy everything else there. Nice to meet a fellow PNW person❣🥰🙂

      • Jackie Lange says

        The Azuero Peninsula gets a LOT less rain. That might be a better place to settle

  2. Clarissa Stewart says

    I just wish I had had a guide like this before moving to the USA from Australia ! The pitfalls I could have avoided !

  3. John Ashcraft says

    This is great information, Before I read this article, I was having a hard time making a decision on what month I would like to take Jackie’s tour. This article taught me white rainy season actually means. Now I know to plan my, (Jacques relocation tour) during the rainy season .

    Thanks,
    John Ashcraft, Tyler, Texas

  4. Will Mathieson says

    Rain sounds much better than snow and you don’t have to shovel it and much less likely to slip on it.
    Good to know about humidity at elevations and if you collect anything made with iron you’ll know how to prevent them from corrosion.

  5. Michele Donnelly, Toronto Canada says

    I love rain most days. Now I think I’d like to take the tour during Panama’s rainy season. Thanks for making it sound so great.

  6. Richard Detrich says

    Great advice!!

  7. Miguel says

    hey hey…at least its a WARM rain, right? beats 32 degrees and raining, like up here. i am SOooo, there!

    • Jackie Lange says

      yes, it’s still warm weather, even when it is raining

  8. RODERICK E SAXTON says

    A wide brimmed hat and a military grade/surplus poncho is better than an umbrella because both hands are free. Most poncho’s will roll up tight and can fit in a smaller pouch or handbag. After the monsoons in Vietnam and the PNW rains, I have learned to deal with the rain.

    • Jackie Lange says

      Good advice if you plan to spend much time in the rain.

      Ideally, you plan your day to be home by 3pm so you can avoid the need for more than an umbrella.

      • Rhonda Miller says

        Hi Jackie,
        I would rather be swimming in a nice in ground pool than getting drenched and my hair and clothes being messed up with that rain downpour❣🥰🙂

  9. Nancy Robinson says

    Jackie, I think only you could make the rainy season sound so appealing. Sounds like nap time to me! LOL

    • Jackie Lange says

      I love the rainy season. It is much better than the dry season. Everything is so lush and fresh.

      • Brittany says

        I have booked a trip to Panama cocle beach all inclusive resort 13-18th and 10 day forcast is rain.. im discouraged an sad thinking ill hate it an it will just rain the whole time no sun no fun an its our only vaca without kids.. any advice should i rebook? Bc when i look it up says 60% all days an it shows rain all hours of day not stopping

        • Jackie Lange says

          You will probably only have rain in the late afternoon and not every day. The best time to visit Panama to avoid rain is mid-December to mid-April. That’s the day season with very little rain

  10. Christina, Vienna says

    Thank you very much for all your advices Jackie. That’s really wonderful.
    I hope it is okay, to ask you a few questions? I am planning to move to Panama, just haven’t made up my mind yet.
    If you live near the Ocean (what I would prefer), how is the humidity there? What about books? I have lots of them, are they in danger? And how many DampRid you need for a normal closet? And how long does it last?
    Thank you very much if you could answer.

    • Jackie Lange says

      If you live near the ocean, it is more humid. You will need to have your books in an air-conditioned room or use a dehumidifier to protect them from mold.

  11. April Ag says

    Hi Jackie, Thanks for the information. I’m thinking about retiring to Panama, but I am a bit concerned about the rainy season. Not so much the rain, but is is also cloudy all day. I mean is there no SUN from May thru November?

    Also, I have a child that would be attending high school when I move. Right now, I am focused on Coronado area. Any thoughts on schools (PCIS or other)?

    We may be visiting in August, would like info on a possible private tour as well.

    • Jackie Lange says

      During most of the rainy season, you wake up to blue skies and sunshine. The rain usually starts in the late afternoon. But in October and November, there could be rain all day.

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