Best time to visit Costa Rica

If you want to know when to travel to Costa Rica, you should know that the country has two different seasons. Therefore, depending on the reason for your trip, it may be more convenient to travel during certain months.

Best time to travel to Costa Rica

Costa Rica has two main seasons, the dry season and the rainy, or 'green' season. The dry season runs from December to April, while the rainy season between May and November. Needless to say, if you want to avoid the rains, the best time to visit Costa Rica is during the dry season.

However, if your trip is motivated by the spirit of adventure and you want to see certain animals, such as leatherback turtles or the famous quetzal, April is the right month. The green turtles, on the other hand, will be more visible in August and September. To experience the pure life of this beautiful country and its exuberant nature, it's a good idea to travel between December and April.

Although the humidity and rain are less during the dry season in the southern zone of Costa Rica, as well as in the central part of the Pacific coast, it still rains occasionally in December and January. Further north, on the other hand, the climate is drier and warmer, reaching 40ºC. If you travel to the Atlantic Coast, you will find a more moderate climate.

During the rainy season, keep in mind that the rains tend to start around midday and continue well into the night. The advantage of travelling during the wet season is that, as it is the low season, you will find better prices, fewer tourists and you can take advantage of sunny mornings. August is the month where it rains the least, while during September and October it rains often throughout the entire country. The rainy season also brings with it the chance to experience Costa Rica's lush rainforests in full bloom and it is also a great time for spotting wildlife.

That said, we must add that the climate is changing in Costa Rica, just like in the rest of the world, so the dry and rainy seasons are not as predictable as they once were. Let's learn more about when to travel to Costa Rica according to the places you want to visit.

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When to travel to San José

To enjoy the beauty of San José, travel between February and April when the weather is sunny and pleasant. December and January are good months to travel since they correspond to the dry season. From May to November, however, the rains may spoil your visit; although as we said before, the mornings will still be sunny.

The average temperature in San José can be between 15ºC and 25ºC from December to April, which makes the dry season the perfect time to visit the Costa Rican capital.

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When to travel to Puerto Limón

If you plan to travel to the Caribbean coast and visit Puerto Limón, Tortuguero or Puerto Viejo, you will have a humid and warm climate throughout the year. During the dry season, the temperatures will oscillate between 20ºC and 30ºC; thanks to the trade winds, so it never feels too hot.

Therefore, February and April are the best months to discover these coastal paradises of Costa Rica. Most tourists choose February to travel to Costa Rica, so take note that accommodation may be more expensive and there will be many more people to share the beaches with. If you want to avoid crowds, it is better to choose March. When it comes to rain, July is the wettest month, so avoid travelling then if you're looking for uninterrupted days on the beach!

When to travel to the Pacific regions

In Costa Rica, there are three distinct regions which face the Pacific Ocean. The Central Pacific, where Playa Hermosa, Jacó, Quepos and Puntarenas experience their best temperatures during the dry season, that is, between December and April. In the South Pacific, where the spectacular Corcovado National Park is located, the dry season is also between December and April, although this area is more likely to experience rainy conditions. In the North Pacific area, where tourists flock to the beaches of Tamarindo or Flamingo, the dry season is also the best time to travel.

The climate in these three regions is characterised by an average of temperatures ranging from 24ºC to 34ºC throughout the dry season. April is the warmest month, while December is somewhat less hot, yet has plenty of sunshine.

A case apart is the province of Guanacaste (North Pacific), the driest of all, with a climate similar to that of the African savannah. With its nine hours of sun a day, the temperature reaches 35ºC during the dry season. From May to November (rainy season), you will still have 30ºC, although the rains still appear during the afternoons, especially in September and October.

Broadly speaking, and as you have seen, December to April would be the ideal time of year to travel to Costa Rica and discover all its natural beauty.

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