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Costa Rica is at its driest and brightest between December and April on its Pacific coast, and between March and September on the Caribbean side. We’d also recommend travelling in Costa Rica’s green season, from May to June or in November. This is when you catch the seasons in transition and national parks are quieter. Costa Rica’s wildlife is hard to rival and a key attraction of the country, as long as you miss September and October’s heavier rainfall. Being a tropical country, you should be prepared for rain at any time of year, even in the dry season, but it is this rainfall that makes Costa Rica just so lush and beautiful.

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Audley Travel specialist Annabel

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Month-by-month guide to travelling in Costa Rica

Chestnut-mandibled Toucan, Costa Rica

Visiting Costa Rica in January - April

Costa Rica’s high season brings the least amount of prolonged rainfall; though tropical showers are always to be expected in a country with such plentiful rainforest. This season brings many visitors, particularly in January and over Easter, with busier national parks and beaches but wonderful conditions for viewing wildlife, trying adventure activities and relaxing on jungle-fringed coastlines.

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Costa Rica Climate Guide

Destination Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec
Arenal Volcano & the Cloudforest Reserves 28°C 284mm 29°C 183mm 30°C 129mm 30°C 118mm 29°C 281mm 28°C 442mm 28°C 546mm 28°C 501mm 28°C 444mm 27°C 486mm 27°C 402mm 27°C 385mm
Corcovado & Osa Peninsula 32°C 87mm 33°C 62mm 34°C 140mm 34°C 218mm 32°C 442mm 31°C 474mm 32°C 487mm 31°C 601mm 31°C 722mm 30°C 801mm 30°C 604mm 31°C 217mm
Dominical 32°C 65mm 32°C 35mm 34°C 65mm 33°C 171mm 32°C 386mm 31°C 396mm 32°C 384mm 31°C 455mm 31°C 480mm 31°C 617mm 30°C 360mm 31°C 133mm
Manuel Antonio 32°C 62mm 33°C 31mm 34°C 53mm 34°C 168mm 33°C 408mm 32°C 426mm 32°C 438mm 32°C 487mm 31°C 524mm 31°C 642mm 30°C 380mm 31°C 142mm
San José & Central Valley 24°C 11mm 25°C 11mm 26°C 13mm 26°C 52mm 26°C 240mm 25°C 289mm 25°C 211mm 25°C 262mm 25°C 351mm 25°C 326mm 24°C 142mm 24°C 41mm
Tamarindo 32°C 4mm 33°C 3mm 35°C 5mm 35°C 21mm 33°C 223mm 31°C 243mm 32°C 146mm 32°C 192mm 31°C 300mm 31°C 305mm 31°C 95mm 32°C 10mm
Tortuguero & the Caribbean Coast 30°C 374mm 30°C 238mm 32°C 186mm 32°C 242mm 31°C 306mm 31°C 365mm 30°C 537mm 30°C 397mm 30°C 250mm 30°C 329mm 29°C 557mm 29°C 569mm

Trip ideas and travel guides to exploring Costa Rica

Red eyed tree frog, Costa Rica
Costa Rica
Green Eyelash Viper, Costa Rica
Costa Rica
Carolyn on one of the trails around Sarapiqui, Costa Rica

May is a wonderful month to visit Costa Rica. Although there is some rainfall, it is rare for this to persist all day and I have enjoyed plenty of wildlife spotting and beach relaxation at this time of year. Clouds move quicker than at the start of the year, increasing your chances of spotting the Arenal Volcano's perfect cone. Airfares are also lower, making your money go much further in May and June.

Carolyn, Central America Specialist