Costa Rica best time to go is influenced by your interests and expectations from your holiday and what is most important to you.
Let me explain with more words what I just said, just to clear the subject before going further and discussing the best time for Costa Rica trip.
If you are interested in a beach holiday and all you want is to lay on a beach and perfect your tan, then definitely the second part of December until April is the best time for you to go.
For those of you interested in exploring this country and observing wildlife, I would recommend planning their trip at the beginning of the dry season ( in the first part of December) or at the beginning of the rainy season (in May and the first part of June).
During this time of year, the forest is green and lush, the tourists are gone, the prices are down and you have Costa Rica more for yourself.
We strongly advise you not to go to Costa Rica in the months of September and October and also November as these are the rainiest months of the year and the roads might be flooded and strong storms might keep you inside the hotel for many long hours.
You might visit Costa Rica, one of the most beautiful tropical countries in the world, in the months of July and August when kids have their summer holiday, but you should be prepared for afternoon showers.
Keep in mind that although Costa Rica is a small country it has dozens of microclimates and weather is quite different from one place to another, so let me give you some hints about the most popular parts of the country.
Central Valley enjoys good weather all year round with afternoon rains all across the year and many sunny and warm mornings.
The climate of this area is mainly influenced by the winds that come from the ocean that sustain a rainy, hot, and humid climate all around the year.
Guanacaste is the driest area in the whole country, with many sunny and hot days, the hottest from Costa Rica.
The coastal areas of Guanacaste are the hottest ones, while the central areas are cooler and more humid.
As a general rule, the temperatures all around the country are somewhere between 20 to 30 degrees Celsius all year round, with higher values during the dry season.
San Jose, the capital of the country, has great weather all year round with temperatures around 20 degrees Celsius all the 12 months of the year.
Seasons in Costa Rica
Also known as peak season or high season, the dry season is considered by many the best time for Costa Rica.
It starts in the second part of December and lasts till April and it is the most expensive and crowded period of the whole year.
Rainy Season in Costa Rica
The rainy season is also known as the green season or wet season and lasts from May till November, with May and June the best time of year to go to Costa Rica.
The mornings are still sunny and warm but scattered showers might appear in the afternoon especially in the areas where there are tropical forests and mountains.
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Monthly breakdown of Costa Rica weather
Spending Christmas and New Year in a warm place, on the beach are the main reasons why people rush to Costa Rica, attracted also by its incredible scenery and many national parks.
When Europeans and US citizens suffer from cold and snow, escaping to a beautiful tropical country is the best Christmas present they can get.
But you don’t have to be like anyone else and choose to go to Costa Rica after the date of 6th or 7th of January because most of the tourists are gone, the prices go down and you can enjoy more of Costa Rica with less money.
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The vegetation and the forest are still green and lush as the rainy season has just ended, while rivers and waterfalls have plenty of flow for canyoneering and white river rafting.
February is also listed as Costa Rica best time to go as the dry season is at its best with many hot and sunny days, and no rain in the coastal area.
It is so hot these days that most of the trees from the forests located around the Pacific coast in areas like Guanacaste and Nicoya drop their leaves.
Some of the rivers dry and most of the waterfalls lose their strength and power so they are less impressive than a few weeks ago.
On the central valley and Caribbean coast afternoon, showers are quite common, while mornings are sunny and warm, perfect for sightseeing.
Another great place to head to in February is the Osa Peninsula as it is the nesting season for the beautiful Quetzales, that can be found in the cloud forest.
Head up to Iguana Lodge Beach Resort And Spa Costa Rica for a couple of days and plan day trips in the nearby protected area for observing wildlife in their natural environment.
March and April
These two months are extremely popular among tourists because of the great weather and also the spring break and Easter holiday.
In the central, southern, and eastern parts of the country, the vegetation is still green and the rivers are great for rafting, but the northwestern part of Costa Rica is extremely dry with scarce green vegetation and lots of dry rivers.
May and June
May and June are considered to be transition months that link the dry season with the rainy season.
It is a great time to travel to Costa Rica because of the lower prices and relatively good weather, especially in the first part of the day.
The temperatures start to drop so the animals, Costa Ricans, and the few tourists that are still around don’t feel the intense hit and moisture from the dry season.
May and June is also the best time for Costa Rica especially if you love sea turtles as most of the beaches from the country are full of these gentle creatures that come to lay their eggs and so a new generation is born.
July and August
The period known as veranillo or the little summer represents a few days in a row when there is no rain, just the sun shining all day exactly like in the dry season.
This is actually the best off-peak season to explore Costa Rica, a very popular time because during this period of the year most kids have their summer holiday.
July and August come with great prices, lush and green vegetation, spectacular waterfalls, and rivers perfect for rafting and kayaking.
You should book a night tour on one of the protected beaches to observe the sea turtles and also a boat trip around Golfo Dolce to spot the amazing humpback whales that come for mating.
Hotel Casa Roland Golfito Resort Costa Rica is the best place to stay from the Golfo Dolce area, especially if you are interested in observing wildlife and marine life.
September and October
September and October are not listed among Costa Rica best time to go as these months are the rainiest months of the whole year.
Try to avoid planning a trip especially on the Pacific coast and the central mountains area as there are heavy rains that might last for days.
The road might become impracticable because of the flooding and mud, so it is not advisable to travel to these areas of Costa Rica.
On the other hand, the Caribbean Coast enjoys many sunny and hot days, perfect for a beach holiday so you might consider this area if you want to go to Costa Rica.
Book a few nights at Planet Hollywood Beach Resort Costa Rica for a relaxing holiday far from the stormy areas of Costa Rica.
November and December
November is still one of the rainiest months of the year with powerful storms and many hours of rain, so that is why we advise you to think twice before heading to Costa Rica in November.
December on the other hand is the first month of the dry season, and the second part of the month is perfect for visiting this country.
The main downside is that sunny and warm days come with high prices, as Christmas and New Year are here and people rush to spend their winter holidays on the beach.
That is why I strongly advise you to book everything in advance as all the good hotels are likely to sell out very quickly.
Best time for Costa Rica is considered to be the months of July and August ( if you catch the little summer), as well as February and January, and March.
Good time for visiting Costa Rica are the months of April, May, and June as well as December for the whole country and for the Caribbean coast add also September and October.
Decide first on which part of the country you want to go to and then pick Costa Rica best time to go for that region.
Logistical tips and tricks for your trip
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
Travel insurance will always protect you against unexpected events and cost like illness, COVID, 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 Discovercars as they have free cancellation 48 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.