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What to Expect from Costa Rica’s Summer Weather

Costa Rica is a country in Central America, bordering Nicaragua to the north, Panama to the southeast, the Pacific Ocean to the west, and the Caribbean Sea to the east.

In other words, it has an enviable position on the world’s map: it benefits from a tropical climate, a varied terrain that includes lush rainforests, mountains, volcanoes and over 800 miles of stunning coastline, and is known worldwide for its conservationism. 

As if all of the above wasn’t enough to entice even the most discerning tourist to visit it this summer, read on for what you can expect from the weather.

Tropical Climate

Typically, tropical climate means two distinct seasons, both of them warm but one wet and the other dry. There are also likely to be significant regional variations.

The dry season in Costa Rica is called ‘verano’ which means summer, and it runs from December to April, whereas rains dominate May to November – the season known as ‘invierno’ or winter.

Summer: The Dry Season

This is the best time of year to visit Costa Rica if you’re looking for sunshine, warm temperatures and little to no rainfall. The pleasant weather makes this the peak tourist season, particularly in the coastal regions. For watersports enthusiasts, these are the perfect weather conditions for their favourite pursuit.

So if you’re looking to do some wakeboarding in Costa Rica (or surfing, kayaking, boating and any number of other watersports available here), the summer months are the best time to visit.

Sunny each in Costa Rica

Winter: The Wet Season

This season tends to bring frequent and heavy rains. The mornings are still often sunny, while the most likely time of day for downpours is the afternoon or evening, when you may want to huddle up indoors with a coffee or a cocktail.

The upside of the rainy season is that the landscape becomes even more lush and green than usual, and the rainforest thrives with the extra precipitation, making it a wonderful time for nature lovers. 

Regional Variations

It’s also worth bearing in mind that climate conditions do vary depending on where in Costa Rica you go – while the population is only around 5 million people, surface wise this country covers a very respectable area of over 50,000 square kilometers. The central region is most likely to have moderate temperatures all year round, typically ranging from 15 – 26 degrees Celsius.

Along the Pacific coast, it tends to be warmer and this is where you’re likely to encounter the two distinct seasons, although the northern Pacific is dryer and the south more humid.

The Caribbean coast tends to have more consistent rainfall throughout the year, but there are two relatively dry spells: from February to March, and again from September to October.

Of course, amongst the various factors that influence climate, there is also elevation. If you go to the mountainous regions, you’re likely to encounter cooler temperatures and there can be significant rainfall. A typical example is the area around Lake Arenal, which has a unique microclimate due to the its elevation and proximity to the lake and the surrounding mountains.

It enjoys moderate and consistent temperatures year-round, ranging from around 21-27 degrees Celsius in the day, but it might feel much cooler at night – potentially as low as 15 degrees Celsius, so bring a long sleeve top for when the sun comes down.

In essence, Costa Rica benefits from many micro climates, influenced by its varied landscape.

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