The Best Time to Visit Costa Rica – The Ultimate Guide

costa rica

Tropical Costa Rica is a must-see and a must-visit tourist spot for almost everyone. This Central American country is home to unspoiled jungles, breathtaking national parks, cascading waterfalls, and many other magically stunning natural beauties. Anyone who has visited beautiful Costa Rica can only tell you the places you must see, but the true beauty cannot be described in words. You must travel to the country to experience the beauty of the volcanoes, a thriving tourism industry, and adventurous activities attracting tourists from worldwide. However, because Costa Rica has two seasons (dry and rainy), the weather varies dramatically throughout the year.  

Knowing the best time to travel to Costa Rica is essential for making the most of your tropical vacation and creating beautiful memories. This quick travel guide will help you with the best and the worst time to visit Costa Rica for a perfectly planned trip.  

When is the Best Time to Visit Costa Rica?  

The holiday season, or the peak season around Christmas and New Year, is the most popular time for Costa Rica vacations. Still, the best and the most comfortable time to visit with your family and friends is a couple of weeks later, when the peak season is over, so you don’t get to share the beautiful sights with others and can have a private vacation.  

Costa Rica is best visited between mid-December and April. The dry season has plenty of sunshine, making it ideal for wildlife watching, beach lounging, and indulging in outdoor activities such as hiking, kayaking, and whitewater rafting.  

Peak season is the busiest, most popular, and, thus, the most expensive time to visit Costa Rica. You should weigh the weather against the cost and crowds if you travel to the country during the peak season. Remember that you must make reservations for the hotels and the all-inclusive villas in Costa Rica at least three months before your visit to secure your accommodation.  


Before deciding the best time to visit Costa Rica, you should consider the country’s festival schedule. Festivals are the best time to bring every nation to life. Festivals in Costa Rica are about music, dancing, colorful parades, and street parties during the Limón Carnival, commemorating the country’s independence. Also, all the banks, museums, post offices, and government offices will be closed on public holidays. Provincial holidays, such as Guanacaste’s Independence Day and the Limón Carnival, affect local services and majorly impact municipal shutdowns.

The Wet Season in Costa Rica   

During the wet season (roughly from May to mid-November), the weather in Costa Rica typically oscillates between afternoon rains and sunny mornings. The showers are the heaviest in September and October. While they can be intense, they will only prevent you from traveling in the country’s remote areas, particularly the Nicoya Peninsula, where dirt roads become inoperable to all but the toughest 4WDs.  

The Dry Season in Costa Rica   

During the dry season, i.e., from mid-November to April, the days in Costa Rica are mostly dry, with occasional blustery northern winds blowing in and cooling things off in January or February. On the other hand, you can count on Costa Rican sunshine and warm temperatures for a relaxing vacation.  

When is the Best Time to Visit Costa Rica during Winter Season?  

Tourists flock to beach towns in Costa Rica from December to April to get their daily dose of sun, sea, and sand. Temperatures here in San José rarely fall below 20 degrees Celsius all year, whereas the Northern Plains and drier coasts, such as the Nicoya Peninsula and Guanacaste, see highs in the 30s. As a result, hotels are commonly fully booked, and good deals are hard to catch. During the dry season, you can also visit Feriados, which feature bullfights, dancing, and music to level up your vacation.

The Christmas and New Year season is about vibrant nightlife, overcrowded beach towns, and delayed transportation services. Aside from that, the lively Fiesta de Palmares takes place in January, with a fortnight of dancing, music, and exciting horse parades, while the Puntarenas Carnival, a ten-day festival, takes place around the middle of February. You’ll mostly enjoy warm, sunny days with the rest of the tourist crowd during the winter in Costa Rica. Make your reservation for at least three months to enjoy your holiday season comfortably.   

When to Visit Costa Rica during the Spring Season?  

The best time to travel to Costa Rica is from April to May, when the rainy season has ended and the crowds have dispersed from the sandy coastline. In Costa Rica, spring is a popular time for music festivals. March begins with the Monteverde Music Festival, which brings national and international musicians together for a month of song and dance in the cloud forest town. Following that is Alajuela’s Annual Festival Imperial, which draws over 30,000 people and is Costa Rica’s largest rock festival.  

When to Visit Costa Rica during the Summer Season?  

If you visit Costa Rica during the summer, you will be in the midst of the rainy season. Due to the spectacular foliage and thriving biodiversity, this is also known as the “green season” of Costa Rica. If you are okay with the rain, you’ll save money on lodging and see fewer people during your visit to the country during the summer.  

Afternoon showers in drier regions, such as Guanacaste, usually last only a few hours. Rain showers continue along the Caribbean coast until September and October.  

Summer is considered the best time to travel to Costa Rica for surfing because storms bring tremendous swells to the Pacific.  The best months to visit Costa Rica during the summer are July and August when rain showers subside, and there is a brief window for wildlife watching without getting soaked in the rain. If you plan to visit during these months, you should book your accommodation at least three months in advance as the all-inclusive villas in Costa Rica tend to be booked entirely by that time.

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