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COSTA RICA'S LEADING ENGLISH LANGUAGE NEWSPAPER

Costa Rica Weather: Climate, Seasons, and Forecast

Known for its stunning beaches, lush rainforests, and incredible biodiversity, Costa Rica is a top destination for travelers seeking a tropical escape. Its location near the equator and Central American coastlines shape two distinct seasons – dry and wet. Understanding Costa Rica’s weather will help you pack properly and plan activities to match the weather during your stay.

Costa Rica’s tropical climate means warm weather year-round. Even in the coolest months, temperatures average in the 70s Fahrenheit across most of the country. Along the scenic coastlines, daily highs reach the 80s and 90s nearly every day. Higher inland elevations see slightly cooler weather, especially at night. But sweater weather is rare even at Costa Rica’s peak elevations.

The distinct dry and wet seasons divide the year in half. December to April brings the dry season, known locally as verano. With little rain, humidity levels drop while sunshine increases. Visitors will enjoy rain-free beach days and plentiful sun during these months. Some inland areas may experience occasional light showers, but overall precipitation is minimal.

Contrastingly, the wet season or invierno runs May through November. Tropical downpours become frequent and the landscape transforms into a vibrant green. Plan for rains daily, either brief or prolonged. But mornings typically start rain-free, with precipitation increasing in the afternoon and evening. The rains nourish Costa Rica’s teeming jungles and cascading waterfalls.

Along with increased rainfall, humidity levels rise during the wet season. Temperatures don’t fluctuate much but may feel hotter. Lightweight clothing and breathability are key. Don’t let the rain deter you though – locals embrace the rains as a fact of life and tourist activity continues year-round.

One key regional difference is that Costa Rica’s Caribbean coast stays drier than the Pacific side. The Caribbean sees less rain in the ‘wet season’ and retains blue bird skies even when other areas get soaked. Keep this in mind when planning your ideal weather experience.

Now let’s look at average monthly temperatures and rainfall across Costa Rica:

  • January-March: High 80s, lows mid 60s. Little rain.
  • April: Highs low 90s, lows upper 60s. Increasing rain chances.
  • May-June: Highs low 90s, lows 70s. Frequent rain.
  • July-August: Highs upper 80s, lows low 70s. Peak rainfall months.
  • September-October: Highs mid 80s, lows low 70s. Heavy rains continue.
  • November: Highs low 80s, lows upper 60s. Rain subsides.
  • December: Highs low 80s, lows low 60s. Return of drier weather.

Rain or shine, temperatures remain mild across Costa Rica all year. Pack an array of outfits from swimsuits to lightweight pants and breathable shirts. Bring layers for both the cooler mountain towns and damp rainforest hikes. And don’t forget the rainjacket – you’ll want outer layers that dry quickly after getting caught in sudden downpours.

Costa Rica’s weather adds to its tropical allure. With fine-tuned preparation for the expected climate, first-time visitors can make the most of their time enjoying dazzling beaches, lush jungles, and exotic wildlife in a destination with perpetual summertime.

Weather Month by Month

Costa Rica Weather Chart
Month Avg. Temperature (°C) Avg. Temperature (°F) Rainfall (mm) Rainfall (inches) Daylight Hours
January 27 81 10 0.39 11
February 28 82 5 0.20 11
March 29 84 2 0.08 12
April 30 86 1 0.04 12
May 30 86 1 0.04 12
June 29 84 7 0.28 12
July 28 82 12 0.47 11
August 28 82 12 0.47 11
September 28 82 16 0.63 11
October 28 82 17 0.67 11
November 28 82 16 0.63 11
December 27 81 14 0.55 11

Costa Rica Weather Forecast

San Jose

San Jose
haze
50.3 ° F
53.5 °
45.7 °
81 %
2.6mph
0 %
Fri
72 °
Sat
74 °
Sun
82 °
Mon
87 °
Tue
83 °

San Jose is the capital and largest city of Costa Rica, located in the Central Valley region of the country. The city has a subtropical highland climate, with temperatures ranging from the mid-60s to low-70s Fahrenheit (18-24 degrees Celsius) throughout the year.

The region also experiences a dry season from December to April and a wet season from May to November, with the heaviest rainfall typically occurring in September and October

Quepos

Quepos
overcast clouds
83.5 ° F
83.5 °
83.5 °
77 %
1.2mph
96 %
Fri
86 °
Sat
85 °
Sun
85 °
Mon
85 °
Tue
84 °

The average weather in Quepos, a town located in the Puntarenas province of Costa Rica, is warm and tropical year-round. The town is located near the Pacific coast and has a humid climate. The average high temperature is around 90 degrees Fahrenheit (32 degrees Celsius) during the day, and the average low temperature is around 70 degrees Fahrenheit (21 degrees Celsius) at night.

Quepos receives a lot of rainfall throughout the year, with the wettest months being September to November. The town is also prone to occasional heavy downpours and thunderstorms. Overall, the weather in Quepos is generally hot, humid, and rainy.

Domincal

Dominical
light rain
74.9 ° F
74.9 °
74.9 °
86 %
0.9mph
91 %
Fri
79 °
Sat
80 °
Sun
80 °
Mon
80 °
Tue
80 °

Dominical is located in a region that has a tropical rainforest climate with high humidity and temperatures that range from the mid-70s to low-80s Fahrenheit (24-29 degrees Celsius) throughout the year.

The region also experiences a wet season from May to November and a dry season from December to April, with the heaviest rainfall typically occurring in September and October.

Jaco

Jacó
overcast clouds
82.9 ° F
82.9 °
82.9 °
77 %
1.6mph
99 %
Fri
84 °
Sat
84 °
Sun
84 °
Mon
84 °
Tue
83 °

Jaco has a tropical rainforest climate with high humidity and temperatures that range from the mid-70s to low-80s Fahrenheit (24-29 degrees Celsius) throughout the year.

The region also experiences a wet season from May to November and a dry season from December to April, with the heaviest rainfall typically occurring in September and October.

Limon

Puerto Limón
scattered clouds
80.5 ° F
84.1 °
80.5 °
89 %
1.3mph
40 %
Fri
87 °
Sat
85 °
Sun
85 °
Mon
85 °
Tue
86 °

Limon is a province and city located on the Caribbean coast of Costa Rica. The region has a tropical rainforest climate with high humidity and temperatures that range from the mid-70s to low-80s Fahrenheit (24-29 degrees Celsius) throughout the year.

The region also experiences a wet season from May to November and a dry season from December to April, with the heaviest rainfall typically occurring in September and October.

Arenal

Arenal
moderate rain
81.3 ° F
81.3 °
81.3 °
89 %
0.5mph
100 %
Fri
92 °
Sat
87 °
Sun
85 °
Mon
93 °
Tue
93 °

Arenal is a region located in the northwest of Costa Rica, known for its active volcano and hot springs. The region has a tropical rainforest climate with high humidity and temperatures that range from the mid-70s to low-80s Fahrenheit (24-29 degrees Celsius) throughout the year.

The region also experiences a wet season from May to November and a dry season from December to April, with the heaviest rainfall typically occurring in September and October.

Monteverde

Monteverde
broken clouds
67.9 ° F
73.2 °
67.9 °
27 %
1.8mph
83 %
Fri
77 °
Sat
77 °
Sun
74 °
Mon
80 °
Tue
78 °

Monteverde is a region located in the northwest of Costa Rica, known for its cloud forests and high elevation. The region has a tropical rainforest climate with high humidity and temperatures that range from the mid-60s to low-70s Fahrenheit (18-24 degrees Celsius) throughout the year.

The region also experiences a dry season from December to April and a wet season from May to November, with the heaviest rainfall typically occurring in September and October.

Liberia

Liberia
overcast clouds
92.7 ° F
92.7 °
92.7 °
48 %
0.8mph
87 %
Fri
92 °
Sat
86 °
Sun
90 °
Mon
86 °
Tue
88 °

Liberia is the capital city of the province of Guanacaste in Costa Rica, located in the northwest region of the country. The city has a tropical savanna climate, with temperatures ranging from the mid-70s to low-80s Fahrenheit (24-29 degrees Celsius) throughout the year.

The region also experiences a dry season from December to April and a wet season from May to November, with the heaviest rainfall typically occurring in September and October.

Tamarindo

Tamarindo
heavy intensity rain
84.8 ° F
84.8 °
84.8 °
55 %
1.4mph
0 %
Fri
94 °
Sat
96 °
Sun
98 °
Mon
100 °
Tue
100 °

Tamarindo is a coastal town located in the northwest region of Costa Rica, about an hour’s drive from the city of Liberia. The town has a tropical savanna climate, with temperatures ranging from the mid-70s to low-80s Fahrenheit (24-29 degrees Celsius) throughout the year.

The region also experiences a dry season from December to April and a wet season from May to November, with the heaviest rainfall typically occurring in September and October.

Puerto Viejo

Puerto Viejo
clear sky
87.7 ° F
87.7 °
87.7 °
69 %
0.8mph
10 %
Fri
96 °
Sat
97 °
Sun
89 °
Mon
84 °
Tue
87 °

Puerto Viejo is a small coastal town located on the Caribbean coast of Costa Rica, in the province of Limon. The town has a tropical rainforest climate with high humidity and temperatures that range from the mid-70s to low-80s Fahrenheit (24-29 degrees Celsius) throughout the year.

The region also experiences a wet season from May to November and a dry season from December to April, with the heaviest rainfall typically occurring in September and October.

Costa Rica Winds

Costa Rica Weather FAQs

What is the average temperature in Costa Rica?

The average temperature in Costa Rica varies depending on the location and elevation, but in general, the temperature ranges from 70 to 80 degrees Fahrenheit (21 to 27 degrees Celsius) at lower elevations and cooler at higher elevations.

What is the rainy season in Costa Rica?

The rainy season in Costa Rica, also known as the “green season,” typically runs from May to November, with the heaviest rainfall occurring from September to November.

Is it always hot in Costa Rica?

No, the temperature in Costa Rica varies depending on the elevation and location. Coastal areas tend to be hot and humid, while the central valley and highland regions have a more temperate climate.

What is the best time to visit Costa Rica?

The best time to visit Costa Rica depends on your personal preferences and what you want to do during your visit. The dry season, which runs from December to April, is a popular time to visit because of the pleasant weather and lower risk of rainfall. However, the rainy season can also be a good time to visit, as the rain tends to come in short bursts and the country is lush and green.

Does Costa Rica have hurricanes?

Costa Rica is located outside of the Caribbean hurricane belt, so it is not directly affected by hurricanes. However, the country can still be impacted by storms that form in the Pacific Ocean.