Best time to visit in Costa Rica: monthly breakdown and tips

Best time to visit in Costa Rica is an essential topic that can be found in this article, and knowing the answer to this question can help you maximize your time spent in this beautiful exotic country.

You don’t have to search for the general answer to this topic, you’d better try to answer the question when is the best time to go to Costa Rica for you.

I am telling you this because based on your interests and the type of holiday you are planning to spend in Costa Rica, the best time to visit Costa Rica might be different.

Let’s be honest and admit that only you can answer this question but I am here to help you get the correct answer and to guide you in planning the perfect holiday in Costa Rica.

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Dry and rainy seasons

First of all, you have to know that there are 2 seasons in Costa Rica: the dry season and the rainy season known also as the green season.

Generally, the dry season lasts from December to April, while the green season is from May to November.

So yes, Costa Rica is one of the best destinations for the Christmas and New Year holidays, when it’s Europe’s and North America’s winter.

Best time to visit in Costa Rica
When to visit in Costa Rica

Best time to visit in Costa Rica during the dry season

PROs

If you don’t like rain and the main purpose of your trip to this country is to perfect your tan, then the dry season is the right choice for you.

Most parts of the country have little to no rain between December to April, so if you want to escape from cold and snow and spend a few days on the beach then plan your trip during these months.

I keep saying that the dry season is perfect for a beach holiday, but actually, there are a few attractions from the country that should be considered for visiting during December to April, and here I am talking about the volcanoes.

Costa Rica Arenal Volcano
Costa Rica Arenal Volcano

During the dry season, the volcano areas tend to be less foggy and less rainy than in the rainy months and you have higher chances for clear skies in the morning to photograph the peaks.

Or, let’s take another example of places for which the dry season is the best time of year to visit Costa Rica: the Rio Celeste waterfall or Mt, Chirripo, from where you can see both the Pacific Ocean and the Caribbean Sea on a clear sunny day.

Some trails from the national parks might get too muddy and dangerous during the wet season in Costa Rica so planning a trip to those places during the dry season is a great choice.

And there is also the snorkeling activity, in which visibility and experience quality is highly increased during the dry season.

CONS

The dry season also comes with some minuses but some of them are quite easy to ignore while others are quite important:

  • Temperatures go really high, especially during midday when they might reach 33 degrees Celsius (90 degrees Fahrenheit)
  • The landscape is less impressive because of the lack of water and high temperatures
  • Rivers dry out and waterfall are less spectacular
  • The prices are the highest of the whole year
  • There are tourists everywhere and long queues to many attractions

Best time to visit in Costa Rica during the rainy season

If you are flexible with your dates, the rainy season might prove to be the best time of year to visit Costa Rica.

From late November to mid-December and even June and July are great months to explore this magnificent country.

The temperatures are more moderate, there are fewer tourists and the prices are more than reasonable.

Best time to visit in Costa Rica Rainy Season
Best time to go to Costa Rica Rainy Season

Nature and the beautiful rainforest are green and extremely beautiful, while the rivers and waterfalls are spectacular.

If you travel to Costa Rica during these months don’t expect to rain every day or the whole day when it does and as long as you can stay flexible with your itinerary this should not be an issue.

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The worst months to visit Costa Rica are September and October as these are the wettest months so you’d better avoid them.

The only great places to visit in Costa Rica during September and October are the ones located on the Caribbean Coast like Puerto Viejo de Talamanca or Cahuita.

Costa Rica best time to visit month by month

Costa Rica weather in January

January is a very busy month with lots of tourists roaming around anxious to visit the beautiful places of this country and to perfect their tan on one of the most beautiful beaches in Costa Rica.

Costa rica weather in January
Costa rica weather in January

As it is the beginning of the dry season, the forest is still green and the rivers perfect for rafting and other water activities.

The main downside of this month is the prices, which are quite high and most of the good hotels are fully booked.

Most of the Costa Ricans are on holiday so the roads are busy roads, the beaches are full of people and there are high prices for almost everything.

Costa Rica weather in February

As the dry season lasts for 2 months already, the vegetation starts to dry out and the temperatures rise to more than 30 degrees Celsius.

There will be no drop of rain in many parts of Costa Rica, except for the cloud forest, mountains, and volcanoes which have their own microclimates.

Costa rica weather in February
Costa rica weather in February

February is still a peak season month but a little bit less crowded than the second part of December and the first part of January.

This month is perfect for exploring the Osa Peninsula as it is the nesting season for the beautiful and rare Quetzales in the tropical forest.

Iguana Lodge Beach Resort and Spa for the Osa Peninsula is the best place to spend your holiday in Costa Rica as it is close to the beach and rainforest and you can easily explore the beautiful parks from the area.

Costa Rica weather in March

March is by far the driest and the hottest month of the year and this can be seen if you look around you at vegetation, rivers, and waterfalls.

The driest part of the country is the Pacific Coast, the Costa Rican area where the battle for water is most visible.

Costa Rica weather in March
Costa Rica weather in March

March might also be a very crowded month, depending on the Easter holidays but also the spring break that is usually in the second part of the month.

Costa Rica weather in April

April is also the best time to visit in Costa Rica and the prices and crowdedness depend mainly on Eastern holidays.

The temperatures are still above 27 degrees Celsius and the vegetation is suffering from the lack of rain.

Costa Rica weather in April
Costa Rica weather in April

Plan your trip so to include some higher elevation destinations to run from the tropical sun and the unbearable temperatures.

Costa Rica weather in May

May is considered to be a transition month between the dry season and the wet season and it has quite unpredictable weather.

The temperatures start to drop and the number of rain increases, while the crowds disappear and the prices drop.

Costa Rica weather in May
Costa Rica weather in May

If rain is not a great issue for you, then May is Costa Rica best time to visit if we take into consideration not just the weather, but also prices and the number of tourists.

Costa Rica weather in June

June is considered to be part of the rainy season but don’t expect heavy rains as most of the mornings are sunny and clear with some drops of rain mostly during the afternoon.

The vegetation starts to recover, the flowers begin to bloom and the forest gets back its greenery again.

Costa Rica Weather in June
Costa Rica Weather in June

I would say that June is the best time to travel in Costa Rica if you don’t have an issue with short afternoon showers and fog in the mountain area.

Costa Rica weather in July

July is the third month of the rainy seasons with more precipitations, reasonable temperatures, and a fantastic summer vibe.

The sea turtles are still here to lay their eggs while the Antarctic Humpback whale can be seen in the warm waters from Golfo Dolce.

Jaco Beach Costa Rica weather in July
Jaco Beach Costa Rica weather in July

Book a few nights at  the beautiful resort Hotel Casa Roland Golfito Resort to be close to the bay where all the action happened.

Costa Rica weather in August

The chances for stronger storms increase, so you should expect to daily rains and dense fog around the volcanoes and the mountains from the country.

Costa Rica weather in August Tortuguero
Costa Rica weather in August Tortuguero

Costa Rica weather in September

September is considered to be the best time to visit in Costa Rica if you are interested in wildlife and the mysterious jungles.

The precipitations are frequent but take a raincoat and start your expedition in the tropical forests to observe the magnificent animals.

Costa Rica weather in September Colibri
Costa Rica weather in September Colibri

The Pacific Coast and the central mountains are rainier than the Caribbean coast where the weather is drier and sunnier.

The hotel prices as well as the car rental companies and the tour companies have lower prices, so it might be a good decision to come to the Caribbean coast during September.

Costa Rica weather in October

Without a doubt October is the rainiest month of the whole year and flooding is quite common so we strongly advise you to avoid visiting Costa Rica during this month.

If you insist on visiting Costa Rica during October then head to the Caribbean coast where there is less rain and more sun.

Costa Rica weather in October
Costarica weather in October

Head to Planet Hollywood Beach Resort Costa Rica for a relaxing holiday far from the stormy areas of Costa Rica.

Costa Rica weather in November

November is the coldest month of the year with fewer precipitations as the rainy season is at its end.

There might be daily showers but storms or long-lasting rains are quite rare, so you can explore the area with a raincoat in your backpack.

Costa Rica weather in November
CostaRica weather in November

Rains are most commonly in the rainforest and Central Valley so you’d better plan more days on the coast where the number of sunny days is quite high.

The prices are still low and there are plenty of offers to choose from although the Christmas holiday is right near the corner and everything good will be sold out.

Costa Rica weather in December

A popular time to visit this tropical country, December is considered to be the first month of the high season and the tourists are back to celebrate Christmas and New Year and to enjoy the long and sunny days of this amazing country.

Costa rica weather in December
Costa rica weather in December

In the first part of the month, there might be some short showers, but nothing to bother you so pack your things and hit the road as a wonderful vacation is about to start.

Conclusion

Best time to visit in Costa Rica depends on the reason why you choose to visit this tiny but fascinating country from Central America.

If you don’t want any drop of rain then the dry season is the best time when to go to Costa Rica; but if you want to get the best price-quality ratio and you can bear short rains then the first part of May, the last part of November and June and July night be perfect for you.

Plan your trip to this beautiful place: Logistical tips and tricks

Book your accommodation
We always use Booking.com as they have the best price-quality ratio and they offer a wide range of hotels, guesthouses, apartments, and villas to choose from.

You will find here all types of accommodations, from the cheapest ones to the most luxurious.

Don't forget travel insurance
We never leave home without World Nomads Insurance or Safety Wings Insurance as they offer the best services and a good value for money.

Travel insurance will always protect you against unexpected events and cost like illness, injury, theft, or travel cancellation.

We never go on any trip without travel insurance and there were many cases when we had to use it.

Renting a car
We like to explore a country on our own and a car gives us the mobility and freedom to do that.

We always rent our car from Rentalcars. com as they have free cancellation 24 hours prior to starting date and a wide range of car rental companies and options to choose from all over the world.

Tours and attractions
When we are looking for some adventure or we simply want to break up the monotony and discover new places, we always use GetYourGuide.

We love it because we always find the most amazing experiences, with free cancellation and a large variety of activities and tours to choose from.

Airplane tickets and holiday packages
Expedia is our ally when searching for the best price for airplane tickets as it works as an aggregator for a huge number of airlines and we always find the best price for our flights.

Travel tip: use Expedia when you are searching for holiday packages as they have many last-minute offers and great discounts for hotels, flights, and even the whole holiday packages.
 

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