Costa Rica Climate, Weather & Maps

What can you expect with our weather and climate?

Well, Costa Rica is a tropical country situated between 8 and 11 degrees above the equator.  It has only two seasons: dry and green!   The dry season with very little rain is generally between late December and April and the green or wet season lasts the rest of the year - May through November, but still offers an average of about 5 hours of daily sunshine.  The Caribbean coast doesen't have this extended dry weather and stays green all year round and due to the humidity, tends to be a little oppressive sometimes.  The Central Mountainous Region is more temperate, like the spring-like weather in San Jose, below.

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San Jose Weather - Near the Juan Santamaria International (SJO) Airport
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Go To:San Jose Hotels

Weather At Other International Airports - Liberia & Pavas

Liberia Airport Weather
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Pavas Airport Weather (Near Escazu)
Click for San Jose Tobias Bolanos, Costa Rica Forecast

Temperatures vary little between seasons.   The main influence on temperature is altitude.   San José at 1150m (3772ft) has a climate which the locals refer to as the "eternal Spring".   It has simply delightful weather all year around!   Average temperature ranges in San Jose are from 14 to 24 degrees Celsius (57 to 75 degrees Fahrenheit) in December to 17 to 27 degrees Celsius (63 to 81 degrees Fahrenheit) in May.  National Geographic rates it some of the best in the world! 

The lower level, sea level coasts are much hotter, with the Caribbean averaging 21°C (70°F) at night and over 30°C (86°F) during the day.  The Pacific side is a few degrees warmer still, but the humidity is generally less, so it tends to be more comfortable.  Look at these warmer, beach temperatures below:

Weather at the Beach in Limon
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Weather at the Beach & Ferry in Puntarenas
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The Northern Pacific Region is referred to as the "Gold Coast" and has an abundance of large resort hotels because of the drier and sunnier climate.   It is also referred to as the "Guanacaste Area". The area along the Central Pacific is greener, because of more rainfall, and then going more south toward Dominical and further, it rains more and is more humid.   However, you can be quite comfortable in the lowlands weather of either side if you dress minimally, don't exercise too much, and limit your exposure to the midday, intense tropical sun.   Don't forget to bring your suntan lotion (with sun block protection) and enjoy!

Weather at Other Locations in Costa Rica:
Alajuela Forecast / Map
Cartago Forecast / Map
Chacarita Forecast / Map
Ciudad Quesada/ Forecast / Map
Golfito, Puerto Jimennez Forecast / Map
Heredia Forecast / Map
Irazu Forecast / Map
Nicoya Peninsula Forecast / Map
Palmar Sur Forecast / Map
Manuel Antonio, Quepos Forecast / Map
San Isidro del General Forecast / Map
Sixaola Forecast / Map
Tambor, Mal Pais Forecast / Map
Tortuguero Forecast / Map
Turrialba Forecast / Map

More Weather Information:

What's a "green season," potential travelers ask?
In Costa Rica, that's the time of year when, for most of the country, you may get some rain during your travels. And, it's also the less crowded, off-peak season. Many people actually prefer to vacation during the green season, as the pace is slower, it's easier to find hotel accommodations, the rates are less, and, of course, it's greener!   October is usually the rainiest month on the Pacific side, but you could be here for a week and see none, or you might see afternoon - night time showers, or perhaps several days of clouds and drizzle and rain. But, for most vacationers, there is eventually more than enough sun to take home with you in the form of a good, tropical, Costa Rican Tan!

Bad "rap," weather reporting, for the Caribbean side.
While it is true that the Caribbean / Atlantic side of Costa Rica gets more rain, unfortunately the way that weather is reported makes it sound like it never stops raining there! The Caribbean is often reported as "raining in the Caribbean" when in reality, it is only raining in one of the micro-climates along the long seacoast, and the rest is perfectly sunny. Yes, it receives more rain than the arid "Gold Coast," almost always sunny northern Guanacaste Pacific coast. But for more lush vegetation, and most of the time nothing more than an afternoon shower, you will enjoy the verdant natural surroundings, flora and fauna of the uncrowded, laid back Caribbean side.   Oh, and one more thing, when it does rain in Costa Rica, at least it's a warm, tropical rain!

What time will the sun rise or set in different parts of Costa Rica? Well, because of the latitude of Costa Rica, 9 - 11 degrees above the equator, there are not the great disparities between the seasons, as there is in the more northern Americas. However, here's a good source for sunrise, sunset, dawn and dusk times throughout Costa Rica. Enjoy your day!

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Costa Rica Travel & Tourist Information