Best Time to Fly to Panama

Courtesy of it its relative proximity to the equator, the consistently sunny and humid weather makes it so that there’s really no wrong time to look for a Panama cheap flight: Whether you’re looking to escape the winter doldrums with a sunny Central American holiday or your eager to bask in the summer sun on Panama’s Pacific coast, a tropical getaway awaits you. 

Peak Season: 

If you’re looking to join the throngs of visitors passing through the Panama Canal or taking advantage of the dry season for a camping trip to Boquete, book trips to Panama from November to April. Panama flights and hotels are pricier during the peak season, so make your Panama travel reservations in advance to ensure the best rates for your trip. 

Off-peak Season

The dry season may have seats filling up fast on Panama flights, but cheap trips to Panama are still easy to come by in September and October when rain is less commonplace. Outdoor sporting enthusiasts are lucky, as planes ride to Panama are cheap and plentiful when rafting conditions in the Chiriquí province are at their best.

Overview

Book a flight to Panama to experience an influential link in American history. From the crowded streets of Panama City filled with chic and trendy sights, to the beaches of Boqueto in northern Panama, it’s no surprise that visitors from all over the world are snapping up seats on planes to Panama. The tropical climate makes it easy for outdoorsy travelers to book flights to Panama, and the infinite opportunities for rafting, diving, and bird watching in the provinces ensure that you’ll never encounter a dull moment throughout your stay. 

Panama is no stranger to foreigners: This stretch of land that connects the North and South American continents has acted as an important economic force for the United States since the construction of the Panama Canal in the early 20th century. The Panama Canal links the Pacific and Atlantic Oceans, and after nearly a hundred years the United States agreed to give the canal back to the Republic of Panama in 1999. The series of lakes that make up the canal are a driving force behind Panama tourism today, but a trip to the canal will hardly provide you with a complete experience in this vibrant, developing Central American country. Book a flight to Panama to experience it all.

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Panama climate

Panama has a tropical climate with high temperatures of 90 F and lows of 70 F. The Pacific coast has a dry season from December through March, and can be the best time to visit.

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Getting around Panama

After your flight to Panama lands, board one of the colorfully painted buses that are part of Panama City’s extensive and efficient public transportation network. The buses are referred to as diablo rojo (red devil) for the vibrant colors and murals that are painted on the sides of the coaches, and drivers are encouraged to decorate the insides of their buses. The bus terminal at Marcos A. Gelabert Airport offers bus transportation to destinations throughout the country. Taxis in Panama City and other major cities in Panama are rarely metered and cheap, so be sure to agree on your fare with the driver before getting where you need to go.

Where to stay:

The peak travel period (Dec.-April) and off-peak (May-Nov.) generally coincide with Panama's so-called "dry" and "rainy" seasons. During peak season, 3- 4-star hotels range from $150-$200/night. The off-season is slightly lower with rates averaging at around $100-$200/night. What Panama does offer, however, is uniqueness. Forget about regular rooms and go for the bungalows, campsites or Tiki-huts. These accommodations often come with all-inclusive amenities including meals, daily activities, use of kayaks, canoes and beach towels, and access to water sports.

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Panama Travel Information

  • Panama City, Panama’s bustling capital, is ideal for tourists looking for a bit of excitement before heading off to the quiet, scenic countryside: Most flights to Panama touch down here, so spend a day or two checking out the trendy clubs and boutiques that set up shop alongside Casco Viejo, the charming though dilapidated historic neighborhood of the city. Panama City also hosts one of the best carnaval celebrations in the world, and the festivities take place each year in the form of rowdy street parades and parties the four days before Ash Wednesday. 
  • Party animals are booking Panama flights by the dozen to check out the festivals taking place on the Peninsula de Azuero. Though Panama City is the country’s hotspot for carnaval festivities, Peninsula de Azuera sits at a close second when it comes to throwing the best masquerades and feasts before Ash Wednesday. Villa de Los Santos is where most of the action happens during carnaval, and the city is also where parades, performances and festivals revolving around national and regional pride take place throughout the year. 
  • Off the coast of Panama lie groups of enchanting tropical islands that offer up some of the most breathtaking beaches in Central America. The beaches of Bocas del Toro, Portobelo, Boquete and the San Blas Islands are home to sandy, palm-tree lined beaches and stunning coral reefs that make these destinations popular with diving enthusiasts booking flights to Panama. The islands are close to Costa Rica, which has exploded in recent years, thanks to its popularity for ecotourism.Head to the islands of northern Panama and witness the same natural beauty and crystal clear water that you would in Costa Rica. 
  • Bird-watchers from around the world, unite: Panama flights will transport you to one of the best bird watching destinations in the world, with almost a thousand species of birds residing within the boundaries of the Republic. Bird watching has become a major draw for Panamanian tourism, which is reflected in the growing number of bird-watching tours available throughout the country. The best locale for spotting these feathered friends is just outside of Panama City in Soberanía National Park.
  • The Panama Canal is not to be missed before your return Panama flight. Be sure to take advantage of the excellent tours available that allow you to traverse the 50-mile stretch of the former U.S. territory. The best way to check out the canal is by boat, but bus and train rides alongside the canal are also readily available. 
  • Be sure to check out the U.S. Department of State’s Web site before you board your flight to Panama in order to stay up-to-date with travel plans and international events. The Department of State advises all U.S. citizens traveling to Panama to avoid going anywhere near the Darien province in southern Panama, as U.S. citizens, foreign nationals and Panama residents have been subject to acts of violence in the region. Given the region’s close proximity to the Colombian border, it is believed that the FARC, the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia that has been deemed a foreign terrorist organization, has increased operations in Panama, which has significantly contributed to tensions present in the Darien province.

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Panama airports

Via Tocumen International Airport (PTY): Most international flights to Panama land at Via Tocumen International Airport, which is situated 10.5 miles east of Panama City.

Paitilla Marcos A. Gelabert Airport (PAC): Domestic Panama flights pass through Marcos A. Gelabert, which is located just outside Panama City.

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Passport and Visa Information

Passport and visa regulations vary by country.

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Entry requirements

US citizens need a passport valid for at least three months, as well as a $5 tourist card, which they can obtain when buying their flight.

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Melisse Hinkle
A New England native but explorer at heart, Melisse has lived in four U.S. cities, spent a summer in Hawaii, made her way through wine-producing regions in Australia and New Zealand, and traveled around Europe while studying abroad in London. She is the Content Manager for the U.S. and Canada at Cheapflights.
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