Rain can fall any time of year. Generally it is more predictable south of Santa Fe, with thunderstorms developing in the afternoon, beginning from the end of April, lasting into November. These systems will reach Santa Fe beginning in early-mid May and further North into the Cordillaera after that . This is the period when we are at the greatest influence of the Intertropical Convergence Zone (ITCZ). During this period the prevailing Northeast trade winds weaken, allowing for dramatic thunderstorms to develop along the pacific coast, traveling Northward toward our region.
Sometime in October or November the ITCZ retreats south, progressively allowing the trade winds to return with precipitation that generally begins at around 11:00am each day lasting until night fall or beyond. This is the “Wet Season”. While it does not rain as hard per say as the tropical downpours from the South, generally there is such little sunshine during this time that there is just no evaporation of any of this moisture and so the rivers swell and earth turns to mud.
Interestingly, what people generally refer to as the rainy season in Panama, can actually be some of the best times for exploring the Serrania de Tabasará, as a beautiful sunny morning can almost always be assured. The best months for excursions across the divide to the Caribbean is in the months of April, May and also October.
So, when planning a trip to explore the area, please consider that our wet and humid environment is part of the experience, and is the reason such beauty abounds. Yes, the trails here are more often muddy than not. However, were it not for the the rain, the heavily eroded nature of the mountains would not be, nor would the rich diversity of life within them.