Costa Rica Weather - When To Come!
Updated: Oct 3, 2019
Read below about the best months to travel to Costa Rica. In summary, anytime of the year is a good time to come. Costa Rica has lots of microclimates and two coastlines.
Costa Rica has great things to offer all year long and choosing the “best” time to come is subjective. It depends on what you’re looking for.
Many say the best months of the year to visit Costa Rica are May/June, July or November.
These months May/June represent the “cusp” of the seasons—the change from dry to rain in May and vice versa in November.
This means that you can expect very little rain, perhaps an hour or so in the late afternoon but rarely more than that. The countryside is lush and green, marking a difference from the browns of the dry season.
During these months, you still get the low season rates and amazing deals, plus the good weather. On top of that, every July there' a two/three-week long phenomenon called the ‘Little Summer of San Juan’. This is a two/three-week dry spell during the middle of the green (rainy) season.
The green (rainy) season starts around mid-May in Costa Rica, but it gets an undeserved bad reputation.
A typical day in the green season starts off hot and sunny and then, if it does rain, it will cloud up at 2-3 PM. You'll get a couple of hours of rain and then it'll clear up again at 5-6 PM.
This is the rule of thumb—there are days when it might rain more, but there are also days when it won’t rain at all, especially in July.
The only months where it may rain all days are September and October and even these months will see sunny days. This time of year temperatures rarely drop much. You'll still get the famous Costa Rican heat!
We admit these rainy afternoons can be an acquired taste, especially for those who expect Costa Rica to be the land of eternal sunshine.
But the rainy season has many wondrous elements, though. The entire country seems to become greener. Trees and flowers bloom, and what was once arid countryside, turns into the lushest greens you'll ever see.
Green season is ideal for nature lovers who will love the variety of animal and plant species they'll see. That especially goes for whale watching and turtle nesting tours. This is the prime season when these animals migrate to Costa Rica.
Prices often drop too, making the green season perfect for travellers on a budget.
The dry season—aka summer* aka high season—running from mid-December to 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 Costa Rica.
Because of its proximity to the equator, seasons are “inverted” in Costa Rica and while other countries celebrate snowy Christmases, the weather in places like Guanacaste is pleasantly warm, giving you opportunity to unwrap those Christmas presents on the tropical beach.
High season is perfect for Americans and Europeans looking to escape the harsh winters of the northern hemisphere.
This season offers endless options for travellers who mostly visit the beaches of the Pacific and go on adventure tours in the Arenal volcano area.
For obvious reasons, hotels, airfares etc. tend to be more expensive during the high season. Most local schools and universities are holiday, too, meaning beaches and other tourist destinations might be more crowded.
*For an interesting take on summer and winter in Costa Rica, read this article!