The first thing you need to know when planning a trip to Costa Rica is the weather, it will dependent on the time of the year and it will determined, mostly, the kind of trip we are having and what kind of activities we can enjoy. It’s difficult in this small country, considered tropical, that’s next to the Caribbean Sea in the east, and the Pacific Ocean in the west with raining and dry seasons different across the cost, crosswise with a volcanic mountain chain, and full of experience that depended on the chosen season.
The most basic distinction made about the weather is the difference between dry season (from December to April) and rainy season (from May to November). Which, initially, makes preferable to travel in the first season, especially when you think about the roads, because Costa Rica’s road network is very deficient and there are several roads without pavement, that in rainy season can be impossible to travel. About the temperature, is between 21 and 25 C°, with variations in the mountains where it can be lower; usually the hottest months of the year are March to May and the coolest November to January.
However, each region in this small country has its own characteristics, its own weather, which can spoil our plans, and so we have to considerer:
- Costarican’s Caribbean, including its most tourists zones, Tortuguero in the north, and Puerto Viejo y Manzanillo in the south where rain is usually abundant, the driest month are February, March, September and October, while the last two are rainy in the rest of the country. Rainy season is from November to January and from April to August; and in this time of the year, because the estuary of the river and the land giving in, the sea won’t be the classic green color you see in other places of the Caribbean and won’t be fit to practice sea diving, one of the main diversions in the area. But it’s fit to practice surf in some beaches, especially from Puerto Viejo to Talamanca. On the other hand, if we decide to go touring to Tortuguero’s National Park, we have to know that the egg-laying season of the sea turtle is in the summer month, especially July and August, perhaps even October, but not in the rest of the year when we’ll have to settle with the fauna living in the canals, also very varied.
- Monteverde zone, is also inverted, the driest month are from January to March and the rainy ones between June and December.
- The whole Pacific’s Cost. (north cost, Nicoya’s peninsula, and central cost, Osa’s peninsula and Drake’s peninsula), Rincon de la Vieja, and the height lands of San Jose and the capital follow the regular pattern, and the best time to travel is between December and April on its dry season.
- Finally the region of Volcan del Arenal and the lower lands of the north, the dry season is between May and November and the rainy one between December and April.
Considering all these, we have to choose carefully the moment of our journal, so we won’t have a last minute surprise, considering the activities we want to enjoy. If on the contrary, like in many cases, we can’t choose the moment of our journey, we better bring our anorak, sunscreen, trekking boots, sandals and bathing suit, to enjoy even if it rains, thunders or is sunny on this Centro American’s wonder.