David Travel Guide

Welcome to the David travel guide.

David is the third largest city in Panama and the capital of the Chiriquí province.  This lovely Panamanian city is an excellent base for exploring important destinations within Chiriquí, such as the flower and coffee highlands of Boquete and Cerro Punta.  It is located 45 minutes from Paso Canoas, the border of Costa Rica and you can also drive to Bocas del Toro via David if you rent a car.  David is a gateway to many of Chiriquí’s attractions including the Gulf of Chiriquí with its many islands and to the mountain highlands where the forests are green and lush.


The city of David is set upon a beautiful coastal plain.  It is a market town and center for the thriving farming industry that is the main economic activity of the Chiriquí province.  The city is surrounded by the beautiful and picturesque highlands of Chiriquí.  In the center of town you will find the central park.  Here locals come to visit or just to relax under the shade of the trees.  Street vendors will shine your shoes or sell you a cold drink, a freshly cracked coconut or the juice from sugar cane grounded on the spot.


The Chiriquí province is home to an amazing variety of attractions including beaches, islands, rivers for white water rafting and kayaking, high altitude mountains for hiking and climbing, as well as lush tropical forests that host exotic flora and fauna.  Because of the proximity to the ocean and the mountains, David has become a preferred outdoor adventure destination and its particularly unique terrain gives Chiriquí an ideal climate for agriculture.  Visitors will also find a wide variety of hotels in Chiriquí, from simple guesthouses to deluxe resort hotels.


David Weather and Best Time to Visit


David is a coastal location with a tropical climate, making it a year round vacation destination.  This destination is a landlocked city in the lowlands, close to the Gulf of Chiriquí.  It is very hot in David, with high temperatures ranging from 84-91°F, and lows in the range of 73-75°F.  Due to its low latitude, sunrise is around 6 AM, and sunset is around 6 PM local time.  These times vary slightly during the year.


Spring and summer are the hottest months in Panama, so if you prefer temperate climates, you should choose to visit David in the autumn and winter months.  If you decide to visit in the spring or summer, it is recommended that travelers wear light and breathable clothing, a hat and sunscreen to protect your head and face from the extremely hot sun.  Most importantly, be sure to protect young children's skin.  Carry plenty of water and keep yourself hydrated, especially when you are out and about exploring this splendid region.


Like most of Panama’s lowlands, the rainy season lasts from May to November.   David is humid with thundershowers and heavy rain as a commonality.  Throughout the course of the year this area sees a copious amount of precipitation, averaging 100 inches per year.  During the rainy season, mornings and early afternoons are usually sunny while in the afternoons and evenings you will experience intermittent rainfall.  Be sure to pack for this type of weather pattern no matter what time of year you plan to visit.


Experience David


The best way to experience David and the Chiriquí province is to enjoy an afternoon along its shores.  Playa La Barquete, the closest beach to David, is a long ribbon of dark-gray sand that's popular with local surfers.  The area behind the beach is deforested, and the sea is occasionally murky due to a nearby mangrove estuary.  Nonetheless, it's a pleasant spot to spend a day or two.  La Barqueta has the province's only beach resort and several vacation homes and condos, but most of the beach is backed by scrubby vegetation; you can stroll for miles without seeing a soul.  


Playa La Barquete is public, but a day pass from Hotel Las Olas includes pool, gym and bar access.  There are also several simple restaurants, especially Las Garzas, Miramar, and Rancho La Costena, west of Hotel Las Olas with inexpensive Panamanian fare.  La Barqueta's sand can get hot enough to burn your feet, so be sure to wear beach shoes when visiting here.


Spread along a quiet fishing port, Boca Chica is an excellent place to spend some time during your David vacation.  This lovely town now has a paved road and a small selection of hotels that serve the islands of Parque Nacional Marino Golfo de Chiriquí.  Boca Chica is on a peninsula overlooking the nearby island of Boca Brava.  Together, Boca Chica and Isla Boca Brava define the eastern edge of a mangrove estuary that extends all the way to Playa La Barqueta.


Isla Boca Brava, across the channel from Boca Chica, is mostly covered with forest and is home to howler monkeys.  The attractions are beyond Boca Brava on the uninhabited islands of the Parque Nacional Marino Golfo de Chiriquí, a 40-minute boat ride away.  Beyond them lie world-class sport fishing and diving around the Islas Ladrones and Islas Secas.