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JB Seligman of BUENA VISTA REALTY located in BOCAS DEL TORO, PANAMA – Best Places In The World To Retire User Account
waterfall bocas del Toro Panama – Best Places In The World To Retire – International LivingWe have the dry season and the wet season in Bocas del Toro. Even when its raining, though, it does not stop anybody from doing anything. Tourists on paddle boards and kayaks still continue their activities when it rains here.
 
We just don’t know when the rainy season and the dry season are anymore because the global climate has changed a little bit so you never really know.  Generally, the wet season is from November to March. The best time, weather-wise, to be in Bocas del Toro, is March and April. It’s beautiful. It rains in May, June and July. Then you have October and November, which are the most gorgeous months in Bocas del Toro.

Sometimes it rains for a week and a half straight or sometimes even more. We had an extreme version of that recently, when it rained for about two weeks straight. It was on and off and not constant. It was right after a month of beautiful, beautiful weather, so we needed the rain. We live in a rainforest and everybody has to practice water management. You collect the water from your roof and store and filter it. Seven days without rain can seriously empty your tanks, so we always like having some rain.

Living with the rain is just the way of life in Carenero Island, where I live in Bocas del Toro, since it is a rainforest. It may curtail your going a long way’s out in the ocean and seeing something, but most of the time, people who come into town have raincoats and still go about their daily business when it rains. 
 
(Waterfall in the rainforest of Bocas del Toro, Panama, pictured.)
Dennis Dean Smith of DennisDeanSmith – Best Places In The World To Retire User Account
Rainfall in Bocas del Toro & Panama

Let's start with rain in Panama in general Elevation map of Bocas del Toro, Panama – Best Places In The World To Retire – International Livingand then go to specifics in Bocas del Toro. First Panama has a tropical climate. In general dry season lasts from mid-December to mid-April. The wet season last the remaining months. Therefore it rains around 9 months out of the year here. Having said that, the rains usually last for a couple of hours a day and not necessarily every day (keeps the country green). The rain tends to be gentle and warm, no monsoons here! Sometimes when a hurricane is beating it's way up through the Caribbean into the Gulf of Mexico, Panama gets heavy rains that could last all day - or several days. This is fairly rare though. Some interesting notes are that rains tend to fall in "pockets". It can be raining heavily in Panama City and in Arraijan (where I live and a 15-minute drive), the weather will be sunny. Another peculiarity is that when it rains on the Pacific side of Panama, the Caribbean side is dry and vice versa. 

Now on to Bocas del Toro. Having lived there, I can verify that rainfall in the islands follows the general Panama pattern. The one exception is that when a storm blows up through the Bay of Almirante from the Chiriqui Grande area, it is best to take cover. These squalls often have very heavy rain and high winds which cause high waves that hit the waterfront. I once saw one of these storms deposit a 40-ft Catamaran on the street bordering the waterfront. In perspective, that means the boat was lifted up around 10 ft and left about another 10 ft inland.

The Weatherbase service defines the Bocas climate as "equatorial" with a Koppen Climate Classification of 'Af'. The service states that Bocas gets an average of 334 rainy days a year. January gets the most at 30, February the least at 26. The average annual rainfall in Bocas is 131.9 inches. There are an average of 56 days with thunderstorms.

So the overall conclusion is that rain should not really impact your decision to spend time in Bocas. Or in other parts of Panama for that matter. Unless of course you are allergic to rain...

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