Costa Rica Weather Guide

Despite the small land area, Costa Rica’s weather varies from cold highlands to a spring-like central area and year-round summers on both the Pacific and Caribbean coasts. There are 2 seasons: wet and dry.

Season and Clothing

Dry Season: December to April

Summer is also known as the dry and peak tourist season in Costa Rica. There’s also a small spring season between March and May. Beach towns on both coasts are particularly popular during this time and it’s best to book accommodation in advance especially if you’re planning a trip on the weekend. Surf is up on the Caribbean side throughout the season, but not so much on the Pacific.  April and May are good months for seeing the turtles on the Caribbean, but it is possible to see them from February to October. New Year celebrations, Fiestas de Palmares and Fiestas de Santa Cruz, come complete with parades, folk dancing and concerts. On April 11, Costa Ricans honour national hero and 19th-century fallen soldier Juan Santamaria with parades, live concerts and dancing.

Wet Season: May to November

Winter is also the wet and low season with the damp and muddy conditions sometimes making travel around the country roads slow. If you don’t mind the wet, it’s a good time to travel with fewer crowds and bargains to be found. There’s a mini tourism influx during June and July, and September to November is also known as autumn. June to October is a good time to hit the surf on the Pacific side thanks to bigger waves and swells, and September and November are best for migratory bird watching. The colourful holiday and festival Carnavales de Limon (Limon Carnival) is celebrated in Limon each October and there’s also another one in Puntarenas in late February to early March, depending on Lent.