Tours Travel

Panama Canal Weather – Best and Worst Months to Go

The weather of the Panama Canal is an important factor in deciding when to take a cruise through this popular Central American destination.

The main reason comes down to one word: rain.

Cruises through the Panama Canal generally embark from ports on the western and eastern coasts of the United States.

Anyone departing from an eastern port like Miami or Fort Lauderdale will typically visit one or two Caribbean destinations before entering the canal at Colón, drifting through the countryside to Panama City and then traveling along the western shores of America. Central, Mexico and the Caribbean. United States all the way to the end of the trip in places like San Diego before flying home.

People departing from the west coast of the US will simply do the opposite, although they are more likely to visit additional destinations on the western coasts of Mexico and Central America than in the Caribbean.


Panama receives very varied rainfall patterns even though it is slightly smaller than the state of South Carolina.

Panama City historically receives light rains from January to April, averaging between one and three inches per month, according to the World Weather Organization.

Rainfall increases dramatically in May totaling up to nine inches on average through August.

It tops 10 inches in September and peaks at 13 inches in October before dropping back to 10 inches in November.

It rains an average of 20 days in October.

The country’s Caribbean coast is much less predictable, with rainfall exceeding 22 inches in Bocas del Torro during December, the same month that Panama City averages just four inches.

January, March and May have less rainfall on average than other months.

For these reasons, the typical Panama Canal cruise only takes place in certain months of the year, such as March.


Temperatures are much more predictable.

Panama City averages 90 degrees Fahrenheit during the day throughout the year.

Average lows are between the upper 60s and 60s most months.

The East Coast is a bit cooler with average highs in the upper 90 degrees and average lows hovering around 70 degrees Fahrenheit.


The Panama Canal cruise season typically lasts from October to April.

But the best months to go are December and later. A cruise in October or November has a higher chance of heavy rain.

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