The Best Time to Go to Costa Rica

Keel-billed toucan, Costa Rica
Keel-billed toucan

Costa Rica by seasons

Costa Rica is a year-round destination, with just two seasons. The warm sunny days of the dry season are the most popular time to travel, while visitors who come in the green season will enjoy quieter parks and plentiful wildlife too. Rain is possible at any time of year, so it’s always best to bring a brolly, just in case. To help you decide when to travel, we’ve split the year in half:

Ocelot cat, Costa Rica
Dry Season

November to April

Costa Rica’s dry season brings plentiful sunshine and bright blue skies. Although rain is always possible, it is rare, and with temperatures almost consistently in the high twenties, this is the perfect time to relax on Costa Rica’s beaches. It’s a great period for wildlife watching in the national parks too, as animals come out in search of water, and there’s less foliage to obscure your view.

Go for:

Migratory birds: in October and November, migratory birds descend upon Costa Rica’s rainforests, including swifts, swallows, falcons and hawks. This is also a good time to spot the the endangered great green macaw.

Fiestas Palmares: held in January, this two-week festival celebrates all things cowboy, attracting around a million spectators. Come to Palmares for horse parades, rodeo shows, musical performances and plenty of beer.

Hummingbird, Costa Rica
Green Season

May to October

Calling Costa Rica’s wet season the green season is stroke of genius – ‘wet’ conjures up images of constant rain, which is not an accurate description. Instead, showers, which can be heavy, are interspersed with bright sunshine, causing Costa Rica’s rainforests to burst into life and colour and creating ideal conditions for white water rafting. The Caribbean region remains driest, so this is your best bet for lazy days on the beach.

Go for:

Nesting turtles: Head to Tortuguero National Park between July and October for nesting green turtles and from March to June for nesting loggerhead, hawksbill and leatherback turtles.

Surfing: wave size increases on Costa Rica’s surfing beaches in May and June, the perfect time to have a go at this exciting sport. Try Manuel Antonio for beginner classes.

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