How to plan your holiday based on Costa Rica weather

Costa Rica weather can be split into two main seasons: the dry season that lasts from December to April and the rainy season from May to November.

Having a tropical climate, the weather in Costa Rica is warm all year round and very stable during the dry season.

Costa Rica temperatures are around 80 to 95 degrees Fahrenheit (26-35 degrees Celsius) on the Pacific Coast and Caribbean Coast.

In the mountain area and countryside region temperatures in Costa Rica are generally between 70 to 80 degrees Fahrenheit (21 to 26 degrees Celsius).

Weather of Costa Rica during the dry season is characterized by extremely hot days with no rain and less greenery, as the forest and the vegetation suffer because of the lack of water.

On the other hand, the rainy season, or the green season as locals like to call it, is mostly characterized by short showers, lower temperatures, and lush vegetation.

September and October are the wettest months with rains that might last for a few days and floods that might occur in some parts of the country.

What is unique to this tiny Latin American country is that it has very diverse landforms that dictate many microclimates.

Each rainforest and cloud forest, each mountain and volcano has its own microclimate that generally has sunny and warm mornings and a few showers during the afternoon.

That is why it is advisable to have with you a raincoat if you plan to explore the countryside and the mountain area from Costa Rica.

The rains usually last for less than one hour but the outside temperature rapidly decreases by a few degrees.

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Costa Rica Weather
Weather in Costa Rica

Costa Rica weather based on location

The climate of Costa Rica is influenced by its location, between the Pacific Ocean and the Caribbean Sea, and the altitude.

Let me give you some examples to understand how these things influence the temperatures and the quantity of rain that drops each year.

Let’s start with the Tortuguero area that is located extremely close to the Caribbean Sea and has a very humid climate with a lot of rain all year round, even during the dry season.

Just 280 kilometers (175 miles) from Tortuguero is the Guanacaste Province, right on the Pacific Coast.

This part of the country with its dry tropical forest has a very dry climate, with little rain, being one of the best places to go during the rainy season.

A specific climate has the central valley located close to San Jose, the capital city of the country.

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

The average temperature in Costa Rica Central Valley is around 21 degrees Celsius (70 degrees Fahrenheit) and a cooling breeze blows all year round.

If you plan to hike the stunning volcanoes and mountains of Costa Rica then you’d better pack up some warm clothes as the average temperature up in the mountains is just 13 degrees Celsius ( 55 degrees Fahrenheit).

The hottest parts of the country are the lowlands, which are located in the coastal area and where the average temperature is around 25 degrees Celsius (77 degrees Fahrenheit).

The average temperature in Costa Rica

The average temperature does not vary a lot from one season to another, but it varies from one area to another based on altitude, but generally, it is between 11 to 28 degrees Celsius (52 to 82 degrees Fahrenheit).

 

Average rainfall in Costa Rica

The quantity of rain that falls across a year does fluctuate a lot based on the season and altitude of the place.

The wettest months are by far September and October, while from May to August and during November, the rains are generally short and most of them fall in the afternoon.

December to April, the high season or the dry season is the time of year with the lowest quantity of rain that drops.

The Caribbean side has its own microclimate, where it rains quite often, but the rains are short and there is no real rainy season at all.

Costa Rica weather and best time to visit Costa R

Now you have an idea about how temperatures in Costa Rica fluctuate based on location and altitude and weather patterns, so it is time to discover when is the best time to go to each part of the country based on weather evolution.

I drop below a short table with the most important areas of Costa Rica and when is the best time to visit them based on weather:

Region
dry season
rainy season
North Pacific Coast  Dec – Apr  May – Nov
Nicoya Peninsula  Dec – Apr  May – Nov
Central Pacific Coast  Dec – Apr  May – Nov
Central Valley  Dec – Apr  May – Nov
Monteverde area  Jan –  May Jun – Sep
Arenal Volcano  May – Nov  Dec – Apr
Caribbean North (w/Tortuguero)   Feb, Mar, Sep, Oct Nov –  Jan, Apr –  Aug
Caribbean South (w/ Puerto Viejo)   Feb, Mar, Sep, Oct  Nov –  Jan, Apr –  Aug
Osa Peninsula  Dec –  Apr  May – Nov
San Jose  Dec –  Apr  May – Nov
Souther Costa Rica (w/ Golfito) Dec –  Apr  May – Nov
Rincon de la Vieja Dec –  Apr  May – Nov

Weather for Costa Rica monthly weather

We all know that weather can make the most of your holiday or rainy days might ruin your holiday and keep you in the hotel rooms for long hours, or even days.

That is why you should know Costa Rica weather monthly evolution for better planning your trip and maximize your time spent abroad.

Weather in Costa Rica Temperatures
Weather and Temperatures

Weather of Costa Rica January

There is no better place to start your year than on a sunny and warm beach with a cocktail in your hand and a relaxing vibe.

All these things can be found in Costa Rica, besides the beautiful mountains, spectacular forests, and the abundance of wildlife for which this country is famous.

The weather in January in Costa Rica is sunny and warm, with no rain, especially in the coastal areas and an average temperature of 78 degrees Fahrenheit (25 degrees Celsius).

Costa rica weather in January
Costa rica weather in January

There are on average 11 hours of daylight and only 0.3 inches of precipitation recorded all across the country.

Indeed January is a great month to explore Costa Rica but the main downside are the prices which are the highest from all over the year.

February in Costa Rica

With an average temperature of 81 degrees Fahrenheit (27 degrees Celsius) February is a great month to visit this tiny country, as the prices drop a little bit and the rain is still missing.

Because of the lack of rain and the long and sunny days, February is a very popular month for visiting Costa Rica so you’d better book in advance your hotel and car, if any, to secure the best price.

March in Costa Rica weather

Like February and January, March is another great month to visit Costa Rica because of the sunny and long days and the lack of precipitation.

It is a great place to escape from cold and snow and to spend your spring break in a warm place with a cocktail beside you.

Costa Rica best time to go
Costa Rica best time to go

You are not the only person who wants to spend his spring break in a warm place so book your hotel in advance to get the best price.

February to March is not that crowded as winter holidays and Easter week, but there are still many tourists all hunting the best price-quality ratio in San José and all across the country.

Weather in Costa Rica April

April is one of the busiest and crowdest months of the whole year because of the Holy Week which is the week before Easter.

Holy Week is an extremely important event for Christians from Latin America so most people go home to celebrate this week with their extended family.

I like to say about Holy Week that it is like Thanksgiving day but it is in spring not in autumn.

The weather is still good, with many days of sun and almost no rain.

The temperatures in Costa Rica in April are around 28-29 degrees Celsius ( 83- 85 degrees Fahrenheit) while the amount of rain is around 3.2 inches.

May in Costa Rica

May is sea turtles nesting season so it is a great time to observe these unique creatures and to witness the moment when the new generation of sea turtles are born.

May is the first month of the rainy season, a great time to explore as the crowds are gone, the prices go down and the days are still sunny.

When to go to Costa Rica weather in May
When to go to CostaRica weather in May

Don’t expect heavy rains and low temperatures, as May is characterized by afternoon showers, sunny mornings, and temperatures around 27 degrees Celsius (81 degrees Fahrenheit).

June in Costa Rica weather

June generally comes with mid-day showers, but there are still plenty of periods with sun and great temperatures.

If you are not scared by some drops of rain, you might consider visiting Costa Rica during this month as the prices are extremely attractive.

The forests and the jungle are green again and you have higher chances to spot wildlife in the national parks spread across the country.

The iconic Manuel Antonio National Park is less crowded and quieter so you have higher chances to spot wildlife on your walk along the park.

Weather of Costa Rica July

July is generally the period of the Little Summer, or Veranillo as locals like to call the short period of time when there are no rains and the weather is perfect for exploring and perfecting your tan.

During July the weather is much more predictable, and the rain generally appears in the afternoon and does not last for long.

The average temperatures in Costa Rica in July are around 25- 26 degrees Celsius (77-79 degrees Fahrenheit) while the highlands are cooler.

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

Generally, the second part of July is characterized by very little precipitation and sunny days, no wonder why locals call it Veranillo.

July to November as well as December to April is the whale watching season, the time of the year when whales come into the waters around this tiny country to breed, while July and August are great for sea turtles nesting.

August in Costa Rica weather

With almost 11 inches of precipitation, August has many rainy days, but the great news is that the rain usually does not last for long, so it won’t ruin your holiday.

It is a great time to explore both the volcano area and the rainforest and to try the incredible activities available around, not to mention spending a few days on the beach area for snorkeling and scuba diving.

The great news about traveling to Costa Rica in August is that the prices are incredibly low and there are no queues at the main attractions.

Weather of Costa Rica September

September is one of the rainiest months in this tiny country with the Osa Peninsula being the wettest part of all with heavy rain that usually lasts for many hours.

If you insist on going to Costa Rica during this month, we strongly recommend you to visit the Arenal Volcano area because here the weather is stable and the amount of rain is less compared with the Osa Peninsula.

Costa Rica weather in September Colibri
CostaRica weather in September Colibri

Costa Rica weather sept is characterized by heavy rains in most parts of the country, but being a tropical country the temperatures are generally around 25 degrees Celsius ( 77 degrees Fahrenheit).

October in Costa Rica

October is a great time to visit the Caribbean Coast of Costa Rica as the weather is stable with little rain and many sunny days in this part of the country.

The Central Pacific area should be avoided during this month as the weather is extremely rainy and floods and landslides might occur.

In October there are no tourists and the prices are extremely low but the weather is awful so don’t forget to take a raincoat with you.

In Guanacaste Province is the nesting season for leatherback turtles so if you are a nature lover then take a raincoat and don’t miss this unique event.

November in Costa Rica

November is considered by many as a transition month between the rain season and the dry season, the period also known as shoulder season.

The heavy rains are replaced by afternoon showers that usually last for a few hours maximum and the average temperature is around 80 degrees Fahrenheit ( 27 degrees Celsius).

Costa Rica weather in November
Costa Rica weather in November

Especially for you, some of the restaurants open and serve Thanksgiving dinner so you should consider Costa Rica as your next destination for your family celebration.

The landscape is green and lush, the weather is mostly sunny and warm, so it’s the perfect time to visit Costa Rica as the prices are still low.

December in Costa Rica

December in Costa Rica comes with great weather but higher prices and lots of tourists roaming around like all of us love to spend the winter holiday in a warm and sunny place.

During this month of the year, the weather is extremely stable, the vegetation is green and lush and the animals are easy to spot.

Conclusion

Weather of Costa Rica is warm all year round, the only thing to consider is the amount of rain that drops each month.

The dry season lasts from December to April and the weather is perfect for exploring and perfecting your tan. The main downside of these months is the crowds and the prices that are higher than usual.

A great time to visit Costa Rica is during the shoulder season, which is in May and November as the weather is still warm and sunny, with scattered afternoon showers and the prices are lower.

Avoid going to Costa Rica in October and September as these two are the rainiest months and floods and landslides might occur and it is dangerous for you to travel.

 

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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