The best time to visit Costa Rica depends on your priorities: places visited, weather, availability, preferred activities, local seasonality, wildlife activity.
- Away from the Caribbean coast Costa Rica has a dry season from Dec-Apr, when there is plenty of sun and temperatures are high, and a rainy season from May-Nov.
- At 1,400m and frequently swathed in mist, the cloud forests of Monteverde have cooler temperatures than the lowlands. It can rain at any time but most precipitation falls between May - Nov. This “green” season is quieter in terms of visitor numbers. The best months for bird-watching are Feb – Apr.
- If good weather is your priority for a visit to Arenal volcano, choose the dry season Dec - Apr when there is plenty of sun. The green (i.e. rainy) season is quieter in terms of number of visitors. Nearby La Fortuna, at 1,150m, has a pleasant climate with temperatures averaging 15-25°C.
- On the Caribbean coast it’s hot all year round (often over 30°C). It rains here on and off all year with drier periods in Feb - Mar and Aug - Oct. Wildlife lovers might prefer to visit this region from Jul-Aug to watch turtles nesting (turtles can be seen at Tortuguero Mar – Oct).
- The rainy season starts a month earlier on the south Pacific coast, while the northern areas, including Guanacaste are generally drier. The Caribbean coast is humid all year round with the driest months being Sep-Oct;
- If you are on the look-out for a bit of culture, time your visit to coincide with the International Arts Festival: San José, in March, with music, dance, film art exhibitions. The Monteverde Music Festival: takes place in Jan-Feb.