Costa Rica's dry season is from November to April. But May signals the beginning of the rainy season, and it's then that the rivers rise—making it the best time for aquatic adventurers of every skill level to hit the country's rivers in search of whitewater.
Costa Rica Travel Advice
Customize your trip with help from a local travel specialist.
For parents toying with the idea of an international vacation, this Latin American nation is chock-full of family experiences that will leave a lasting impression for years to come. Below, we’ve compiled five reasons why you should put Costa Rica at the top of your family's travel list.
More than a quarter of Costa Rica is protected jungle, home to a wide variety of native wildlife—including 850 colorful species of birds. Learn about the country's best areas to spot them, from the Osa Peninsula to the Monteverde Cloud Forest.
Costa Rica is one of the world’s most biodiverse countries, and over a quarter of its territory is protected. Use this list of recommended viewing locales for your best shot at seeing howler monkeys, humpback whales, jaguars and more.
With two coasts, Costa Rica is a dream for travelers looking to catch a wave. Both the Pacific and Caribbean sides offer some of the best breaks in the world, with enough variety to accommodate beginners and experts alike. If you’re keen to surf the “Rich Coast,” you don’t have to be a professional—you just need to know where to go.
Volcanos define the landscape of Costa Rica, these volcanos created the fertile valleys and diverse ecosystems of the country. If you want to truly experience Costa Rica's nature at its core, visiting these stunning volcanoes is a great way to start.
Monteverde's rare cloud forest ecosystem sits high above sea level in the mountains of Costa Rica. Your base for excursions will be Santa Elena, a relatively quiet mountain village that welcomes travelers to the area's multiple nature reserves. Here you'll find a good array of restaurants, from mom-and-pop shops serving reliable local fare to Italian spots known for wood-fired pizza and fresh pasta.
Costa Rica's most common outdoor destinations are so sought-after for a reason: they truly are beautiful landmarks. But, for every popular attraction, there are plenty of lesser-known must-sees that'll treat open-minded explorers to an incredibly fulfilling and memorable adventure.
The perfect honeymoon mixes romance with fun, adventure with relaxation, and promises stellar scenery, food, and lodging throughout. Look no further than Costa Rica: from cushy Pacific resorts to rainforest hikes and chilled-out surf spots, this little slice of Central America has something for every couple. Read on for itinerary ideas, planning tips, and lodging suggestions.
Any way you cut it, traveling to Costa Rica during the holidays will coincide with the tourist high season. This has its advantages, as there are more parties and celebrations than at any other time of year. Here's some advice to ensure you get the most out of your festive tropical vacation.
Whether you're drawn to wellness retreats in lush surroundings, chartered flights over tropical landscapes, or beautiful hotel properties that blend with the environment, you'll find something to love in luxurious Costa Rica. See our top picks for exclusive experiences and epic itineraries below.
When to visit Costa Rica
With epic surf, rainforest eco-adventures, romantic getaways, and more, only one question remains: when should you go to Costa Rica? The dry months are certainly popular with tourists, but the rainy season can be a great time to go—think beaches all to yourself, cooler temps, brilliant vegetation, and lower prices. Maximize your travels with these tips on where and when to go during Costa Rica's "green season."
January kicks off a new year in Costa Rica with wild parties and an epic celebration. It's also a couple months into the high season, when the skies are clear and the glory of nature is on full display. This monthly guide illustrates how best to ring in the new year in Costa Rica.
Dry, warm weather makes February the perfect time to visit Costa Rica. You'll experience the country's famous beaches and virgin rainforests, not to mention one of the largest carnival celebrations in the region. Even better, the January crowds are starting to thin out as locals head back to work. Read on for more about visiting in February.
March in Costa Rica means the sun is out and the beaches are calling your name. This is still the high season, but by March you should find availability at even the most popular resorts. Moreover, it's a great month for wildlife spotting, be it the humpback whales of the Pacific coast or the exotic birds of the inland rainforests.
April is the last hurrah of Costa Rica's high season—a time of grand religious holidays, epic fiestas, and reliably sunny beach weather. Throw in all those spring-break vacationers, and you have the makings of one great party.
May in Costa Rica is the start of the nation's rainy season, but this doesn't happen overnight—most of the month you can expect great weather. What's certain is that a May trip to Costa Rica means lower prices and epic beauty without the big crowds. It's the perfect month for savvy travelers to enjoy a wide-open tropical paradise.
In June, Costa Rica is easing into its rainy season. Crowds are down and the foliage is in full bloom. Travelers who venture here during this month might have to endure some precipitation, but they'll also have the nation's most desirable destinations almost all to themselves. This monthly guide reveals more.
In the middle of Costa Rica's rainy season are a precious few weeks of sun and clear skies. This typically occurs in July, and anyone lucky enough to visit during this month gets the best of Costa Rica at reduced prices and with fewer crowds. Read on for tips on how best to enjoy this "sweet spot" on Costa Rica's calendar.
August falls right in the middle of Costa Rica's "green" season, a rainier time of year when all of the country's famous flora is in bloom. Take advantage of the precipitation with whitewater rafting, or head to the Caribbean coast if you're looking for a vacation with more sun. One of the biggest religious holidays of the year occurs during this month, too. Read on for more on the nature and festivities of Costa Rica in August.
September is right in the middle of Costa Rica's rainy season—but visitors this month are still in for a treat. Not only are Costa Rica's famous rainforests in lustrous bloom, the rivers are perfect for whitewater rafting and the Caribbean Coast is still warm enough to sunbathe. Plus, you'll be in town for Independence Day—this monthly guide offers more insight into the great party.
October is one of the rainier months in Costa Rica, but if you know where to go, you can have as epic a holiday in the wetter months as you can in the high tourist season—and at a fraction of the cost.
November in Costa Rica is the calm before the tourist high season of December. Get here early enough and you might even make it for Costa Rica's own "Day of the Dead" celebrations. Otherwise, enjoy all this country's nature and beaches without the oppressive crowds.
December is Costa Rica's peak travel season. There's a near endless procession of festivities and holiday merrymaking fit for any reveler young or old. Plus, there's all that natural beauty the country is famous for. Find out how best to enjoy Costa Rica during the December holiday season with this monthly guide.