DESTINATIONS when-to-go-23


When to Go

Unlike the rest of the country, Panama City hardly has a low season, because the bulk of its visitors are business travelers. Most tourists head here during the dry season, from December to May; this is when the city's hotels are packed. Carnaval, around mid-February, is a fun time to be in the capital, because that long weekend is celebrated with parades and lots of partying. The city is fairly quiet during Easter week, on the other hand, since many businesses close from Thursday to Easter Sunday and every resident who can leaves town.

The Mil Polleras parade, held on the last Sunday of April, is a celebration worth catching, with lots of folk music and women in polleras, elaborately embroidered dresses. November 3 and 28 are independence days, from Colombia and Spain respectively, and are celebrated with parades made up of countless high-school drum corps.

May, June, and September through November are the rainiest months in Panama City, though most of that rain falls in the afternoon or evening. The rains let up a bit in July and August, which is a good time to visit, because you can share the place with fewer tourists than during the dry season.

Because Panama City has the country's only international airport and is the transportation hub for domestic flights and buses, you may return here several times during your trip. This means you can explore the capital bit by bit over the course of your stay in the country.


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