Panama is a country that joins Central and Southern America and has long been referred to as one of the crossroads of the world. With a huge mix of people and cultures found across the country, it’s a part of the world that features modernity and unchanged landscapes in equal measure, making it a fascinating place to visit for a unique travel experience.
One of the reasons that Panama is such a popular holiday destination is the year-round hot weather, and visiting in March allows you to enjoy the best of these conditions. Whether you’re looking for a beach holiday, an island-hopping adventure or just want to visit the famous Panama Canal, it’s a country that has a little something for everyone.
Reasons to Visit Panama in March
- March falls within the dry season in Panama and is one of the driest months of the whole year, so your holiday is unlikely to be disrupted by any rain
- Temperatures in Panama in March are high consistently throughout the month, providing the perfect conditions for a hot Spring holiday
- Depending on when Easter falls, either Carnival or Semana Santa might happen in March, both of which are brilliant cultural festivals and celebrations
Weather in Panama in March
The weather in Panama is humid all year-round, with a distinctive dry season and wet season separating the months. March is one of the hottest months of the year in the country which makes it an ideal Spring holiday destination for those looking for some serious sunshine, especially as it is also the driest month of the year.
The average high temperature in Panama in March is 32°C, which tends to drop down to around 23°C in the evenings and early mornings. Humidity is increasing as the month progresses so temperatures can feel quite uncomfortable at the peak of the day, and you are strongly advised to stay out of the sun around midday to keep cool and avoid any sun damage.
The average sea temperature in Panama is a very pleasant 28°C in March, which is perfect for those who want to swim in the sea. There are plenty of beaches in Panama that can get crowded in March, but there is no better way to cool down and make the most of the sunshine than by taking a dip in the ocean.
Clouds and Rainfall
March is the driest month of the year in Panama, with only 4 days expected to see any rain throughout the month. The weather will get slightly more overcast as April approaches along with the wet season, but this won’t affect temperatures at all.
There are 8 hours of sunshine on average in Panama in March, with brilliant blue skies and almost no chance of rain providing ideal weather conditions for a beach holiday. Daylight lasts for twelve hours with the sun rising at 6.30 am and setting at 6.30 pm.
Where to Go in Panama in March
Península de Azuero
Panama can get very busy in March, and if you’re committed to getting off the beaten track and enjoying some peace and quiet then you’ll find it on the Península de Azuero. The west side of the peninsula is known as Panama’s ‘Sunset Coast’ and is relatively untouched by tourism, making it an ideal part of the country for a very chilled beach break.
The Sunset Coast can be reached by travelling through the town of Santiago and then onwards down the peninsula to various little towns and long stretches of beach. It’s a prime location for surfing, or simply relaxing beside the sea every day and enjoying one of the only parts of Panama where you can watch the sun set into the ocean.
In total contrast to the peace and emptiness of the Península de Azuero, Panama City offers a much more cosmopolitan experience of the country that is ideal for tourists who want to stay in a hub of activity from which they can explore the rest of the country. There is also the city’s ‘old town’ known as Casco Viejo to explore in the east of the area, filled with historic remnants of spectacular buildings.
Panama City may not have the tropical scenery and sunbathing opportunities as coastal destinations in the country, but it is a melting pot of different cultures and offers a massive amount of different things to see and do. It’s also the best place in the country to try a wide variety of cuisine, from street food to meals in little cafes and unique dining experiences.
Things to do in Panama in March
Surf in Santa Catalina
There are plenty of beaches in Panama that are famed for their surfing conditions, but Santa Catalina offers an alternative to these crowded tourist hotspots that will be particularly busy in March. Found beside a little town and, the beach is well-known for its surf and is also a great place to explore the nearby island of Coiba from.
If the vast array of towns, cities and sceneries in mainland Panama aren’t enough to satisfy your thirst for adventure, there are literally hundreds of islands and archipelagos in the surrounding ocean that offer a huge array of tropical destinations. From the San Blas Islands to the Bocas del Toro archipelago, you can hop between islands to your heart’s content and never run out of new places to explore.
Drink Coffee in Boquete
Boquete is a mountain town in Panama that is known for its incredible coffee, grown in the plantations that surround the area. It’s a nice place to visit for the day if you want a break from the beach, and the views from the town are best enjoyed with a fresh cup of espresso.
Crowds & costs
Panama’s dry season is also thought of as its tourist season, lasting from the middle of December to around the middle of April. March is the last full month of dry weather in Panama and therefore one of the busiest, particularly if the timings of Easter mean that either Carnival or Semana Santa happen during the month.
The popularity of Panama in March means that prices for travel and accommodation are likely to be high, especially around weekends that have events taking place. It’s an exciting time of the year to visit the country, but you’ll need to book your trip quite far in advance to secure everything you’ll need for a fair price.
March festivals & events
In Panama, the annual celebration of Carnival is traditionally held on the day before the Easter occasion of Ash Wednesday, which often falls in March. This event has now become a four-day holiday that is celebrated all over the country, with classic Latin American parades, processions and performances.
One of the best places in Panama to enjoy Carnival is the city of Las Tablas, which hosts the most famous procession in the whole country. Two different ‘sides’ are formed in the parade who try and compete with each other by performing the most impressive songs and dances, and there are also traditionally huge water trucks that spray the crowd to keep them cool in the March heat.
Feria Internacional de David
The International Fair of David is held in Chiriqui in Panama in March every year and lasts for 10 days. There are fairground rides, food stalls and lots of local makers selling their produce and handmade items, and people come from all over Central America to enjoy the entertainment on offer and browse the huge selection of different items for sale.
Admission to the fair is very cheap, especially considering how much is on offer inside the grounds. It’s a great event to visit if you want to get a true taste of Panama without any tourism getting in the way, and a great place to buy authentic souvenirs for friends and family back at home.
Frequently asked questions about Panama in March
What is the weather like in the Panama Canal in March?
March is one of the hottest times of the year in the Panama Canal, with highs of around 32°C during the day and lots of bright sunshine. It’s a brilliant time to enjoy one of the popular cruises that travel across the country via the canal, as the weather is ideal for sunbathing or drinking cocktails on deck.
Is the Panama Canal worth seeing?
The Panama Canal is a marvel of architectural engineering, and for many people, it is an essential stop as they travel around the country. If you don’t have an interest in architecture or history then you won’t be missing out on much if you don’t visit, but the majority of tourists find it a fascinating sightseeing destination and would say that it was worth seeing.
Panama is a country that really has it all; from mountains to beaches and island archipelagos along with modern cities and luxurious holiday resorts. Whatever kind of holiday experience you are looking for, here you’ll find the perfect background for relaxation, adventure or discovery.
If you live in a part of the world where the start of Spring is still heralded with rain and cold weather, Panama is the ideal place to escape to and soak up some proper sunshine. If you’re a fan of the heat then you’ll be happy for the whole of your visit – just remember to pack your sunglasses!