Costa Rica month-to-month guide Dry Season

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Welcome to the Amazing Costa Rica month-to-month guide. In this post, we are creating a bulleted list of what to know and what to see in every single month. It is very useful if you can choose among some different dates for your vacation:

In this Costa Rica month-to-month guide, we will review all months weather, wildlife sightings, holidays, and the general behavior of the travel industry in the country. However, remember that things may change from one day to the next. So whatever information seems significant to you, please let us know, and we can solve any doubts you may have.

Find all about the Costa Rica seasons in our Best Time to Come to Costa Rica

Remember that throughout the year you can always spot monkeys, sloths, coatimundis, agoutis, crocodiles, iguanas, all snakes and vipers, basilisks, and all resident birds of Costa Rica.

It is also important to say that the weather has changed, and these guides do not necessarily apply all the time.

Therefore, it is always a good idea to check for updated information before planning your trip.

Basing it on the two distinctive weather and travel industry periods in this post, we will cover the drier months, and, next week, in our part three, you will find the months of the rainy season.

So, the Amazing Costa Rica Month-to-Month Guide in the sunny season goes like this:

December

  • Dry season in the Central Valley and the Pacific Coast.
  • Rainy Season on the North and Caribbean Coasts.
  • The start of the windy season in the Guanacaste Mountain Range.
  • The beginning of December is quite slow and a great time to come to Costa Rica, with no crowds and unpredictable weather regarding the most popular regions.
    • Despite the fact that it is a sunny season, it is quite unpredictable because “cold fronts” from the north are constantly affecting us.
    • The weather in Costa Rica in December it’s incredibly unpredictable, especially in the mountains when you can have rain, sun and wind all at the same time. In the mountains, it is usually very chilly, and temperatures can fall to the 40’s (F°).
    • On the Pacific coast and in December, sunny days are the norm, and the trees start to lose their leaves.
    • In some areas in the northern mountains, it can be very windy.
  • Later in the month, tourism starts raising rates too.
    • Ending up with peak season from Christmas day to the first Sunday of the year. With that, hotel prices rise. Our advice is to reserve your holidays with Amazing Costa Rica right away so that you can get the best accommodations and tours for that busy time.
  • Whales:
    • North Atlantic and California humpback whales, visible in the South Pacific region.
  • Turtles:
    • Leatherback turtles, Pacific Green Sea turtles, and Olive Ridley Sea turtles on the Pacific coast.

January

  • Sunny and windy in the Pacific and central areas. Rainy on the Caribbean side
    • Since the crowds of Christmas and New Year’s celebrations still linger, January’s first days are very busy and still peak season.
    • The rest of the month is part of the high season, and there will be a lot of people at the main tourist attractions and spots.
    • Book early, as accommodations, tours, and transportation are usually full.
    • If you are traveling to the mountains or the Central Valley, bring a jacket or sweater; temperatures may fall to the 30’s F. when there are cold fronts from the north.
    • Sometimes areas like Rincon de la Vieja, Tenorio, Miravalles, or Monteverde close national parks and hiking trails because of the danger of fallen trees.

Culture:

  • New Year’s Day
    • January 1: Celebrated throughout Costa Rica. Many businesses are closed.
    • It is a big celebration like in most countries from the West; however, it is important for you to know that Costa Ricans usually travel to the beach to receive the new year, so if you are thinking about the beach and don’t want the noise, parties, and crowds, think about it twice or change your itinerary to more tranquil settings.
  • Fiestas of Palmares
    • The first two weeks in January (Palmares)
    • Taking two weeks, the Fiestas de Palmares is the most extended party in the country. Think about a Costa Rican Octoberfest.
    • This is a community located about an hour from San Jose, and you will find a huge horse parade, bullfights (Tico style), food booths, fireworks, concerts, an amusement park, and a lot of drinking everywhere!
  • Fiestas of Santa Cruz
    • In the middle of January, Santa Cruz, Guanacaste. The Fiesta de Santa Cruz is a devout celebration of traditional music and dancing, typical food, fireworks, and, yes, drinking.
  • Wildlife watching:
    • Alaska and California humpback whales on the Pacific Coast
    • Hawksbill, leatherback, green, and olive ridley sea turtles on the Pacific coast
    • 252 migrating birds are in Costa Rica.
  • Agriculture:
    • The coffee harvest is still on, and it’s the second-best month to see a coffee tour (the best month is December).
    • The sugar cane crop is on. Be careful when driving in the mountains, as very slow truckers carrying tons of sugarcane can be a hazard.

February

  • Weather
    • Dry season on the Pacific side and rainy season in the Caribbean
      • We’re still in dry season, and the climate remains sunny and beautiful on the Pacific side. In the Caribbean, it is quite unpredictable. It is the end of the rainy season, but if there is a cold front coming from the north, it will be rainy.
  • It is important to acknowledge that there are many schools in the U.S. that have their spring breaks in February. So places may be full of youngsters.

Culture:

  • Fiesta de los Diablitos, in the southern mountains of Costa Rica. A celebration that takes several days to honor the ancestral spirits and the victory over the Spaniards, who never got into their territory.
  • Wildlife Sightings
    • Whales: Alaska/California humpback whales;
    • Turtles: leatherback and hawksbill sea turtles on the Caribbean coast (rare);
    • Hawksbill, leatherback, green, and olive Ridley sea turtles on the Pacific coast.
    • Resplendent Quetzal: Start of the breeding season. Visible in the cloud forests.

March

  • Weather
    • The sunny season is at its best.
    • The weather is sunny throughout Costa Rica. There are plenty of activities in San José, including several open-air concerts, and the touristic places are filled with travelers.
    • Plan ahead; sometimes you may need a year to find space at hotels.

Culture:

In March, we don’t find Costa Rican holidays, except in the years when Easter is celebrated in March.

However, it is a great time to experience the community’s celebrations.

In San José, on the first Saturday of March, you will find the Amon neighborhood (very close to downtown San José) with a great festival with concerts, typical foods, and all sorts of art and craft stands.

On the third weekend of March, we have Transitarte in San José, three days in the Morazán and Nacional Parks, and the streets around them are filled with music, dances, concerts, and all sorts of art and crafts stands. Worth the visit!

  • Wildlife Sightings
    • Whales: Alaska/California humpback whales;
    • Turtles: leatherback and hawksbill sea turtles on the Caribbean coast (rare);
    • Hawksbill, leatherback, green, and olive Ridley sea turtles on the Pacific coast.
    • Resplendent Quetzal: breeding season. Visible in the cloud forests.

April

  • Weather:
    • April marks the last official month of the sunny season, although frequently the dry season stays until the end of May.
  • Easter week is peak, meaning that hotels, tours, and transportation will already be booked months in advance as all Latin America, Costa Ricans included, get vacation. This, together with the “spring breakers,” creates quite a crowd.
    • In 2025, Easter goes from April 13th to April 19th.
    • If this is the time of year when you are expecting to come, it will be a good idea to get your reservations as soon as possible. Even a year in advance, yes. And know that it will be more expensive than usual.

Culture:

  • Holidays
    • April 11th: Juan Santamaría National Hero Day. Celebrations in schools and in some parks in the cities.
    • On Easter week, you will find processions in all the streets in the main communities. On Holy Thursday and Holy Friday, almost all businesses close, including stores, markets, and some restaurants.
  • Wildlife Sightings
    • Whales: Alaska/California humpback whales;
    • Turtles: leatherback and hawksbill sea turtles on the Caribbean coast (rare);
    • Hawksbill, leatherback, green, and olive Ridley sea turtles on the Pacific coast.
    • Resplendent Quetzal: nesting season. Visible in the cloud forests.

In conclusion, the Amazing Costa Rica month-to-month guide aims to give you valuable insights on the seasons and different moments throughout the year to enjoy Costa Rica fully.

Whether you’re interested in spotting diverse wildlife or experiencing local celebrations, Amazing Costa Rica offers something for everyone. I encourage you to explore the Best Time to Come to Costa Rica  detailed information on the country’s seasons. By planning ahead with Amazing Costa Rica, you can make the most of your visit!

And even if your are not ready, send us a note, or give us a call and we will give you all the needed information for a great Costa Rica Holiday!

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