Best Time to Visit Costa Rica

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On this page, you will find information about the climate and the best time to visit Costa Rica. We created climate tables and charts for the locations of Puerto Limón und San José. These contain details about temperatures, precipitation and more.

Furthermore, we analyzed all climate data and provide a recommendation about which months are best to visit Costa Rica for your holiday.

Climate Overview

Thermometer Symbol 18 °C to 31 °C
Waves Symbol 26 °C to 29 °C
Rainy Cloud Symbol 0.2416.06 in (1 – 23 Days of Rain)
Average Annual Temperature is between 23.6 °C (San José) and 25.2 °C (Puerto Limón)
Show temperatures in degree

Geographical location

Costa Rica is a Central American state that forms the land bridge between South America and North America. Its immediate neighbours are Nicaragua in the north and Panama in the south of the country.

The modern country is characterised by its spectacular natural diversity and is considered one of the most species-rich countries in the world. Besides its 4.8 million inhabitants, Costa Rica is also home to a fascinating fauna with rare species such as the sloth, toucans and colourful frogs.

From active volcanoes and lush rainforests to fantastic Caribbean beaches, the politically very stable Costa Rica is a country of contrasts and also bears the nickname of “Green Paradise” in Central America.

The capital is San José in Valle Central, the volcanic mountain ranges of the Cordilleras and the long one on the Caribbean coast are particularly characteristic of the landscape. The highest elevation of the country is Chirripó Grande at 3820 meters.

Costa Rica land area is almost 30% protected.

Climate in Costa Rica

Jurassic Cataracts (Steve Jurvetson)  [flickr.com]  CC BY 
License Information available under 'Proof of Image Sources' In general, a typical tropical climate prevails in Costa Rica, with the high mountain ranges and many volcanoes creating a climate divide that leads to regional differences. While the Caribbean coast is raining all year round due to damp winds, a clear rainy season can be heard on the Pacific coast.

In Valle Central and the northwest of Costa Rica the rainy season starts around the beginning of May and lasts until the end of November, in the more humid south and in the area of the central coast at the Pacific the rainy season usually ends in the course of January. A reliable dry season can be found especially between February and April.

The Caribbean coast has its driest months mostly between February and April as well as September and October. The other parts of the country are mainly transitional regions with a climate similar to that of the Pacific coast, but without extremes. This means: The dry season remains slightly wetter, the rainy season does not get quite as wet.

Best Time to Visit Costa Rica: Overview

JanuaryJan
Best time to traveltime
Main Season und Ferien in Costa Rica
FebruaryFeb
Best time to traveltime
Main Season und Ferien in Costa Rica
MarchMar
Best time to traveltime
PerfectPerf. climate in
Costa Rica
AprilApr
Best time to traveltime
PerfectPerf. climate in
Costa Rica
MayMay
Suitable time to traveltime
up to 11.06 in of rainof rain
JuneJun
Suitable time to traveltime
up to 11.06 in of rainof rain
JulyJul
Rainy Season
AugustAug
Rainy Season
SeptemberSep
Rainy Season
OctoberOct
Rainy Season
NovemberNov
Rainy Season
DecemberDec
Good time to traveltime
mostly Perfectmostly perfect climate in Costa Rica

When to go to Costa Rica?


In general, both the dry season and the rainy season in Costa Rica have their special attractions. As humidity decreases between Christmas and Easter in most regions of the country and in the neighbouring countries of Panama and Nicaragua, this is also the most popular high season for Costa Rica.

One should not stick too rigidly to the distinction between dry and rainy season, since it comes not least also by the climatic change again and again to surprises. However, we recommend the months of February to April as the statistically best travel season for Costa Rica, with some restrictions also December and January.

If you are a backpacker in the country and therefore have a little more time than a normal holidaymaker, you will of course find much cheaper prices in the rainy season. Rainfall usually starts in the midday period and lasts up to four hours, which can lead to adverse effects on unpaved roads.

Best Time to Visit the Regions

Find the best time to visit the regions (Costa Rica) in the following overview.

LocationBest Time to Travel
Puerto LimónFebruary, March, and April
San JoséJanuary, February, March, April, and December

Climate Charts Costa Rica

In the following, you will find climate charts for the regions.

Furthermore, there are some charts you can use for quick comparison of climate between the regions.

Show Climate Chart for    

Puerto Limón

Climate Chart Puerto Limón
Show temperatures in degree

San José

Climate Chart San José
Show temperatures in degree

Day Temperatures

Show temperatures in degree

Night Temperatures

Show temperatures in degree

Average Temperatures

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Precipitation

Hours of Sunshine per Day

Source of Data: German Weather Service (Offenbach) and Wikipedia

Climate Tables Costa Rica

In the following, you will find some climate tables for Costa Rica, containing information about Temperatures, Precipitation, Water Temperatures, and Hours of Sunshine.
Show climate table for    

Temperatures, Precipitation, Sunshine in Puerto Limón (Costa Rica)

JanFebMarAprMayJunJulAugSepOctNovDec
Day Temperature30°30°30°31°31°31°30°30°30°31°30°30°
Night Temperature20°20°21°22°22°22°22°22°22°22°22°21°
Water Temperature27°26°26°27°28°28°28°28°29°28°27°27°
Precipitation (inch)10.677.917.67.3611.0610.8716.0611.387.27.814.4511.89
Rainy days161413131516211813151718
Hours of Sunshine566664455555
Show temperatures in degree
Temperatures
The annual average temperature in Puerto Limón is 25.2 °C.

For comparison: London 11 °C, NYC 12 °C, LA 17.9 °C

Warmest month: May (26.1 °C)
Coldest month: January (24 °C)

The maximum water temperature in Puerto Limón is 29 °C. You can take a bath at these temperatures.

Months with water temperature of at least 21 °C (adequate for beach vacation):
all months

Precipitation
Overall annual precipitation: 124.25 inch on 189 rainy days

For comparison: London 24.06 in, NYC 41.57 in, LA 12.01 in

Rainy season (months with more than 6.9 in of precipitation): all months
Overall precipitation in the rainy season: 124.25 in

You cannot expect snow in any month in Puerto Limón.

Sunshine
As our climate table shows, April is the sunniest month with an average of 5.8 hours of sunshine per day. Over the year, there are 5.1 hours of sunshine per day on average. For comparison: London has 4.1, NYC has 7 and LA has 8.9 hours of sunshine per day on average.

Temperatures, Precipitation, Sunshine in San José (Costa Rica)

JanFebMarAprMayJunJulAugSepOctNovDec
Day Temperature28°29°30°30°29°28°28°28°28°27°27°28°
Night Temperature19°19°19°19°19°19°19°19°18°19°18°18°
Precipitation (inch)0.250.40.543.1510.5411.037.1510.913.9813.025.331.32
Rainy days1127171915192322144
Hours of Sunshine9109865555568
Show temperatures in degree
Temperatures
The annual average temperature in San José is 23.6 °C.

Warmest month: April (24.7 °C)
Coldest month: October (22.8 °C)

Precipitation
Overall annual precipitation: 77.6 inch on 144 rainy days

Rainy season (months with more than 6.9 in of precipitation): May, June, July, August, September, and October
Overall precipitation in the rainy season: 66.61 in

You cannot expect snow in any month in San José.

Sunshine
As our climate table shows, February is the sunniest month with an average of 9.5 hours of sunshine per day. Over the year, there are 6.7 hours of sunshine per day on average.

Highlights in Costa Rica


The biggest highlights in Costa Rica are of course the breathtaking natural beauty and diversity of the country. The perfect cone of the Arenal Volcano is one of the unforgettable highlights of a Costa Rica trip for many visitors. Also the surrounding national park inspires with mystical waterfalls and cloud forests.

The Monteverde rainforest to the south is a retreat for rare animal species, from wild cats and tapirs to the Quetzal. Our favourite waterfalls are La Fortuna, La Paz, Rio Celeste and Montezuma Falls.

Our other favorites in breathtakingly beautiful Costa Rica are Puerto Viejo de Talamanca, the turbid San José, the surfing village Santa Teresa, the turtles in Tortuguero National Park, the geysers in Rincón de la Vieja and the Manuel Antonio National Park.

Popular Activities

More attractions

San Jose Bites and Sights Tour | San Jose: Food and Culture Small Group Night Tour | Pacuare River White Water Rafting Tour from San Jose | Rainforest Adventures Costa Rica Atlantic 6 in 1 Tour | From San Jose: Full-Day Costa Rica Birdwatching Tour | San Jose: Craft Beer 4-Hour Tasting Tour | San Jose: Guided Nature Walk With Biologists Seeking Sloths |

Current Weather and Forecast

Current Weather in Puerto Limón (Station Puerto Limon)
clear sky     clear sky, 22 °C
Clouds: 0 %       Wind: 2 mph WSW
Air Pressure: 1011 hPa       Humidity: 94 %
Last updated: 20th Sep 2019, 01:44 pm
The next days …
20th Sep 201921st Sep 201922nd Sep 201923rd Sep 201924th Sep 201925th Sep 2019
heavy intensity rain20 °C to 28 °Cmoderate rain20 °C to 29 °Cmoderate rain20 °C to 28 °Cheavy intensity rain20 °C to 28 °Cheavy intensity rain20 °C to 28 °Cheavy intensity rain21 °C to 28 °C
20 °C to 28 °C20 °C to 29 °C20 °C to 28 °C20 °C to 28 °C20 °C to 28 °C21 °C to 28 °C
Clouds: 29 %Clouds: 40 %Clouds: 35 %Clouds: 67 %Clouds: 53 %Clouds: 48 %
0.58 in of rain0.27 in of rain0.46 in of rain0.67 in of rain0.61 in of rain1 in of rain
Weather information provided by OpenWeatherMap. (CC BY-SA)
Show temperatures in degree

Costa Rica: Experiences of our Visitors

There are 3 reviews for Costa Rica holiday already. Average rating is 2.7 of 5 stars.
  1. Avatar Preview
    eveline, 57 years old was there in February

    it rained almost daily and it was clearly too cold for the season

    Weather Rating: 2 stars – Tricky

  2. Avatar Preview
    werner, 58 years old was there in November

    In the east mostly rain and humid. In the Central Highlands fog and cool (up to 7 degrees on 3’000 MüM. San Gerardo de Dota)
    In the northwest (Tamarindos) dry and warm.

    Weather Rating: 1 stars – Mostly bad

  3. Avatar Preview
    Veronika Hartmann, 59 years old was there in March

    Always good teaming and a few raindrops on the round trip (good for flora and fauna) did not disturb us.

    Weather Rating: 5 stars – Excellent

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