When is the Best Time to Visit Costa Rica?

Costa Rica is a fun place to visit! The best time to go is during the dry season, which is from mid-December to April. The weather is usually sunny and clear, perfect for beach trips and animal watching. But, the rainy season from May to November can be cool too. Even though it rains more, Costa Rica is very green and beautiful during this time. Plus, there aren't as many tourists. It often rains in the afternoon, but the mornings are usually sunny, so you can still do lots of fun things. Whenever you visit, Costa Rica is always an exciting place to explore!
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What’s the Weather in Costa Rica Like?

Costa Rica is beautifully warm all year, with an average annual temperature of 80°-90° Fahrenheit on the coasts and 75°-80° in the countryside and on the mountainsides. The most stable weather is between December and April. These months have little to no rain in most of the country. Other months typically have showers at some point of the day, which benefits vibrant, lively green throughout the natural landscape. You can find discounts for the rainy season months.
Without much further ado, here is the breakdown of the pros and cons of coming to Costa Rica by month:

Visiting Costa Rica in January

What better place to ring in the new year? Costa Rica's weather in January is picture perfect. So let us know what kind of trip you dream about, and we can match you to the best of the best options out there, depending on your preferences. So start your year off right.
January in Costa Rica comes with New Year's prices. As a result, prices throughout January, and through mid-April, in Costa Rica are higher than most other times of the year.


February: Best Time to Visit

The best weather you could ask for in Costa Rica is in February. A typical day would be sunny and warm, with uninterrupted activities from 6 AM to 6 PM (more than what you'd get up north). You can sleep and relax all morning and count on stable weather in the afternoon.
Most of Costa Rica's boutique hotels (the best experience is a stay in one of these beauties if you ask us) are usually booked well in advance. Plan because February is a hectic time in Costa Rica. 



Is Costa Rica Busy in March?

Why, yes! We're glad you asked.
Sunny days and clear nights are the best description of Costa Rica's weather in March. Picture yourself enjoying spring break in Costa Rica! It's the best way to escape the cold in the north.
Escaping the cold isn't a novel concept, unfortunately for you, so during March Costa Rica gets very busy. If you come to Costa Rica in March, you will notice other guests and share tourist attractions and activities. Still, your friends will be jealous when they hear of your Spring Break in Costa Rica. Availability is scarce and should be booked well ahead of time.



If Visiting in April, Mind the Semana Santa

'Semana Santa' is a term used across Latin America for the week before Easter, Holy Week.
Costa Rica is an excellent place to celebrate Easter. You might partake in local traditions for a typical Easter in Costa Rica. If you're a crowd lover, this is a great time to come!
If you're not a fan of crowds at the airport or beaches, the week before Easter is one to avoid, not only in Costa Rica but all of Latin America. It's like Thanksgiving, only in springtime. Costa Ricans that live and work abroad travel home to spend the whole week with their extended families. Roads in and out of the Central Valley are often at a standstill. It's the second busiest week, after Christmas, in all coastal towns.



Month of Transitional Weather: May

Month of Transitional Weather: May

In May, Costa Rica has fewer crowds and many great deals. Nature lovers particularly love May in Costa Rica because it's turtle season. In addition, anglers can enjoy excellent deep sea fishing for marlin and dorado in the Central Pacific and tarpon on the Caribbean coast.
May is a transitional month. Seasons are changing, and this makes the weather unpredictable.



June in Costa Rica: Low Crowds and Good Deals

June in Costa Rica is known for low crowds. It's a peaceful time with plenty of space to relax and rejuvenate.

Sometimes the weather in Costa Rica is unpredictable in June; mid-day showers can be expected.



July: ‘Veranillo’ aka Costa Rica’s ‘Little Summer’

The weather is much more predictable in July in Costa Rica. While there will be afternoon showers, the mornings are bright and sunny.
During the second half of the month, the weather usually stabilizes completely. This time is locally known as 'El Veranillo de San Juan' (and, for some reason, colloquially known as 'Little Summer'). The countryside is lush and green. 
There are few tourists at this time, so attractions and activities are less crowded. Also, the lodging price can drop by half compared to what you'd pay for the festive season.
From mid-July to mid-November, then again from mid-December to April, it's whale watching season because of the whales' migration cycle. In July and August, you can see turtles nesting.
Aside from during veranillo (which falls somewhere around June 23rd but varies from year to year), expect the weather to include an occasional light shower once a day in July in Costa Rica.



Is it Worth It to Visit Costa Rica in August?

The weather is like clockwork in August in Costa Rica. You can count on lots of sunny weather. Hotels offer great deals, and tours are not too crowded. It's an excellent time to visit two parts of the country in a single trip. You can enjoy the rainforest/volcano area with adventure activities and the beach area with marine activities.
August is not exempt from the occasional shower, but there won't be enough rain to ruin your plans to enjoy Costa Rica. Storms tend to pass quickly.



Visiting in September: It Starts Raining (Again)

Visiting the Arenal Volcano area is ideal because this part of Costa Rica has very stable weather in September. There are many tours available, and you'll likely have the guides all to yourself. In addition, you can see turtles hatching both on the Pacific and Caribbean coast, in September and October.
Avoid going to the Osa Peninsula during September and October. While most of Costa Rica has daily light showers, Osa gets too much rain at this time of year.



October: A Good Time to Travel to the Caribbean Side

October is a great time to visit the Caribbean coast, where the weather is the most stable. There are minimal tourists in the country at this time, which means there are great deals and almost private tours with guides focusing on you. 
While rain might put some people off, most of the time, a good rain jacket, closed shoes, and an adventurous spirit will be more than enough to enjoy the weather and the rich wildlife you can observe during this time of year.
The leather-back turtle's nesting season runs from October to March in Guanacaste.
You’d want to avoid visiting the Central or South Pacific in October. Guanacaste would be a better option, as it's a dry forest climate, it has the least amount of rain, and this time of year the landscape is lush and green (read beautiful), unlike the scorched and arid moonscape you’d find during dry months.  
Rain can make getting around some parts of the country slightly problematic, as landslides and other natural obstacles become more common.



Costa Rica in November: Transition to Dry Season

The weather in Costa Rica usually stabilizes in November as it transitions to the drier season. In addition, some hotels and restaurants offer organized Thanksgiving dinners in Costa Rica. Plus, it's nice to avoid the cold weather and skip the long underwear for once while celebrating Thanksgiving in Costa Rica with your loved ones.
There's still a chance of the occasional tropical shower during afternoons in Guanacaste in November, but this keeps the landscapes incredibly green, lush, and photo-worthy.



December: A Great Time to Visit

Yes, you heard right, December is the clear start of Costa Rica's dry season. However, the weather is extraordinarily stable, and everything is still lush from the rainy season. Overall pricing is very reasonable in Costa Rica for the beginning of December, with lots of deals. What better way to celebrate Christmas than in Costa Rica?
Around December 20th, the peak season starts. Booking a room at that boutique hotel you liked (even months in advance) will give you a headache. If you're not a fan of crowds and don't want to break a bank, you'll want to avoid travel at this busiest time, if possible.


Seasons in Costa Rica

Unlike other countries with four regular seasons, the climate in Costa Rica can easily be divided into two seasons: rainy and dry. Or summer and winter. High and low. You get the idea.
Generally, the dry season is from December to late April, and the rainy season is from May to November. However, the Caribbean coast is the big exception, where the seasons are flipped, and the driest months are mid-May through mid-November. So let us elaborate for you!  

Dry Season: November to April

The dry season, which runs from late November until late April, is also known as the high season or ‘summer’. During these months, the weather in many parts of the country is hot, getting little to no rain, with temperatures ranging from the mid-80s to the high 90s depending on where you are in Costa Rica. However, in some provinces, seasonally cool winds offer some respite from the heat, particularly in January and February. 

Rainy Season: May to October

While the rainy season attracts fewer tourists, it's unarguably the time of year when Costa Rica is at its most beautiful. May to November is the time of year when all vegetation starts to grow again and the country blooms into life and becomes incredibly lush.
Although temperatures rarely drop below the mid-60s (around 18 degrees Celsius), the overall climate is much wetter, and thunderstorms, heavy rains, and tropical depressions are far from unusual, especially in the afternoon. It can be quite a spectacle! 

Transitional Months

Many say the best months of the year to travel are May/June, or November because May/June and November represent the "cusp" of the seasons—the change from dry to rain in May and vice versa in November. 
You can expect very little rain, perhaps an hour or so in the late afternoon, but rarely more than that. As a result, the countryside is lush and green, marking a difference from the browns of the dry season. 

Rainy or ‘Green’ Season in Costa Rica

The rainy season starts around mid-May, but it gets a much undeserved bad reputation. A typical day in the rainy season starts hot and sunny, and then, if it does rain, it will cloud up at 1–3 PM and rain for a couple of hours until it clears up again at 5–6 PM. This is a rule of thumb—there are days when it might rain more, but there are also days when it won't rain, especially in July. The only months where it may rain for days at the time are September and October, and even these months will see sunny days.
This time of year, temperatures rarely drop too harshly. Still, the rainy afternoons can be an acquired taste, especially for those who expect Costa Rica to be the land of eternal summer. The rainy season has many wondrous elements because the country seems to become greener. Trees and flowers bloom, and what at some point might've been arid countryside is turned into paradisiacal scenery.

Costa Rica’s Dry Season

The dry season—aka high season—running from mid-December through the end of April is best for your sun worshiper, although not quite as good for wildlife spotting. During this time of the year, temperatures rise all over the country. Because of its proximity to the equatorial line, seasons are "inverted" in Costa Rica. While other countries celebrate snowy Christmases, the weather in places like Guanacaste is warm, allowing you to unwrap those Christmas presents on the tropical beach.
The high season is perfect for Americans and Europeans looking to escape the harsh winters of the Northern hemisphere. The high season offers endless options for travelers who mainly visit the beaches of the Pacific and go on adventure tours in the Arenal area. For obvious reasons, hotels, airfares, etc., tend to be more expensive during the high season. Most local schools and universities are on vacation, too, which means the beaches and other tourist destinations might be more crowded.



When Do I Come to Costa Rica, so It's Not too Humid?

You will want to visit Costa Rica between January and March or June, or July to avoid humidity. Avoid September and October. Humidity also depends on the area you would visit. Rainforest areas have rain almost all year. To prevent humidity, we recommend Guanacaste, which has the least rainfall in the country year-round. For the most pleasant, least humid weather in Costa Rica, you want to be in Guanacaste.

Is Christmas A Good Time To Visit Costa Rica?

It is a good time weather-wise but be aware that it can get very crowded and it is considered the high season, as there are lots of tourists and can get a bit expensive.

What Is the Best Time to Visit Costa Rica for Wildlife?

The rainy season is ideal for nature lovers. Who will undoubtedly be thrilled by the variety of animal and plant species they will see here, especially for whale watching and turtle nesting tours, as this is the prime season when these animals migrate to Costa Rica. Prices tend to drop, too, making the green season perfect for travelers with tighter budgets.

What Is the Best Month to Visit Costa Rica?

Anytime is our answer, but we know that December through April is pretty spectacular with the weather. 

When Should You Not Visit Costa Rica?

September and October can be very challenging to visit Costa Rica, as there is continuous rainfall. But there are a lot of great deals that you can grab during those months too. 

What Is the Rainiest Month in Costa Rica?

For most of the country, that will be, hands down, October.  If you are on the Pacific coast or somewhere in the central valley/mountain region, it is going to rain. Be prepared. Caribbean coast - October is the driest month of the year!  

What Month Is the Hottest in Costa Rica?

Costa Rica months are consistently warm year round, but the hottest can be any of the months from April to July. Check those weather apps.

What Is the Worst Time to Visit Costa Rica?

It truly depends on what your concern was. Late December through January can be challenging due to the number of people in the country and can be very pricey. If you really don’t want to see even a drop of rain, your best bet is to stick with dry season months, mid-December to end of March.

What Is the Cheapest Time to Travel to Costa Rica?

If you’re looking for the best deal and don’t mind the rain, plan your trip for September to mid November. No crowds whatsoever, best deals on lodging (perhaps you could get away with a bit of a splurge on some premium accommodations) and with so few people around you will probably get the best (most attentive) service as well. 
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