You take a deep breath and check a third weather website. It says the same thing. Darn it, there’s an 80% chance of thunderstorms and it will rain every day on your upcoming trip to Costa Rica. Oh no, this can’t be true! Your heart beats faster and panic starts to set in. Is your Costa Rica vacation ruined? Don’t freak out. Predicting Costa Rica weather is like guessing the next jackpot lotto numbers. It causes confusion for our guests. So, wipe the cold sweat off your brow because I’m about to help you figure out the mystery of Costa Rican weather.
Don’t Believe Everything You Read
I can’t tell you how many times our concierge has had to calm down guests over an online Costa Rica weather report. “The weather report says it’s pouring rain right now and we leave for the airport in two hours!”
Picture this: our concierge has the phone to her ear and hears the alarm in the upcoming guest’s voice as she smiles and waves farewell to our departing guests. She looks up at the sky and feels the warmth of the sun on her face. Billowy, alabaster clouds populate the sky, and a soft, tropical breeze blows a strand of hair from her face.
Well, there’s an 80% chance it will rain somewhere in Costa Rica, but that isn’t rocket science. So why do weather forecasters throw a wet blanket over the entire country?
By now you’re probably confused about the best season to visit. Both dry and green seasons are great times to take a Costa Rica vacation. I’ve lived here for 15 years. Keep reading, and I’ll explain more.
What Are Costa Rica’s Seasons?
Costa Rica’s two seasons are the dry season and the green season. Our busiest season is the dry season, which is December through April. During this time snowbirds and vacationers flock to the warm tropical waters and climate of Costa Rica. The green season begins around May and ends by December. The months with the heaviest rain are usually September, October, and November.
Dry Season Weather
The dry season has hot sunny mornings and partly cloudy afternoons. The evenings are warm with a light tropical breeze. The highs are in the 90’s and lows are in the 80’s. It rarely rains during the dry season but if it does, it will be a most welcome event. Think of how wonderful it will be to thaw out your bones while people scrape snow off their windshields in the US and Canada.
Green Season Weather
After almost no rain during the dry season, the parched jungles and rainforests are ready for some much-needed moisture. Once the rains begin, the thirsty jungle springs back to life in an explosion of 50 shades of green. That’s why we call it the green season instead of the rainy season. A typical day is sunny until late afternoon or early evening, which gives you plenty of time for the beach or tours. Many expats who live here, including me, secretly love the green season. It’s cooler, less crowded, and drop-dead splendiferous.
When you travel in the green season, it may rain but it rarely ever rains all day. Carry an umbrella or rain jacket for those unexpected rainforest showers. One great thing about the rain here is, even if you get caught in it, it’s still warm. Check out the locals. They’ll be in their same dry season attire; shorts, tank tops and flip flops. We rarely carry umbrellas because who minds warm rain?
There’s a saying here, “La mañana oscura, la tarde segura.” So, early morning rain means pleasant afternoons for the beach or other activities. The highs are in the low 90’s to high 80’s and a bit cooler at night.
You’ll enjoy days in the low to high 90’s if you sit on a Costa Rican beach in the dry season. A cardinal sin is going home without a tan, right? Evenings will be mid 80’s to 90’s. You may want an umbrella for shade during the hot days especially if you want to explore the cute little shops in town and not feel like you’re melting in the heat.
The green season is a great time at the beach too. There’s never a bad day at the beach at the Discovery Beach House! Daytime in the green season is a bit cooler with highs in the 80’s to low 90’s. Evenings are in the comfortable low 80’s or even 70’s if you’re in the mountains. The higher the elevation, the cooler the weather.
Mountain and Central Valley Weather
Costa Rica’s mountains are some of the most beautiful and verdant anywhere. Some call it the Switzerland of Central America. The capital of San Jose is in a valley between two vast mountain ranges. You’ll find much cooler temperatures in the mountains. People who live in San Jose’s central valley and Cartago, which was the first capital of Costa Rica, will wear jackets and talk about how cold it is today when the temperature is a refreshing 75 degrees. I need a light jacket to fight the nip of the crisp mountain air at night in San Jose. It’s hard to believe you can be cold while on vacation in Costa Rica, but it’s true.
A light long sleeve shirt or warmer clothing are recommended when you stay in the mountains or central valley. A pair of jeans or lightweight pants are nice to have when you’re out and about in the evening.
The truth is, beauty is beauty, and Costa Rica is gorgeous nearly every day, no matter what the weather.
See You Soon
We look forward to your vacation with us. If you haven’t read my other articles, please check them out here. Please follow us on Instagram @discoverybeachouse. For more information or to check our availability, visit our website at Discovery Beach House. Watch our YouTube Channel for more details on Manuel Antonio, the best spot to vacation in Costa Rica.