NOVEMBER, THE MONTH OF PATRIOTIC CELEBRATIONS, November in Panama is the month which has more holidays than any other month of the year. The country almost comes to a stand-still during that period, so if you have an issue pending with public or private companies, you only have a small window of opportunity, between Tuesday 11 and Friday 27. If you try to do something before that, you will find offices closed.
However, you can use that time to relax at home watching the parades; they are transmitted on TVN (channel 2) or Telemetro (channel 13); or you can join the crowds and see them live. If your residence is in the interior, do not worry about it, most towns have their own local version, so try to get your beverage supplies before Thursday 2, because shops are not allowed to sell alcohol that day. On Friday, November 3, the situation is worse. Many roads will be closed due to the parades. Decide where you want to go beforehand and depart for your destination as soon as you can to avoid the long weekend traffic.
Many Panamanians take the long weekend from Friday 3 to Sunday 5 to visit family and friends in the interior, so the Interamerican Highway tends to be overcrowded and a strong possibility exists that you will find gridlocks. If you decide to go to the beach or to a resort, please note that during that period prices in hotels and restaurants tend to increase due to the demand.
What some people tend to do is to stay put for the duration of the parades (around two or three days) and enjoy quality time with family and friends. If that is too boring for you, why not visit one the islands in the Las Perlas Archipelago or watch school bands march in one of the picturesque town of Los Santos, Cocle and Herrera provinces.
You can also stay in one of the many spas of the Chiriqui province highlands, or maybe go somewhere closer, like El Valle at only 90 minutes from Panama City, to enjoy the cool weather and the natural beauty of the area.
A walk along the newly refurbished Amador Causeway is a good way to relax and see the ships go by and there are also a variety of restaurants where you can go for lunch or just a snack.
Whatever you do enjoy November, the month when the country celebrates its independence and patronomy.