When is the best time to go to Costa Rica?

To discover the entire territory of Costa Rica, the best time to visit remains the period between the months of December and April. This is the dry season and the sunny days are plentiful throughout the country. In order to best enjoy the quality of climate and attend numerous cultural events, the preferred months of January, February and March are particularly popular.

Certain areas remain favorable to tourists even during the rainy season, as is the case for the Pacific coast. Those who choose to visit Costa Rica during this period of time can take advantage of attractive hotel offers and can also enjoy the good weather. Surfing enthusiasts can give themselves heart and soul in their passion for the waves. With the rising wind, the Pacific coast is agitated by strong waves that meet the ideal conditions for surfing. In addition, the religious holidays present an opportunity to engage in the enthusiasm with the residents and are equally a grand time for sharing and conviviality.



Where and when to go based on the weather?

Map of the best times to visit Costa Rica
Map of the best times to visit Costa Rica ©whereandwhen.net

Caribbean coast of Costa Rica
Tortuguero, Puerto Limón, Manzanillo...

February, March, April and September
77°F to 88°F°C
4 to 29 days
83°F to 86°F
January, May, June, July, August, October, November and December
77°F to 88°F°C
4 to 30 days
83°F to 86°F

Central valley
San Jose, San Isidro, Cartago...

January and February
76°F to 85°F°C
3 to 9 days
March, April and December
74°F to 86°F°C
4 to 17 days
May, June, July, August, September, October and November
74°F to 88°F°C
12 to 30 days

North of Costa Rica
La Fortuna, Quesada, Boca San Carlos...

January, February and March
77°F to 94°F°C
0 to 9 days
April and December
76°F to 95°F°C
2 to 13 days
November
76°F to 86°F°C
10 to 21 days
May, June, July, August, September and October
76°F to 92°F°C
15 to 28 days

Pacific coast of Costa Rica
Montezuma, Puntarenas, Puerto Jiménez...

January and February
83°F to 94°F°C
0 to 11 days
83°F to 85°F
March, April and December
79°F to 95°F°C
1 to 21 days
83°F to 86°F
November
77°F to 86°F°C
15 to 27 days
83°F
May, June, July, August, September and October
77°F to 90°F°C
17 to 30 days
83°F to 86°F

Provincia Guanacaste
La Cruz, Tamarindo, Liberia (Guanacaste)...

January, February and December
86°F to 94°F°C
0 to 6 days
81°F to 83°F
March, April, May and November
85°F to 95°F°C
0 to 23 days
83°F to 86°F
June, July, August, September and October
85°F to 88°F°C
12 to 29 days
83°F to 86°F

Best time to travel to Costa Rica by cities

See full list of cities


Climate and Weather in Costa Rica

In the heart of Central America, between Panama and Nicaragua, Costa Rica portrays a wide variety of climate, depending on one's location. Overall, Costa Rica weather experiences a climate ranging from tropical humidity to tropical Pacific temperatures, while passing through a rather temperate zone in the center of the country. Like any tropical region, Costa Rica also experiences a dry season between the months of December and April as well as a rainy season, which lasts from May to November. The latter is often the opportunity to experience very hot weather.

Costa Rica: Le volcan Irazu au Costa Rica

The Climate on the Atlantic Coast of Costa Rica

On the Atlantic coast of Costa Rica, the climate is humid and tropical. It is very hot most of the time and a humidity that is difficult to withstand reigns most of the time, especially during the rainy season. During this period, the rain falls in the afternoon, while the mornings are rather sunny.

The Climate in the Central Valley of Costa Rica

At the heart of the country, Costa Rica experiences a more temperate climate than on the coasts. In San Jose especially, the weather is relatively mild all year round with temperatures rarely dropping below 14° C and climbing generally to around 27° C. This area generally suffers from a little less humidity than Costa Rica and the rest of the country. People tend to say that this part of the country has the chance to enjoy an eternal spring! In the mountains however, the temperatures can drop significantly, offering a vast difference between daytime and nighttime.

Climate in Costa Rica on the Coast of the Pacific Ocean

The climate in Costa Rica on the Pacific coast is tropical. Here, the summers are very hot and the rainy season is particularly pronounced, as it is in Montezuma or Puntarenas. The southern part of the Pacific coast is the wettest when the rainy season arrives. However, if the rain continues to fall in the afternoon, one must withstand very high temperatures.


Temperatures and rainfall in Costa Rica

On these 3 graphs, we present the evolution of temperatures of Costa Rica and month-by-month rainfall for the cities of San José, La Cruz, Montezuma, Puerto Limón and Puntarenas, as well as the month-by-month sea temperature for coastal cities.


Peak visitor numbers and tourist seasons in Costa Rica

Find out when Costa Rica has its high tourist season (the period when the influx of tourists is highest) and off-peak tourist season using our data and figures.

Tourist seasons in Costa Rica

The months with low numbers of tourists are: April, May, June, July, September, October and November. The number of visitors to Costa Rica is high in: January, February, March, August and December.

  • Very low season in Costa Rica: May, June, September and October.
  • Low season in Costa Rica: April, July and November.
  • High season in Costa Rica: January, February, March and August.
  • Peak season in Costa Rica: December.

Figure: Visitor index for Costa Rica month by month


Average price for flights to Costa Rica

A return flight between New York City and San José is generally cheaper if you go in october ($ 377 on average): this is the best time for travellers on a tight budget. In contrast, you may end up paying $ 307 more for your airline ticket to San José if you go in december.

Find the best price for your flight Flight prices to Costa Rica



Where to go in Costa Rica?

This table allows you to see the maximum temperature for each city and our opinion on the weather month by month (see colour legend below the table).

Cities jan.feb.mar.apr.mayjun.jul.aug.sep.oct.nov.dec.
San José77°F79°F81°F81°F79°F77°F76°F77°F77°F76°F76°F76°F
La Cruz86°F86°F88°F90°F90°F88°F86°F88°F88°F86°F86°F86°F
Montezuma88°F90°F92°F92°F88°F86°F86°F86°F86°F85°F85°F86°F
Puerto Limón83°F85°F85°F86°F86°F86°F86°F86°F88°F86°F85°F85°F
Puntarenas90°F94°F94°F94°F90°F88°F88°F88°F88°F86°F86°F88°F
Tamarindo88°F90°F92°F94°F90°F88°F86°F86°F86°F85°F85°F86°F
Tortuguero83°F85°F85°F86°F88°F86°F86°F86°F88°F88°F85°F83°F
Boca San Carlos81°F83°F86°F88°F88°F85°F83°F85°F86°F85°F83°F81°F
Cartago76°F77°F77°F77°F76°F74°F74°F74°F74°F74°F74°F74°F
La Fortuna81°F83°F86°F88°F88°F85°F83°F85°F86°F85°F83°F81°F
Liberia (Guanacaste)88°F92°F94°F95°F92°F88°F88°F88°F88°F86°F86°F86°F
Manzanillo81°F83°F83°F85°F86°F86°F86°F86°F86°F86°F85°F83°F
Puerto Jiménez88°F90°F90°F90°F86°F85°F85°F85°F85°F83°F83°F85°F
Quesada83°F86°F88°F86°F83°F81°F81°F81°F81°F79°F79°F81°F
San Isidro83°F85°F85°F83°F79°F79°F79°F79°F77°F77°F77°F79°F
Alajuela81°F83°F85°F85°F81°F79°F79°F79°F79°F77°F77°F79°F
Bananito Sur83°F85°F85°F86°F86°F86°F86°F86°F88°F86°F85°F85°F
Cerro Chirripo83°F85°F85°F83°F79°F79°F79°F79°F77°F77°F77°F79°F
Dominical83°F85°F85°F83°F79°F79°F79°F79°F77°F77°F77°F79°F
Escazu77°F79°F81°F81°F79°F77°F76°F77°F77°F76°F76°F76°F

Legend:

perfect weather

good weather

tolerable weather

bad weather

very bad weather


About Costa Rica

What can I do in Costa Rica?

Beaches / swimming

Nature and countryside

Culture and heritage

Sports

Family travel

Crafts / shopping

Gastronomy

Nightlife



Is this weather information for Costa Rica reliable?

Climate data for Costa Rica has been gathered every day since January 2009. The analysis of these meteorological data for Costa Rica allows us to determine the average for each month in San José, La Cruz, Montezuma, Puerto Limón, Puntarenas, Tamarindo, Tortuguero, Boca San Carlos, and 76 other cities.

So yes: this data is reliable except in cases of temporary climate disruption in the region.

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