January Weather Averages for Panama Canal

While January may signal winter elsewhere in the world, here in Panama Canal it is the start of the dry season – and can be just as hot as most of the rest of the year. There is no real cold weather here, with good temperatures year-round, making it an ideal vacation destination. The average daily temperature is a very warm 27°C.

The average highs and lows can bracket this quite far in either direction, going from 23°C up to 31°C. This means that there can be some great variation...

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  • Temperature Temperature 27°C 81°F
  • High Temperature Holiday Weather 31°C 88°F
  • Low Temperature Holiday Weather 23°C 73°F
  • Sunshine Hours Sunshine Hours 8 hrs
  • Rainfall Rainfall 68 mm
  • Rainfall days Rainfall days 6 days
  • Sea Temperature Sea Temperature 27°C 81°F

While January may signal winter elsewhere in the world, here in Panama Canal it is the start of the dry season – and can be just as hot as most of the rest of the year. There is no real cold weather here, with good temperatures year-round, making it an ideal vacation destination. The average daily temperature is a very warm 27°C.

The average highs and lows can bracket this quite far in either direction, going from 23°C up to 31°C. This means that there can be some great variation not only from day to day, but even within the day itself. Keeping an eye on the weather forecast is therefore a good idea. The good news is that you will not be seeing a lot of rain come up on that forecast: Panama is dry at this time of year, with only 68mm of rain coming down over an average of 6 days from the month.

While February may have the longest days, you will still get a good 8 hours of sun this month, giving you plenty of time to sunbathe or stroll around and explore at your own pace. This also means a lot of heat is going into the sea, leaving you with average water temperatures of 27°C. That is perfect for taking a dip at any time of day. You can be sure of great weather around this time of year, with peak heat and dryness coming up over the next few months. Escaping from the winter cold is a great reason to visit at this time, and staying over Christmas or New Year is a good option too if you want to enjoy a special celebration. Make sure to skew your holiday this way rather than spending a lot of time here in December, as the temperatures will be lower and rainfall will be higher.

Spend the afternoon relaxing on the golden sand in Playa Bonita

Spend the afternoon relaxing on the golden sand in Playa Bonita

Where to Stay

If you are looking for a little luxury, you will find it at the TRYP by Wyndham Panama Centro. This is the best location from which to enjoy the January sun, and to shelter in the case of occasional rain showers. It is located in the El Cangrejo, Bella Vista neighbourhood, which is considered to be one of the most upscale areas of Panama City. They offer an outdoor pool, a fitness centre, a breakfast buffet, and free Wi-Fi in all rooms.

Dos Palmitos, meanwhile, is a bed and breakfast location in a Colonial style building in the city. Here you will find excursions organised for you if you wish as well as close access to the airport and nearby shopping mall. Each room has a private bathroom and full air conditioning for your comfort.

The Balboa Inn is another bed and breakfast you could try, this time situated right at the foot of Ancon Hill – perfect if you intend to explore the area. It is well suited to families with children, and in particular offers a lot of entertainment for bird-watchers and nature lovers. It's run by British expats who do their best to make you feel at home.

Sail down the Panama Canal

Sail down the Panama Canal

Things to Do

Since the rain is cooling off in January, you might want to consider going on some outdoor tours. PBA Holding Group Private Tours offers lots of options: with them you can explore the old town, admire the canal, go fishing or kayaking, visit an indigenous village, go through national parks, and even take day trips to nearby islands.

Talking of natural parks, you can't miss the Metropolitan National Park. It is a beautiful wildlife refuge within the boundaries of Panama City, featuring plenty of trails for those who love to walk. There are some great lookout points which allow you to see over the city, canal, bay, and islands. You can also expect to see plenty of amazing wildlife here.

Madden Lake, Metropolitan Natural Park

Madden Lake, Metropolitan Natural Park

Hit the Beach

With the average sea temperature at 27°C, you will definitely want to head down to the beach in January. Why not head for the Playa Bonita? This is close by Panama Canal and is actually home to a couple of big hotels, so you may be able to stay directly on the sand. It's always nice to discover just how warm the water really is! While a rain shower every now and then may dissuade you from staying all afternoon, it is worth a visit or two during your trip.

If you find yourself on the other side of the canal, or the city, then you can still make a day trip out here. Be aware that the sections of beach in front of the hotels are open only to their guests, but you can find space on the rest of the sand as well.

Restaurants and Nightlife

Sante is a great Italian restaurant with a wide menu, encompassing plenty of choices for all tastes. This includes plenty of seafood, and it will not break the bank. The service is good, and this is a great choice for a night out in relaxed style.

The Pizzeria Napoli is a well-known Italian restaurant, by contrast, which is notable throughout Panama City as being very good. It has been around since 1962, when an Italian expat decided to settle here and open up with an authentic menu.

Caliope is the choice for those who want to spend a little more money to get a special meal. Here you will find dishes that are put together beautifully in an international style. Yes, it will cost a little more – but it is certainly worth it.

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