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Weather/Packing...Visiting April 1-13

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Myrtle Beach, South...
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Weather/Packing...Visiting April 1-13

Sorry, Visiting 7th-13th:

I am flying into Bocas Del Toro on April 7th from Panama City and was wondering if it is rainy season yet, or just the occasional rain showers?

Are the temps in the upper 80s and low 90s constantly, or does it get cooler at night?

What do you suggest are must haves for packing besides the usual sunscreen, flipflops, and beach gear?

I read that the bugs can be bad/sand bugs...that I should take a DEET bug spray.

I also read that I would need a flash light for night walks...

Edited: 29 March 2012, 03:58
Milwaukee, Wisconsin
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1. Re: Weather/Packing...Visiting April 1-13

Not sure about the weather, it was rant yesterday and today it's sunny... I hope you have a hotel booked because you will be here for Semana Santas and the town will be packed with Panamanian tourist. It's always hot so I would not worry about that but you may want to bring a pair of reef walkers for the beaches.

Houston
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2. Re: Weather/Packing...Visiting April 1-13

Just went through several weeks of rain so hopefully the weather will be nice.

The weather is warm during the day but cools down a bit after the sun goes down but it's not cold by any means. Shorts, skirts or light dresses will be fine along with a comfortable pair of walking shoes.

Sunscreen and bug spray will come in handy at certain places during certain parts of the day so always good to have on hand. If you plan on doing some hiking at night, be sure to have a guide.

Safe travels and have a wonderful time!

Atlanta, Georgia...
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for Colon, Isla Grande, Portobelo
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3. Re: Weather/Packing...Visiting April 1-13

Bocas is always weird when it comes to weather. Typically, it used to be that when it was the rainy season in Panama (April thru November ... and most especially October, November and early December) it was the dry season in Bocas. And, when the "summer" dry season came to Panama (late December thru March) it was the rainy season in Bocas.

I don't think that's so much the case. I've been in Bocas in January when the weather was perfect -- never too hot, nor too cool and never a drop of rain. I've been there in August when it poured cats, dogs and frogs. When, coming up from a dive, my first thought was "I don't want to get out of the water. I'm gonna get soaked up there."

By the same token, in recent years they have had horrible rains in Panama in late December and early January, and they've had the dry, hot summer continue well into May.

So, I guess this all a very long winded way of saying be prepared for any kind of weather when you come to Panama. As my Panamanian friend says, "There are two seasons in Panama. Rain and no rain. And, there are two types of weather; hot and nice." Be prepared for nice weather in the morning and cloud bursts in the afternoon and sometimes at night. And when they don't occur, be happy.

Atlanta, Georgia...
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for Colon, Isla Grande, Portobelo
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4. Re: Weather/Packing...Visiting April 1-13

Here's why you're told to carry a flashlight at night -- particularly on forested/vegatated trails. It has to do with the Equis, AKA Fer-de-Lance, a very nasty, vile tempered and highly venomous snake that populates much of Panama. The Equis (or "X" in English) hunts most often at night. Its favorite foods are rats and mice who scurry down trails at night on their way to their own favorite food sources, which usually means near people. Hence, the Equis hangs out within striking distance on either side of the trail.

I would add that when walking at night you should not only carry a flashlight, but you should never, ever walk barefoot or in sandals on trails through vegetation. Most of the time this will be unnecessary, but ....

Atlanta, Georgia...
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5. Re: Weather/Packing...Visiting April 1-13

As for sand fleas ... chitras. Yes, they are all over the beaches in Panama. Different repellents have different results on different people. LN swears by Skin-So-Soft bath oil. (With lots of oil.) I prefer Cutter's Advanced. In any event, you'll need a repellent that works for you. The problem is, you can't buy Cutters or Skin-So-Soft in Bocas. Bring both with you and use whatever works.

Myrtle Beach, South...
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6. Re: Weather/Packing...Visiting April 1-13

Thanks! I am cool with pretty much anything, but snakes...I can't stand snakes!

Any must hit restaurants? I heard people opened up there homes on the back streets and you could get some delicious meals there.

Myrtle Beach, South...
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7. Re: Weather/Packing...Visiting April 1-13

What exactly is Semana Santas? Is it like holy week, Easter? Should I prepare myself that it is going to be harder to get reservations or spots at restaurants or zipline tours, etc?

I am concerned it is going to be so crowded that it will make things less fluid.

Milwaukee, Wisconsin
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8. Re: Weather/Packing...Visiting April 1-13

Don't worry, you come on the Saturday before Easter so you will only be here one day of SS. In bocas it will be tough to get a hotel in ton but anything out of town should be no problem. After sunday the town will empty out.

Milwaukee, Wisconsin
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9. Re: Weather/Packing...Visiting April 1-13

Don't worry, you come on the Saturday before Easter so you will only be here one day of SS. In bocas it will be tough to get a hotel in ton but anything out of town should be no problem. After sunday the town will empty out.

Chicago, Illinois
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10. Re: Weather/Packing...Visiting April 1-13

Bring light rain jacket or poncho, a light sweater in case it rains (esp. if you are by a beach), a dry-fit top in case you get sunburned like I did when snorkleing--so glad I had a dry-fit to put over my suit for future days of glorious snorkeling. Flashlight is good for walking around and exploring at night. We needed it for nighttime paths at our resort also. Don't worry about dressing fancy in Bocas--it is very casual. Sundresses are good. We also brought a packable cooler--handy for packing drinks to take to beach. Also, bring LOTS of 5s and singles for taxis, tips, etc. Many places may not have change. ATMs dispense $20 US bills.