November and December mark the beginning of the dry season and the end of the wet season. Its when the snowbirds begin to flock to Costa Rica to escape the dismal weather back east and the country’s population peaks. Located in the northern hemisphere, Costa Rica is bordered by the Caribbean Sea on one side and the vast Pacific Ocean on the other. Costa Rica is known for it’s biodiversity, rich ecosystems and near perfect year round weather. This subtropical climate has two seasons: The wet season and the dry season.
From beaches to mountains to lush forests, the distinct climates create a rich country to explore. The average temperature is between 70-81 degrees Fahrenheit. The coolest months of the year are November, December and January while March through May represent the hottest months. During high season, Costa Rica experiences consistent sunny beautiful days. Coinciding with spring break, winter break and Christmas vacations back north, it’s considered the best time to visit. Many families pick this time of year to travel Costa Rica.
Dry Season represents the peak of the rental season. The streets bustle with visitors, the restaurants are full and reservations difficult to get in areas highly populated by expats. High season is also when rental properties command the highest price. It’s the time for fiestas, culture, mingling amidst buzzing towns with lots of activity and fun.
The dry season is also better for hiking and visibility especially in areas such as Corcovado National Park where the runoff from the rain makes hiking a very muddy experience. Scuba divers will also enjoy clearer water during the dry season and mountain climbers take in better views from the top. This season is optimal for outdoor activities. Visitors don’t have to schedule their day around the afternoon showers, which makes long treks more feasible during this time of year.
However, don’t dismiss the rainy season either. September and October are the height of whale watching and turtle watching. It’s also the peak season for foliage, which turns a lush green. Marking Costa Rica’s winter, everything is much quieter during this time of year. During the rainy season, life tones down a bit. Locals meander the streets, and enjoy the laid back pace of life. There are no crowds, and it’s much cheaper to travel during this time of year. Prices on just about everything are lower. Rain consists of a daily afternoon shower, which cools things off a bit. Many people find it to be a nice break from the constant sunshine. It provides a refuge. Rainy season is also when the foreign property owners tend to head down to Costa Rica for a break.
Both seasons offer advantages to the discerning traveler. For those looking to be in the center of the action, November through April are the peak months to travel to Costa Rica. People looking for a laid back atmosphere and good rates will find the rainy season optimal especially if you are planning to travel to tourist areas such as Tamarindo or Jaco.