Knowing the right time to visit Southern Costa Rica can be a bit tricky. Balancing cost, crowds, weather, and your own schedule can be tough, but timing your visit right means the vacation of a lifetime! Luckily, there are pros no matter when you choose to visit.
December to April
Peak tourist season and beautiful weather.
The peak tourist season is between December and April. This is Costa Rica’s dry season, when the sunshine is plentiful. This is the most popular time to visit, with good reason, given that the weather is gorgeous and ideal for outdoor adventures. This is also the most expensive time to visit, and depending on where you would like to stay, you might consider booking hotels and accommodation in advance. Because Southern Costa Rica remains an off-the-beaten-track region, the peak in high season is not overwhelming.
May to November
Rainy, but less expensive!
If you don’t mind the rain, choosing to visit between May and November means a significant price drop. Usually during this season, morning and evenings boast perfect weather with only a few hours of rain mid-day. One thing to consider is that many roads in Costa Rica become difficult to navigate during rainy season if you don’t have four-wheel drive. Around July, Costa Rica experiences a short burst of dry summery weather, and the jungles are more lush and green than ever. The only downfall is that tourism picks up a bit during this month due to summer vacations in North America.
If you’re interested in doing a little whale watching while in Costa Rica, the best time to visit is during one of the Humpback’s twice-yearly migrations. Every year between August and early November, Humpback whales from Antarctica migrate north toward the Southern Zone of Costa Rica. The next batch of whales migrates south from Alaska between December and March. Catching these whales at just the right team means the opportunity to witness Humpback whales and their babies up close!
The best time to visit Costa Rica depends on your unique personality. If you prefer sunny weather and don’t mind spending a little extra, come between December and April. If you prefer to get the best deals and have the beaches to yourself, choosing to come between May and November is a great idea. And don’t forget–if you want to see Humpback whales, make sure to choose a month in line with their migration pattern.