Costa Rica in July

You may be hesitant to plan a trip to Costa Rica in July because July is the start of the rainy season. While the rainy season does keep some tourists away, it’s a fantastic time to visit the country. During the rainy season, the land comes alive in Costa Rica. Every corner of the country is covered in lush, tropical vegetation, and the daily rains are a reprieve from the harsh equatorial sun.

Drake's Bay Sunset (Costa Rica)

July is the low season for travel in Costa Rica, which means you can find incredible deals on accommodations. During July, the country experiences what is locally known as “veranillo,” or “little summer,” when sunny weather dominates, and locals and travelers flock to the beaches.

VIDEO: What it’s Like Visiting Costa Rica in July

What the Weather is like in Costa Rica in July

July is considered the early rainy season. Costa Rica has two distinct seasons, rainy and dry season. The rainy season lasts from late May through November, bringing daily rains and tropical thunderstorms that nourish the country’s tropical landscape. The dry season lasts from

On the Caribbean side, precipitation levels tend to peak in July, resulting in road closures, minor mudslides, and high rivers. Humidity levels are incredibly high in July and can reach nearly 100%. During the second half of July, a weather phenomenon known by locals as veranillo de San Juan or “St. John’s little summer” brings pleasant drier conditions. Though not scientifically proven as a meteorological phenomenon, locals have noted that most years around the celebration of St. John’s Day, an increase in winds tends to flush out the rain clouds and leave the country bathed in the sun.

Maybe it’s wishful thinking. Perhaps it’s intelligent marketing by travel companies. Still, when the sun comes out in late July and early August, locals attribute it to the famous veranillo of July. Along with the pleasant weather, veranillo is steeped in superstition.

For example, local abuelos (grandparents) say that the increased winds bring illness or that wounds won’t heal during this period. On the other hand, plenty of farmers plan their harvest or crop rotations based on the veranillo, which shows how significant it is for Costa Ricans.

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Where to Go in Costa Rica in July

July in Costa Rica offers a unique travel opportunity to visit during what is known as the “little summer,” or “veranillo.” This makes July an ideal time to explore the country’s diverse landscapes without the heavy rains that characterize other months during the summer. For those looking to enjoy the Pacific and Caribbean coasts, July provides a versatile climate for various activities. Head to the Nicoya Peninsula on the Pacific Coast, known for its pristine beaches and wellness retreats. This region combines a dry climate with stunning coastal scenery, perfect for beach lovers and surfers. 

Our Favorite July Destinations

  • Nicoya Peninsula: Located on the Pacific Coast, the Nicoya Peninsula is a gem with its pristine beaches and luxurious wellness retreats. This region enjoys a dry climate and breathtaking coastal scenery, making it an ideal destination for beach lovers and surfers. Whether you’re seeking relaxation or adventure, the Nicoya Peninsula has it all.
  • Monteverde Cloud Forest Reserve: Monteverde is known for its enchanting cloud forests. Visitors can stroll along suspension bridges high above the forest floor, go birdwatching, and explore dense, misty forests filled with exotic flora and fauna. It’s a magical experience that immerses you in nature’s wonders.
  • La Fortuna and Arenal Volcano: La Fortuna, home to the awe-inspiring Arenal Volcano, offers a variety of activities for travelers. Soak in natural hot springs, hike to stunning waterfalls, or get your adrenaline pumping with white-water rafting and canyoning. La Fortuna is perfect for both relaxation and adventure.
  • Manuel Antonio National Park: Manuel Antonio is a true paradise where lush rainforests meet pristine beaches. Hike scenic trails, encounter playful sloths and monkeys, and unwind on soft, white-sand beaches. This park is perfect for those who love nature and beach time.
  • Northern Pacific Coast (Guanacaste): Guanacaste’s relatively dry weather in July makes it an excellent destination for enjoying sunny beaches, vibrant marine life, and world-class surfing. It’s perfect for surfing, snorkeling, and exploring charming coastal towns. Guanacaste promises endless outdoor fun.
  • Drake Bay: For an adventurous escape, head to Drake Bay on the Osa Peninsula. Explore the rich biodiversity of Corcovado National Park, take a boat tour to Cano Island for incredible snorkeling and diving, and relax on secluded beaches. Drake Bay is ideal for travelers seeking adventure and tranquility.

Things to Do in Costa Rica in July

  1. A Visit to the Hot Springs – Rain or shine, you don’t want to miss a visit to one of Costa Rica’s many geothermal hot springs.
  2. Sea Turtle Voluntourism or Observation – Nature lovers will never forget the once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to watch hatching turtles under a full moon make their way out to sea.
  3. Rainforest Canyoning – Rapel down rushing waterfalls in the rainforest in this unique guided adventure.
  4. Bird Watching in Monteverde Cloud Forest – With a bilingual naturalist as your guide, you’ll spot tropical birds as you hike through the cloud forest.
  5. Hanging Bridges Guided Hike – Take on this easy, family-friendly hike and explore the rainforest with the whole family while enjoying views of the canopy and spotting exotic wildlife.

Holidays, Festivals & Events

Virgin of the Sea Celebration / Fiesta de la Virgen del Mar (July 17th)

If you find yourself in Puntarenas or Playas del Coco, where this annual celebration of the Virgin of the Sea is celebrated, you’re in for a unique experience. During the celebration, fishing boats process out to sea with a statue of the Virgen del Monte Carmelo, the patron saint of Puntarenas. The celebration also includes children’s parades, fried foods, live music, and fireworks at night.

Guanacaste Day / Día de Guanacaste (July 25th)

Guanacaste Day marks the most recent land acquisition in Costa Rica–the annexation of Guanacaste from Nicaragua on July 25, 1924. In typical Costa Rican fashion, the annexation was entirely peaceful. Due to the violent wars in Nicaragua at the time, the citizens of Guanacaste requested to become a part of Costa Rica. Travelers in Guanacaste can expect the celebrations to include bullfights, cattle shows, fairs, and fireworks. As it is a national holiday, banks and public offices will be closed on this day.

Costa Rican School Vacation (2 weeks in July)

Costa Rican students and teachers receive a well-deserved two-week vacation in the middle of July. The dates of this “summer vacation” vary based on the school district and whether the school is private or public. Though not nearly on the same par as national tourism in December and January, many families try to take a few days in July to visit a local beach or tourist attraction. As a result, weekends tend to be more crowded at beaches and hotels.

What to Pack

If you plan to travel to Costa Rica in July, you will want to bring sun protection and rain gear. High-quality sunscreen is expensive in Costa Rica, so pack some for your visit. A lightweight raincoat and a compact travel umbrella will be sufficient for rain gear. Always bring clothes and shoes that won’t be ruined if they get wet. For more information, visit our detailed Costa Rica Packing List.

Pros to Visiting Costa Rica in July

  • In July, the loggerhead and Leatherback Sea Turtles hatch in Tortuguero, a must-see sight for wildlife lovers.
  • Fresh breezes tend to wash out the rains in the second half of July
  • Low season prices may be in effect

Cons to Visiting Costa Rica in July

  • Is it high season? Is it low season? Who knows?!
  • Prices and hotel availability are at a premium
  • Rain can wash out roads, and activity plans

The Bottom Line on July in Costa Rica

Costa Rica is beautiful year-round, and July is no different. Though precipitation levels are higher, the second half of the month provides some reprieve from the rain. July travelers can also experience the magic that takes place during sea turtle nesting season. Contact us below if we can help you plan a trip.

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