The best time to visit Costa Rica

Updated: 20th May 2021

Arenal Volcano - Best time to visit Costa Rica - On The Go Tours
The best time to view Arenal Volcano is February to April

Costa Rica at a Glance: Best Time to Visit

Recommended time to visit: For a small country, Costa Rica experiences a very diverse climate. If you're heading to the country's Pacific coast, then December - April offers the driest weather. March - September is the time to explore the Caribbean coast.

Less popular time to visit: Sudden rainfall is to be expected in Costa Rica year round, it is part of what makes the country so lush and attractive. But September and October are generally the wettest months if you'd like to avoid them.

When is the dry season: The dry season typically lasts from mid-November - April, with warm temperatures and sunny days.

When is the wet season: The wet season lasts from May to mid-November, with bright clear mornings and rainy afternoons. The heaviest rains come in September to October.

Best time for wildlife: January - April is peak season for Costa Rica's national parks. May - June is quieter, with exceptional wildlife viewing still possible and if you'd like to go whale watching then August - October is the time to visit.

Best time for beaches: Again this depends where you travel, but November - April generally offers dry, warm weather, perfect for relaxing on the beach.

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Climate | Tortuguero

Temp Min °C222222232323232323232322
Temp Max °C282828292929282830292828
Rainfall (mm)310210200270280280410290140180370400

Climate | San Jose

Temp Min °C141415171717171616161413
Temp Max °C242426262726252626252524
Rainfall (mm)155204622924121124130530014541

Festivals and Events

As a Catholic country Costa Rica observes a number of religious holidays throughout the year including Easter and Christmas. The Caribbean influence is also strong with a number of vibrant carnivals held across the country. Here's our selection of the best festivals and events.

When is Independence Day in Costa Rica?

On the 15th September each year Costa Rica's independence from Spain is celebrated with a children's marching band parade playing the national anthem on steel xylophones. Spectators will often carry homemade lanterns to symbolize the original freedom torch.

What is Limon Carnival?

Caribbean culture is what is showcased during this colourful carnival of parades, floats, music, rum and plenty of dancing. It's a time to let your hair down and have fun with a festive vibe taking over the port city of Limon. The carnival is likened to a smaller Mardi Gras.

What is the Festival de las Luces?

Costa Ricans begin to celebrate the Christmas and New Year festive period with the Festival of Lights. Firework displays and music concerts take place across San Jose with the city decorated in pretty lights. Grand parades of floats adorned with lights travel through the streets with a competition for the best floats.

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