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When choosing to travel to Costa Rica, it is very important to know about the best time to visit this wonderful country. Costa Rica is a tropical country, and there are only two seasons: dry season and rainy season. Although this is a very small country, weather varies depending on whether you are in the Pacific or the Caribean side. Other regions may have a very particular climate due to other factors that affect its conditions. On this article, it will be explained the climate patterns depending on the specific place you want to visit.
Costa Rica is an enormously diverse country in terms of everything (flora, fauna, climate, natural attractions). This diversity is due to topographical characteristics, its position in the Central American isthmus, and a series of microclimates originated because of the change in elevations, humidity and so on. Thus, you will notice a lot of changes in the weather conditions within very short distances. For instance, while traveling from San José to the Caribbean through Braulio Carrillo highway, you will notice that in San José it is probably a sunny day and very windy (during dry season). In contrast, as you go through this park, the conditions are totally different. It is cloudy, and there might be light showers.
As it has been explained, the country has several conditions that makes it a very diverse country in terms of weather. We provide on this post a short description about the main climatic regions of the country. However, it is important to ask for information about the specific place. In some destinations, weather may be more favorable because of the location, mountains influence, altitude, and any other factor that are common in this nation. It is important to mention that climate is very likely to change at any time. Even when you travel during dry or rainy season, the conditions might change in a short period of time. Particularly, in the south pacific of the country.
This region includes mostly the Guanacaste province starting from Tárcoles river in Puntarenas towards the north. This is a very dry season having the lowest average in rain (1400 to 2500 mm annually). This is the reason why it has a dry forest. Trees seems to be dead and very small. The forests create wonderful landscapes, and this hot conditions make it good for birdwatching near the remnants of water. Actually, these places gather lots of birds in the wetlands like Palo Verde and Solimar. The rainy season takes place from May to November. From December to April, the conditions allow traveling during sunny days. Moreover, temperatures range from 25°C to 28°C (77 °F – 82°F). Consider taking sunblock, mosquito repellent, wear light colors, a hat or any other that can protect you from sunlight and mosquitoes. Mosquitoes are very common in the area.
This regions represents the coastline from the south slope of Tárcoles river to the Barú river. The annual precipitation goes from 3000 to 4000 mm. In the highlands of the region, precipitation can reach 6000 mm. If you want to enjoy the beach, the dry season starts in January, ending in March. From April to December rain takes place. However, it does not mean there are no sunny days or mixed days (with sun and rain). Finally, the forest type is a transition between the dry forest of the Nicoya Peninsula and the tropical rain forest of the Osa Peninsula.
This is a very diverse region. It goes from the south slope of the Barú river all the way to the border with Panama, covering the Valle de El General (San Isidro) and all the cities in the pacific side of the country. High mountains like Cerro de la Muerte, Chirripó National Park, and La Amistad International Park, reduce the speed of strong trade winds from the Caribbean. As those winds go through the dense forests in the mountains, clouds loaded with humidity are drained. This condition generates dry conditions in the region allowing dry season. Precipitation is very contrasting. In Valle de El General the average is 2200 mm annually, while in the coastline it goes from 3000 mm to 4000 mm. The Osa Peninsula represents the area with the highest level of precipitations(5000 mm annually).
This territory includes Las “Llanuras del Norte” (the plains of the north). The precipitation in this region is one of the highest and more constants of the country throughout the year due to the influence of humid winds from the Caribbean sea. A well difined dry season is not seen in this region. In fact, the lowest precipitation times are from January to March, and from September to October. Consequently, temperature ranges from 27ºC to 30ºC (80 °F – 86°F). Take a poncho, and pack your belongings into plastic bags when visiting this regions, especially Tortuguero which demands traveling by boat unless you take a plane.
It is defined as the valley between San Ramón and Paraíso. Precipitation goes from 1500 to 2500 mm annually. Cartago has a lower range of precipitation (1400 mm), fog is very constant as well as wind. Dry season starts in December until April. Temperature is very low (19°C to 22°C) so take warm clothing to visit the Capital of Costa Rica, San José.
We really hope this post helps you arrange your trip to Costa Rica. It is mandatory to let you know highlands are the most changeable places of the country in terms of climate.This applies mostly if you plant to visit Costa Rica for trekking expeditions. Particularly, the mounts located in the South since those are influenced by both slopes’ weather conditions simultaneously. For more information, you may want to ask through our contact from, and it will be a nice to give you a piece of advice.
We are a tour operator established in Costa Rica that offers hiking and mountaineering options for those who wish to explore the most remote and majestic places in Costa Rica.
When planning your trip, it is advisable to know certain aspects about the country you visit. Therefore, we have a section you may want to read in order to know generalities of the country.
Trekking Costa Rica 2018 © All rights reserved