Weather in Costa Rica

Costa Rica enjoys a beautiful tropical climate with mild, pleasant temperatures year-round, however, this can change depending on different regions and elevations across the country. For instance, coastal areas such as Dominical and Puerto Limon are more likely to experience higher humidity levels and temperatures than alpine areas such as San Jose (the country's capital) and Monteverde.

Due to its varied geography, it's possible to find almost any weather phenomenon in Costa Rica (apart from snow) so it's best to stay updated with weather forecasts before and during your trip. 

The climate in the coastal regions 

Both coastal regions (Pacific and Caribbean coasts) in Costa Rica follow a typical tropical climate in that temperatures remain relatively high throughout the entire year, and by high, we mean 86°F+(30°C+). During the rainy/wet season (which starts in May and goes until October), heavy rainfall is expected at some point every single day so keep that in mind when planning out your itinerary if you're traveling in these months. 

Traveling during the dry season brings 86°F-104°F (30°C-40°C) temperatures so you need to make sure you're always properly protected against the sun's UV rays every time you go outside as the index often exceeds 12 (extremely high). You can also expect little to no rainfall during these months which is one of the main reasons why the dry season sees thousands of travelers flock to the country's coastal regions for a tropical getaway. 

The climate in the mountainous regions 

The mountainous regions in Costa Rica can create dramatic changes in the country's usual tropical climate with the peaks and valleys trapping weather phenomena at a variety of altitudes. This can result in several microclimates that all experience slightly different weather patterns, however, as a general rule, the higher you are, the colder and wetter the temperature gets so keep that in mind if you're planning on visiting any high-altitude destinations. 

When is the rainy season in Costa Rica? 

Costa Rica's weather patterns are divided into two seasons, the rainy and dry seasons, with the latter being the optimal time to travel to the holiday destination. This is largely due to Costa Rica's location between the Pacific and Atlantic oceans and its proximity to both the equator and the Tropic of Cancer. The dry season (peak season) is from December to April while the rainy\wet season is from May until October.

While you can travel to Costa Rica during the rainy/wet season, the frequent and often prolonged rainfall may restrict what kind of holiday you have with various activities deemed unsafe during this time such as visiting some national parks and participating in some water-based activities. Some attractions might also be closed during this season so prepare to be flexible with your holiday itinerary.

However, it's still possible to have an enjoyable holiday during the rainy/wet season with most mornings starting off sunny and clear. Temperatures are also at their lowest in November and January so traveling during these months offers a slight respite from the all-consuming heat of the peak season, along with lowered accommodation prices and fewer crowds in popular destinations. 

Average temperatures in Costa Rica 

MONTH

AVERAGE HIGH

AVERAGE LOW

March to May

80°F/27°C

68°F/20°C

June to August

80°F/27°C

68°F/20°C

September to November

78°F/26°C

68°F/20°C

December to February

78°F/26°C

66°F/19°C

 

Return to Costa Rica FAQs

Read more about Central America