In Costa Rica, there are two distinct seasons: the wet season and the dry season. If you visit the country between May and November, you may anticipate experiencing some rainfall, from brief morning showers to heavy afternoon storms.
Some regions of the nation experience more rain than others. Although it rarely rains all day, the later in the rainy season you arrive, the more likely it is that one or two stormy days will occur. Fortunately, this article will enlighten you on what to do in Costa Rica when it rains.
What is The Rainiest Month In Costa Rica? (& Which Months Are The Rainy Season?)
The rainy season in Costa Rica’s Pacific region is from May to mid-December, with rainfall reaching a dramatic peak from September to November, which is probably the worst season to visit. There is essentially no rainfall in the dry season, which lasts from January to April. The Caribbean coast has a different trend, with year-round rain that is more constant but with significant drops between October and March.
Is It Worth Visiting Costa Rica In The Rainy Season?
The country has a certain allure in the rainy season that is absent when it’s dry, even though most tourists prefer to visit when it is sunny. Here are four reasons why planning a trip or visiting the country during the rainy season may be the best option.
It Is Exquisitely Green and Lush
In Costa Rica, particularly in the northern Guanacaste province, certain areas can become very brown and dry during the hot season. In contrast, rivers swell during the rainy season, and the country’s flora turns into a beautiful deep green scenery.
A wide array of blossoming trees and flowers are set against a stunning backdrop of the jungle as it comes back to life. Due to the early rains that bring on their vibrant blossoms, the start of the green season is also one of the best times to view orchids.
If you have a limited budget, you should highly consider an off-season trip to Costa Rica since it is less expensive. Even some of the country’s upscale resorts during the rainy season provide discounts. Discounts are not just available for hotels; you may also obtain excellent rates on excursions, spa services, and car rentals.
It Is Less Crowded
A restaurant reservation, attraction sites like national parks, or a room at your chosen hotel should be simple to obtain due to low demand, and you can enjoy uncrowded beaches.
A waterfall needs a lot of water to offer a fantastic scene, and the green season is when the waterfalls are at their most impressive state to view. There are numerous intriguing falls in Costa Rica that range in height from 60 to 300 feet.
For instance, the beautiful blue waters in Rio Celeste, located in the Rio Tenorio National Park, provide a breathtaking hour-long ascent view. Alternatively, you can also plan a trip to La Paz Waterfall Gardens south of San Jose to see rescued jungle creatures before making the short hike to the falls.
Does It Rain All Day In Costa Rica During Rainy Season?
On the Pacific coast, October is typically the wettest month. Although this does not imply that it rains all day and every day, there are some days where it may rain the entire day. Fortunately, there are still some pleasant days with little to no rain, but they are fewer in number.
Throughout this period and into November, ondas or tropical waves are also frequent. These are weather systems that occasionally bring thunderstorms and heavy rain, which could last for one or several days.
The weather on the Caribbean coast is totally different from that on the Pacific region. It is very rare for the area to rain all day unless there is a tropical storm which is also not common in this part of the country.
What To Do In Costa Rica During the Rainy Season?
Going on a whale-watching excursion is undoubtedly one of the most incredible things to do in Costa Rica while it’s raining, so put on your gear and head out to the ocean.
You may get the chance to see different species of whales, such as humpback whales and orcas, out on the open ocean. The Gulf of Papagayo, Marino Bellano Park to the south of San Jose, and Drake Bay to the north of Osa are all excellent places to see whales. In addition to whales, you might also get a chance to see otters and seabirds.
If you’re going to surf, you’ll definitely get wet, so why not brave the rain and the ocean waves? There are many surf places in Costa Rica that are in their best condition during the rainy season.
While Drake Bay, Cabo Matapalo, and Playa Zancudo provide a more manageable challenge between May and November, the beach at Pavones, which is home to one of the most extended left-point breaks in the world, has the most incredible surf from April to October.
Native Americans conducted an entrance dance during the dry seasons to bring rain, which is how the rain dance became. They would dance in circles and chant while donning turquoise clothing and feathers.
You can join the locals, who are very welcoming and friendly, in the rain dance ritual. During the rain dance, put on a swimsuit and feel every drop. Be at one with nature by letting go and allowing the rain to wash away your worries or anything that is no longer useful.
Sea turtles are most visible during the green season at Costa Rica’s turtle nesting locations. These sea animals come ashore to lay their eggs in the evening, especially when it rains, making it the perfect time to participate in a turtle tour.
You can see loggerhead, hawksbill, and most frequently green sea turtles in Tortuguero, while the renowned Olive Ridley arribadas (egg-laying episodes) take place in Ostional National Wildlife Reserve.
Scuba Diving and Snorkeling
The green season marks some of Costa Rica’s best snorkeling and scuba diving opportunities, so take refuge from the rain by scuba diving beneath the sea. You can enjoy the best views of the area’s marine life and ocean caves. Alternately, take pleasure in exploring the nation’s two living coral reefs and the distinctive underwater features in the southern Caribbean.
Best Indoor Activities For When It Rains
If the skies open and it starts to rain, below are four of the best indoor activities to consider while in Costa Rica.
It is much easier to attain more profound levels of meditation when you are focusing on the calming sound of the rain and listening to it. Surrender yourself to Ganesha while allowing the sound of the ocean to soothe your thoughts. You can light a candle, be present at the moment, and allow the moment’s most profound reality to lead you to a higher level.
Relax and Unwind
In Costa Rica, watching the rain from your patio or balcony is the definition of tranquility. The sight of lightning striking the ocean is captivating, and the scent of rain quenching the forest is intoxicating. The sound of thunder echoing across the sky serves as a gentle reminder of the planet’s strength.
You will be able to feel life overflowing all around you during one of these great deluges. The skies present the most breathtaking sunset views when it’s raining due to the presence of rainbows, which also cool the air.
Wine and Dine
You can also just snack and drink your way through a storm as a way to pass the time. Particularly outside of San Jose, open-air dining is the norm in Costa Rica. Traditional soups such as sopa mariscos, olla de Carne, sopa negra, creama de pejibaye, and rondon are appropriate for a wet day. You can also get through a storm with a few beers and chili guaros.
Get a Massage
Get pampered at one of the best spas in the nation to make your rainy day extra peaceful. Numerous spas follow a holistic philosophy, including reflexology, reiki, and acupuncture in their treatment offerings. You will definitely feel pampered with accents of the tropics, such as chocolate body wraps, coconut oils, and macadamia nut body scrubs.
Tips For Visiting Costa Rica During The Rainy Season
Since it tends to rain heavily at night during the wet season, you should avoid driving long distances in the late afternoon or at night. If your flight arrives after 3 or 4 PM and your next location is more than three hours away, spend the night close to the airport and depart early the next day.
Even though some businesses are delighted to reduce their costs slightly, they occasionally choose not to advertise that their prices are lower during the rainy season. Therefore, do not hesitate to ask for a rainy season/off-peak discount on various services and amenities.
Always carry your raincoat, umbrella, rain boots, or waterproof shoes whenever you are engaging in excursions and tours.
Bring some mosquito repellant because mosquitoes are most prevalent in the rainy season, and ensure you sleep inside a mosquito net.
Getting lost or trapped in a storm is the last thing you want to happen. Therefore, obtain a GPS if you intend to rent a vehicle or use Waze or Google Maps on your smartphone since it can be challenging to see road signs when it’s raining heavily.
Avoid using detours or the shortest routes when using a GPS, as it usually involves traveling on an unpaved road. Retrace your path to the main road if you miss a turn.
Consider traveling to places close to the major attraction sites and towns. You won’t have to be concerned about making long drives in the weather after all. But, if you plan to travel or stay in areas away from the main tourist areas, consider renting a 4WD vehicle since you may occasionally encounter rough terrain roads.
Power outages may occur in some locations when it is raining; hence it will be vital to have a power bank or a battery pack to keep your phone charged. It will also be helpful to have a flashlight or headlamp.
Not everyone enjoys the wet season, especially when planning for an international trip, but Costa Rica’s rainy season is an exception worth considering. The fantastic thing about the country’s wet season is how it gradually intensifies over time after a calm start. As you can see, there are plenty of fun activities to engage in while it’s raining. Since most tourists avoid the rainy season, this is also the best time to enjoy Costa Rica’s scenery because there are fewer tourists and the prices are lower.