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When is rainy season?

Many prospective visitors here in Bocas del Toro have read that rainy season in Panama spans mid-April through November and are concerned about what it will to stay with us during that time.

The answer is: no different from any other time.

While the Pacific side of Panama has a clearly delineated wet and dry season, here on the Caribbean side (and in Bocas del Toro specifically) we have our own little micro climate. With a mountain range shielding us from the Pacific moisture, we don't have to worry much about what is happening "over there." The rainfall patterns on our side are pretty random; most days are sunny with the possibility of a freak deluge any month of the year.

Here's the data for 2021 compared to the average:

Smithsonian Met & Ocean Report 2021

That said, there are some subtle patterns:

-As you can see, the wettest months historically have been July, November, and December - only one of which falls into the official "rainy season."

-September and October are typically drier. They are also our slowest months business-wise because - between school resuming and the misconception that it will be rainy - we don't have as many guests during these months. However, for us (the owners) September and October are our favorite months in Bocas.

-Summer brings night time thunder and lightening. This is when the dog, Capitan, is most likely to break into your cabin in search of comfort and protection from the wrath of the sky gods.

-It's cooler at night in December and January... and by that I mean very occasionally we will put on a long-sleeved shirt.

-Ocean temperatures are ever-so-slightly cooler in Winter.

Fun fact: Speaking of "winter" or "invierno," locals here use this word to refer to a spell of bad weather, not a particular time of year. So a storm in, say, July, may end up being that year's "invierno."

For more local weather patterns for those who love graphs and charts, see the Smithsonian's annual Meteorological and Ocean Report:

Bocas Met&Ocean Report 2021
Download PDF • 4.57MB


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