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The best time to visit Costa Rica is between December and April, when the weather is at its driest and brightest. We’d also recommend traveling in the country’s green season, from May to June or in November. This is when you catch the seasons in transition, and the 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. It’s a tropical country, so you should be prepared for rain at any time of year, even in the dry season. It’s this rainfall that makes Costa Rica so lush and beautiful.

Average temperatures are consistent across the year, with highs between 74°F and 79°F, and lows between 59°F and 63°F.

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Month-by-month guide for traveling 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.

Scarlet Macaw, Costa Rica

Visiting Costa Rica in May - June

The official start of Costa Rica’s ‘green season’. While rainfall does indeed become more frequent, this is still interspersed with plenty of warm sunshine; particularly in the Central Valley, Caribbean Coast and Northern Pacific. National parks are quieter, so you can spend longer periods observing the wildlife without interruptions. Surfers will also enjoy this time of year, with increasing swells on the country’s best surfing beaches.

Humpback whale

Visiting Costa Rica in July - August

Rainfall is increasing, but this does not deter all visitors; particularly those with school-age children heading to Costa Rica to enjoy its wealth of adventure activities. This is also a great time to see green sea turtles on the coastline of the Tortuguero National Park, and the beginning of whale watching season around Dominical. For those looking for some beach time, sunshine can still be found on the far northern Pacific coast, which receives the lowest year-round rainfall in Costa Rica.

La Paz Waterfall Gardens, Costa Rica

Visiting Costa Rica in September - October

This is the height of Costa Rica’s wet season and travel is not recommended. Prolonged heavy rainfall makes wildlife spotting challenging, while roads will be muddy and sometimes impassable due to higher river crossings or landslides, making exploration beyond the main highways difficult.

Squirrel Monkey, Manuel Antonio National Park, Costa Rica

Visiting Costa Rica in November - December

The end of the heavy rains can be difficult to predict, with some heavy rain still to be expected until the end of November, but by mid-December the worst will certainly be over.

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Travel advice

Practical tips for traveling to Costa Rica, from social protocols to guidance on money matters, with a link to the latest US State Department travel advice.

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