Weather and Time of Day in Costa Rica

What is the weather like in Costa Rica? 

Those who live in Costa Rica or who have traveled here are probably rolling their eyes. The answer? Whatever you want it to be with the exception of snow and frost. Costa Rica has so many climates that a visitor can be surprised by the need for changes of clothing. For instance, the beaches are tropical. By that, I mean hot. Daytime temps in the high 80's to mid 90's are common. The humidity can vary, but it is generally somewhat high.

The rainforests are hot and humid, but the cloud forests are cool and moist.

On the other hand, you can visit the mountains where the temperatures may not reach 65 degrees during the day and can be in the high 40's to low 50's at night with plenty of fog. If you only brought shorts and swim trunks, you can find yourself very chilly! Oh, and there are no furnaces here, so if your trip included the mountain areas ay night, bring your snuggies!

In the Central Valley, where the capital of San Jose is located, temperatures average around 78-80 each day with low-moderate humidity. The valley is several thousand feet above sea level which accounts for the wonderfully moderate temps! The sun shines nearly every day, even in the Green (rainy) Season. San Jose may well have the best climate in the world.

With that much variance, you must truly plan your clothing as you plan your trip.

I was recently visiting a friend whose home is in the mountainous portion of Heredia, and I found myself in the odd position of telling some US friends that even though I was over a thousand miles south of Miami, it was colder than Chicago.  This was in March!

The sun shines brightly here in CR and is VERY hot. CR is located only ten degrees north of the equator, so we get a strong dose each day. You can burn nicely in far less than 30 minutes, so travelers here must come prepared and take it easy at first.  Sadly, one of the things most travel agents forget to tell you is to bring sunscreen.  Probably because they have only read about CR themselves!

A note about seasons.

Cost Rica has two seasons. Summer and Winter (Green Season).

Summer starts in December and ends around May. Summer is dry, and rain comes rarely. As I write this in February, San Jose has not had more than an hour or so of rain since 3 days before Christmas. Other parts of the country have had more rain however... especially the mountain areas. An interesting note: The kids in CR enjoy their Summer vacation during December - February.  Needless to say, this is also called the High Season, and hotel rates and many other prices are higher during this period.

Winter - called the "green season" by some very imaginative marketing executive I am sure, runs from late May early June to late November.  Where I live in San Jose, we expect clouds by Noon and rain around 1 PM each day that can last from one or two hours to maybe five or six hours.. That still leaves maybe 7 hours of sun each morning, so the rain is not unpleasant at all.

It is no accident, therefore, that hotels rates rise in December and fall in June. However, even in the rainy season, there is almost always six or seven hours each day of sun.  Then, around Noon or 1:00 PM, it begins to rain.  This lasts from a couple of hours to as late as early evening.  It then clears, and the whole process repeats.  Rain here comes straight down and a hard rain is drenching, dropping inches of rain in just a few hours.  Clearly, this mean you must plan you outdoor activities for the morning, and inside stuff for the afternoon.  One nice thing is it really IS green.  Everything blooms and the foliage is most excellent.


CR is a land of contrasts! So many folks come to visit for the beaches which ARE gorgeous, but they forget the mountains, rain and cloud forests, and other splendid areas such as the Arenal Volcano and Lake Arenal.

Come and enjoy this beautiful place, but remember to travel as much of Costa Rica as you can. It WILL be worth your time!


Costa Rica Weather

Here is the current weather at many other popular Costa Rica destinations. Click on city for report.






Click for San Jose, Costa Rica Forecast
San José Weather
(Central Valley)

Click for Liberia, Costa Rica Forecast
Liberia Weather
(NW Beaches)

Click for Puerto Limon, Costa Rica Forecast
Puerto Limón Weather
(Caribbean Beaches)

 See lots more forecasts here


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