Costa Rica in August
Replies: 11 - Last Post: Jul 13, 2010 3:19 PM Last Post By: eleanorcr
Jul 11, 2010 9:24 AM
Costa Rica in AugustI've read that August is the wet season in Costa Rica. But my friend needs a vacation, and Costa Rica is one of my top 5 places to visit. However...
we can only go for 7-10 days in August. Will this time affect our ability to do/see any area? Is a certain coast better in August? Pacific or Caribbean?
Jul 11, 2010 10:14 AM
1Rainy season, or GREEN Season, is from May to late November, and October is traditionally the worst, depending on El Nina/Nino.
But, Green season is BEST time to visit Costa Rica, the jungle and canopy is in full bloom, everything is VERY green and LUSH. Its my favorite time, and most people on this forum, as its also cheaper, and less crowded, though August is a bump up due to EU/North American vacationers.
Expect afternoon showers, some a few hours, some all night, rarely more than 2 days straight. When it does come down and boy, tropical rains can be fierce, rain drops the size of golf balls, its a beautiful time, first the canopy is so loud, but relaxing, a great time to snooze, read a book, hit the bar, and chill out, its also takes the edge off the heat of the day, then when it stops, the canopy comes alive, the colorful song birds start shopping for insects and flowers, and everything blooms all over again.
Dry Season, it is actually brown in the canopy and bushes, and the flora dull in comparison, though the skies blue 24/7.
Its all about Rainy season in the tropics, and besides October, a great time. expect delays on some routes, flooding and landslides, but the locals deal with it every year, so no worries, just plan extra time with mountain travel in case, when renting a vehicle.
Jul 11, 2010 1:05 PM
2I have to say, SoloHobo, that is the best description of rainy season in Costa Rica I have ever read. Now you are waxing poetic! I'm going to copy it, steal it and make it my own. Yah, yah, sue me.
lowbudgetfun: Costa Ricans have their own concept of time; we call it "Tico time." When someone says they will show up at your house at 8, you may ask, "Is that Tico time or Gringo time?" If it is Tico time, it might be 8 - it might be 9 or even 10 or somewhere in between. So when it rains, Ticos either just go ahead with what they are doing or wait for a little while for things to clear up and they really don't worry about the rain. As a tourist, you may want to maximize the amount of things you are able to do while on vacation, but as SoloHobo put it - use the time to rest and recharge and just enjoy the beauty that is around you. Throw off the frantic NorthAmerican Type A and just go with it.
As for Pacific or Caribbean, that is a really subjective choice. Without knowing a whole lot more, I would not want to recommend. Check a good guide book for more information and see what fits your wants/needs more closely.
Jul 12, 2010 5:33 PM
3I would head to the Pacific coast ... not only is it more interesting, but if there is a hurricane (not highly likely, but possible), it would impact the Carrib side.
Count on rain daily, but more in the form of brief afternoon showers rather than an all day downpour.
Jul 12, 2010 5:55 PM
Please clarify what part of the Pacific coast is more interesting, and why?
Its certainly is far more developed, has loads more gringos, more tourist and less culture, it does not have Tortuguero, it does not have afro caribe cuisine, and its does not have afro caribe calypso music, and it does not have 4 national parks all 2 hours apart, Tortuguero, Cahuita, Gonduca and La Amistad!
Jul 13, 2010 6:49 AM
5OK. To defend the Pacific coast - there is a wide variety of lodging available in places that are developed and places that are not. There is a wide variety of areas to stay from Bosque del Cabo north to Tamarindo and further north to the village of Cuajiniquil and Bahia Salinas, near the Nicaraguan border, very quiet, nice lodging and beautiful beach. As for National Parks, there are four National Parks on the Pacific Coast, Marino Ballenas, Manuel Antonio,Marino Los Baulas, Santa Rosa as well as 10 Wildlife Refuges. It is certainly more developed than the Caribbean coast but there are many many places that are not.
I like both coasts - they each have their own charm. Of course, the ideal is to visit both.
As for a hurricane impacting the Caribbean side, the usual impact is lots of rain which also happens on the Pacific side from time to time - it happened recently at Manuel Antonio. I don't think that storms or the lack of storms is a good reason to pick either coast.
Jul 13, 2010 6:52 AM
6I take exception to the "Pacific coast is more interesting" comment, #4 is not talking about lodging, or villages, its referring to interest? And Interest to me equates to adventure and culture, and the Caribe coast offers far more variety.
In regards to lodging, all the places you mention are lovely, but few, if 10% of the tourist in CR, go to those areas. Most people head to Playa Papagaoy, which is development gone wrong in a area of ranch country with nothing but resorts, Playa Tamarindo, a once sleepy surfer town now with a Burger King/Subway and a condo highrise, Playa Jaco, the epitome of development and tourism at worst in CR, and Manual Antonio, nice and very developed, next to a crappy fishing port that smells. and park overrun by hordes of people daily. I have not even mentioned the fact the adventure aspect of the western pacific beaches, is ZERO, nothing, not a thing to do besides Ostional Mangroves and Turtle Nesting. Unless you surf.
More Interesting would apply to these areas? Then whats the caribe side, another country?
Now, the Southern Zone, from Dominical south, is interesting, waterfalls, refuges, whales watching, snorkeling and undeveloped beaches await you, something thats
#4 is well off the mark on the statement.
Jul 13, 2010 6:59 AM
7I agree with you SH - I don't think the Pacific coast is more interesting.... just different. The Caribbean coast does have an interesting culture - something a little different from the rest of Costa Rica - but there is definitely Costa Rican culture to be found on the Pacific coast as well. But not if you stay at the RIU Guanacaste or Los Suenos or something like this. Luckily, there are none of these on the Caribbean coast - may it ever be so.
As regards to lodging - I mentioned these places on purpose to show that the Pacific coast does have places to go other than the developed areas such as Tamarindo. I can't help that people are too lazy/frightened to find something a little out of the way.
Jul 13, 2010 7:02 AM
Jul 13, 2010 9:14 AM
9Now, SoloHobo, I have a question about Jaco -- I have read things from you and others (and my own opinion) that Jaco is to be avoided for various reasons. However, I have read things from another set of people who say they really enjoyed their stay in Jaco or they come every year for a month in Jaco and like it a lot. What am I missing here? These are older, settled couples - not looking for a "good time" so what do they see or do that we don't see? Do they just stay at Los Suenos and then go out to dinner at some restaurant they like? Any ideas??
Jul 13, 2010 1:24 PM
Jul 13, 2010 3:19 PM
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