What the weather is like in Costa Rica is a question a lot of people ask me when planning a trip to Costa Rica. I tell that generally, from December through April, Costa Rica has clear skies and warm temperatures and May through October it has more rain and winds. In Costa Rica it is always comfortable which means that is not too hot and not too cold
The weather in Costa Rica is divided into two seasons which are the dry season and the wet season. Since Costa Rica is near the equator, the weather and temperature change due to the altitude instead of the seasons.
There is more to the weather in Costa Rica depending on where you are planning to travel to, so lets get started.
Costa Rica Weather by Region
Costa Rica’s diverse weather and climate is connected to its ecological diversity. On a recent trip from Drakes Bay in the south of Costa Rica to San Jose, the weather we encountered was sunny blue skies in the morning accompanied by the tropical heat and on the boat ride to Sierpe we road through a large, but short lived downpour with dark skies.
From Sierpe to San Jose we climbed through the Cerro de la Muerte and temperatures that dropped close to freezing at 13,000 feet, and then dropped down into the Central Valley and its eternal spring like temperatures.
As the locals comment about the Costa Rica weather, If you do not like it just wait a while, it will soon change.
Generally speaking, the weather on Caribbean is more susceptible to frequent rainsqualls and tends to have the opposite patterns of the rest of the country.
The weather on the Pacific side the northwest regions of Guanacaste is the driest part of the country and home to the unique Dry Tropical Forest.
The weather in the Southern Pacific region of the Osa Peninsula tends to get the most rainfall but with the exception of the end of September and October, most showers do not last long.
Nonetheless, whereas in the past one could expect the rainy season to start predictably about the second week of May, the effects of global warming are being felt and the once consistent weather patterns have becomes much more difficult to predict.
What Months Have the Best Weather?
I would say that if you can travel at any time and your looking for a combination of great weather, cheaper prices and less crowds then I would go in the months of May or November.
The reason is that these months are considered the “shoulder season” and you get a great combination of good weather, less crowds and at the same time low season prices!
If you go in May you will be going at the end of dry season and the beginning of rainy season so you will have alot of sunny days and dry weather which is great for the beach and coastal activities and hiking.
If you go in November you will be going at the end of rainy season and the beginning of dry season, so everything will be very green and vibrant and is a great time to go white water rafting and river kayaking as the water levels are very high and the rivers are really moving. You also get to see green everywhere and all the flowers are in bloom and everything seems alive.
Bottom line, however, is Costa Rica is just a great place to visit regardless of when you go!
Map of Costa Rica
Costa Rica is located only about eight degrees north of the equator, the climate is tropical year round. However, this varies depending on elevation and rainfall. Therefore, it is greatly affected by the geography of Costa Rica.
Despite being on the same side of the equator as the United States the Costa Rica people differentiate between summer and winter as if they were in South America.