Are you planning a trip to Costa Rica and wondering when is the best time to visit Costa Rica? Well, then this guide is for you. From the best months to visit Costa Rica to popular festivals and why you should still visit during the rainy season, this article will answer all your burning questions about the best time to visit Costa Rica, the land of Pura Vida.
What Are The Best Months To Visit Costa Rica
With its diverse geography and varied climate, there is no definitive “best time to visit Costa Rica”. That being said, the dry season when temperatures are milder and the risk of rain is lower is generally considered to be the best time to go. For example, some of the most popular months to visit Costa Rica include December through April, when air and hotel rates are also typically higher.
If you’re planning your trip to Costa Rica around a specific festival or event, however, then the best time to go may be different. For example, if you are travelling on a budget, then you may want to visit during the rainy season when rates are lower.
Why You Should Still Visit Costa Rica During The Rainy Season
The rainy season in Costa Rica runs from May to November when there is more rain and the risk of hurricanes increases. While some travellers may be hesitant to visit during this time, it’s important to remember that Costa Rica is still a beautiful country with plenty of things to see and do during this time.
Whether you’re interested in wildlife spotting, hiking or relaxing on the beach, there are many reasons why you should still visit Costa Rica during the rainy season.
For one, many of the country’s best national parks and nature reserves are still open to visitors during the rainy season. This is a great time to see Costa Rica’s famous rainforests and waterfalls, as they are often at their most lush and vibrant during this time.
When Should You Not Go To Costa Rica
If you’re planning a trip to Costa Rica, it’s important to consider when the best time to go would be. While it is a beautiful country that can be visited all year round, there are also some periods that may not be right for you.
One of the main things to keep in mind when choosing when to go is the weather and climate. Costa Rica has a tropical climate, meaning that it typically experiences hot, humid weather year-round.
However, depending on where you travel within the country, temperatures and conditions can vary widely. For example, if you’re planning to spend most of your time exploring lush rainforests or other natural areas, you’ll want to avoid visiting during the dry season from December through April when rainfall is at its lowest.
Additionally, Costa Rica’s peak tourist season falls between mid-December and April, so if you’re on a tight budget, this may not be the best time for you. Not only will you find more crowds and higher prices during this time, but the weather conditions may not be ideal for exploring some of the country’s natural highlights. If you’re more interested in relaxing on the beach or exploring bustling cities, however, any time of year is a great time to visit Costa Rica!
What Is The Hottest Month In Costa Rica
March is typically the hottest month in Costa Rica when temperatures can reach up to 37 degrees Celsius. However, Costa Rica is a tropical country, so it experiences year-round warm weather. The best time to visit Costa Rica depends on what you want to do while you’re there.
But if you’re looking for the warmest month with the least rainfall to visit Costa Rica, then March is the best month.
When Is The Cheapest Month To Go To Costa Rica
Costa Rica is a popular destination all year round, thanks to its beautiful beaches, lush forests, and vibrant culture. However, when it comes to when is the cheapest month to go to Costa Rica, there are a few key factors that you should consider.
One of the most important things to consider when planning a trip to Costa Rica is when the peak travel season is. The peak travel season usually starts around mid-December and ends around Easter. This is when most people travel to Costa Rica, which means that prices for flights and accommodation are typically at their highest.
However, if you’re looking to save money on your trip to Costa Rica, travel during the shoulder season. Shoulder season is typically from May to November. This is when there are fewer crowds and you can often get better deals on flights and accommodation.
Typically, flights from North America tend to be at their cheapest during the fall and winter months. If you’re looking to score a deal on flights, aim to travel to Costa Rica between September and February.
Here are my expert tips for booking cheap flights with Skyscanner. And don’t forget my essential guide to prebooking your travels to help you get the most bang for your buck.
What Is The Best Time To Visit Costa Rica For Wildlife
If you’re looking to see a wide variety of wildlife when visiting Costa Rica, then the best time to go is during the dry season, which typically lasts from December to April. This is when you’ll see animals such as sloths, toucans, caimans, and tropical birds in abundance, as they come out to feed on the fruits and insects that are more plentiful during this time of year.
However, if you’re specifically interested in seeing turtles, then you should plan your trip for late July or early August, when mass turtle nesting takes place on the country’s Pacific and Caribbean coasts. Keep in mind that Costa Rica is a relatively small country, so no matter when you go, you’re sure to see plenty of incredible wildlife!
Book Your Travel Here
Costa Rica Weather By Month
Costa Rica In January
The weather in Costa Rica in January is fairly dry, with an average of just over two inches of rain. January is one of the busiest months for tourism in Costa Rica, as the temperatures average around 27°C / 45°F so expect prices to be high and hotels to be crowded. However, the weather is great for outdoor activities like hiking and surfing.
January is the best time to visit Costa Rica for wildlife viewing, as many animals have their young during this time and are easier to spot.
Costa Rica In February
February is a popular time to visit Costa Rica when the weather is mild and dry. The average temperature in February is around 28°C / 82°F, making it ideal for exploring the many beautiful parks and beaches in Costa Rica.
It’s also a great time for wildlife viewing when you can spot animals like capuchin monkeys sunbathing on tree branches and rare birds feeding their young.
Costa Rica In March
The weather in Costa Rica in March is a bit wetter than in previous months, with an average of about four inches of rain. However, the temperatures are still mild and comfortable, averaging around 29°C / 84°F, making March a popular time to visit Costa Rica. Especially for the flock of spring breakers.
March is a great time to visit Costa Rica for bird watching, as many migratory birds can be seen during this time. It’s also a good time to visit Costa Rica’s volcanoes, as they are often covered in mist during the wetter months.
Costa Rica In April
Like March the weather in Costa Rica in April is a bit wetter, with an average of over six inches of rain. However, the temperatures are still warm, soaring even, averaging around 29°C / 84°F on the coast and it gets cooler as you move inwards to higher lands.
April is a great time to visit Costa Rica for surfing, as the waves are typically bigger during this time of year. Not to mention the sun is still shining away. It’s also a good time to see Costa Rica’s waterfalls, as they are flowing at their fullest during the rainy season. La Fortuna, Costa Rica here we come!
If you’re looking for a bit of nature and wildlife, this is also the perfect time to visit Costa Rica. The lush, green forests are at their best when the rain brings them to life, making this a great time of year for wildlife spotting.
Costa Rica In May
May is the start of the rainy season in Costa Rica, with an average of over 54 inches of rain. However, the temperatures are still mild, averaging around 29°C / 84°F.
May is a great time to visit Costa Rica for hiking, as the trails are typically less crowded during this time of year. It’s also a good time to visit Costa Rica’s national parks, as they are often at their most lush and green during this time of year.
Some of the best things to do in Costa Rica during May include exploring the rainforests and waterfalls, hiking through lush jungles, and going on wildlife safaris to see unique and rare animals like sloths, anteaters, and monkeys.
Costa Rica In June
June is when the rainy season in Costa Rica typically peaks, with an average of over 65 inches of rain. However, despite the rain, the temperatures are still mild and comfortable, averaging around 28°C / 82°F.
If you’re not afraid of a bit of rain, then June is a great time to visit Costa Rica. The prices are typically lower during this time of year and the country is less crowded. Plus, you can enjoy all the benefits of the rainy season, like fewer mosquitoes and more vibrant flowers.
Costa Rica In July
The weather in Costa Rica in July is similar to June, with an average of about 27 inches of rain. However, the temperatures are a bit cooler, averaging around 28°C / 82°F.
July is a great time to visit Costa Rica for fishing, as the rivers and streams are typically full from the rains. It’s also a good time to visit Costa Rica’s hot springs, as they are often at their hottest during this time of year. And the beaches are less crowded, making them perfect for relaxing and unwinding at the end of a long day.
Costa Rica In August
The weather in Costa Rica in August is a bit drier than in previous months, with an average of about 20 inches of rain. However, the temperatures are still mild and comfortable, averaging around 28°C / 82°F.
August is a great time to visit Costa Rica for surfing, as the waves are typically bigger during this time of year. And it’s a great time to visit Costa Rica’s national parks, as they are often at their most lush and green during this time of year. Plus, the beaches are less crowded, making it the perfect time to relax and enjoy the natural beauty of Costa Rica.
Costa Rica In September
The weather in Costa Rica in September is a bit drier than in previous months, with an average of about 86 mm of rain. However, the temperatures are still mild and comfortable, averaging around 28°C / 82°F.
September is a particularly good time to visit Costa Rica for a variety of reasons. Firstly, the rain is not as heavy as it is in other months, so you can still enjoy all the outdoor activities that the country has to offer, such as hiking, zip-lining, and white water rafting.
Another benefit of visiting Costa Rica in September is that this is when the country’s famous ‘green season’ is at its peak. This is when the vegetation is at its lushest, and the landscapes are truly stunning. If you’re a nature lover, this is definitely the time to visit!
Costa Rica In October
The weather in Costa Rica in October is a bit drier than in previous months, with an average of about 125 mm of rain. However, the temperatures are still mild and comfortable, averaging around 27°C / 81°F.
October is a great time to visit Costa Rica for a variety of reasons. For one, the abundance of rain in previous months means that there are lots of lush green landscapes and beautiful waterfalls to enjoy all over the country.
Perhaps one of the best things to do in Costa Rica during October is going on a hike through one of the many stunning national parks. Or, if you’re looking for something a bit more relaxed, you can enjoy some of the best surfing in Costa Rica on the Pacific coast.
Costa Rica In November
November is also a great time to visit Costa Rica, especially if you’re looking for warm and sunny weather. Temperatures average around 27°C / 81°F with the rainfall dropping to 50 mm on average, making it the perfect time to go sightseeing or enjoy some outdoor activities.
Some of the best things to do in Costa Rica in November include hiking through the stunning rainforests of the Monteverde Cloud Forest Reserve. With its lush greenery and numerous waterfalls, this is one of Costa Rica’s most beautiful natural landscapes. For those who prefer surfing when the waves are mild, then November is a great time to visit the Pacific coast.
Costa Rica In December
December is a great time to visit the beautiful country of Costa Rica with temperatures averaging 27°C / 81°F and the rainfall dropping to 15 mm. With its warm, sunny weather and stunning landscapes, December is one of the best months to explore everything that Costa Rica has to offer.
One of the best things to do in Costa Rica in December is to visit the Arenal Volcano National Park. This park is home to one of the country’s most active volcanoes, as well as a variety of other natural attractions such as hot springs and hiking trails.
December is also a great time to go surfing along the Pacific coast when the waves are mild and ideal for beginners. So if you’re looking to experience all that Costa Rica has to offer, December is the perfect time to visit.
Popular Festivals And Events In Costa Rica
Festivals and events could be an important deciding factor to help some decide when is the best time for them to visit Costa Rica. Therefore, I have listed some of the most popular festivals in Costa Rica below.
Like everywhere else in the world, it is when many locals celebrate with fireworks and parties to ring in the new year.
Celebrated on: 31st December
Fiestas de Palmares
A much anticipated festival in Costa Rica. The festival always begins with a football (soccer) game followed by a lantern festival. From there you can expect to see musicians, stand-up comedy and bullfighting. The main attraction though is the tope, a much anticipated horse parade.
Celebrated on: The 2nd Thursday of January – the 2nd Sunday of January
Do note that this is very much an alcohol driven event, which is often compared to Oktoberfest. If it’s not your scene, you may want to skip this one.
San Sebastián Day,
When locals celebrate Costa Rica’s patron saint with Tamborrada drum parade and parties.
Celebrated on: 20th January
Is a transformational festival that takes place in Uvita. The part of Costa Rica where the rainforest meets the Pacific Ocean. People from all over the world gather for this arts festival. From yoga to live music, art installations and more, there’s something here for every yogi and artsy soul.
Celebrated in: February
Yoga Retreat, which is simply as the name suggests. Whilst the Envision festival is in town, you’ll also find this a popular time for yoga retreats around the country.
Available in: February & March
Puntarenas Carnival, is one of the most popular festivals in Costa Rica. It’s a week-long celebration that takes place on the central Pacific coast in Puntarenas. The festival features parades, music, dancing, sporting events and more. If you’re looking for a lively festival full of Costa Rican culture, this is the one for you.
Celebrated in: The middle of February
Día del Boyero, is a celebration of Costa Rica’s history of using oxcarts to transport crops around the country. Think western cowboy culture. It’s celebrated in the town of San Antonio de Escazú, which starts with music and children dressed in their best cowboy outfits. It is then followed by a parade of boyeros showcasing their ox and their oxcarts.
Celebrated on: The second Sunday of March
Costa Rican Independence Day Parade & Festival, when locals celebrate their independence from Spain with marching bands, street food vendors, live music, and more.
Celebrated on: 15th September
Limon Carnival, when locals celebrate their shared heritage and the region’s Afro-Caribbean culture. The festival features music, dancing, costumes, and parades on the streets of Limon. Whether you’re looking to experience Costa Rican culture at its heart or just looking for a fun festival atmosphere, this is an event not to be missed when visiting Costa Rica.
Celebrated for: 12 days in October
More Costa Rican Travel Guides
The Veiled Explorer’s Conclusion
So, when is the best time to visit Costa Rica? The answer really depends on what you’re looking for. If you want to experience the best of the warm and dry season, then December – April is the best time to visit Costa Rica. If you’re on a budget or want to see the nesting turtles, then the rainy off peak season may be best for you.
So now that you know the best times to visit, when is the best time for you? Leave me a comment down below to let me know.
And if you found this article useful, don’t forget to share it with your family, friends and social media followers.