What’s the Best Month to Go to Costa Rica?

Costa Rica, the land of pura vida and breathtaking landscapes, is a Central American gem that attracts travelers from all over the world. It’s easily one of my top recommended destinations for travelers who love a multi-dimensional destination. From the Cloud Forest’s treetops to the epic waves along the coast, Costa Rica offers endless adventure all year round.

Due to where the country is located and its diverse vegetation, the climate in Costa Rica varies depending on the region and time of year. One of the most important things to consider when deciding what’s the best month to go to Costa Rica is your itinerary and the activities you are most excited about.

You wouldn’t want to plan beach days just to discover you’ve hit Costa Rica’s rainy season. Similarly, expecting lush rainforest hikes but finding muddy trails would be a huge bummer.

That’s why in my guide, I’ve got all the info you need to decide when is the best month to go to Costa Rica for you.

Rio Celeste Waterfall and pond in Tenorio Volcano National Park, Alajuela Province, Costa Rica

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Month-by-Month Guide to Costa Rica

Costa Rica can be fickle with its weather. I mean, it is a tropical destination, so what do you expect? But don’t worry, there’s a perfect month for everyone to visit depending on what they want to do and see.

Here’s a Costa Rica weather-by-month guide for you.


January is one of the most popular times to visit Costa Rica, right in the middle of the dry season. The weather is warm and sunny, perfect for heading to the coast or exploring the rainforest.

But there is a catch—with good weather comes insane crowds and even more insane prices. The high season is hitting its peak, so expect to pay top dollar for accommodation and activities. If you don’t mind the crowds and can handle the higher prices, then January is a great time to go. Just make sure to book everything in advance!

If you want to experience some cowboy culture, you gotta check out the annual Fiestas de Palmares in January. It’s a week-long festival filled with rodeos, music, food, and lots of partying. It will show you a completely different side to Costa Rica.


For birders, February is an excellent time to visit Costa Rica for spotting wildlife. The famous quetzals are seen in the cloud forests, and it’s also the peak breeding season for many other species. Dry season is pretty much in full effect so you’ll be able to explore all the beautiful national parks without worrying about rain.

If you’re not into birding, don’t worry, there are plenty of things to do in February. The weather is still great, and the crowds have thinned out a bit, and so have the prices. (But don’t expect any crazy deals; you’ll still be paying typical tourist prices.) You can also catch some surf competitions on the Pacific coast during this time.

Cute playful couple of Central American squirrel monkey (Saimiri oerstedii), Quepos, Costa Rica wildlife

March + April

March and April are peak travel seasons in Costa Rica due to spring break and Easter Week, attracting crowds to the beaches and festivals. March is known for the Envision Festival, offering electronic music, yoga, and sustainability activities, while April brings holiday vibes with locals visiting the coast.

As an almost 36-year-old, I think this is the worst time to visit Costa Rica. But for those of you who are looking for late-night parties and all-day festivals, March and April are the best time of year to visit Costa Rica!

And I can’t mention April without mentioning the heat. It is seriously hot and humid. You can check out my guide on what to pack for Costa Rica, but needless to say, bring your sunscreen and stay hydrated!

While the beaches might be packed to the brim, March and April are actually the ideal time to dive into the heart of Costa Rica’s lush rainforests. It’s still dry season so you’ll have a better chance of seeing exotic animals like toucans, monkeys, and hopefully a sloth or two.

May (my favorite time to visit)

The rainy season begins in May, but tbh, it’s probably my favorite time to visit. With fewer crowds and lower prices, it’s ideal for budget travelers and will give you a more authentic Costa Rican experience.

Places like Arenal and Monteverde are still easily accessible, and while you may experience some afternoon showers, it usually doesn’t affect your plans too much.

It’s also the best time to visit Costa Rica for wildlife. On the Caribbean, you have the start of turtle nesting season, and on the Pacific coast, May is the start of whale watching season. So, regardless of which coast you decide to visit, you’ll get to see some wildlife!

Arenal is an active volcano near La Fortuna Costa Rica

June + July + August

Officially reaching the off-season, or what is also called the “green season” in Costa Rica, June through August are the rainiest months. But that doesn’t mean you should rule out all travel to Costa Rica during this time!

Sure, it might rain more frequently but the waves on the coast are much better for surfing and the rainforests are out of this world beautiful with lush greenery. You’ll also find WAY less tourists, meaning you’ll have cheaper accommodation options making the summer months a great time to visit for budget travelers.

September + October

Here is where it’s super important to know what you want to see and do in Costa Rica. If you want to hike in the cloud forest, explore national parks, or go surfing on the Pacific, then September and October are probably not the best time of year to go to Costa Rica.

These months are known for heavy downpours and flooding, and a lot of the smaller roads aren’t drivable. But September and October are the perfect shoulder season for the Caribbean side, where you’ll find sunny weather and beautiful beaches. (It is the end of hurricane season, so make sure to check the weather forecasts before you go.)

November + December

November is still considered “rainy season” but you’ll notice significantly less rain and more sunshine. December marks the start of high season in Costa Rica as snowbirds leave their winter wonderlands to head to the tropics of Costa Rica (I don’t blame them).

But unlike the coming months of January-March, you can still snag some deals on accommodations and activities, making November + December a good time to visit if you’re on a budget but don’t want to miss out on the high season vibe.

Manuel Antonio Costa Rica - SUP Stand up Paddle boarding in blue bay with empty beach Central America


As much as I want to give you a definite answer about when is the best time to visit Costa Rica, I just can’t. It truly does all depend on what you want to see and do.

If you want the best weather in the country, then December-April is your time to shine. But if you’re looking for more budget-friendly options and don’t mind a bit of rain, May-November will have some amazing deals and loads of wildlife for you to enjoy.

Costa Rica really does cater to all different travelers, and has a season and month that has just about anything you could want out of your Costa Rica vacation. So plan your trip, pack your rain jacket or your surfboard, and head to this beautiful country whenever it suits you best!

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  • Samantha King

    Sam, a seasoned traveler across four continents and 49 countries, is a leading authority in travel planning. Her website, Travelling King, offers tailored itineraries and expert guides for seamless trips. Sam's expertise in luxury travel, fast travel, and destination guides keeps her at the forefront of the travel community.

    View all posts https://www.tiktok.com/@travellingkng

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