When Is the Best Time to Go to Costa Rica?

by  Kristine Hansen | Updated on Dec 7, 2023
Cloud forest in Costa Rica
Cloud forest in Costa Rica / SimonDannhauer/iStock

It’s never a bad time to visit Costa Rica. On average, temperatures hover around the 70s and 80s due to the high altitude. This means sunny days and cooler nights. Jungles and forests welcome you with emerald-green vistas while the beaches are among the best in Central America. If you’re a surfer, Costa Rica is a top spot to ride the waves, but it’s also an incredible area to enjoy the pristine beaches — sans the crowds. Costa Ricans love their country, and that includes its natural resources. Protected areas, whether national parks or preserves, are in abundance and ready to welcome visitors.

To choose the right season, start by thinking about what you’d like to do in Costa Rica. For example, are you planning to explore arts and culture in San José, or embark on an overnight hike in the cloud forest? If hiking, mountain biking, or horseback riding are non-negotiable, try and visit during the dry season, which is mid-November to April. However, don't be alarmed by rainy season, which takes place from May to mid-November. Each month will vary, as will each region. For example, the Guanacaste region has arid climate, which means there will be much less rainfall here than in, say, Monteverde.

Arenal Volcano, Costa Rica / alexeys/iStock

When Is Costa Rica's Rainy Season?

Costa Rica’s rainy season (also known as "green season") starts in May and stretches through early November; travel during another time of year and you may be greeted with leafless trees and brown grass. During this time, hotel prices tend to be cheaper and there are fewer crowds. By building in flexibility in scheduling certain activities — i.e., keeping days open as back-up for canceled excursions due to rain — you won’t miss out on anything.

Your overall budget (and how much you are willing to pay) is another aspect to consider. Room rates spike during the dry months (December through April) and properties are almost always at capacity, which means the pool is going to be crowded and reservations are needed for dining. Conversely, summer and fall are less crowded, and you can score amazing deals during this time. 

Find The Best Cruises
Find a cruise

Find the best deals!

Click on multiple sites to get the lowest prices

Click on multiple sites to get the lowest prices