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Best Time To Visit Costa Rica

Costa Rica is a great country to visit for loads of reasons and weather plays a large role in its appeal.

If you want a tropical escape, Costa Rica is your paradise. This 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.

Visiting Costa Rica you will experience vast landscapes that include 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 visit 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.

Overall Best Time Of Year To Visit Costa Rica: July and August are the best months to visit for weather and for avoiding crowds.
The WORST Month To Visit Costa Rica Is October

However, most people travel to Costa Rica during the dry months from December to April and also to escape the winters in the north.

May – November are considered the wet months in Costa Rica, 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.

So whether you are taking a solo trip or a group travel tour to Costa Rica, you are going to want to ensure that you go the right time of year.

Farm in Costa Rica Dry Season

Dry Season In Costa Rica (December – April)

Rather than having four seasons, like we are used to in the US. Costa Rica is made up of only two seasons.

The two main seasons of weather in Costa Rica including dry season and the wet season(rainy 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.

If you plan on visiting the North Pacific side, you can pretty much guarantee that there will be no rain during these months.

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Some prefer to visit when the weather is dry, however, the rainy season brings a special charm when you are visiting Costa Rica. Everything is lush and green, but more about that later.

The most popular time to visit is the dry season or from December – April, but since it is the high season expect to pay higher prices for most things.

Also, if you are visiting Costa Rica for its lush jungles you will be unpleasantly surprised.

During this time 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 hot weather and bright sunny days making up for it all. 

Tropical Rain in Costa Rica

Rainy Season In Costa Rica (May – November)

The rainy season or also known as the green season in Costa Rica is the best time to visit if you are thinking of jungles and rainforests.

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.

But if you plan your day accordingly you will be fine. Just be prepared to stop in somewhere and wait for the rain to stop.

I also love to travel with a pocket poncho during the rainy season, for when I need to be out and about and want to remain dry.

The rainy season is great because there are fewer tourists and you’ll find cheaper prices all around.

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.

Also, July and August are the best months to visit, because it has been raining for a few months so everything is green and Costa Rica experiences “little summer” which is a short period during the rainy season during these months that it doesn’t rain.

Giving you the best of both seasons.

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 coast of Costa Rica (the right side) normally gets less rain than the Pacific Coast.

Actually, the Caribbean coast and the Pacific coast have opposite rainy seasons.

So if you can only visit in the green season and you want to avoid the rain, head to either the Caribbean coast or the Pacific coast depending on which weather is better.

Keep this in mind when planning on when and where to visit Costa Rica. 

Costa Rica Beach

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

January is peak season and happens to occur 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

February is also peak season and 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. 

March

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 Break.

If you want to avoid wild kids on spring break, you might not want to take your Costa Rica vacation in March.

April

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

May is considered the first month of the rainy 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 because it is no longer peak tourist season.

May is actually one of the slowest months besides October. Normally because kids are just about to get out of school for the summer, so no one is really traveling.

June

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. 

Since it has been raining for a couple of months now, everything is starting to turn green.

July

July falls in the wet season, but it normally only rains for about an hour a day at the most.

You can expect sunny warm days with afternoon showers.

You will still have plenty of time to work on your tan.

August

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. 

September

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.

However, this is a great time of year to come if you want to experience the sea turtles lay their eggs, but the rain can be very heavy.

October

Costa Rica weather in October tends to be rainy. Everywhere. Besides the Caribbean Coast.

October is 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. Again, it is another great month to visit to see the sea turtles.

November

November is one of the best months to take your Costa Rican vacation, besides July and August, in my opinion.

It’s the end of wet season so everything is still green. It can be rainy, but normally it is pretty dry.

Being the final month of the rainy season so the rain starts to slow down.

It’s also the coolest 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

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. 

Palm Tree on Punta Uva Beach , Costa Rica

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 July and August.

There are a few reasons for this.

  1. Everything is Green with little rain.
  2. Still considered low season, so there are plenty of good deals to be found.
  3. 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 are looking to escape winter.

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.

Related Content

Does It Snow In Costa Rica?

No, due to its proximity to the equator, it does not snow in Costa Rica. The country does have two seasons rainy and dry. So you might get rain there, but never snow.

Is Costa Rica In North America or South America?

Technically Costa Rica is in North America, not South America. However, that area tends to be called Central America as it is right in the middle.

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