Best Times to Visit Costa Rica
The best time to visit Costa Rica is from mid-December to April (the dry season). This peak tourist season boasts plenty of sunshine, making it an ideal time for exploring rainforests and lounging on beaches. That said, the dry season is the most popular (and expensive) time to visit, although the U.S. dollar goes a long way in Costa Rica no matter the season. You'll have to book your room and tour reservations three months in advance to secure a spot. If you don't mind getting a little wet, visit between May and November when prices are at their lowest. During June and July, rain showers pause briefly, and Costa Rica's forests burst with green foliage.
While planning your trip, keep in mind that the weather varies by region. In the thick forests of the Caribbean Sea coast and Northern Plains, expect high humidity and temperatures ranging between the 70s and high 80s year-round. Conversely, in the North Pacific, prepare for lower humidity levels, but temperatures that often soar into the 90s during Costa Rica's dry months.
Costa Rica's dry months usher in the most sunshine and tourists. Wildlife-enthusiasts and beach-seekers arrive in droves from across the globe to explore the country's spectacular rainforests and sandy shorelines. Come during the dry months to spot soaring Quetzals and waddling green turtles. Travel during this time of year and you'll also find vibrant fiestas taking place across the country, featuring bullfights, dancing, and live music. In San José, temperatures linger in the 70s year-round, while drier regions along the Northern Plains and coast, like Nicoya Peninsula and Guanacaste, see 90-degree temps. In December and January, North American and European visitors head to Costa Rica for sun, splendor, and a break from chilly winter months at home. Therefore, you'll want to make reservations several months in advance to ensure availability.
This rainy season—often referred to as the "green season" because of its gorgeous foliage—welcomes fewer tourists, yielding lower accommodation costs for those who don't mind getting caught in the drizzle. In drier areas like Guanacaste, showers begin in the afternoon or evening and tend to last for only a few hours. Along the Caribbean coast, expect showers until September and October, when the sunshine begins peaking through. If you are planning to visit during this season, keep in mind that unpaved roads can sometimes be impassable, making getting to remote places an obstacle. But there is a sweet spot in this low season: In July and August, tourists flood Costa Rica to catch sight of the country's natural wildlife without getting drenched. If you plan to visit during these months, you'll want to make reservations several months in advance.