Best Time to Visit Costa Rica
Discover the best of Costa Rica all year round with Scott Dunn…
Need help deciding when to plan your trip? Luckily our destination experts have a wealth of knowledge about this amazing country and are ready to advise you as you plan your holiday. From when to go surfing in Guanacaste to the best times to visit Costa Rica’s famous Manuel Antonio National Park, our travel experts can arrange the perfect holiday based on what you want to see and when you’d prefer to travel.
When is the best time of year to visit Costa Rica?
When you should go to Costa Rica depends completely on what kind of experiences you’re interested in and what parts of the country you’d like to visit.
This beautiful Central American destination has a tropical climate, so no matter the time of year, be prepared for humidity and some rain. The best time to go to Costa Rica, though, is typically from December to April, when the weather is drier and brighter. Summer is also ideal, with fewer crowds and ample wildlife spotting opportunities.
Whenever you’d like to travel, our destination experts will gladly create a bespoke itinerary for your trip so you can just sit back, relax and enjoy your time away.
Spring in Costa Rica
Spring is the most popular time of year to visit Costa Rica, with dry and sunny conditions throughout the country.
While national parks and other attractions are typically busy, spring provides great conditions for viewing all the colourful birds and intriguing mammals that make Costa Rica their home - and we think it’s worth braving the crowds to see these magnificent animals in person.
In fact, why not arrange a visit to the more remote Osa Peninsula to make the most of the great weather?
Alongside the vast stretches of pristine beach and sparkling Pacific Ocean, the main attraction in this region is the Corcovado National Park. Home to rare and endangered species like jaguars, poison dart frogs, and scarlet macaws, this hub of biodiversity is a real treat for nature lovers.
Summer in Costa Rica
Summer is a great season to enjoy the range of adventurous activities on offer throughout Costa Rica. From kayaking in Arenal to zip-lining through Monteverde, there’s no shortage of thrilling things to do.
This is also a good time to visit destinations like Manuel Antonio National Park, as the spring crowds begin to die down. Alternatively, if you’re animal lovers, we can help you plan a summer visit to Tortuguero to see the nesting sea turtles or catch a glimpse of the migrating humpback whales, joined by a passionate local guide. We can even arrange for you to stay at an eco-lodge bordering Tortuguero National Park to keep you close to the action.
Autumn in Costa Rica
September and October are the wettest months, and the prolonged rainfall across most of the country makes it difficult to spot wildlife in the forests or explore beyond the main roads.
However, the Caribbean Coast remains relatively dry at this time of year, so there’s still plenty to see and do. Puerto Viejo offers a range of activities, from horse riding along the sandy beaches and surfing through the warm waters to simply kicking back and relaxing, taking in the scenery.
Winter in Costa Rica
Winter is another one of the best times to visit Costa Rica, as the rainy season comes to an end. There may still be heavy rainfall and unpredictable conditions, but these will have cleared up by February.
This unpredictable weather is not a problem if you’re travelling to San Jose, with various indoor and outdoor experiences on offer. Shelter from the rain in one of the city’s many art galleries, museums, or restaurants, or make the most of any sunny conditions by exploring the surrounding Central Valley, replete with dense rainforests, rolling hills, and national parks just waiting to be explored.
Our Experts Say...
"Costa Rica has a tropical climate, so you should be prepared for rain at any time of year! The 'green season' and wetter months run from May until November, with a little respite in July and August. The Caribbean side including Tortuguero and Puerto Viejo has the opposite climate, and is best visited in February - April or September/October. Travelling during the shoulder months of May/June and November can offer an opportunity to take advantage of cheaper rates and fewer tourists, and you may be lucky with the weather. If you are keen to see turtles in Tortuguero, then make sure you travel between July and October, and depending on where you travel, whales can be seen at different times of year on the Pacific coast (best from August to October). School holidays are especially popular, with Costa Rica being an amazing family destination; Christmas and Easter breaks should be booked well ahead of time."
Eli Hardcastle, Latin America Specialist
Climate guide for Costa Rica
, Costa Rica
Average temperatures (Celcious) and rainfall (mm)