This is officially the last month of Costa Rica's dry season (December-April). While you likely won't be bothered by rainstorms this month, the weather should still be a consideration—it's the hottest month of the year, with temps regularly hitting the mid-'90s. Luckily, Costa Rica's beaches are a perfectly refreshing antidote to the steamy heat of the interior.
Crowds & Costs
There's no two ways about it: Costa Rica in April is going to be busy, especially during Holy Week and the spring break period, when locals have time off work and the foreign tourists descend on the beaches. Regardless of where you're visiting you'll want to make travel arrangements well in advance, but this goes double for popular destinations like the Nicoya Peninsula, Manuel Antonio National Park, Arenal, and Monteverde.
Where to Go
A great way to avoid the tourist hordes during this time is to venture to those lesser-visited areas of the country. There's an added bonus in that this is the last best chance to enjoy many of them before the sunny weather gives way to rain. The Osa Peninsula is a perfect example—this region, located on the southern Pacific Coast, is pleasantly remote and considered one of the most biologically diverse places on earth. For more on the Osa Peninsula, check out this Ultimate Guide.
If you're in the capital during Easter festivities, be sure to visit the Metropolitan Cathedral in downtown San José. This neoclassical/baroque church dates to 1871, features a photo-worthy interior, and is a great spot to enjoy the Easter spirit. Know that celebrations can be sparse in the capital, as most locals have time off work and head for the beaches. If you want to find the best Easter parties in the country, you'll head to the coast, be it on the Pacific in Guanacaste and Puntarenas Province, or the Caribbean coast and the Afro-Caribbean surf village of Puerto Viejo.
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What to Do
If you do make it down to Osa, book an excursion into Corcovado National Park. This protected area is famous for having both rugged coastline and virgin rainforest. Within these jungles, there are many exotic animals including four species of monkey, tapirs, and even jaguars. There are no roads in the park, and it's only accessible via day hikes and multi-day treks, so make sure you're in decent trekking shape. Regarding lodging, there are ecolodges just outside the park—here are some of our favorites.
Because Costa Rica is particularly hot on the west coast during April, this is a good opportunity to head to the Caribbean side. Here you can take advantage of the good surfing weather on the coast around the village of Puerto Viejo. Also nearby are wildlife sanctuaries that make a great outing for the whole family.
Events in April
Semana Santa. Holy Week (the week before Easter) is a big to-do throughout all of Latin America, no less so in Costa Rica. You'll find celebrations, parades, processions and more throughout the country, and no shortage of church masses. It all culminates on Easter Sunday with one final celebration.
University Week. Gringos aren't the only ones who get a spring break—Costa Ricans enjoy one too. The last week in April sees parades and live music at the University of Costa Rica.
Traveling to Costa Rica in April? Check out these great itineraries.
Wildlife & Beaches in Costa Rica. April is your last chance before the rainy season to experience Costa Rica from both coasts. Enjoy plenty of activities along the way: watch sea turtles hatch on a Caribbean beach, sample locally produced chocolate, or take a surf lesson in the Pacific.
Osa Peninsula 5-Day Adventure. Beat the Easter holiday crowds on the Osa Peninsula. It's brimming with beaches and virgin rainforest home to an abundance of exotic wildlife. In a mere five days, you'll fully explore this gem of biodiversity through nature hikes, scuba diving, and other adventurous activities.