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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.

Meterological information

J F M A M J J A S O N D
Average °C 232424242524242423232323
Minimum °C 181818181919191918181818
Maximum °C 282929303029282828282828
Sunshine (hours) 677777766666
Rain (cm) 4010417201419242913

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