Weather in Costa Rica

When planning a Costa Rica Escape itinerary for clients and travelers, the first topic that needs to be addressed is the weather in Costa Rica coupled with the time of the year the travelers want to visit Costa Rica.  The time of year combined with the destinations in the trip itinerary will indicate the season that the traveler(s) will be in Costa Rica.  The weather seasons give a good idea of what to expect from the weather in Costa Rica.  Generally there are two weather seasons in Costa Rica.  The air temperatures do not define these two seasons; rather they are identified by the amount of rainfall that typically exists.

Costa Rica Weather
Costa Rica’s weather can turn quickly (photo: NASA)

Costa Rica’s Rainy & Dry Seasons

The Rainy or “Green” season in Costa Rica goes from May through November/December while the Dry or “High” Season goes from December through April. The average annual temperature throughout Costa Rica is about 70 to 80 degrees Fahrenheit.  The cooler months of the year are November, December and January. March through May are the warmer months when one can expect to receive a lot of sunshine.  The average rainfall in Costa Rica is about 95-100 inches; some mountainous areas can get as much as 25 feet of rainfall in a year.

Tropical Climates: High & Dry to Rainy & Extreme

Costa Rica is a tropical country located close to the equator.  Costa Rica a small country, that is comparable in size to the state of West Virginia.  It has a relatively large number of climatic zones that are distinct, each with their own unique weather patterns.  The patterns of each zone are quite diverse and mostly defined by their geographical information and statistics mainly, the elevation at which they sit and their proximity to one of the two oceans that border the country.

Costa Rica Climate Zones: Volcanoes, Rainforests & Jungles

Costa Rica’s microclimate zones are a big attraction for vacationers planning to do rainforest tours, and they encompass active volcanoes, high-elevation cloud forests, lush jungle rainforests, lowland, tropical dry forests and golden beaches.  The eastern, Caribbean Coast is bordered by the Atlantic Ocean, while the west Coast empties into the Pacific Ocean.  Mild is a great term to use to generally describe Costa Rica’s weather; however, in many cases the weather, especially the rain, can be rather extreme. The temperatures during the dry season remain pleasantly in the highs while during the wet season the mornings may be sunny and showers are expected in the afternoons.  Costa Rica sits very close to the equator and the hours of sunshine only slightly change throughout the year.  The sun will rise around 5:00 am and set around 6:00 pm each day.

Discovering the Beauty in Costa Rica Weather

The beautiful weather in Costa Rica is a large draw for visitors to Costa Rica who are on family vacations, honeymoons, remote adventures or even planning a destination wedding in Costa Rica.  The variety in weather and geography provides for a unique set of weather circumstances that gives the country of Costa Rica the label of “One of the most biologically intense places on earth.” As described by National Geographic.

Costa Rica Rainy Season & Dry Season Calendar

Costa Rica Climate Zones
High Season (Dry Season) Green Season (Rainy Season)
North Pacific Coast December to April May to November
Nicoya Peninsula December to April May to November
Central Pacific Coast December to April May to November
Central Valley December to April May to November
Arenal Volcano & Northern Lowlands May to November
(September/October best to see volcano)
December to April
Monteverde Cloud Forest January to May June to September
November (windy)
December (windy)
Caribbean North –Tortuguero February, March, September & October November – January,
April – August
Caribbean South – Puerto Viejo & Cahutia February, March, September & October November – January,April – August
Osa Pennisula – Puerto Jimenez & Drake Bay December to April May to November
San Jose Highlands December to April May to November
Southern Costa Rica – Pavones & Golfito December to April May to November
Rincon de la Vieja December to April May to November