Costa Rica has two seasons from a meteorological perspective, the dry season and rainy season. From a tourist’s perspective they are called the high season and low season. If you are looking for the best time and weather on a tropical beach and a little less rain during your visit, late November to late April is the time to come here in Costa Rica. The best thing is that this high season for tourism not only coincides almost perfectly with the chill of winter in the United States, Canada, and Great Britain, but also in many cases this schedule is driven by school’s vacation schedules so that the entire family can travel together. New Year’s, Christmas, Easter, and most school spring breaks. Diversity of landscapes combined with a rich variety of flora and fauna makes Costa Rica a must visit one during this dry season. ‘Dry’ season still sees some rain, but beach towns fill with domestic tourists. The dry, or “high” season brings blue skies and warm sunshine. Daytime temperatures hover in the low 80’s around the Central Valley, while the mid-90’s are common for coastal areas. December and January are very windy, and though the constant sunshine ensures comfortable weather, these are actually the coolest months of the year. March and April are the hottest months of the dry season. From late December through mid-March, rain is almost unheard of except in the Caribbean.
Best Time to Visit
December-April is the best time to visit Costa Rica. Most tourists decide to visit during the dry season to escape the North American winter, and to avoid any wet surprises on their vacation. As this is the most suitable time to explore the country’s spectacular rain-forests and sandy shorelines, most of the wildlife-enthusiasts and beach-seekers usually come during this period. Oceans are clearest at this time, so it’s perfect for snorkeling and scuba diving. The beaches are also at their cleanest since there’s less organic waste going down rivers into the ocean. You will have the opportunity to enjoy huge tracts of unspoiled rainforest buzz with exotic wildlife, including 850 species of birds, 200 mammals, spectacular trees and glorious flowers. Miles of glorious, golden sands fringe two seas – the Pacific and Caribbean are waiting just for you.
Fiestas and Events during the Dry Season
Costa Rica is rich in traditions and numerous cultural events are held in Costa Rica throughout the year. Travel during this time of year and you’ll also find vibrant fiestas taking place across the country, featuring bullfights, dancing, and live music.
El Tope and Carnival (December 26 and 27): On 26th December the streets of downtown San José belong to horses and their riders in a proud recognition of the country’s important agricultural heritage. An annual national horse parade that strolls through the center of San Jose where the well-trained animals perform amazing footwork. The next day, those same streets are taken over by carnival floats, marching bands, and street dancers.
Festejos Populares (December):
To ensure that the New Year is ushered in with appropriate applause and the old year is sent packing with just the right amount of respect, Josefinos celebrate with Festejos Populares, held the last week of the year in Zapote, an eastern suburb of San Jose. Bullfights and a pretty respectable bunch of carnival rides, games of chance, and fast-food stands are set up at the fairgrounds in Zapote. Visitors thoroughly enjoy themselves by partaking in lively street parties that center around eating, drinking and dancing the nights away.
Coffee Cup (January): Tennis tournament during the whole week, taking place in the Costa Rica Country Club (San Jose) – all participants are under 18.
There many more Fiestas and Events during this Season including Palmares Fiestas (January), Diabilitos Fiesta (January), Santa Cruz Fiestas (January), Juan Santamaría Day (April), National Orchid Show (March).
Weather During High Season
From mid-November to April is the dry season. Costa Ricans consider this period as the summer. In Guanacaste, the dry northwestern province, the dry season lasts several weeks longer than in other places. Guanacaste experiences little rain and consistent heat from November to April, and a wet season from late May to November. Its hot, dry climate makes tropical dry forests the province’s natural vegetation type. Even in the rainy season, days often start sunny, with rain falling in the afternoon and evening. On the Caribbean coast, especially south of Limón, you can count on rain year-round, although this area gets less rain in September and October than the rest of the country.