Best time to go to Costa Rica

For many travellers, the best time to go on vacation is largely dictated by the weather. Particularly in a country like Costa Rica where much of the attraction revolves around outdoor activity, we can certainly understand why the weather is such an important factor!

For most of the Northern Hemisphere there are four distinct seasons; spring, summer, autumn and winter. But in Costa Rica there are just two; summer, or “dry” season, which runs from December to April, and winter, or “wet” season, which runs from May to November.

On first impression you might assume that summer is the best time to go to Costa Rica. For many, it is, but winter is also known as “green” season and can be one of the best times to visit for the stunning, lush landscape that sweeps the country because of the rain.

Within Costa Rica the weather and climate varies quite drastically depending on your location. To the west is the Pacific coast, with a striking shoreline stretching over 1,000 km. To the east are the laid back shores of the warm Caribbean sea.

There really is no right or wrong answer as to when is the best time to visit Costa Rica, but we’ll do our best to help you figure out what is best for you! Simply click the titles below and we’ll tell you everything you need to know.

Costa Rica in January

Avg. Temperature:80°F / 26°CAvg. Sun:12 hrs per day
Avg. Rain:3 mmAvg. Humidity:70%

Happy new year! Costa Ricans know how to throw a party so for many, January is the best month to visit Costa Rica. The first week of January is the busiest of the year with tourists from around the globe flocking to Costa Rica to partake in the lively street parties which are the experience of a lifetime. The second half of the month is a little tamer, with large crowds dispersing and heading back to reality, making the best beaches available for a more laid-back holiday. Read more

Costa Rica in February

Avg. Temperature:83°F / 28°CAvg. Sun:12 hrs per day
Avg. Rain:10 mmAvg. Humidity:78%

February is largely considered the best time of year to go to Costa Rica. Gone are the New Year crowds, meaning slightly fewer tourists to enjoy the wonderfully warm weather in the peak of the dry season. The perfect time to relax on the beach on the Pacific or Caribbean Coast, or head to the city for a cooler climate. Also cooler than the coast is the mountainous valley around San Jose and Alajuela, a welcome escape from the high season heat as temperatures in the cloud forest typically sit 6-10 degrees chillier than the surrounding area. For a party not to be missed, carnival season starts in the middle of February so check out the festivities on offer in advance to make sure you get to experience the energetic parades! Read more

Costa Rica in March

Avg. Temperature:28°F / 82°CAvg. Sun:12 hrs per day
Avg. Rain:6 mmAvg. Humidity:78%

March for many is the best time to go to Costa Rica as it marks the peak of the high (“dry”) season and has some of the best weather the country has to offer. 12 hours of sunshine will brighten your days in Costa Rica in March, with not a cloud in the sky on the beautiful Pacific Coast. On the lazy Caribbean Coast, expect a little rainfall each afternoon to take the edge off the beating sun and cool you down a little. Despite some rain, March is considered for many to have the best weather in Costa Rica, particularly for beach holidays as the heat lends itself to a relaxing getaway. Of course, high season means more tourists and often higher prices, so make sure you book well in advance to get the best rates on accommodation and activities. Read more

Costa Rica in April

Avg. Temperature:83°F / 28.4°CAvg. Sun:12.4 hrs per day
Avg. Rain:4.7 mmAvg. Humidity:81%

April is the month that in most parts of Costa Rica brings the dry season to a close and you can expect to experience some of the hottest days of the year during this month. To soak up the sun (sand and sea, too!) head to the Pacific or Caribbean Coast, where light afternoon showers will help to cool you down when you most need it. The cities are a little cooler during the hotter months so you may consider a trip to San Jose to experience a lower temperature and drier skies during this month. Easter typically falls during April and the festivities are not to be missed as it marks an important religious holiday for Costa Ricans. Read more

Costa Rica in May

Avg. Temperature:78.6°F / 25.9°CAvg. Sun:12.6 hrs per day
Avg. Rain:267 mmAvg. Humidity:80%

The official start of the rainy season, though don’t let this put you off visiting Costa Rica in May. The rainfall introduces itself gradually so you won’t feel the effects until towards the end of the month! The skies are bright, the weather warm and there is plenty to be enjoyed in the great outdoors. It can be one of the best times to experience the Monteverde Cloud Forest, for example, which thrives from the fresh rainfall. Because of the change in season, many consider May the best time to travel to Costa Rica as there are fewer crowds than during the peak season. Fewer tourists typically means lower prices on accommodation, so you could bag yourself a real bargain! Read more

Costa Rica in June

Avg. Temperature:72°F / 22°CAvg. Sun:12.5 hrs per day
Avg. Rain:178 mmAvg. Humidity:49%

It’s officially green season! We think this sounds better than “rainy” season and does more justice to the effects of the weather on the lush, tropical landscape. The rainforests thrive from the rainfall which prompts them to come to life, thick with vibrant green leaves and buzzing with birds who sing even louder in the rain. The local wildlife bask in their revitalised natural habitat and there are some spectacular sights to be seen. As long as you remember to pack your waterproofs, for many visitors June can be the best month to visit Costa Rica! Naturally, though, the rain disperses the tourist crowds so there are fewer visitors in general. The lower season invites enticing offers on most accommodation, so there are some great deals to be found! Read more

Costa Rica in July

Avg. Temperature:82.7°F / 28.2°CAvg. Sun:5.5 hrs per day
Avg. Rain:181.5 mm per monthAvg. Humidity:80%

July is the ideal time to visit Costa Rica if you’re looking to beat the summer tourist rush! It is the heart of the low season because of the weather cycle, which can be quite unpredictable in July. Throughout the day expect some showers, with beautiful breaks of sun in between to warm you up. Be prepared and bring your raincoat, but don’t let the showers put you off as you can get some great bargains as a result of the season. Read more

Costa Rica in August

Avg. Temperature:73.2°F / 22.9°CAvg. Sun:12 hrs per day
Avg. Rain:276 mmAvg. Humidity:85%

During August in Costa Rica you can expect bright, sunny mornings and wetter afternoons when one to two hours of rain are typical until early evening. Although August is the height of the rainy season, don’t let this put you off booking your trip to Costa Rica! It is a tropical paradise that flourishes during the green season so there is plenty to see and do during your trip to Costa Rica in August. On the north east Pacific Coast the rain hasn’t quite hit, so there’s still time to enjoy the sandy beaches and wild waves that the likes of Tamarindo and Nosara have to offer. Read more

Costa Rica in September

Avg. Temperature:71°F / 22°CAvg. Sun:5 hrs per day
Avg. Rain:355 mmAvg. Humidity:86%

If you’re thinking about visiting Costa Rica in September, you won’t need to worry about the temperature. You will definitely need to think about packing your waterproofs, though, as September is the very height of Costa Rica’s rainy season across most of the country! Conversely, if it’s a beachside stay you’re looking for, head over to the Caribbean coast where they experience some of the driest weather in September. Read more

Costa Rica in October

Avg. Temperature:79.7°F / 26.5°CAvg. Sun:11.9 hrs per day
Avg. Rain:330 mmAvg. Humidity:87%

It is still the peak of the rainy season for most of Costa Rica, but don’t let that put you off booking a trip in October as there is still a great time to be had! The Pacific Coast is wettest during this month and a drier sky can be found further east over on the Caribbean Coast. Because it is low season for tourists, there are many bargains to be had so, with a little planning to ensure your activities aren’t dampened by the rain, you could get yourself a steal on your Costa Rican October stay! Read more

Costa Rica in November

Avg. Temperature:81.1°F / 27.3°CAvg. Sun:11.5 hrs per day
Avg. Rain:6.2 mmAvg. Humidity:82%

On Costa Rica’s Pacific Coast, the rainy season is coming to a close as temperatures rise and precipitation drops ready for the dry months. The natural landscape flourishes as the green season is almost over, rainforests thick with vibrant vegetation and wildlife energised from the months of rain. Over on the Caribbean coast, the summer months reach their end and November is the best time to take in the last of the high temperatures and minimal rain. Come here to bask on the beaches and enjoy a slower pace of Caribbean life. Read more

Costa Rica in December

Avg. Temperature:72°F / 22°CAvg. Sun:12 hrs per day
Avg. Rain:33 mmAvg. Humidity:74%

Costa Rica in December is the best way to conclude your year with salsa, swim, and sun! As the northern hemisphere gets colder, Costa Rica offers pleasant warm temperatures and the natural landscape is at its peak of beauty as the green season comes to an end, bringing forth the freshest and most vibrant flora and fauna. Experience the customs, celebrations and fun as a spectacular lineup of festivals and fairs fill the streets in all towns. Costa Rica will not disappoint you on your sunny winter getaway. Read more

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What’s Costa Rica like in December?

Costa Rica Weather in December

Avg. temperature: 22°C / 72°FSun: 12 Hrs per day
Rain: 33 mmAvg. humidity: 74%

As the year draws to a close, and work shuts out for the holidays, what better way to escape the biting cold than to go to a country that is just entering its sunny and mild season? Costa Rica in December is the best way to conclude your year with salsa, swim, and sun! To add more to the fun, Costa Rica’s green wonders are at full force as the close of the wet season has brought forth the freshest and most vibrant flora and fauna! Experience the customs, celebrations and fun as a spectacular lineup of festivals and fairs fill the streets in all towns. Costa Rica will not disappoint you on your sunny winter getaway.

A Tale of Two Seasons

While the weather in Costa Rica is generally advertised to be sunny with light sprinkles in December, it is worth noting that the country tends to put on two faces in this regard. Since the region is sandwiched between two oceans and divided by high mountains, Costa Rica experiences two seasons within its territory. The Carribean side of the country would be in the middle of its wet season, while on the Pacific side commences its dry season. Although slightly milder, those who would like a Carribean adventure would find it helpful to bring some light rainwear along with plenty of sunscreen as it is milder than what can be imagined of a wet season. For our travelers who just want to sit back and have fun in the sun, the vast stretch of Pacific coastline will be comfortably warm enough for some beachside leisure. 

The Papagayo Winds

Costa Rica is not unfamiliar to meteorological phenomena. The Papagayo Winds barrels through the eastern portion of the country, with some offshore gusts topping 50 mph! Although it is not a boaters dream, for our surfers wanting to play ‘Beach Party’, relish in the experience as you’ll be riding the waves in full force. 

Hotels in Costa Rica in December

Are you interested in travelling and taking a break of it all during Winter Break, but you are worried that everybody else has the same idea as you? Be one step ahead of everyone and take advantage of the opportunity that Costa Rica has to offer! The great thing about travelling to Costa Rica in December is that you will experience a low season and peak season in the same month! Taking this into consideration, there is a vast plethora of all-inclusive resorts, vacation rentals, eco-hotels, and golf resorts along the Carribean coast, Pacific coast, and the lush interior! 

Christmas Spirit

Costa Rica does not mind whether you are naughty or nice, everybody deserves a tropical Christmas! Christmas in Costa Rica is a time of vibrance, lights, parades, festivals, concerts and family gatherings. Costa Rica’s Christmas celebrations begin with the Festival de la Luz. This is when San Jose is transformed into the city of lights. Parades take place headlined by almost 1,500 musicians in participation. “Noche Bueno”, or Christmas Eve, is a feast day of roast pork, tamales, eggnog with rum and other Latin American specialties. Take a visit to the Christmas tree in front of the Children’s Hospital in San Jose. This tree is the best known and celebrated Christmas tree in the country. 

Another Christmas celebration is the old Spanish custom of bullfighting. Do not be alarmed, it is against the law to hurt the bull in any manner. It’s actually a ‘corrida’, which means “run”. A corrida is essentially a rodeo where the bullfighter’s goal is to outrun the animal without being horned. Following the animal trend, the ‘Tope Nacional de Caballos’ is a national horse parade that celebrates the agricultural heritage of Costa Rica. During the festival, horsemen parade the streets, as well as the famous painted oxcarts from the city of Sarachi. Catch the horse parade on Paseo Colon on December 26. 

Punctuating the Christmas craze is Costa Rica’s very own Carnival celebration on December 27. Rhythm, spice, floats, dancers and colour is what defines the Carnival Nacional. Along Paseo Colon and Avenida Segundo are colourful floats, dancers, traditional clothing, and amazing energy running through the arteries of San Jose!

Cover photo source:

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