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All your questions answered before you visit Vayu Retreat Villas in Costa Rica - enjoy like this man looking at the ocean

When is the Best Time to Visit Costa Rica?

When is the Best Time to Visit Costa Rica?

If you’re thinking about visiting Costa Rica but not sure when, then bookmark this blog post.

We will talk all about the best time to visit Costa Rica and Vayu Retreat Villas. We will discuss factors such as what kind of Costa Rica vacation you want, how much your budget is and who you are traveling with all of which will dictate what time of year you visit fabulous Costa Rica.

Introduction

The best time can be a subjective matter, but generally the most popular time to visit Costa Rica is during the country’s dry season or “summer,” which runs from December through April. This time of year is also Costa Rica’s high tourism season, thanks to the endless sunny days and high temperatures. These months are the busiest tourist times in Costa Rica.

On the other hand, the rainy season is a good time to visit Costa Rica for those traveling on a budget and those who want to visit during less busy times. However, this means there are possibilities of rain, rainstorms, and thunderstorms.

Average year-round temperatures do not vary greatly in Costa Rica, so no matter what time of year you visit, you will generally experience sunny days.

Sunny Morning on the Coast

Costa Rica Facts

  • Capital city: San Jose
  • Location: In Central America, with Nicaragua to the north and Panama to the south
  • Official language: Spanish, with many indigenous languages spoken; English is widely spoken in touristic areas like San Jose, Guanacaste, Jaco, Manuel Antonio, Puerto Viejo de Limon, and La Fortuna
  • Currency: The Colon (CRC); current exchange rate is approximately 515 CRC to 1 USD, 565CRC to 1.0 Euro & sadly 385CRC to 1.0 CAD
  • Time zone: GMT-6 (where is my time zone?)
  • Driving side: Right-hand side of the road
  • Electrical standards: Uses 110 Volts
  • Major international airports: Juan Santamaria International Airport (SJO) in Alajuela province and Guanacaste Airport (LIR) in Guanacaste province

Check out our post on the new proposed International Airport in the South of the Costa Rica


Best Time to Visit Costa Rica

Weather in Costa Rica

Costa Rica experiences a typical tropical climate with two distinct seasons: dry and rainy. While average year-round temperatures do not vary much, the amount of rain certainly does.

Don’t forget while browsing all the weather and climate data that one of the reasons you’re visiting Costa Rica is because it’s covered in amazing rain forests, and surprise, surprise – it rains in the rainforest.

Crowds, Costs and Other Factors?

There used to be distinct high and low travel seasons in Costa Rica but the secret is out.  July and August are almost as popular as December and January. So depending on your preferences it will depend on what you wish to experience. All seasons have their pros and cons. We will explore some of those in detail here.

At Vayu Retreat Villas – with only 4 boutique rooms, you will always have a feeling of seclusion and privacy. So if crowds aren’t your thing, but you want the hot sun of the dry season, we got you covered!

Key things to know about visiting Costa Rica during DRY season

  • This is the high tourism season so it is the most expensive and crowded time in Costa Rica due to high volume of tourists and snow birds.
  • February is normally the driest month. March and April are the hottest.
  • Average day time and night time temperatures do not fluctuate much at all.
  • You have to book your hotels, car rentals and tours at least 2-3 months before your trip. If you are visiting over Christmas, New Years, spring break or Easter, book at least 4-6 months out. These are peak season times. Some hotels and vacation rentals get booked 6+ months out!
  • Temperatures soar well into the 90s F (32 C) and above on the Northern Pacific coasts in February and March. It is a bit cooler on the Central and South Pacific Coast and Caribbean Coast but it is significantly more humid. It is drier on the North Pacific coast (Guanacaste coast and Nicoya Peninsula) but with higher temperatures. San Jose, Central Valley and mountain area temperatures hover around the high 70s F (24-26 C) during the day.
  • The rainforest areas such as the Caribbean sea, Central and South Pacific Coast and Northern Highlands may rain during dry season randomly.

Key things to know about visiting Costa Rica in GREEN season (rainy season)

Not sure if you should visit in rainy season? Read our tips for visiting Costa Rica in rainy season here.

  • Rainy season temperatures do not really vary from dry season. It does get cooler but not much. On average it is around 10 F degrees cooler than dry season.
  • October is the rainiest month for most of the country. June, September and October can also be very rainy in places like the Central and South Pacific coast, the mountains and Northern Lowlands.
  • On the Caribbean coast, October is the summer month. These are Tortuguero, Limon and Puerto Viejo de Talamanca.
  • On the coasts, a normal rainy season day is dry and cloudy in the morning, then intermittent rains in the late afternoon, evenings and nights. In mountainous and rainforest areas, it can rain in early afternoons or even mornings. You will still have sunny mornings during rainy season, but it may get cloudy quickly.
  • As it tends to rain more in the late afternoons and nights, places like Arenal Volcano National Park may close early or not allow visitors if there are lightning/thunderstorms.
  • You may need to rent a 4×4/4WD for your itinerary. Make sure to check the road conditions in Costa Rica. Some roads may be impassable or bridges may collapse for heavy rains in remote areas.
  • Some businesses may close during September/October/November green season months, have limited availability or undergo construction. Hotel prices are much cheaper and some tour companies offer green season rates.
  • There is a “little summer” in July where it stops raining and dries up for a couple weeks. This is normally around mid July. July is also a busy month because of families coming during summer vacation. Make sure to book your cars and services at least 2 months out if visiting in at the end of June or July.

Tropical Rainforest

Dry Season: Characteristics and Travel Tips

The dry season, also known as Costa Rica’s “summer,” lasts from December through April. This period is characterized by abundant sunshine, making it the best time to visit Costa Rica if you want sun, sun, and more sun. The dry season offers consistently warm temperatures and clear skies, ideal for beach vacations, outdoor adventures, and exploring the country’s diverse landscapes.

Because it’s the high tourism season, you can expect higher prices and more crowds. Popular destinations like Manuel Antonio, Tamarindo, Arenal and Monteverde become bustling with tourists, so it’s advisable to book accommodations, tours, and activities well in advance. February is typically the driest month, offering pristine beach conditions and excellent opportunities for snorkelling, diving, and other water activities. The South of Costa Rica, where Vayu is located does not experience such a heavy influx as the other regions do – it is a little jewel within Costa Rica.

March and April are the hottest months, with temperatures often soaring into the high 90s Fahrenheit (around 35°C) on the Pacific coast, particularly in regions like Guanacaste and Nicoya Peninsula. While the heat can be intense, it’s also a fantastic time for wildlife spotting, as many species are more active during the early morning and late afternoon.

Despite the higher costs and larger crowds, the dry season’s vibrant atmosphere and reliable weather make it an attractive time for visitors seeking to experience Costa Rica’s stunning beaches, lush national parks, and vibrant culture. Whether you’re zip-lining through the Monteverde cloud forests, relaxing on the beaches of Uvita (and staying at Vayu Retreat Villas), or exploring the bustling markets of San Jose, the dry season provides a backdrop of perfect weather for unforgettable adventures

Regional Variations

  • Northern Pacific Coast (Guanacaste and Nicoya Peninsula): Drier with higher temperatures
  • Central Pacific and South Pacific Coast: Cooler and more humid
  • Caribbean Coast: Random rains even during the dry season
  • San Jose and Central Valley: Temperatures hover around the high 70s F (24-26 C)
  • Mountain areas: Cooler temperatures with occasional rain

Booking Tips for High Season

Due to the high demand, it is advisable to book your hotels, car rentals, and tours at least 2-3 months before your trip. For peak season times such as Christmas, New Year’s, spring break, or Easter, book at least 4-6 months in advance. Especially Car Rentals – do not wait to book your car, they sell out fast.

Related: Everything you need to know about renting a Car in Costa Rica

Areal of Uvitas Whale Tail Sandbar

Green Season: Characteristics and Travel Tips

Costa Rica’s green or rainy season, from mid-May to the end of November, is often called the country’s “winter” or “green season” due to the lush rainforest foliage that comes to life with the rain. This period is ideal for budget travellers and those seeking fewer crowds. The landscape transforms into a vibrant, green paradise, with blooming flowers and revitalized rivers and waterfalls.

During the rainy season, prices for accommodations, tours, and activities are lower, and many hotels offer significant discounts. The weather usually features sunny mornings followed by afternoon and evening showers, allowing plenty of time for outdoor activities like hiking and wildlife watching.

Visiting during the green season offers the advantage of having natural attractions and popular sites more to yourself. The quieter environment provides a more intimate and immersive experience, making it a fantastic time for wildlife enthusiasts, as the rain brings an abundance of food, attracting a variety of animals.

Despite the occasional downpours, the green season in Costa Rica is a vibrant and rewarding time to visit, offering a unique blend of natural beauty, tranquility, and affordability. Embrace the Pura Vida lifestyle as you explore lush landscapes and enjoy the serene, rejuvenating atmosphere.

Regional Variations

  • Northern Pacific Coast (Guanacaste and Nicoya Peninsula): Rainy with lush landscapes
  • Central Pacific and South Pacific Coast: Rainy with lush rainforests
  • Caribbean Coast: Generally wetter year-round, with October as the driest month
  • San Jose and Central Valley: Rainy with cooler temperatures
  • Mountain areas: Rainy with cooler temperatures and occasional thunderstorms

Check out our Green Season Guide

Shoulder Months for the Best of Both Dry and Rainy Seasons

If you ask us what are our favorite months in Costa Rica, we love the shoulder months of April/May and November, they are the tail end months between dry and rainy season. National parks are not as crowded and the weather is still very good.

November is when the rain starts letting up. There is also a lull after Thanksgiving until mid December. May and June is when the rain starts but you’ll still get plenty of hot sunny and humid days. The crowds die out and we start getting good swells for surfing.

Our second personal favorite time to go to Costa Rica is July and August when there’s a bit of rain fewer visitors and slightly lower prices, plus it is peak whale watching season.

Breaching Humpback Whales

The Caribbean Coast

Unique Weather Patterns

The Caribbean coast of Costa Rica, including areas like Tortuguero, Limon, and Puerto Viejo, does not follow the typical dry and rainy season patterns. It is generally wetter all year round, except during September and October, which are considered the summer months.

Best Months to Visit

October is the best month to visit the Caribbean coast, as it is the driest. January to March are usually sunny with good conditions for snorkelling.

Popular Activities and Attractions

The Caribbean coast is famous for its beautiful beaches, vibrant culture, and abundant wildlife. Popular activities include visiting Tortuguero National Park, snorkelling, and exploring the local towns.


Quick Monthly Summaries

January & February

January and February are excellent months to visit Costa Rica, especially for those looking to escape the winter chill of North America and Europe. The weather is typically warm and dry, making it ideal for beach vacations, outdoor adventures, and wildlife spotting. These months are part of the high tourist season, so expect higher prices and larger crowds. Booking accommodations and tours in advance is recommended.

March & April

March and April are the hottest months in Costa Rica. While still part of the dry season, these months see temperatures rising, particularly in the coastal regions. It’s a great time for beach activities and birdwatching, with clear skies and plenty of sunshine. However, these months also coincide with spring break and Easter, leading to increased tourism and higher prices. Early planning and reservations are essential. April is particularly beautiful with smaller crowds and gorgeous weather.

Take advantage of Early Bird Pricing at Vayu – 20% off winter vacations in 2025. *Limited time deal – act fast!

May

May marks the beginning of the transition from the dry season to the rainy season. Landscapes start to turn lush and green with the first rains, and temperatures cool slightly. It is a less crowded and more affordable time to visit, making it an attractive option for travellers looking to avoid the peak season rush. While there are intermittent rains, mornings are generally dry and pleasant

June

June is the first full month of the rainy season, characterized by more consistent rains. The weather typically follows a pattern of dry mornings followed by cloudy and rainy afternoons and evenings. Although there are possibilities of tropical storms, it doesn’t rain every day, and the rain is often intermittent. This month is great for surfing due to the larger swells on the Pacific coast. It’s also a good time to visit for fewer crowds and lower prices.

July

July sees an influx of tourists again due to summer vacations in North America. Despite being the rainy season, July often experiences a “little summer” (veranillo) where the rain subsides for a couple of weeks, providing sunny days. This period is excellent for water activities such as surfing, snorkelling, and diving. Due to the mid-winter break in Costa Rica, it’s advisable to book accommodations and activities in advance.

August

August is one of the best months for wildlife enthusiasts, with optimal conditions for spotting whales, turtles, and dolphins. The month starts busy but tends to slow down towards the end. Mornings are often sunny, with rains typically coming in the afternoons and evenings. This month is particularly favorable for visiting national parks (like world famous Corcovado) and wildlife reserves, as the lush, green environment is in full bloom.

September and October

September and October are the rainiest months in Costa Rica, making it the least crowded and most affordable time to visit. These months are great for travellers who prefer a quieter experience and want to take advantage of lower prices. The Caribbean coast, however, experiences less rain during these months, making it an excellent time to visit that region. Despite the rain, the vibrant greenery and reduced tourist numbers make it a unique time to explore Costa Rica.

November

November is another transition month, with the rain beginning to let up. It’s a quieter time with fewer tourists, making it an ideal month to visit before the high season starts in December. This is also a great month for turtle nesting, particularly for the Olive Ridley sea turtles at Ostional Wildlife Refuge. The landscapes are lush and green, and the weather starts to become more predictable towards the end of the month.

December

The high season begins in mid-December, as tourists flock to Costa Rica for the winter holidays. Early December is less crowded and more affordable, but by mid-December, the country experiences a surge in visitors. The weather is generally dry and sunny, with the “Christmas winds” bringing cooler temperatures. Popular destinations become very busy, so it’s important to book accommodations and activities well in advance.


Wildlife and Nature Activities

Some of the wildlife you can see in Costa Rica

Best Time for Wildlife Watching

The rainy season is the best time for wildlife watching in Costa Rica. August, September, and October are optimal months to see humpback whales. For sea turtles, the best months are May to November.

Birdwatching and Other Activities

Birdwatching is best from January through July, particularly for spotting the Resplendent Quetzal. Nature lovers will enjoy visiting Costa Rica any time of the year, but the rainy season may make it harder to spot some animals.

Water Activities in Costa Rica

Canyoning

Best Times for Surfing, Rafting, and Diving

The rainy season offers the best conditions for water activities like surfing and white-water rafting, and canyoning thanks to fuller rivers and better swells. February and March are the best months for scuba diving with giant oceanic manta rays.

Fishing is great during rainy season with lots of possibilities to catch tuna, snapper and mahi mahi. Surfing is amazing in the rainy season in Costa Rica thanks to the swells and better offshore winds.

Tips for Water Activities During Different Seasons

For the best beach experience, visit in the morning during the rainy season to avoid afternoon rains. Always check the weather forecast and be prepared for sudden changes.

Snorkelling

Visiting Waterfalls in Costa Rica

Seasonal Changes in Waterfalls

Waterfalls are much fuller during the rainy season, but the water may turn a murky brown. The Rio Celeste known for its sky blue colour is a river in the Tenorio Volcano National Park. Sometimes when it has been raining a lot, the river may turn brown. This has more chances of happening in October, November and December.

Related: Nauyaca Waterfall Guide

Tips for Visiting Waterfalls During Different Times of the Year

Visit waterfalls during the dry season for clearer water and easier access. During the rainy season, be cautious of overflowing pools and strong currents.

Travel Tips for Different Seasons

Packing Tips for Dry and Rainy Seasons

Pack light, breathable clothing for the dry season and include a light jacket for cooler evenings. For the rainy season, bring waterproof gear, sturdy shoes, and quick-drying clothes. And of course always a cool bathing suite!

Transportation and Road Conditions

During the rainy season, a 4×4 vehicle is recommended for navigating muddy roads and possible floods. Check road conditions regularly and plan your route accordingly.


Vayu Retreat Villas: The Perfect Boutique Hotel near Uvita

Exterior of Vayu

Overview of Vayu Retreat Villas

Vayu Retreat Villas is an adults-only luxurious and serene escape near Uvita, Costa Rica. As a boutique hotel close to Uvita, it provides personalized service and a tranquil atmosphere as well as a great starting point for many of the best things you want to see and experience in Costa Rica.

Unique Features and Amenities

The meticulously curated boutique hotel guarantees a truly relaxed and unforgettable experience. Nestled among Costa Rica’s renowned rainforest jungles, your stay will be the epitome of luxury. With only four exclusive suites, tranquility and relaxation are assured, making your visit truly memorable.

Ideal Visiting Times for Vayu Retreat Villas

The best time to visit Vayu Retreat Villas is when you feel called to experience the beauty of Costa Rica. For many, the dry season from December to April is ideal, offering sunny days and perfect conditions for relaxation and exploration. However, the green season is also an exceptional time to visit. During this time, our creek is flowing, the waterfalls are swelling, and you can almost guarantee a private, serene resort experience.

Roof Top Terrace

Adults Only Hotel Costa Rica: Vayu Retreat Villas

Exclusivity and Tranquility

Vayu Retreat Villas offers an exclusive and tranquil experience for adults seeking a peaceful getaway. The serene environment and adult-oriented amenities make it the perfect retreat.

Adult-Oriented Amenities and Activities

Guests at Vayu Retreat Villas can enjoy activities tailored for adults, including romantic dinners, spa treatments, and private excursions.

Testimonials and Reviews

Guests rave about the exceptional service, beautiful surroundings, and relaxing atmosphere at Vayu Retreat Villas, making it a top choice for adults-only accommodations in Costa Rica.


Trip Ideas

When you should visit Costa Rica will mostly depend on what you want.

So if you want:

  • To avoid the rain: Come in dry season, December – April for most of the country. October for the Caribbean.
  • To travel on a budget: Travel during the green season or shoulder months.
  • Get the best of both dry and rainy season: Come during the shoulder months of May, June and November.

Costa Rica Vacation Checklist

Conclusion

In summary, the best time to visit Costa Rica depends on your preferences and travel goals. Whether you choose the sunny dry season or the lush green season, Costa Rica offers something for everyone. Plan your trip according to the activities and experiences you seek, and enjoy the natural beauty and vibrant culture of this stunning country.

Pura Vida !

 

 

 

 

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