The best time to visit Costa Rica: A guide for each month

Curious about the best time to visit Costa Rica for your upcoming getaway? We've compiled a detailed month-by-month guide to help you decide, along with numerous FAQs about when to explore Costa Rica’s beaches, wildlife, and more. Looking for a VIP treatment and expert travel advice? Book with Nomadikas to get access to the top accommodations in Costa Rica

Before diving into the specifics of the best time to travel to Costa Rica, it's important to understand the country’s three primary climatic regions: the Pacific coast, Central Valley & Highlands, and the Caribbean coast.

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Explore exclusive retreats in Costa Rica to make the most of your stay in these breathtaking regions.

Region 1: The Pacific Coast

Costa Rica’s sunny northern Pacific coast attracts most of the country’s tourists due to its excellent weather. This is especially true during the dry season, which spans from December to April for most of the coast. During this time, expect minimal cloud cover and rain, with temperatures ranging from the mid-70s to low-90s — ideal for beach activities. The rainy season extends from May to November but can still be a wonderful time to visit Costa Rica. Mornings are typically sunny and temperate, with showers or storms mainly occurring in the afternoon. The southern half of Costa Rica’s Pacific coast, which includes the Osa Peninsula and Manuel Antonio National Park, remains wetter throughout the year.  Staying at a modern jungle villas in Costa Rica during this time enhances the lush rainforest experience.

Region 2: Central Valley & Highlands

For a breathtaking nature escape, Costa Rica’s central regions — including the Central Valley and Highlands — are an excellent choice almost any time of the year. These regions generally enjoy mild, spring-like temperatures year-round. The rainy and dry seasons here roughly follow the Pacific coast’s pattern, but the central regions’ varying elevations result in more diversity in terms of humidity, rain, and temperature. Some of Costa Rica's most spectacular natural landmarks are in this region, such as Arenal Volcano and the enchanting Monteverde biological preserve, a “cloud forest” characterized by extremely low cloud cover and a misty, ethereal appearance.

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Explore A Blue Zone Retreat in Costa Rica. 

Region 3: The Caribbean Coast

Known for its laid-back, bohemian vibe, Costa Rica’s Caribbean coast is perfect for travelers looking to relax. The weather is generally warmer and more humid, but the region remains stunningly beautiful and lush all year — unlike the Pacific and central regions, the Caribbean coast doesn’t have a true dry season. It rains slightly less from February to April, but the difference is minimal. Despite frequent rainfall, the Caribbean coast still offers beautiful beaches and unique wildlife encounters (like sea turtles!), making it just as worthy a destination as the other regions, provided you don’t mind a bit of rain. For a more pleasant visit, consider early spring. Check out the best Caribbean Costa Rica resorts if you’re interested in staying in this picturesque region.

When is Costa Rica’s Rainy (or “Green”) Season?

Costa Rica’s rainy or “green” season lasts from May to November in the Pacific and central regions, with the southern half of both regions receiving slightly more rain on average. The Caribbean coast experiences rainfall throughout the year. To avoid excessive rain, the best time to visit Costa Rica is from December to May on the northwest Pacific coast.

The Optimal Times to Visit Costa Rica: Month-by-Month Breakdown

January & February: The Busiest Months in Costa Rica

January and February are peak travel months in Costa Rica. The weather across the country is magnificent, with minimal rain and comfortable temperatures. Due to the international influx, Costa Rica’s nightlife is at its peak. Several of the country’s most exciting cultural festivals occur during these months, such as Las Fiestas de Palmares and the Envision Festival, which vibrantly celebrate Costa Rica’s traditions. Additionally, wildlife encounters are particularly thrilling during this period, with lively tropical birds and migrating humpback whales on the Pacific coast. So, if this is your vibe, this is the best time to travel to Costa Rica.

March & April: The Hottest Months on Costa Rica’s Pacific Coast

March and April are only slightly less busy than January and February due to spring breaks in many countries. The Pacific coast experiences its hottest temperatures of the year (low 90s on average), making beaches and rainforests more inviting to explore or relax in. These months also feature Semana Santa (Holy Week), with parades and religious events. Connect with Nomadikas for insights on the coolest activities during this time in Costa Rica and explore the most exclusive rentals for a perfect stay.

May, June, July & August: Lower Crowds and Prices During the Rainy Season, Great for Ecotourists and Surfers

May and June mark the beginning of the best time to travel to Costa Rica if you want to avoid crowds and save money without compromising on the country’s attractions. The rainy season typically starts in early-to-mid May (except on the Caribbean coast, where it rains year-round), resulting in a sharp decline in tourism over these months. For nature lovers and adventurers, this is the best time to travel to Costa Rica, as the rains bring a new level of greenery to the rainforests and parks. As the rainy season intensifies, rivers and waterfalls create a magical setting for sightseeing and watersports. Moreover, the ocean swells and fewer crowds provide excellent conditions for surfers of all skill levels, improving as summer progresses.

September & October: Shoulder Season & the Best Time to Visit Costa Rica for Turtle Watching

Travel to Costa Rica hits a low in September and October but remains incredible. You can generally find the best deals on accommodations and experiences, and ocean conditions are still favorable for watersports. The highlight of this period is the turtle hatching season on the Caribbean coast, with tens of thousands of baby sea turtles making their dash to the Atlantic. The downside is that the rainy season peaks during these months, so if you’re not fond of getting drenched, you might want to wait another month.

November: The End of the Rainy Season

November signifies the end of the rainy season and the onset of the dry season. It's a transitional month with improved weather, reduced rainfall, and warmer temperatures. This period is ideal for hiking, beach activities, and wildlife viewing. The landscapes remain lush from the recent rains, and the crowds have not yet returned, making it perfect for a tranquil experience.

December: Our Favorite Month to Visit Costa Rica

December is a magical time in Costa Rica, where the jungle is lush, and the sun is out. The dry season starts in full swing, offering sunny days and green landscapes. This is the month when our exclusive retreat takes place, providing a perfect blend of adventure and relaxation. Join our retreat in December to experience the best that Costa Rica has to offer in a beautiful and serene setting.


Costa Rica is a year-round destination, with each season offering unique experiences and opportunities. Whether you’re looking for sun-drenched beaches, lively festivals, or engaging wildlife encounters, there’s an ideal time for your visit. Understanding the seasonal variations and regional climates can help you tailor your trip to your interests and preferences, ensuring an unforgettable Costa Rican adventure. For personalized travel tips and to unlock exclusive perks at the best places to stay in Costa Rica, book with Nomadikas. You'll receive expert recommendations and VIP treatment to elevate your travel experience. Check out our retreats and rentals in Costa Rica to find the perfect stay for your trip. Happy travels!