According to most weather apps, it rains 24/7 during rainy season in Costa Rica.
Luckily, that’s not true at all! So, you can go ahead and delete that app right away.
But what is the deal with rainy season in Costa Rica?
In this blog we tell you everything about the climate of Costa Rica, the best time to travel and the pros and cons of traveling in the rainy season.
Costa Rica is only small, yet extremely versatile. The country owes this to the large differences in altitude and different climatic zones. Within these zones you will find dozens of microclimates. Weather forecasts are therefore difficult and very often not accurate. This is what makes Costa Rica fun: It is different everywhere. While you are getting a tan on the beach, it could be pooring rain just 5 minutes away.
Costa Rica has two coasts: the Caribbean (east) and Pacific (west). Temperatures can be between 30-35 degrees celcius on both coasts. What makes a big difference is the humidity.
On the Caribbean coast you find yourself in a tropical climate and it is warm and humid all year round. On the Pacific, it is often very warm, dry and dusty in the northwest. Nature is also very different here, as you are in tropical dry forest. The southwest coast, on the other hand, is warm and humid with lots of tropical rainforest.
A large mountain separates both coasts. In the mountains it is cool and humid and you are in cloud forest. Temperatures here usually range between 20 and 28 degrees celcius.
The rainy season runs from May to November. In Costa Rica, this period is also referred to as the green season. Nature really comes alive and everything is lush green and blooming. Temperatures are also very pleasant (not too hot).
So what can you expect in terms of rain? That depends a bit on the region where you are and the period in which you travel. It is usually dry and sunny in the mornings and you could expect a tropical shower in the afternoon or evening. However, it can also be dry for a few days in a row or rain for a complete day.
It never gets cold though (unless you’re in the mountains), so a tropical shower can be a wonderful experience. Do keep in mind that road conditions can change if it rains a lot. Potholes or landslides can occur and so an adventurous attitude (and 4wd car) come in handy!
You can visit Costa Rica all year round, but the best time to travel depends on your personal preference. Not only in terms of weather, but also in terms of budget and tourist seasons.
We provide a handy overview below:
The country is in transition from the dry to green season. The weather on the Pacific is often better than on the Caribbean coast. In terms of tourism, it is low season. This means that the prices for hotels and car rental are lower.
Mid-July there is a ‘mini summer’ in the Central Valley (region around San José) and on the Pacific coast. It is often very sunny during that period. In these months, you have a great chance of spotting humpback whales (south west coast) and nestling turtles (in Tortuguero).
Due to the holidays in Europe, USA and Costa Rica, it can be crowded. It’s called the mid-season and it is wise to plan your holidays ahead of time.
During these months the weather on the Caribbean coast is usually nice and sunny. In the rest of the country it rains most. This is especially the case on the southwest coast. Therefore, the Corcovado National Park is closed in October. A bit less south, around Uvita, you can almost certainly spot humpback whales during this period.
It is low tourist season and this means that you can take advantage of lower prices.
This is the transition from the green to the dry season. It rains less than in September and October, but prices are still low and it’s not crowded with tourists.
Between December and April is the dry season. It is warm, sunny and clear weather. It is the perfect time to go for snorkeling and diving.
In these months is the tourist high season. You will not only see many foreign tourists, but Costa Ricans also have summer holidays during this period. The prices for airline tickets, hotels and car rental are therefore higher and you should plan your travels ahead in time. Especially if you want to travel in the peak season around Christmas.
Would you like to get started with your travel planning? We are happy to help you!
All Edventure Travel staff members are real local experts that have lived in Costa Rica for years. We know all ins and outs and we are always close-by and available while you are travelling.
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