Boquete weather and climate overview
The Coffee Estate Inn is situated at 4,200 feet across the valley from the 11,400 foot (3474 metres) Baru
Volcano. As the tanager flies, our inn is 30 kilometres from the Atlantic Ocean and 50 kilometres from the
Pacific Ocean. We are wedged in between the two oceans and two competing weather systems.
Much of the weather information for Boquete that you read about on Internet is inaccurate. Unfortunately, the
helpful folks at Weather Underground, etc. base their data on the city of David which could not be more
contrary to the town of Boquete and its immediate surrounding mountain areas. Elevations for the "true"
Boquete area range from 3,500 feet upward. David, the source for the weather data, is about 40 kilometres
south of us at 150 feet and is known to be one of the hottest places in Central America. Locals refer to David
as "the oven."
Let us go a step further. Do not confuse the "Cool mountain climate" coffee growing areas and biodiverse
misty oak forests of Boquete with lower elevation regions included in the District of Boquete. The "District"
spreads southeast down towards David. It includes 1,300 foot communities like Caldera which is
charactistically hot with arid ranchland and islands of dry tropical forest.
Boquete (the town is 1085.63 metres or 3,529 feet) has many different micro-climates. The area directly
adjacent to the town of Boquete including the Boquete valley and the surrounding higher close-by mountains,
is dramatically affected by the Trade Winds. You can drive right out of a storm in the Boquete valley to
sunshine and blue skies within five kilometres. High winds generally prevail, however, in the "Dry" season.
This is a volatile mountain climate and spring-like year round. The only thing that we can guarantee is that it
won't snow! Please continue reading to see the type of weather that you might experience the different
months of the year at the Coffee Estate Inn.
Boquete weather by seasons
- December to mid-February
We frequently have high winds, up to 40km/hour, and misting rain known as "Bajareque" blowing across the
Continental Divide from Bocas del Toro and the Caribbean. Most mornings, the combination of sun, wind and
bajareque produces hour-long rainbows across the valley. What a wondrous sight! During these months, a
day can be beautiful, clear and warm or cool and the next day stormy. With the right combination of
bajareque and at or near a full moon, we also see remarkable "lunar rainbows."
We usually have two annual storms that last 3-4 days each in late December, mid-January or early February.
In the years that we have lived here since 1995, January has been the most predictable month for storms of
any duration. These storm conditions are caused by cold air being pushed south-east into the Atlantic from
the polar regions and blown south-west into the mountain ranges of Central America by strong northerly
Trade Winds. The temperature during the day at our inn may rise to 75F or 26C with late evening and early
morning cooling to 60F or 16C. What's to see December to mid-February
- Mid-February to mid-May
Usually, these months are the driest, sunniest and warmest with light winds. While other areas in the "District
of Boquete" are already experiencing early fog and heavy afternoon downpours in March, we are enjoying summer
weather. Our temperatures rise to 80F or 24C during the afternoons and 64F or 14C in the late evening
and early morning.
Occasionally, we experience dramatic late afternoon thunderstorms. In the evenings in March and April, it is
fascinating to watch the "lightning shows" 15 kilometers away to the south and west of us and to hear the
thunder rolling around. Some years, April has been the driest and sunniest month of the year.
Coffee flowering (with long arms of delicate white flowers on the coffee trees, it looks like it snowed!)
primarily in March, but some flowering in April and May as well.
Native orchids such as cochleanthes discolor are blooming. Excellent birding - see our estate birding list.
What's to see mid-February to mid-May
Mid-May to December and "Verano de San Juan"
Predictably, the rainy season starts here at the inn between the 12th and 16th of May. We have light variable
winds or no wind with mornings of either hazy tropical skies (no rain the previous afternoon) or brilliant
sunshine (if it rained.) By late May, the volcano is usually shrouded in cloud by noon with sunlit rains or dark
downpours by 2:00pm for one to five hours (progressive with the advance of the months.) During the rains,
we have a clear view into and across the Boquete valley up to about 5,000 feet and the cloud line.
The skies almost always clear after the rains for star studded evenings.
What's to see mid-May to December
"Verano de San Juan"
Most years, we have a weather condition similar to Indian summer, "Verano de San Juan" starting in late June
or early July for 2-4 weeks. The Trade Winds return during this period pushing off the wet Pacific weather
system. As a result, it is drier and very green from previous rains. July is one of our favorite months.
October used to be the rainiest month with the most cloud coverage. Since 2007, however, we have seen an
increase in converging tropical depressions and unusually heavy rains in August and November.
The estate is incredibly lush and vibrant green!
What's to see late-June to mid-August
Some Satelite weather map links