According to the seasons…

Climates

Costa Rica’s seasons are far removed from those of the United States and Europe. When you ask a Tico what it’s like, he’ll tell you: the dry season and the green season. What’s more, the country is also subject to different climates, which is why we’ll refer to them in the plural. Indeed, although the country is relatively small (51,000 km2), it is nonetheless a land of contrasts. Costa Rica has a diverse and varied climate that can be divided into several climatic zones, each of which is different and individual. The main reason for these variations is that the country is situated between 2 oceans that are very close to each other. Added to this is a central mountain range that rises to over 3,820 m. The stage is set.

Regions rather than seasons

It would be a lie to describe Costa Rica’s climate month by month. When the weather is fine in the west, it can be a deluge in the east, and vice versa. From December to April, the entire Pacific coast enjoys a warm, dry climate, while the Caribbean is subject to heavy rainfall. From May to October, the Caribbean is sunnier, while the South Pacific is wetter, mainly in September and October.

However, the good news is that most of Costa Rica’s sights and attractions can be enjoyed all year round, depending on your interests. If you’ve come to see the active and abundant wildlife, the period from May to August is the most favorable. If you prefer very warm days and bask in the sun, the season from December to April will enchant you.

Here’s a table showing the main regional differences in rainfall and sunshine. Never lose sight of one important point: humidity = coolness = active, present animals. Basically, rain is part of the country and its richness. A nice tropical downpour at the end of the day has the merit of allowing you to sleep in the cool.

monteverde arc en ciel costa rica
heredia arc en ciel costa rcia

Costa Rica in January February

Costa Rica in March April

Costa Rica in July August

Costa Rica in November December

Precipitation and temperatures by region

PACIFIQUE CENTRAL
Temp.
En mm
Jan26,2 68
Fév26,532
Mar27,754
Avr28,2157
Mai27,6392
Juin26,7429
Juil27453
Août26,6487
Sept26,2523
Oct26,2627
Nov25,7374
Déc25,7147
PACIFIQUE SUD
Temp.
En mm
Jan2662
Fév26,361
Mar27,494
Avr27,9215
Mai27,3399
Juin26,5388
Juil26,6371
Août26,3426
Sept26468
Oct25,7664
Nov25,4347
Déc25,5107
GOLFO DULCE
Temp.En mm
Jan24,649
Fév24,938
Mar25,987
Avr26,1220
Mai25,5433
Juin24,9378
Juil25303
Août24,7410
Sept24,4494
Oct24,3571
Nov24280
Déc24,176
SAN GERARDO DE DOTA
Temp.
En mm
Jan22,835
Fév23,219
Mar24,144
Avr24,5143
Mai23,9345
Juin23,3346
Juil23,5316
Août23,2399
Sept23422
Oct23512
Nov22,6277
Déc22,486
CARAÏBES
Temp.En mm
Jan25,6286
Fév25,9187
Mar26,9182
Avr27,4274
Mai27,1272
Juin26,4257
Juil26,6378
Août26,4288
Sept26,2128
Oct25,9172
Nov25,4345
Déc25,3425
VALLÉE CENTRALE 
Temp.En mm
Jan20,218
Fév20,615
Mar21,323
Avr21,978
Mai21,6343
Juin21,2382
Juil21,1282
Août21,1383
Sept20,8464
Oct20,5472
Nov20,3214
Déc2056
ARENAL - TENORIO
Temp.En mm
Jan22,8281
Fév23,1182
Mar24108
Avr24,4124
Mai24,2330
Juin23,6464
Juil23,5576
Août23,4509
Sept23,2505
Oct23525
Nov22,9459
Déc22,5469
GUANACASTE - NICOYA
Temp.
En mm
Jan25,32
Fév25,77
Mar26,92
Avr27,444
Mai26,8209
Juin25,8229
Juil26,1180
Août25,8247
Sept25,4338
Oct25,2301
Nov24,9115
Déc24,721

Best seasons for species observation

Below are the best times to observe marine species in Costa Rica.

Some species are present year-round, such as dolphins on the Pacific coast from north to south, and to a lesser extent on the Caribbean coast.

In Tortuguero, manatees, an endangered species, are still present, but you’ll have little chance of spotting them as they are so shy.

 

REQUINS BALEINES

BALEINES A BOSSES

TORTUES VERTES ET NOIRES

TORTUES CARET OU IMRIQUEE

TORTUES LUTH

TORTUES OLIVATRE

TORTUES CAOUANNE

Janvier

Golfo Dulce
Sporadique

Pac. Sud

Pac. Nord Sporadique

Pac. Sud
Origine Arctique

Pac. Nord

Pac. Nord

Pac. Sud

Février

Golfo Dulce
Sporadique

Pac. Sud

Pac. Nord Sporadique

Pac. Sud
Origine Arctique

Pac. Nord

Pac. Nord

Mars

Golfo Dulce
Sporadique

Pac. Sud

Pac. Sud
Origine Arctique

Caraïbes

Avril

Golfo Dulce
Sporadique

Pac. Sud

Caraïbes

Mai

Caraïbes

Caraïbes

Caraïbes

Juin

Caraïbes

Pac. Sud

Caraïbes

Caraïbes

Pac. Sud

Caraïbes

Juillet

Pac. Sud
Origine Antarctique

Caraïbes

Pac. Sud

Caraïbes

Caraïbes

Pac. Nord

Pac. Sud

Caraïbes

Août

Pac. Sud
Origine Antarctique

Caraïbes

Pac. Sud

Caraïbes

Pac. Sud

Pac. Nord

Pac. Sud

Caraïbes

Septembre

Pac. Sud
Origine Antarctique

Pac. Sud

Caraïbes

Pac. Sud

Pac. Nord

Pac. Sud

Octobre

Pac. Sud
Origine Antarctique

Pac. Nord

Pac. Sud

Caraïbes

Pac. Nord

Pac. Sud

Pac. Nord

Pac. Sud

Novembre

Pac. Nord Sporadique

Pac. Sud
Origine Antarctique

Pac. Nord

Pac. Nord

Pac. Sud

Pac. Nord

Décembre

Pac. Nord Sporadique

Pac. Sud
Origine Arctique

Pac. Nord

Pac. Nord

Pac. Sud

If you’re on this page, it’s probably because 850 species of bird are attracting your attention. Costa Rica has become a benchmark for ornithology. In January and February, the country welcomes migrants from the north, and in September and October those from the south.

Toucans

You can see toucans all year round in Tortuguero, Sarapiqui, Arenal, Tenorio, Monteverde, the Caribbean coast, the Pacific coast and especially in the south, on the Osa peninsula.

Macao macaws

You’ll have the chance to observe Macaws all year round, particularly on the Central Pacific and the Osa Peninsula. The Nicoya Peninsula also benefits from a number of successful reintroduction projects.

Here are Costa Rica’s emblematic birds. The best periods for birdwatching are the nesting periods shown in color in the table.

 

Ara vert Ambigus



Résident

Quetzal
pharomachrus mocinno


Résident

Araponga tricaronculé
Procnias tricarunculatus


Résident

Pénélope unicolore
Chamaepetes unicolor


Résident

Colibri à gorge rubis
Archilochus colubris

Migrateur

Calliste safran
Tangara icterocephala


Résident

Jabiru d’Amérique
Jabiru Mycteria


Résident

Janvier

Zone nord

Palo verde tempisque

Caño Negro
Rio frio

Février

Zone nord

Monteverde

Cordillère centrale

Palo verde tempisque

Caño Negro
Rio frio

Mars

Zone nord

Monteverde

Monteverde

Monteverde

Tapantí

La amistad

Cordillère centrale

Guanacaste / Guiones - Pelada

Ujarras / Cartago

Palo verde tempisque

Caño Negro
Rio frio

Avril

Zone nord

Monteverde

Monteverde

Tapantí

La amistad

Cordillère centrale

Guanacaste / Guiones - Pelada

Ujarras / Cartago

Turrialba

Mai

Zone nord

Monteverde

Monteverde

Tapantí

La amistad

Cordillère centrale

Guanacaste / Guiones - Pelada

Ujarras / Cartago

Turrialba

Juin

Zone nord

Monteverde

Monteverde

Tapantí

La amistad

Cordillère centrale

Vallée centrale

Turrialba

Tortuguero

Juillet

Monteverde

Monteverde

Tapantí

La amistad

Vallée centrale

Arenal

Turrialba

Tortuguero

Août

Monteverde

Monteverde

Tapantí

La amistad

Vallée centrale

Arenal

Turrialba

Tortuguero

Septembre

Vallée centrale

Arenal

Tortuguero

Octobre

Vallée centrale

Arenal

Tortuguero

Novembre

Arenal

Palo verde tempisque

Caño Negro
Rio frio

Décembre

Palo verde tempisque

Caño Negro
Rio frio