Rainy season’s in full swing here in Panama, and that means (unfortunately) a lot of everyone’s favorite outdoor activities may be a bit tougher to do. Panama is a tropical country, and because of this, has a serious amount of annual rainfall. Tropical rains come strongest between June and October, and serve as one of the main reasons Panama is so lush and beautiful. The downside, however, is that it may put a damper on your beach day, hike, or walking tour around the city. Don’t worry, though! We’ve got five fun ways to enjoy rainy season without getting wet, and still seeing the best of Panama.
1. Visit the Panama Canal Museum:
Not to be confused with the Canal Museum at the Miraflores Locks, this 20-year-old museum is right in the heart of Casco Viejo, and has a gorgeous ambience, as well as hours of history to learn. You can get multiple language audio tours through headphones, or go through each exhibit in Spanish on your own. Learn about the history of the Canal, the future, and do it all right in the center of Panama’s urban tourism, Casco Viejo.
2. Pedro Mandinga Rum Tour:
If you’re a fan of rum, than this should already be on your must-do list. Even if you’re not a big rum drinker, this is well worth it (it’s FREE!). Pedro Mandinga Rum is a spin-off craft distillery and bar from the same group that owns La Rana Dorada, Panama’s well-known craft beer company. The bar itself is in Casco, but they offer daily free tours to their distillery, where you can learn how rum is made, watch the process, and even sample some of the tasty libations! This is craft cocktail culture at its best, and can be enjoyed any day, rain or shine.
3. The Biodiversity Museum:
Finished in late 2014, this building is already a local landmark, famous for its extravagant design, and world-class bio habitats (both inside and outside). The building was designed by Frank Gehry, and the museum is run by The Smithsonian Institute. The museum houses over 1,000 different species of plants and animals, all native to Panama. This is not only a fun way to spend a rainy day, but a great way to educate yourself and your family about the natural life of Panama and its resources. It costs $25 for general admission, with discounts on Sundays and for retirees (well worth it).
4. Shopping/Movies at Multiplaza:
Malls may not be everyone’s thing, and we get that. However, in Panama, malls are still a very popular place to hang out, shop, eat, and play. Multiplaza is the country’s most popular upscale mall, and offers plenty of activities for kids (games, play rooms, mini cars, and even ice skating!), as well as all the shopping you could desire for adults. Don’t fell like splashing the cash? Go see a 3D movie at the mall’s theater, with one of the best digital screen experiences available in Central America. With so many things to do, see, eat, and buy, you can take a full day to do this mall, making it perfect for heavy rains season.
5. Coffee Shops!:
Panama has some of the best coffee in the world, whether it’s beans for export, gourmet shops, or your standard cup of joe. The best way to taste the absolute best of what Panama has to offer is to go to some of the many artisan coffee shops sprinkled throughout the city. From cold brew to traditional 8oz porcelain cups and everything in between, Panama’s coffee shops will give you (easily) a full day of fun, especially during rainy season.