With all the recent happenings in the world caused by a changing weather, the question on how is the weather in a country we are planning to visit is more important than ever. Here you will find all you need to know about the weather in Costa Rica.
The country is located between the parallels Tropic of Cancer and Tropic of Capricorn, in the Tropics line, giving special characteristics to the weather and defining that the country does not have four seasons like the US or other countries in northern and southern regions, but just a rainy and a dry season with transitional months.
The weather is also affected by the variety of mountain reliefs, the oceans, the location in the continent and the atmospheric situation. All of this means that even though we have a small country in size its richness in different types of climates is big. Sometimes you can be in a place pouring rain, travel 2 miles and have no rain at all!
The national weather institute of Costa Rica breaks up the country in seven big climate regions: North Pacific, Central Pacific, South Pacific, Central Region, North Region, North Caribbean Region and South Caribbean Region. And, we have two precipitation systems: the Pacific and the Caribbean. So, it is important to know in first-hand what areas in the country would you be visiting and when.
The Pacific has two well defined seasons:
-December to April: Dry or Gold Season
– May, June, July: Transitional months
– August to October: Rainy or Green Season
-November: Transitional month
The highest temperatures are typically recorded in March. During July and August, the Trade Winds clear up the skies, producing a Veranillo (little summer) or Cancula. The months with more precipitation are September and October.
It is important to mention that during the rainy season, mornings can be hot and sunny and afternoons with showers, or the other way around. Only a few days during October or September present rain during all day or more than a day.
In the North Pacific and Central Pacific, temperatures during the year go from 71˚F to 90˚F. During the dry season your favorite shorts and a tank top will be perfect for the high temperatures and during the rainy months a light sweater could be necessary for regions with highest altitudes.
The South Pacific has an influence from the Talamanca Mountain Range and the
The extensive valleys, the mountainous barrier of the Cordillera de Talamanca to the north, and its oceanic influence, generate in the South Pacific region a regime of rain extremely contrasted with the rest of the regions of the Pacific. This heterogeneity is perceived in a climate where the dry period is very favorable and short and the rainy season is intense, with some areas that present rainfall all year long.
The Caribbean does not have a defined dry season sustaining a precipitation of 100-200 mm during the driest months, which are split in two periods: February-March and September-October. The months with higher precipitations in the Caribbean are November, December and January, being December the peak month.
As you can see the precipitation periods are opposite from the Pacific, so you will always have a warm and dry place to visit in Costa Rica during the year.
The Central Region
The central valley and its surroundings has an influence of both the Caribbean and the Pacific. Temperatures are cooler and can vary from the 50˚s F to 80˚ F. The precipitation seasons in the central valley correspond to those present in the Pacific, and some regions in the west have a bigger influence of the Caribbean.
In general, Costa Rica offers a pleasant temperature throughout the year with a great variety of micro-weathers that allow the growth of a rich and unique biodiversity. If you plan to visit specific regions within the country and have questions about what to bring, we are more than glad to help with more details and suggestions.