Seasons and Weather
Enjoying an enviable location close to the equator, Costa Rica benefits from a tropical climate with two distinct seasons. The dry season typically lasts from mid-November to April with warm temperatures and sunny days with occasional northern winds in January and February. From May to mid-November the wet season kicks in with bright clear mornings and rainy afternoons. The heaviest rains come in September to October. November, December, April and May are often considered the best time to visit Costa Rica as these months fall in between seasons meaning the country is often green and refreshed.
While the wet and dry seasons dictate the general climate, the weather can also be governed by the altitude which can cause it to vary greatly. The coast is always warm and balmy throughout the year and the mountains are cool. The middle slopes (northeast) of the Central Cordillera Mountains see the lion’s share of the rainfall with over 5000 mm falling annually. There also tends to be more humidity on the Caribbean side of the country rather than the Pacific.
If you're visiting Costa Rica for its beaches, it's worth considering the changes in weather between the Caribbean coast and the Pacific coast. The Caribbean coast has rain throughout the year whereas the Pacific coast is more affected by the dry and wet season with heavier rains between May and December.
Thinking of visiting Costa Rica? Download a copy of our Latin America brochure for inspiration.