Costa Rica is a country of diversity. With all its beauty and splendor, you’ll be surprised that weather in this beautiful paradise is just as diverse as its sights and attractions.
The different weather patterns in Costa Rica are because of its various elevations. And although Costa Rica is considered a tropical country, it can be divided into several climate zones.
December to April: The Dry Season
The best time to go to Costa Rica is the months from December to April, which Costa Ricans consider as summer time. Visitors will still experience rains during this time but these are significantly less than the months of May to November.
If you go to Costa Rica during these months, expect a lot of people visiting popular attractions. Public schools in Costa Rica are closed from December to February, which means people are all out for a grand time. Make sure you also book your accommodations months in advance because hotels and resorts tend to be fully booked around this time.
Temperatures around these months range between 21 to 27 degrees Celsius (70-81 Fahrenheit) but expect warmer weather from January through April.
May to November: Winter Season
May is considered the beginning of Costa Rica’s rainy season but locals call it “invierno” or winter. If you want to avoid the mad rush of tourists, you can come to Costa Rica around May when there are fewer crowds and accommodation rates are slightly cheaper.
During these months, expect the roads to get muddy, so it’s important to rent a 4×4 vehicle if you’re planning to go to far-flung places. The months of July & August are considered mini-high season in Costa Rica, which means prices could be a little more expensive.
Starting late June until October, Costa Rica experiences more rains Some tourists may avoid traveling to the country around this time but if you want to surf bigger waves, then these are the best months to fly here. Also, the jungles are much more beautiful during the rainy months, since during dry season, many of the trees, especially on the Pacific coast, lose their leaves and go dormant. For most of rainy season, usually the rain falls only in the late afternoons and evenings, and it’s very beautiful all day.
What to bring and wear
Bring lightweight clothes like cotton or quick-drying garments. Visiting Costa Rica’s national parks and rainforests may give some amount of rain and it would be safer if you’re wearing dry-fit shirts. Walking shorts and long pants are okay and you may want to pack smart-casual wear if you’re planning to have a night out with friends.
A light jacket and a small umbrella would be handy in case of rains. Of course, if you’re heading to the beach, pack your swimming attires. Hats, sunglasses, and wrap dresses for women are great if you don’t want to be exposed to too much sun. And don’t forget to bring sunscreen with high SPF levels.
Comfortable shoes are essential if you’re planning to go trekking or hiking, while sandals or slippers are great for trips to the beach.
Some tourists get carried away, though, as they are all donned up with jungle outfits complete with khaki pants, hats and boots. The attire is acceptable but keep in mind that it’s not really how tourists in Costa Rica dress. Think comfort and you’ll never go wrong.
Bring a small medicine kit for diarrhea, hyperacidity, headaches and body pains, cough and colds. If you have maintenance medicines, make sure you pack them, too.
Costa Rica is a lovely place that one must visit at least once in a lifetime. Now that you know when to go and what you should bring and wear, all you need to do is have a great time.