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The best time to visit Costa Rica

Tucked between the Caribbean Sea and the Pacific Ocean, Costa Rica is a haven of natural beauty, celebrated for its stunning beaches, lush rainforests, and abundant wildlife. This eco-friendly destination offers a wealth of activities for every kind of traveler. But when should you plan your visit? 

The dry season (December to April) 

Costa Rica's dry season, spanning from December to April, is generally seen as the best time to explore this breathtaking country. The dry season is all about clear skies, warm temperatures, and minimal rainfall, making it a great time to indulge in Costa Rica’s many outdoor pursuits. Whether you're trekking through the rainforests of Manuel Antonio National Park, lounging on the pristine beaches of the Nicoya Peninsula, or catching waves on the Pacific Coast, the dry season will make the entire experience more pleasurable. 

The green season (May to November) 

Arenal Volcano National Park view from deck with Arenal Lake and jungle during sunset in Costa Rica
You can’t miss a visit at Arenal Volcano National Park on your Costa Rican adventure!

Embracing its own unique charm, the green season, which runs from May to November, is aptly named. While sporadic rain showers are more frequent during these months, they're often short-lived, and are typically followed by bright sunshine. The great thing about visiting during the green season is that there are fewer crowds, so you’ll get a chance to explore renowned attractions like Arenal Volcano National Park and the Osa Peninsula with a sense of tranquility. 

Whale watching season (July to October) 

Just like in nearby Panama, July to October is prime whale watching season in Costa Rica. During this time, humpback whales migrate through the country’s Pacific waters in what is one of nature’s greatest spectacles. Embarking on a whale-watching tour during this period grants you a front-row seat to watch these magnificent creatures breaching and playing in their natural habitat. 

Turtle nesting season (July to November) 

Turtles at Tortuguero National Park, Limon, Costa Rica
Tortuguero National Park is the prime place to witness wild turtles.

For those enthralled by wildlife encounters, the months of July to November present an extraordinary opportunity to witness sea turtles nesting along Costa Rica's coasts. Tortuguero National Park, colloquially known as the "Land of the Turtles," is a prime location for this phenomenon. Sign up for a guided tour to witness the remarkable sight of these ancient creatures laying their eggs under the moonlit sky. 

Festivals and events 

For a unique cultural experience, consider visiting during one of Costa Rica’s many festivals. Some of our favorites include the lively Fiestas de Zapote in December and the spirited Palmares Festival in January, both of which feature traditional music, dancing, bullfights, and delectable local cuisine. For a unique fusion of music, art, and yoga against the backdrop of a breathtaking beach setting, the Envision Festival in February is an experience not to be missed. 

Whether you're drawn to the sunny escapades and outdoor thrills of the dry season or captivated by the lush landscapes and intimate experiences of the green season, Costa Rica is a year-round playground. It’s one of those places that simply has to be experienced to be believed. So check out our sample itinerary here and then speak to a Destination Expert about crafting your own Costa Rica adventure. 

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