The country of Costa Rica that nestles well in Central America is home to various natural beauties. From beautiful beaches to lush greenery that perfectly brings out the beauty of nature. However, you must know the best time to visit Costa Rica to experience its grandeur to the fullest!
Costa Rica attracts many tourists every year to witness its beauty. Along with that, it also attracts a huge number of adventure buffs. There are many festivals that this country celebrates and that too extremely vibrantly and with a lot of enthusiasm.
But, when is the best time to visit Costa Rica? Before heading to a place for a holiday, the climate and the best time to visit the place to enjoy maximum remains one of our main concerns.
Like any other country, answering when is the best time to visit Costa Rica could get a little difficult. This depends heavily on the part of the country a person is hoping to visit, the time of the year they want to visit at, and of course their preference when it comes to weather.
In this article, we have discussed the various climatic changes that this country faces at different times of the year. We have also mentioned the best time to visit Costa Rica for tourists.
Seasons in Costa Rica
There are two distinct seasons in Costa Rica – Dry season and Green Season:
High/ Dry Season: December – April
The dry season that runs from December to April could be the best time to visit Costa Rica. The reason is simple – it is very unlikely to rain during this season, and the temperatures are high.
Even in the rainforests, the chances of rainfall are very low. However, we cannot completely claim that it wouldn’t rain in the rainforest, especially in tropical countries. Hence, if you are a lover of rain and are looking forward to enjoying such weather, this season might not be the best for you.
As the rainfall during this period is less, trees start to shed their leaves, and the camouflage of the forests starts to thin.
As a result of this, the wildlife becomes easier to spot. The beaches are warm, with very elegant waves making it a dream for all the surfers and sea lovers.
If you are traveling from a place where it snows during this period, then Costa Rica is the best time to visit Costa Rica as per the weather. This is because you can escape the snow and dark, enjoy the warm and sunny weather, and get refreshed.
The nightclubs, restaurants, and other places of entertainment are also open for longer hours compared to the wet or the green season. The nightclubs also have live music, and the streets are lit up, unlike the other seasons. This place is most crowded during Christmas as many people visit here to enjoy a nice vacation.
However, with all the advantages comes a little bit of disadvantage. Since the dry season is one of the most happening seasons in Costa Rica, it attracts crowds.
This place usually gets heavily crowded as most people start visiting here when it rains at their native place.
As a result, the prices of hotels and restaurants become very high, and getting a reservation gets tougher. It is almost impossible to find the national parks or the beaches empty. Hence, if you love peace, this time might not attract you too much.
Green/ Low/ Rainy Season: May – November
If you are wondering, the name Green season is given to the rainy season to make it more appealing to the crowd.
If you like to visit less crowded places, visiting Costa Rica from May to November should be on your list. Referred to as the wet season, the rainy season is also a must-visit season for you if you enjoy the rains.
On the contrary to what people generally believe, it doesn’t pour at all times in Costa Rica during its rainy season.
The mornings are generally sunny, with rain pouring in the afternoon. It rains the most in Costa Rica during September and October.
You might want to avoid traveling to this place during this period since it becomes difficult to travel to many places.
However, this season also comes with a lot of benefits and advantages. The crowd that makes this place busy during the dry season recedes.
As a result of this, the prices of everything here drop. The reservation for hotels etc., thus also becomes easier. Hence, if it is the thought of continuous rain that makes you think twice before visiting Costa Rica during the rainy season, you drop the tension down.
Best time to visit Costa Rica
As mentioned before in the article, telling exactly the best time to visit Costa Rica could get a little tricky.
The answer depends on a various number of things. Where is a person going in the country? What does he wish to do – have an adventure, soak the nature in the hills amidst the nature, or have a relaxing or thrilling day at the beach? Which is your favorite season?
Below we have mentioned the various months of the year and what to expect when in Costa Rica, and then you can choose the best time of year to visit Costa Rica according to your preference.
In case you were looking for Costa Rica best time to visit, then the month of January is your answer for reasons more than one.
The weather during this month during this period remains amazing. This is the onset of the dry season in Costa Rica; hence the rain subsides. However, the foliage remains green from the rainy season that passes.
Altogether, if you are a lover of nature, this might be the best time to visit Costa Rica since nature is at its best this month.
But this month also faces a huge number of crowds.
People from different parts of the world come here to celebrate their holidays. This makes the prices here rise with a huge margin.
The reservations are also tough to get; hence, book ahead if you look forward to visiting this place in January.
February is when the temperature starts to rise and touches mid 20 degrees to 30 degrees. The greenery begins to dry up, and you can be sure to get no rainfall during this period.
The crowds start to thick, and the hotel reservations become tougher, increasing the price of everything you can lay your eyes on.
Hence, if you want to travel to Costa Rica during this period, book way ahead.
If you are a beach lover, then the month of February might be one of the most interesting months to visit.
March is one of the hottest, driest, and most crowded months in Costa Rica. The greenery of the vegetation is almost gone by this time.
The hotel, transport, and entertainment prices are huge, and the chances of getting any last-minute reservation are almost nil.
Huge crowds gather here for Easter as spring break kicks in. Hence, it is inevitable for you to have lots of fun. However, the only way you can be here at this place in March is if you plan and pre-book.
April is one of the hottest months recorded in Costa Rica. It also marks the last month of the dry or summer season.
If you are not a fan of proper summers and hot weather, you would want to probably travel to high elevation areas to escape the heat somewhat.
The hotel prices are still at their peak, so pre-reservation is a must. If you are on a budget, one would recommend you not to visit this place during April.
You can enjoy clear, beautiful skies and no rainfall to spoil the day. However, you shall not be able to witness any green vegetation cover. This is because it is very likely to dry up after months of little or no rain.
May is the time of the year when the transition from the dry season to the green season takes place. The temperature starts to cool off after long summer months, and the crowd slowly disappears.
As a result, the prices of hotels, transportation and others too falls with huge numbers. The rainfall can be unpredictable and varies from one year to another. Hence, this month is undoubtedly one of the best time to visit Costa Rica.
June is when the rainfall picks up its frequency, and the vegetation cover stars to get greener. The crowd can rise in this period due to the kids getting school breaks.
The weather in July can be e tricky, with some days being extremely bright and beautiful and the others witnessing heavy downpours. This occasional yet warming visit of the sun amidst rifle is called Veranillo, which means Indian Summer.
This month often sees strong rainstorms making the stay here difficult and extremely risky. Hence, it is wise to avoid visiting this place this month.
If you are here in August, get ready to witness heavy rainfall, especially at the end of the month. However, you can see Veranillo occasionally and get some warmth and sunshine amidst the rains and wet atmosphere.
The afternoons can be marked with heavy rainfall, while the mornings are generally clear and free from rain. Hence, you can easily go for a nice morning tour.
The accommodation and food prices drop drastically. However, this month also witnesses heavy storms, making it unsafe to travel.
September – October
September and October are some of the best times to visit Costa Rica if you love nature and wildlife. The Pacific side witnesses heavy downpours and storms. However, the rainfall starts to minimize from the end of September on the Caribbean side.
The greenery is at its peak and spotting wildlife during this season becomes easier, attracting nature lovers. The beaches are also empty, and rafting and surfing at this time are at their peak. The food and lodging prices are also very low, and reservations are easier to get.
But the challenging part is that the roads become muddy, and the chances of landslides increases. Exploring various places becomes difficult. Along with that, you may not also be able to come out of your hotel during storms that can last up to a week.
November marks the last month of the green season. Hence the weather and the rain showers during this period are unpredictable and mostly vary from one year to another.
There are mostly downpours during the afternoon and evenings while the mornings remain clear. The temperature is cool and thus attracts a good number of tourists every year.
The hotel and other prices are very low as well hence visiting this place during this time is a win. One can say that the transition period slowly begins with the end of November.
December is when the green season subsides and the summer season begins. This could be termed a transition period with the frequency of rain getting slower and people enjoying clearer and brighter skies.
The foliage slowly loses its beauty and turns golden on color while the bright sunshine takes over. The crowd starts to get thick, and the hotel and other prices increase.
Picking up the best time to visit Costa Rica is not possible and varies from one person to another according to their preferences and likings.
While all the months have their own set of advantages and disadvantages, it is best to go through all of them and choose a month that fits the best for you.