Best Time To Visit Costa Rica | 5 Reasons, Seasons & Budget Guide

Best Time To Visit Costa Rica | 5 Reasons, Seasons & Budget Guide

Best time to visit costa Rica: Tropical Costa Rica is a place that almost everyone has on their list of places to visit.

Wild rainforests, magnificent national parks, roaring waterfalls, and other natural wonders can be found in this Central American nation.

Anyone who has visited beautiful Costa Rica will tell you that you have to see it for yourself to believe it. 

The country has a thriving tourism sector and plenty of activities for everyone to enjoy. However, due to Costa Rica’s two distinct seasons (dry and wet), the climate there fluctuates greatly all year long.

Knowing the ideal time to visit Costa Rica is essential for making the most of your tropical trip. This brief travel guide will teach you the best and worst times to plan your trip to Costa Rica.

No matter what your travel objectives are, we’ll show you when to go to Costa Rica for the greatest overall experience, the lowest prices, the least crowded times, and more.

See below for information on typical Costa Rican temperatures, seasonal weather patterns, cost variations between the two travel seasons, and the least busy time of year.

5 Amazing Reasons To Visit Costa Rica

Costa Rica is bursting at the seams with life and vitality. This tropical nation of Central America is tucked between Panama and Nicaragua to the north (to the south).

On the western side, you have the highly developed Pacific coast, and on the eastern side, you have the Caribbean coast, which is cheaper and has a more diverse culture. 

Everyone can find something to like here; all you need to know to make the most of your trip is the best time to visit Costa Rica!

Parks, Flora, And Fauna

The many protected areas and national parks of Costa Rica are well-known. These are home to millions of unique animal and plant species, some of which are only found here.

Anyone who enjoys getting outside to see wildlife in its natural environment will find the lush jungles and protected rain forests in national parks here to be perfect vacation spots. 

You will be astonished by the variety of life you discover in this nation, which includes everything from crimson macaws to sluggish sloths.

The nation is one of the most biodiverse places in the world with more than 500,000 animal species. 

Hiking, swimming, fishing, boating, and excellent animal and bird viewing are all excellent reasons to go.

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Caribbean Climate

One reason travellers swarm to Costa Rica during the busy season is the country’s balmy, tropical climate. 

There aren’t four “traditional” seasons in Costa Rica. Instead, it has two seasons: the dry and the wet. No matter what time of year you travel, you won’t encounter freezing weather.

The average annual temperature in the nation is between 75°F and 90°F. It’s difficult to top Costa Rica’s lovely climate if you’re searching for a warm, sunny, tropical getaway.

Natural Splendour And Excitement

There are 800 miles of magnificent Pacific and Caribbean coastline in Costa Rica. Numerous visitors come here each year attracted by the breathtakingly blue ocean and sand beaches of diverse hues, including a well-known black sand beach.

Amazing volcanoes, tropical rainforests, jaw-dropping waterfalls, and rivers teeming with life may all be found across the nation.

This is the location to visit if you’re seeking for amazing natural marvels and views. There are many exciting opportunities to go outside and see Costa Rica’s natural splendour, including caving, zip line, aerial excursions, and jungle exploration.

Cultural Encounters

Aside from its abundant animals and stunning scenery, Costa Rica’s thriving towns are another excellent incentive to go there. 

You may find it here whether you’re seeking bustling cities with a wide variety of lodging, dining, and shopping choices or quiet communities with a vivacious and genuine Costa Rican culture.

That’s fantastic since you’ll want to sample some of the well-known foods that this nation is renowned for. 

When you explore the real Costa Rica, away from the tourist trail, authentic dishes like casado, gallo pinto, sopa negra, and more are waiting for your taste buds.

Costa Rica is bursting with history, tradition, and delectable cuisine, from the country’s main city of San Jose to the tiny villages that dot its idyllic coasts (we really appreciate Quepos for its natural beauty and immersive cultural experience).

The Ideal Season To Visit Costa Rica

The “little high season” of July through August is often the ideal time to go to Costa Rica. When you come at this time of year, you get everything!

There are fewer people, the weather is great, and prices for airline, lodging, and rental cars are cheaper than they would be during the actual busy season.

No wonder travel companies and seasoned travellers in the know consistently rank July and August as the top months to visit Costa Rica! The drier portion of the rainy season, which Costa Ricans refer to as vanilla or “little summer,” occurs in July and August.

Rains usually pass swiftly at this time of year, providing the lush jungles and rain forests with much-needed hydration without lasting long enough to make your vacation to the beach pointless.

The gentle rains that fall in July and August are nothing compared to the torrential downpours that often occur from September through December. 

Additionally, there is significantly less rain now than there was in May and June (other popular times to visit).

If you choose to go in July or August, you’ll enjoy the best of all worlds: warm, sunny weather, fewer tourists, and lower prices than during the high season. The only drawback is a tiny brief rain while you’re there.

Budget-Friendly Season To Visit Costa Rica

You should go to Costa Rica between September and mid-December if cost is your major concern (the low season). 

Travellers like November and early December because of the low costs and few crowds.

The prices for travel, lodging, and rentals are much reduced at this time of year since there are fewer people around. But you should be aware that this time is also the wettest in Costa Rica.

Due to the high amount of rainfall at this time of year, you will only experience brief periods of Costa Rica’s “perfect” weather. However, there are benefits to visiting during the off-peak season.

There is more rain than any other time of the year from September through mid-December, but you also get better rates and fewer visitors. 

Plan your trip before mid-December since, as Christmas approaches, costs (and crowds) increase once again.

Many claims that early December and November are the ideal periods to establish a budget. 

It’s also one of the greatest times of year to see animals on land and in the water since the period of intense rain starts to end in mid-December.

In November and December, you may view many of migrating birds, sloths, monkeys, humpback whales, sea turtles, and other wildlife.

Most Popular Season To Visit Costa Rica

The least crowded time of year to go to Costa Rica is from early October to late December. Due to the significant rains (it is the height and conclusion of the rainy season), this is Costa Rica’s low season.

The low season also has lower pricing since there is less demand for rentals, lodging, and flights. 

Consequently, if you schedule your trip during this time of year, you’ll also save a tonne of money! Don’t assume that if you go between the months of October through early December, it will rain heavily all day, every day.

Even though there is much more rain during these months, it will still give you plenty of time to enjoy the sunny beaches and outdoor adventures since the showers in Costa Rica pass through swiftly.

Because there are fewer travellers and crowds at this time of year, it will be simpler for you to arrange a last-minute getaway. 

Additionally, with fewer people around, you’ll think the beach, park, or town are all yours.

This is undoubtedly the finest time of year to travel for real experiences if you like discovering new places “off the beaten path.” The more affordable prices are merely a plus!

It Worst Season To Travel To Costa Rica

Let’s start by stating that there is never a terrible time to go to Costa Rica. Even whether you visit during the busiest travel periods or the height of the rainy season, you’ll be able to experience this nation’s natural splendour and vibrant culture.

The worst time to go to Costa Rica would be from late December to early January, however. Depending on your travel objectives, that time frame may change a little.

Late December through January are often the least desirable times to travel. This is the most costly and congested season to travel since prices and crowds are at their highest levels.

The prices will be higher, there will be more people around, and there will be fewer options for lodging, flights, and rentals, but hey, it’s the peak season for a reason. 

At this time of year, the weather is excellent and wildlife is abound. The worst periods to travel are around Easter (often late March to mid-April) and late December (Christmas and New Year’s). 

Costs for flights, hotels, and rentals virtually treble as thousands of visitors flock to Costa Rica throughout the Christmas and Easter holidays.

The worst time to go to Costa Rica is during the peak season from December through January if you want to avoid large crowds. The peak season for tourists is here, and costs are also at their highest.

You’re going to enjoy an incredible tropical experience whether you schedule your vacation for the “best” or the “worst” time to visit Costa Rica.

In terms of weather, low rainfall, and chances to see animals, some of the worst seasons to go to are also the greatest!

Additional Considerations

You already know when to go to Costa Rica, but to make the most of your vacation, you’ll need to gather a bit more information.

With our useful travel advice, it’s easy! Look at ways to make the most of your trip to Costa Rica without going over budget.

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Pack The  Proper Attire And Equipment

Bring comfortable beachwear and sandals, closed-toe hiking shoes, a sweater or light jacket, rain clothing, a dry bag, and plenty of sunscreens and insect repellent if you want to go outside and see Costa Rica’s natural splendour. 

Once you are in Costa Rica, buying extras may become rather pricey.

Plan Beforehand For Bad Weather

If you’re travelling during the rainy or “green” season, you should have a few indoor activities prepared in case you encounter brief but intense downpours. 

Have a plan for when it begins to rain to go out and explore San Jose or another busy city, locate local eateries to sample, or visit a great museum. 

To avoid the majority of the rain, schedule the majority of your outside activities during the morning.

List All The Things You Desire To Accomplish

Make a list of all the things you really must do and see before you go since it’s easy to get overwhelmed by your selections once you get there. 

When you know when to visit Costa Rica, it will be simpler to decide where to stay and to plan some activities and attractions to see. 

Best Time To Visit Costa Rica

Here, there are several activities available in the world-famous national parks, including caving, snorkelling, rappelling, zip line, bird and whale watching, and more. 

No matter how long or short your stay is, your list will make it simpler to fit your activities into your vacation.

Pick A Topic That Interests You

The Pacific coast has the largest lodging and recreation possibilities and is substantially developed. 

But compared to Costa Rica’s bright Caribbean coast, which is more reasonably priced, abundant with wildlife, and has the greatest nightlife, it’s a touch less “genuine.” 

The legendary Monteverde Cloud Forest, active volcanoes, and an abundance of animals may all be found in north Costa Rica. 

South Costa Rice offers unmatched wildlife and rainforest adventure but is a bit more remote and has fewer accommodations.

To Find Out What Is Open When You Arrive, Call Ahead?

Making preparations only to discover the places you want to see are closed when you get there is the worst! To confirm that the activities you’re planning will be available during your vacation, give them a call in advance or check online. Due to the significant rainfall during the beginning of the rainy season, which typically lasts from September through October, many businesses close. 

To ensure that your zip line, diving, or fishing excursions will be available when you arrive, give them a call in advance.

Then When Is The Ideal Time To Go To Costa Rica?

Costa Rica is one of the greatest places to go if you want a memorable tropical holiday. 

Overall, July through August, sometimes known as “the little high season,” is the greatest time to visit Costa Rica since you will have the nicest, most balanced experience there.

Due to the fact that it is the veranillo, or “little summer,” in Costa Rica, prices are somewhat lower, crowds are manageable, and the weather is fantastic.

If you go from mid-September to mid-December, the off-peak season, the price drops even more (especially November and early December). 

With yearly visitation at its lowest point, you may book the least expensive Costa Rican trip since flight, hotel rates, and rental costs all fall.

The ideal time to visit Costa Rica is anytime between October and mid-December if avoiding large crowds for a calm, peaceful break is your primary objective.

You’ll encounter less visitors at this time since it’s the off-season, and you could even think you have the area to yourself. Consider it a plus as it corresponds with lower rates and pricing!


While there is truly no terrible time to visit Costa Rica, late December through January is the “worst” time to arrange your first trip. Prices are high and there are many people since it is the busiest travel season.

There are still good reasons to go at this period because of the fantastic weather and the significant reduction in rainfall. However, be aware that your vacation will cost more money and be a bit less tranquil.

With some insider advice from seasoned travellers and knowledge about the ideal time to visit Costa Rica, you can now create the ideal tropical getaway.

Considering a tropical vacation but not quite certain about Costa Rica? Next, look at this manual: Best Time to Visit Hawaii – Travel Advice on When to Go.

  • February 14, 2023