What to Know about Costa Rica’s Seasons to Plan your Best Trip
Ready to plan an epic adventure, but unsure about the best times to visit Costa Rica? With a dry season, a green season and transition periods, it can be a little confusing to know when to visit to get the most out of your trip.
In our opinion, each season offers different and exciting opportunities, but knowing when and where to go is a key factor. We can help! AUSUN’s expert guides know the seasons and weather patterns of each region well, and can create an amazing custom itinerary that incorporates all of your favorite adventures. Reach out to us on WhatsApp at (506) 8422 9565 or click here to email us.
Read on to learn more about Costa Rica’s fantastic weather!
Costa Rica’s Seasons
You can divide Costa Rica’s weather into two seasons: the dry season, lasting from January to May, and the rainy or “green” season, from June to November.
The transition months, November and December for the dry season and May through July for the wet season, offer some incredible opportunities, and may be the best time to visit Costa Rica.
The Dry Season: January To April Offers the Best Weather
January through April is usually considered the best time to go to Costa Rica’s Pacific side for outdoor activities like surfing, fishing, hiking and birdwatching. Called the “dry” season due to a lack of rainfall and an abundance of sunshine, there is plenty to do and plenty to see each day.
January through April is the height of Costa Rica’s dry season in the northern Pacific. Costa Rican weather during these months is ideal for those who want hot sunny days and lots of wildlife sightings.
January to April is also the best time of year for birdwatching in Costa Rica. Many of Costa Rica’s 850+ bird species are active during this time, including Quetzals and migratory birds, and can be found in tropical forests nesting and feasting on fruiting trees.
Marine wildlife is also abundant. Peak sea turtle nesting season in Costa Rica’s Pacific coast begins during the dry season, and it’s a great time to spot leatherbacks, green sea turtles, olive ridley turtles, and whales.
May to July: Rainy Season Transition Months in Costa Rica
May, June, and July are transition months that see tourism slow down, offering lower prices and fewer crowds. And while some rain begins to move in, it’s still a great time to take advantage of Costa Rica’s epic landscapes, national parks and beaches.
While rainfall increases in the north, southern regions have more reliable weather. Those that don’t mind a bit of rain mixed with sunshine might find this period to be the best time of year to go to Costa Rica for their vacation.
If you’re looking to escape the rain during these months, head to the southern Caribbean, which generally has excellent weather in May and June. The end of July even brings a period called “Veranillo de San Juan” also known as a “small summer” due to its beautiful weather.
Atlantic Green turtle nesting is in full swing in the Caribbean at this time. Those who were unable to visit during the Pacific nesting season can take advantage of the chance to spot these incredible animals.
May is a great time to spot year-round species like sloths, monkeys, and macaws. Remember, Costa Rica is a Central American country that is world-renowned for its wildlife watching. No matter what time of year you visit, you’re almost guaranteed to see exotic animals.
August to October: the Green Season, and the Cheapest Time to Visit Costa Rica
The height of the green season in Costa Rica means reduced prices and fewer crowds. But increased rainfall means certain tours and lodges are shut down, so you may not get the chance to see some of the top Costa Rica destinations.
However, those who know where to go will find incredible opportunities to travel to Costa Rica on a budget.
While it’s Costa Rica’s rainy season in the Pacific, the Caribbean enters into its dry season during September and October, perfect for those who want to experience beautiful beaches and sunshine.
September and October host impressive arribadas of Olive Ridley sea turtles, with thousands of females making their way up beaches. Playa Ostional is well known for this phenomenon, which only occurs in a few places worldwide.
This is a once-in-a-lifetime experience that we highly recommend including in your Costa Rican itinerary.
November and December: Dry Season Transition Months in Costa Rica
Tours and lodges may still be shut down at this time, but they begin to open up toward the end of November or early December.
By the end of December, hotels, tours, and beaches begin to fill up fast. We recommend that travelers who want to visit Costa Rica at this time book well in advance.
Need help? We’re here! AUSUN can book the perfect Costa Rican adventure for you, and we’ll handle everything from ground transportation to all of your experiences. Call us for more information.
November and December can be a little unpredictable. The dry season can either kick off early, or the wet season can hold tight with a few heavy storms.
Usually the weather becomes drier toward the end of this period, so those wanting to ensure more dryer days should plan their trip closer to early/mid December.
Leatherback turtle nesting season starts its peak in the Pacific. These massive creatures are most likely to be spotted on Playa Grande, just north of Tamarindo. Whales also return in December, providing ample whale watching opportunities.
Book Your Costa Rica Vacation with AUSUN!
We love traveling in Costa Rica during every season, and the many adventurers we’ve guided throughout the years have too!
No matter what time of year you’d like to visit Costa Rica, we’re thrilled to help you plan an experience you’ll never forget.
If you’re looking to plan a multi- day trip or adventure excursion, contact us on WhatsApp at 506 8422 9565 or click here to send an inquiry.