3 Tips for the best time to travel in Costa Rica

travel time-costa-rica

You want to travel to Costa Rica and wonder when is the best time to do so? Learn which months in Costa Rica are best for which activities.

1. What is the climate like in Costa Rica?

In general, Costa Rica can be visited all year round, the seasonal temperature variations are small. Seasons like in Europe do not exist there, rather a distinction is made between rainy season and dry season.

Due to the topography there are different climate zones in Costa Rica. Tropical lowlands alternate with high valleys and mountains that almost 4.reach 000 m. The dry season is from November to April. This is the time when most travelers come to Costa Rica, often to escape the European winter and enjoy tropical warmth.

Dry season doesn’t mean that it doesn’t rain, it just means that the amount of rainfall is much lower during these months.

The rest of the year, from May to October, Costa Rica has the so called “green season” – during these months it rains a bit more, but this time has its charms. When it rains, it usually comes in the form of short heavy showers in the afternoon.

2. Best time to travel by activity: overview

The dry season from November to May is the best time for trekking. Many hiking trails lead through rainforests and mountain cloud forests. Here it can be wet and slippery even during the dry season, during the rainy season the trails could become a real challenge for hikers.

Outside of the classic dry season, July and August are also good for hiking. During this time, the fiddling season takes a “little break”, the temperatures are usually pleasant, the trails are easily passable and the vegetation is lush green.

When you should rather not plan your hiking vacation

Especially during the rainy season in September, it is common for trails to become impassable due to landslides. During the dry season, temperatures in April and May can be much higher than during the rest of the year. This can make hiking especially in the Pacific region exhausting due to the heat.

Best time to travel for wildlife watching

Wildlife watching is one of the highlights of every Costa Rica trip. Throughout the year you can see many of the native mammals, birds and reptiles.

Especially the elusive bird of the gods, the quetzal, is something many travelers want to look out for. Besides the places and the time of day to observe this red – green shimmering bird, the travel time also plays a role.

The chances to see the rare bird are highest in the dry season from December to April, also the breeding season from January to June favors a successful sighting.

In addition to numerous other animal species, the observation of turtles is of special importance in Costa Rica. The best place to see turtles laying eggs and hatching is Tortuguero in the north of the Caribbean coast. Here you can see turtles laying their eggs and later hatching, especially from March to November.

Of course there are many other exciting animals in Costa Rica. Whales can be seen in Costa Rica between December and April (Northern Hemisphere whales) and from July to November (Southern Hemisphere whales).

Best time to visit for plant lovers

The rainforests and cloud forests are lush and green all year round and the variety of plants is impressive at any time of the year. Especially orchid lovers get their money’s worth in Costa Rica, after all there are approx. 1.500 different varietiesYou can best discover beautifully blooming orchids during the rainy season.

Towards the end of the dry season it can get very dry in some areas of Costa Rica, sometimes the fields are parched and brown in April.

Best time to go swimming

Hardly anyone will come to Costa Rica exclusively for swimming, the country has too much to offer for that. But the fine sandy beaches on the Pacific and Caribbean coasts invite you to relax and enjoy the pleasant water temperatures.

You can swim in Costa Rica all year round, but the best time is from December to April on the Pacific coast and from February to April on the Caribbean coast.

The best time for adventure travel

On an adventure trip with light activities or a cultural vacation, you are not quite as dependent on the weather as you would be on a hiking trip. If you want to enjoy the more quiet time outside the classic tourist season, then e.g. the second half of October.

At this time there are fewer tourists than in November. Also at this time of the year it usually never rains all day, most of the rain falls in the afternoon in the form of short heavy showers, after which the sun may well shine again.

Ready for Costa Rica?

You now know when you want to do what in Costa Rica? If you want to leave the planning of your Costa Rica vacation in the hands of the experts, browse through ASI’s active tours in Costa Rica!

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