Costa Rica Weather in October
|Avg. temperature: 26.5°C / 79.7°F
|Sun: 5.2 Hrs (sunshine), 11.9 Hrs (daylight) per day
|Rain: 330 mm
|Avg. humidity: 87%
Costa Rica in October is still the peak of the rainy season in the country, but don’t let that deter you from booking a trip! Most rain falls on the Pacific coast and drier days can be found farther to the east along the Caribbean. October might not be the best month to visit Costa Rica if you are in search of scorching temperatures and never-ending beach days, but with more rain comes lush forests, rushing waterfalls and fewer tourists.
Although Costa Rica October weather is quite wet, there are still many things to do in Costa Rica in October. The Pacific beaches most frequented in the high season are quieter and the Caribbean coast remains dry, warm and breathtakingly beautiful. See our guide below for some of the best places to visit in Costa Rica in October.
Things to do in Costa Rica in October
Immerse yourself in the biodiversity of Tortuguero National Park
Tortuguero National Park is tucked away in the Limon Province of Costa Rica on the Caribbean Coast. Its remote location can only be accessed by airplane or boat, but it is still the third-most visited park in the entire country. There is a vast range of habitats within Tortuguero National Park and the whole of Tortuguero Conservation Area. Endangered and protected flora and fauna species span the park’s swamps, beaches, estuaries and more.
As its name suggests, many are drawn to Tortuguero National Park between April and October to witness masses of green sea turtles nesting along the sandy shores. The protected beaches see nearly 20,000 nesting turtles each year and eco-tourists travel from the farthest corners of the world to witness the nighttime wonder. Leatherback, hawksbill and loggerhead sea turtles also frequent the beaches during these months, which easily makes this one of the best places to visit in Costa Rica in October.
Go Surfing in the rain
Large swells and perfect breaks make surfing enjoyable in October in Costa Rica. Unfortunately, some beaches on the South Pacific coast can sometimes be hard to access because trails are muddy and oftentimes unusable. Farther north, a bit less rain and big waves entice experienced surfers to the Costa Rican shores. Beginners can find smaller waves on the Caribbean coast to test the waters.
Columbus Day in Costa Rica
Traditionally celebrated to mark the day Christopher Columbus came to the New World, October 12 has a long history with changing perspectives on the meaning of the holiday. In 1994, Costa Rica officially changed the holiday’s name from Dia de la Raza to Dia de las Culturas to recognize the influence of European, Native American, African and Asian cultures that shaped Costa Rican culture and ethnicity today. Dia de las Culturas celebrates a rich heritage and cultural diversity of the country.
The streets are lined with colorful garments and people focused on peace and unity. Traditional meals are made and song and dance are abundant. Parades take place throughout the country and locals revel in their day off.
Best places to visit in Costa Rica in October
October in Costa Rica is a great time to go visit the country’s beautiful waterfalls. Not only are they less crowded than in peak season, but the regular rainfall has them flowing at full power, making them even more of a raw spectacle.
The Monteverde Cloud Forest is another great option if you’re in Costa Rica in October. During the summer, this is one of the most popular destinations in the country, so few crowds is surely a blessing. Plus, the wildlife is more active in the wet season, so you’re likely to see more animals than during the drier months, and the forest itself will be at its lushest.
Best beaches in Costa Rica in October
The beaches on the Costa Rica Pacific coast tend to see rain almost every day in October, though you should be able to get some sun in the morning before the afternoon/evening rains strike the shoreline. If you’re a surfer the Pacific coast sees some great swells in September, so hotspots like Tamarindo are a great option. But if you’re looking for sun, the best beaches in Costa Rica in October are on the Caribbean coast. Unlike the rest of the country it is drier than normal and right now a bit of a hidden gem (but gaining more popularity each year), and if you do get a bit of rain it tends to be during the night. Popular beach destinations in the South Caribbean are Punta Uva and Cahuita (both good for swimming and wildlife), Puerto Viejo (where the surfing and diving are also good), and in the north there is the wildlife eco-haven of Tortuguero.
Many hotels and business shut down in the South Pacific region in rainy October
The South Pacific region of Costa Rica in October welcomes rainfall for days at a time. While the weather is still warm, the wet days discourage beachgoers and many lodges and other businesses close for the month. There are still things to do in October around the area! Uvita and Dominical are two great cities for whale watching at this time.
If you can handle rainy afternoons and the occasional nighttime downpour, grab your rain gear and make your way to the South Pacific region. It’s best to do some research before planning a trip in this region in October.
Rainy season bargains on the Caribbean coast
Much of the country experiences rainfall during this season, but Costa Rica October weather varies throughout its diverse regions. The Caribbean coast is dry in October and remains somewhat of a hidden gem to travellers looking for quiet beaches at a steal.
In the high season, accommodation is hard to come by unless it has been booked months in advance. October is a great month to visit Costa Rica with additional flexibility and the possibility of scoring a last-minute hotel room or hostel. It’s still recommended to book accommodation on the dry Caribbean coast in advance, but the majority of travellers still aren’t privy to the dry rainy season region so rates are lower and beaches haven’t filled up yet.
Cover photo source: https://ticotimes.net/2016/06/03/costa-rica-central-bank-value-forests/comment-page-1