Panama’s Tocumen International Airport is accessible with direct flights from various major U.S. cities including: Miami, Houston, Los Angeles, New York, Chicago, Boston, Orlando, Atlanta -- and European cities such as: Madrid, Paris, Amsterdam and Frankfurt. Once in Panama City you can fly to David, Chiriqui province via Copa Airlines (www.copaair.com) from Tocumen International Airport -- flight time 45 minutes. You will be greeted at David Airport and driven to Boquete, located a mere 25 minutes away.
Panama does not print bank notes, so since 1904 the U.S. dollar has been the legal tender and U.S. coins interchangeable with Panamanian coins of the same denominations, similar sizes and metals are used. The dollar bill is called the Balboa, cents are centavos. Prices are often written with $ sign or B/. before the amount.
Large denomination dollar bills can be difficult to change in Panama, particularly outside Panama City. Even for $50 bills you may be asked to sign a book and give your passport number. $20 bills and lower denominations are the most convenient, but in country areas where prices are low you are advised to carry smaller bills.
There are several ATM’s located throughout Boquete where you can withdraw cash. Most large restaurants will accept credit cards but smaller restaurants, coffee shops and bars are cash only.
Panama enjoys a tropical climate and average daily temperatures during the day are in the mid to high 80 degrees Fahrenheit, with slightly cooler temperatures in the evening. The average humidity is about 80%. Mountain areas such as Boquete are colder and windier. Caribbean side (Bocas del Toro) is more humid and rainy than the Pacific.
Length of day is 12 hours year round because Panama is near the equator. Sunrise is approximately 6:20 a.m. and sunset is approximately 6:20 p.m. year round. Panama never goes on Daily Savings Time as all days are the same length. Panama is also lucky in that it is out of the hurricane belt and therefore never gets hit by hurricanes.
The rainy season is from late May to early December, while the dry season is from late December to early May -- nearly exactly the same seasonal weather pattern as South Florida, except for the complete absence of hurricanes. The rainy season does not mean continuous rain. Usually mornings are sunny, with intermittent heavy rain in the afternoon. Continuous overcast and drizzle is not the norm except sometimes in the rainiest months of October and November. Local microclimates vary widely. Annual rainfall in the city of Panama is about the same as Miami at 8 feet per year. The rainiest areas are in the western mountains on the Caribbean. The dry season can be extreme in some areas on the south side of Panama in March and April.
Panama’s seasons are opposite of the US. Winter in Panama is known as summer up north and vice versa. Winter in Panama refers to the rainy season (May-December) and summer in Panama refers to the dry season (December-May). This means that in the cold months of winter time in the north when many people are seeking relief in warmer climates, Panama is having its summer with the highest temperatures of the year.
Bring your riding safety equipment, swim trunks, comfortable walking shoes, hats,raingear
Check the Center for Disease Control (CDC) for any updates: https://wwwnc.cdc.gov/travel/destinations/traveler/none/panama
There is plenty to do in Boquete and the surrounding area for non-riders. There are plenty of hiking trails, coffee tours, waterfalls, rivers for river rafting, fishing, bird watching, zip lines to keep the family busy while you are out riding. Please inquire about alternative lodging for families and day-tours.
Panama time is five hours behind Greenwich Mean Time (-5 GMT) and one hour ahead of Central American countries. Panama is the same time as US Eastern Standard Time when US time is not adjusted for daylight savings; during USA daylight savings time, Panama equals US Central time.
Spanish is the official language, however English is spoken and understood in Panama City and most hotels in major cities such as David.
The electric current used in Panama is mainly 110v -60hz and some 220v.
The country code for Panama is 507 and phone numbers are 7 digits long. Cell phone coverage is available throughout most of the country, make sure to enable roaming to receive your calls while in Panama.
In order to make it an enjoyable and safe riding adventure we limit our groups to 6 riders plus a guide. This allows the guide to provide personalized attention to all the riders.
Here in Chiriqui we can ride 365 days of the year. Dry season from Mid December to May we have clear skies and windy conditions and the Green season from June to Mid December brings refreshing rains in early morning and late afternoon.
We recommend you have international medical insurance coverage. There are two private hospitals in David capable of handling most cases and more serious cases can be referred to Panama City where Johns Hopkins is associated with Hospital Punta Pacifica. Our guides are trained in emergency first aid procedures.
Typical rides ar 6-8 hours except for the last day which is the Volcano Challenge which we can be riding up to 10 hours. At anytime on ours trails we have chicken lines out to the paved roads which we can arrange pickups.
Our trails range from fast double track to extreme single track. Trails vary from sealevel beach riding to 3045 M high mountains and everything in between. Many river and stream crossings are common along with short sections of mud, rocks and roots. See our media page for clips of riding.