Best Time to Visit Costa Rica – 4 Ultimate Periods

You have to know the Best time to visit Costa Rica before planning a trip to Costa Rica.

Additionally, we recommend visiting during Costa Rica’s green season, from May through June or November. This is the time to witness the seasons changing, and the national parks are at their quietest.

Costa Rica’s wildlife is unmatched and a significant draw to the country, as long as you avoid the country’s wettest months of September and October. As a tropical country, you should expect rain at any time of year, even during the dry season, yet it is precisely this rainfall that contributes to Costa Rica’s lushness and beauty.

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Best time of year to visit Costa Rica

best time to visit Costa Rica - mid-December to April

Photo by Coral Blanche Hummer

Costa Rica is at its best from mid-December to April. The dry season is sunny and warm, making it a perfect time for wildlife viewing, beach lazing, and outdoor activities such as hiking, kayaking, and whitewater rafting.

Peak season is the busiest (and most expensive) time to visit Costa Rica. You should consider the weather against the expense and congestion if you travel during that period. Remember that you’ll need to arrange lodging around three months in advance.

Before deciding whether to visit Costa Rica, you should familiarize yourself with the country’s festival calendar. Celebrations bring the country to life with music and dance, from the vibrant parades and street parties of Limón Carnival to large-scale festivities commemorating Costa Rica’s independence.

Banks, post offices, museums, and government offices are closed on public holidays. Provincial holidays, such as Guanacaste’s Independence Day (July 25) and Limón’s Carnival (the week preceding October 12), mainly affect local services but significantly influence municipal shutdowns.

The best month to visit Costa Rica

November, April, and May are the most suitable months to visit Costa Rica since the rains have either begun or have ended, leaving the nation refreshed, green, and relatively untouristy.

Which season is the greatest for turtle spotting in Costa Rica?

Costa Rica is home to five marine turtle species: green turtles, hawksbills, leatherbacks, olive ridleys, and the unusual blunt-nosed loggerhead. Although the loggerhead does not nest in Costa Rica, it is occasionally spotted in Caribbean coastal waters.

Turtle nesting occurs primarily at night when hundreds of turtles come ashore during the year. Turtles frequently return to the same beach to lay thousands of eggs.

Best time to visit Costa Rica to notice turtles

Loggerhead turtles come ashore at Parque Nacional Marino Las Baulas on the western Nicoya Peninsula between October and February. Alternatively, you can observe them at Tortuguero National Park and Gandoca-Manzanillo Wildlife Reserve from March to May.

Green turtles return to their preferred nesting sites in Tortuguero later in the year, between July and October, with some turtles traveling almost 2000 kilometers to reach their breeding beaches. Hawksbills also visit Tortuguero, Santa Rosa, and Marino Ballena beaches.

Only a few beaches along the Pacific coast, most notably Playa Nancite in Santa Rosa and the Ostional Wildlife Reserve, see olive ridleys in their numbers – and, surprisingly, frequently during the day. This is referred to as an arribada, occurring between July and November.

The best time to visit Costa Rica by season

Seaside communities are flooded with vacationers seeking sun, sea, and sand from December to April. San José’s year-round temperatures rarely fall below 20 degrees Celsius, although the Northern Plains and dryer coasts, such as the Nicoya Peninsula and Guanacaste, have the high 30s. As a result, hotels are frequently fully booked, and bargains are few and far between. If you go during the dry months, you’ll also come across feriados throughout the country, which features bullfights, dancing, and music.

You’ll expend the prevalence of your time in Costa Rica’s winter enjoying pleasant, sunny days – along with the rest of the visitor throngs. Book your accommodations at least three months in advance to guarantee a room.

The week is typically a nightmare of gridlock, congested beach towns, and stopped public transportation between Christmas and New Year’s. Apart from that, the lively Fiesta de Palmares takes place in January and features a fortnight of dancing, music, and horse parades. The Puntarenas Carnival is a ten-day extravaganza in the middle of February.

Best time to visit Costa Rica in the spring

April (after Easter) through May is the adequate time to visit Costa Rica, as it is the posterior end of the rainy season, and the crowds have departed the sandy coast.

In Costa Rica, spring is a popular time for music festivals. March begins with the Monteverde Music Fest, which brings together national and international performers for a month of song and dancing in the cloud forest town. The annual Festival Imperial in Alajuela follows, gathering a crowd of over 30,000 to the country’s largest rock festival.

Easter is widely observed in Costa Rica, beginning with Ash Wednesday processions. They are commemorated in Guanacaste with the horse, cow, and bull parades and in Liberia with bullfights (the bull is not hurt).

Holy Week (Semana Santa) dates vary each year; however, businesses frequently close for the whole week preceding the Easter holiday. Avoid traveling anywhere during Easter Week: the entire country is closed from Holy Thursday through Easter Monday, and buses do not operate.

Best time of year to visit Costa Rica in summer

If you travel to Costa Rica in the summer, you will be in the midst of the rainy season. Don’t despair; this time of year is often referred to as the “green season” due to the lush vegetation. The summer months offer reduced lodging fees and fewer visitors if you don’t mind the drizzle.

In drier places such as Guanacaste, midday showers are typically brief. Rain showers persist throughout the Caribbean coast until September and October.

Summer is the perfect season to visit Costa Rica for surfing since storms bring considerable swells to the Pacific.

Visiting Costa Rica from June to August

July and August are the most okay months to visit Costa Rica in the summer since a lull in rain showers provides a brief window for animal viewing without being drenched. If you schedule to travel during these months, you should book many months in advance.

Periods to Avoid

best time to visit Costa Rica - Rainy Forest

Photo by Wayne Silver

Months with the most rain

As previously said, many places in Costa Rica are rather enjoyable during the rainy season. Yet, if you only have a week or two to spare, there are particular times of year to avoid. In September and October, there is rain all over the months in general. Several days in a succession of continuous rain may occur during this time, making it difficult to get out and explore.

As a result, we urge that all but the most courageous tourists avoid traveling to Costa Rica during this time. The Caribbean coast (Puerto Viejo de Talamanca and Cahuita) is an exception, as it usually is dry between September and October.

Holidays

Times of the year for avoiding holidays to select the Best Time to Visit Costa Rica. Christmas and New Year’s Weeks are the busiest travel periods in Costa Rica. Many villagers take time off during the week leading up to Christmas and throughout January to spend time with their relatives. Additionally, this is a popular season for tourists to travel.

The same is true for Holy Week. Many citizens take time off during the week preceding Easter and kick off the festivities the weekend before the holiday week. While the entire country is bustling during these seasons, seaside communities receive the most traffic. Over Easter, Playa Ventanas was bustling with activity.

Another factor for budget travelers is that prices are highest around the holidays. For example, you’ll note that the majority of hotels and vacation rentals offer peak rates, which are frequently non-refundable.

If you’re visiting Costa Rica over Christmas or Easter, plan. Typically, hotels and rental vehicles are reserved months in advance. However, if you intend far enough in advance, you can still get the best lodging choices.

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