The best time to visit Costa Rica is anytime your schedule or budget permits. Activities are available year round and rarely cancelled for weather conditions. There are pros and cons to the different seasons, which vary by location.
The majority of visitors to Costa Rica travel during the months of December through April (when it’s cold up north) and then again from June through August (when families plan their vacations). December through April also corresponds with the best weather patterns on the Pacific side of Costa Rica and luckily for families, Costa Rica usually experiences a mini dry season from the end of June through the beginning of August locally known as veranillo or little summer.
The Caribbean side of Costa Rica traditionally enjoys the best weather February and March and then again from August through October, completing Costa Rica as a year round destination.
It should be noted that northwest Costa Rica (Guanacaste) is a very dry region. While it is located on the Pacific coast, it is not as affected by the rain season. Even during the rainiest months, September and October, it is often nice in the morning and early afternoon before the rains come in in the late afternoon.
Of course, weather in the tropics is much less predictable than up north. It can also be affected by El Nino or La Nina seasons, which can throw these patterns off significantly.
The most expensive times to visit Costa Rica are from December 15 – January 5 and then again for the weeks surrounding Easter. The week prior to Easter is locally known as Semana Santa and heavily traveled by locals. Prices are also higher throughout the drier months on the Pacific coast. One can save money by traveling anytime between May through November and especially during the months of May, June, September and October.
Click on the inks below for more comprehensive information based on what to expect each month:
January - Best weather on the Pacific coast and Central Mountains.
February - Good weather across the country.
March - Good weather across the country.
April - Best weather on the Pacific coast and Central Mountains.
May - Best weather on the Central and Northwest Pacific coast.
June - Best weather on the Central and Northwest Pacific coast and Central Mountains towards the end of the month.
July - Best weather on the Central and Northwest Pacific coast and Central Mountains.
August - Best weather on the Northwest Pacific coast and Caribbean side at the end of the month.
September - Best weather on the Caribbean coast and Northern Plains.
October - Best weather on the Caribbean coast and Northern Plains, though Arenal becomes rainier at the end of the month.
November - Best weather on the Northwest Pacific coast.
December - Best weather on the Northwest Pacific coast, though conditions improve greatly along the rest of the Pacific and Central Mountains as the month progresses.
Unsure of what to do? Let us make you a free custom trip plan!