Best Time of Year to Go to Costa Rica
Costa Rica is a great country to visit for loads of reasons and weather plays a large role in its appeal. The Central American country is known for its top-notch beaches, amazing surfing waves, and diverse environment among many other great features.
It’s a popular vacation spot especially for people who want to escape their winter weather for a warm piece of paradise. Costa Rica has a vast landscape that includes a lengthy coastline, jungles, valleys, mountains, and more. Visitors can enjoy all that it has to offer. But when planning a vacation, when is the best time of year to travel to Costa Rica?
Costa Rica is warm year-round and the temperature is almost always 75 to 90 degrees Fahrenheit depending on the time of year and where you are in the country. The temperature rarely ever goes below 70 Fahrenheit or 20 Celsius.
In short, most people travel to Costa Rica during the dry months from December to April. The rest of the year experiences consistent rainfall which can be off-putting but can also be an amazing time to visit.
Keep reading to find a breakdown of what to expect each month as well as a recommendation on the very best month to visit and other useful information about the best time of year to go to Costa Rica.
Dry Season in Costa Rica
There are two main seasons of weather in Costa Rica including dry season and wet season. Dry season runs from December to April.
This is when there is the least amount of precipitation which is the best time to visit Costa Rica if you want to spend your time outdoors exploring, surfing, or just relaxing on the beach.
Because it’s when you’ll find the best weather, it’s also the most popular time to visit and prices for accommodations and flights increase which is something to keep in mind.
You’ll also find the least amount of greenery because the jungles aren’t as lush as they are when they get the proper rain they need. However, you’ll have perfect weather and bright sunny days making up for it all.
If you are imagining Costa Rica as a green and tropical place, you might want to visit in the Rainy season.
Wet Season in Costa Rica
On the contrary, May to November is considered wet season in Costa Rica. During these months it rains often and you may even experience daily afternoon showers. However, it is not going to rain all day. You just have to be prepared for a little rain.
Due to this, there are fewer tourists and you’ll find cheaper prices all around. Some think it’s worth taking a chance on the weather because the rain usually occurs mid-afternoon, giving visitors all morning and night to enjoy clear skies.
Planning to spend most of your time outdoors? Then this might not be the best time of year to visit unless you don’t mind a little rain. The upside to the wet season is the luscious greenery.
All the foliage is nourished and flourishing and it can be very beautiful to experience.
If you’re planning on exploring the jungle then this might be the perfect time to visit. Also, something to consider, the Caribbean side of Costa Rica (the right side) normally gets less rain than the Pacific Coast.
Keep this in mind when planning on when and where to visit Costa Rica.
Best Time of Year to Visit Costa Rica by Month
Below is a breakdown of the weather in Costa Rica throughout each month of the year so you can really consider all of your options.
Keep reading to find out the absolute best time to visit Costa Rica below.
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January occurs during the dry season, making it a great month to visit Costa Rica.
Since it falls right after the end of wet season most of the foliage is still luscious and green so if you love the look of greenery you may want to choose January out of the dry month options.
January can be busy at the beginning of the month because of the New Year but the end of January is one of the absolute best times to visit.
February is considered one of the hottest and driest months of the year. If you’re looking to really get away for some warmth and comfort this is a great time to visit Costa Rica.
The temperature is usually in the high 70s Fahrenheit. If you want to avoid higher than normal crowds consider visiting at the beginning of February before spring breakers hit the beach at the end of the month.
Costa Rica in March is a warm and dry time to visit. It’s the hottest time of year with the average high temperature in the low 80s.
March has the lowest chance of rain in the entire year making it a great time to visit if you want to ensure good weather. March falls directly within the middle of dry season. It’s a very busy time of year because of the hot, dry temperature but also because of spring breakers.
April marks the end of dry season and because of this, it can be pretty busy. Everyone wants to visit beautiful Costa Rica before the wet season sets in.
Temperatures are often in the low 80s making it another great month to visit.
May is considered the first month of wet season but it’s more of a transmission month from drier to wetter days.
The weather can shift drastically during this month from dry days to rainfall. Temperatures also begin to drop a bit in May along with tourist levels. Prices also start to go down because fewer tourists visit during the wet season.
During June in Costa Rica, you can expect some afternoon showers.
The rainforests also start to slowly become luscious and green again making it a great time to visit if that’s your cup of tea. The temperature in June is usually high 70’s to low 80’s.
July falls in wet season and can be pretty rainy but can also have some nice, dry days.
It’s a gamble to visit in July unless you don’t mind the rain. Sometimes there can be a nice stretch of sunny, dry days but you just never know. Again, it is not going to rain all day, just maybe a little in the afternoon.
You will still have plenty of time to work on your tan.
August in Costa Rica is rainy of course since it falls within wet season but at the beginning of the month, there is still a chance of sunny, dry days that July often experiences.
The end of the month usually rains nearly every day so it’s not the best time to visit Costa Rica.
Costa Rica in September is definitely rainy. It occurs in the middle of wet season and days can be long and rainy with storms becoming a common occurrence.
You can even expect daily rain during this month so it’s not the best time to visit. Unless, of course, rain is not a concern for you.
October is also burdened with rain. Prices are pretty cheap this time of year and there aren’t a ton of tourists visiting the country.
October is considered the rainiest month of the year and can even lead to flooding, power outages, and other inconveniences that could truly hinder a trip.
This is the absolute worst month to visit Costa Rica. It could rain all day every day while you’re there. There is always the chance you get lucky and enjoy lots of sunshine but October is never the month to count on that happening.
Costa Rica in November is considered the most unstable month.
It’s the end of wet season so it can be very unpredictable. It can be super rainy or sunny and dry, you just never know.
The final month of the wet season so the rain starts to slow down and it’s the coldest month of the year and also one of the slowest months of the year in terms of tourist levels.
This is because the dry season is about to begin so everyone is putting off their vacations and holding out one more month to enjoy the bright sun and warmer temperatures that are about to take over.
November also occurs right before major holidays when a lot of people take time off. It’s not a great month to visit Costa Rica.
December marks the start of dry season again. The sun breaks through and provides warm, sunny days.
The country fills with people on vacation and holidays. It’s a great time to visit Costa Rica. Although keep in mind prices are beginning to increase and there is an influx of tourists.
Costa Rica High Season
The high season is when most people visit Costa Rica. This occurs in the dry months of December to April.
This means prices increase, accommodations book faster, lines are longer, and there are more people in the country. The peak of the high season is in late December, early January during the holiday season when tons of people go on vacation.
Costa Rica Low Season
Low season is the opposite of high season. It’s when the least amount of people are visiting the country. This occurs during the wet season from May to November.
Because not many people visit during this time due to the impending rain, prices decrease and there is a lot more availability. If you detest large crowds, long lines, and raised prices this is a good time to consider visiting Costa Rica if you don’t mind the chance of rain each day.
Cheapest Time to Visit Costa Rica
The cheapest time to visit Costa Rica coincides with the low season. Prices drop because not many people want to visit the country in the rain.
You can save a ton of money by visiting from May to November. It’s much cheaper than the rest of the year.
Absolute Best Time to Visit Costa Rica
Finally, the absolute best time of year to go to Costa Rica is at the beginning of February.
There are a few reasons for this.
- It’s one of the hottest and driest months of the year so you can expect sunshine.
- The beginning of February is just after the major holiday season has ended and many people have just gone on vacation and won’t be going on one again for a while.
- It’s right before spring breakers and school vacation occurs so there is normally a dip in tourist levels.
- It’s a beautiful time of year and you may get a bit more peace and quiet out of your trip.
In general, however, December to April is the recommended time of year to go to Costa Rica.
If you don’t mind the rain and want to see the luscious jungle in all its green beauty, then consider the wet season otherwise the dry season is your best bet.
No matter what, Costa Rica is a beautiful country and an amazing vacation destination. It’s absolutely worth your time!
Have you been to Costa Rica before? What do you consider to be the best time of year to go to Costa Rca? Say so in the comments below.