Costa Rica in detail

When to go and weather

High Season (Dec–Apr)

  • ‘Dry’ season still sees some rain; beach towns fill with domestic tourists.
  • Accommodations should be booked well ahead; some places enforce minimum stays.

Shoulder (May–Jul & Nov)

  • Rain picks up and the stream of tourists starts to taper off.
  • There may still be crowds, because students in Europe and North America are on holiday.
  • Roads are muddy and rivers begin to rise, making off-the-beaten-track travel more challenging.

Low Season (Aug–Oct)

  • Rainfall is highest, but storms bring swells to the Pacific and the best surfing conditions.
  • Rural roads can be impassable due to river crossings.
  • Accommodations prices lower significantly.
  • Some places close entirely; check before booking!