Costa Rica: a year-round destination
Due to its location being close to the equator, Costa Rica has a pleasant climate all-year-round, which means you can book your break at any time. Of course, there are differences in the weather, with the country experiencing wet and dry seasons.
The other thing to bear in mind when you're planning your holiday to Costa Rica is that the climate can vary quite considerably between different places within the nation. For instance, the hottest temperatures are typically experienced on the coasts, while in the mountain highlands it can be considerably colder (as low as 0 degrees C on the highest peaks).
As well as differences in temperature, the amount of rainfall and humidity varies quite significantly between Costa Rica's regions. For example, in the highland city of Monteverde it is foggy and misty all year round, while the highlands also experience the highest average rainfall.
Travel to the Guanacaste province in the lowlands, meanwhile, and you will discover a dry climate with temperatures averaging 26 degrees C. In terms of the coastal regions, the humidity is higher on the east coast - which borders the Caribbean Sea - than on the west, where Costa Rica meets the Pacific Ocean.
When should I book a holiday to Costa Rica?
The most popular time of year for tours of Costa Rica is during the dry season, which begins in December and ends in April. In spite of this, as we've explained above, it's possible to travel here at any time of the year and still have a very enjoyable holiday. During the rainy season, which lasts from May to November, it is usually warm and sunny in the morning with the rain arriving in the afternoon.
Even within these seasons there is variation, though. November, December and January are the coolest months, while March to May is the hottest period. In terms of rain, June and July are the wettest months of the year.
It is also worth noting that Costa Rica's Caribbean coast has its own microclimate, with temperatures fluctuating between 23 and 30 degrees C, while the high humidity means rain is possible at any time.
Preparing for your tour of Costa Rica
As you can tell, there is a lot of variety in Costa Rica's climate, which means you should be prepared for different kinds of weather if you intend to travel around the country. As Costa Rica is relatively small, it's possible to experience several of its microclimates in the space of a single day.
No matter when you travel, a light waterproof jacket will come in handy, especially if you intend to head into the mountains. If you are planning to explore at higher altitudes, take layers of clothing to ensure you stay warm in the cooler temperatures. Beachwear and light, breathable clothing will be the order of the day when you visit either the Pacific or Caribbean coasts.
Festivals and public holidays in Costa Rica
In addition to the weather, there are other factors that may affect when you decide to travel to Costa Rica, including the various events and festivals taking place in the country at given times of year, as you may be keen to experience specific celebrations.
Costa Ricans (or Ticos) throw vibrant and lively festivals to mark various events throughout the year. Below are a few of the biggest and most colourful events to look out for:
- Semana Santana (Holy Week) — This takes place over Easter and is celebrated across the country. There are typically processions and masses on Holy Thursday and Good Friday when most of the nation stops to mark the occasion.
- Juan Santamaria Day — Held on April 11th every year, this day marks the death of Costa Rica's national hero; Juan Santamaria, who fought against US invader William Walker at the Battle of Rivas in 1856. Parades and concerts are organised to commemorate his actions, with the biggest celebrations being centred on Alajuela.
- Dia de las Culturas (Meeting of Cultures Day) — 12th October is Dia de las Culturas, when Costa Rica and other South American nations celebrate Christopher Columbus's arrival in the Americas. In the province of Limon, a week-long carnival takes place ahead of 12th October, while the Caribbean coast also plays host to colourful festivities at this time of the year.
Costa Rica Holidays Browse all
Go for the thrills and spills of a naturally rich Central American nation, packed with unforgettable adventures and unique encounters.
- Elegant and comfortable accommodations with quality services that will make your trip an unforgettable experience
- Includes a guided hiking tour through the rainforest with a lot of insight about flora, fauna and the volcano's history
- Learn more about Costa Rica with unique experience of the guided hiking tour, Arenal Volcano National Park Nature Walk, Doka Coffee Tour and much more to explore Edit
You are sure to marvel at nature's treasures in Costa Rica, a paradise of lush forests, crystal coves, fine-sand beaches and exotic wildlife
- Marvel at Costa Rica's array of stunning settings, including forests, volcanic cliffs, beaches.
- Try snorkelling, kayaking, tennis, bocce ball, chess, access to a scuba clinic & more
- Relish unlimited Costa Rican and world cuisines in 4 and restaurants and 4 bars
Enjoy a Fantastic holiday that perfectly divides your time between a city and beach hotel in Costa Rica
The hotels offer the ideal place for couples or families with younger children with a wide selection of activities and entertainments
- Enjoy a variety of classes from yoga and tai chi to dance and Spanish classes as well as an exciting range of eco-adventures from hiking to catamaran tours and scuba diving at The Westin Golf Resort and Spa, Playa Conchal
- All rooms at both hotels feature a range of fantastic amenities including free high-speed Wi-Fi, and offer the best in comfort.
- Enjoy a relaxing environment and perfect culinary choices at Park Inn by Radisson hotel featuring classical international cuisine.
Located on the stunning Papagayo Peninsula in Guanacaste
- After booking a minimum of a 3 night stay in a Preferred Club room, guests will receive a welcome bottle of sparkling wine & fresh fruit, one mimosa breakfast in bed to be booked upon arrival and romantic turndown service one night during stay
- Enjoy activities galore including water aerobics, walks, themed nights, movies, cooking, volleyball, pilates and more.
- Choose between 3 romantic wedding packages, all including wedding cake, sparkling wine toast, honeymoon package, and free anniversary nights.
- Enjoy all-inclusive at an array of a la carte restaurants, or enjoy 24 hour room service.
The perfect combination of culture, history and nature with some added downtime at the end to enjoy one of the world's best beaches
- Relax at the hot springs and mud baths, and try your hand at zip lining, horseback riding or river tubing.
- Visit the country's famous shoreline, cloud rainforests, volcano and the charming capital of San Jose
- Tour includes: San Jose City Tour, Sky Walk on Hanging Bridges, Buena Vista hot springs and mud baths, nature walk to La Pava and Salitral Waterfalls, horseback riding and more
An eco-tourist's dream - embark on an amazing journey of discovery with the perfect combination of comfort and adventure in tropical Costa Rica.
- Explore the amazing country of Costa Rica and discover all it's gems on this in depth tour with a fabulous beach stay
- During this tour you will experience various unique inclusions including a fantastic stay in tented accommodation under the stars in Arenal
- Enjoy various activities and exploration on this holiday including river rafting and much more with various optional tours to add
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Costa Rica is one of the greenest destinations in the world, and its government works hard to ensure its landscapes and wildlife are well protected. The Four Seasons Resort Costa Rica on the Papagayo Peninsula in the northern province of Guanacaste is undergoing an extensive refurbishment programme which focuses on sustainable tourism development and land preservation.
The Gran Hotel Costa Rica will reopen to guests before Christmas, according to the hotel's operators the Elite Hotels and Resorts de Costa Rica. The iconic hotel in the capital San Juan has hosted President John F Kennedy, and is currently undergoing a major renovation programme, and it will be run under the Curio by Hilton brand when it reopens at the end of the year.
Rosewood Hotels and Resorts has announced it will open the Rosewood Puerto Papagayo in Costa Rica in 2020. The luxury resort will be located on the north-western coast of the country in the Guanacaste province, and it will have 180 guest rooms and treehouse-style suites, and 50 residences, which will all be surrounded by natural, tropical landscapes.