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Old 02-08-2008   #1
Red lodge, Montana
Paddling Since: 1987
Join Date: Mar 2007
Posts: 58
Panama this early spring

Anyone know what the scoop is during the coming month or so in Panama? I've heard Nov. is best but then again heard it is a rain seasson coming up.

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Old 02-08-2008   #2
KSC's Avatar
Boulder, Colorado
Paddling Since: 2003
Join Date: Oct 2003
Posts: 2,032
My understanding is there's boating year 'round, but your options will probably be limited to a drainage near the Costa Rican border. Rainy season starts around May I believe, but it sounds like Sept-Nov gives you the most options. Look in the commercial forums - John Miller is the Panama guru who could answer all your questions.

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Old 02-15-2008   #3
Boquete, Panama
Join Date: Mar 2007
Posts: 15
The rainy season starts in late April to early May normally. There is water in the Chiriqui Viejo watershed all through the dry season. You can easily do 4 days of class 3/4 water on that river and do different sections each day. It has good flows (probably about 800-1000 cfs on the lower section right now). If you repeat some of the sections, then it would be fun to spend a week on that river. In the rainy season, the river is mostly class 4 to 4+.

Starting in May, most of the bigger rivers will be runnable. If you want the steeper creeks, September-November is the best, but there is good paddling June-August also.

December can be really variable. Some years there is lots of water, some years only the biggest drainages have water. From January through April, you mostly have the Viejo and some class 2 runs.

Of course, I am speaking about the Chiriqui province which is in western Panama (borders Costa Rica and the Pacific ocean). The best paddling is here, but there are good runs in other parts of the country as well.

Feel free to email me if you have more questions.


John Miller
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