One of the most common phrases you will hear from most nature guides in Costa Rica is: "The only thing certain about the weather in the tropics is that, the weather is uncertain". This is a very true statement and even more so now with the changes in weather that we are experiencing all over the globe. Our personal opinion as a company is that rain or shine a Costa Rica family vacation can still be a lot of fun. It turns out in the heart of the dry season the rivers are low, not as much green (still a lot though), and the animal species you see most are other tourist. We put together a few easy descriptions of the months of visiting Costa Rica to help you try and decide when might be the best time for you to plan your Costa Rica family adventure tour or a relaxing Costa Rica vacation.
This is one of the most crowded months of the year as the end of the year holiday crowds usually pour over into the first week of January. It is a nice time to visit though because it is the end of the rainy season and should be dry in most parts. It is important to realize that you might hit the dry season in one area and the rainy season in another.
The local Costa Rican crowd at the beaches has slowed down a bit from the early January days and the dry season is in full swing with a lot of sun and being 9 degrees above the equator a lot of sunburn-looking tourists. Pretty much the entire Pacific Coast is going to be without rain these days where the northern coast is blistering hot and dry down in the Southern Pacific you can still find quite a bit of green and shade.
This is a very common time to visit Costa Rica and is what we consider one of our peak seasons that runs for a few weeks during March and April as the country gets many of families and student trips for springs break vacations. The Costa Rica families are back in school these months as their summer break runs from mid-December to late February.
This is a very nice time to travel to Costa Rica as you will be coming out of the dry season and into the rainy season. It is very refreshing to get some rain after the three core months of the dry season. April is not heavy rains though as they are just starting to arrive and make for some rainforest- feel to your tropical Costa Rica family adventure and the Costa Rica whitewater rafting tours begin to get going.
A very slow month in tourism comes after the peak high season in March in April. If you have the time you can often find good prices and not a lot of touristy traffic in and around where you might be visiting. May is a beautiful month with often some rain and trees and everything is starting to get the green glow going as they begin to gulp up the rain.
The next two months of June and July are another peak high season as the schedule in North America lends itself to vacation time with kids. Ok, now for something you might not have known. June and July in Costa Rica are actually perfect months for Costa Rica vacation. They have the rains of the rainy season but they are even known to have the dry moments of the dry season. Some have even labeled it "veranillo de San Juan" which is the name for the mini-dry season that is given during this time.
This would be the month that is just as busy as June and things are moving about the same pace and the weather is often similar with spurts of rain and spurts of very dry. It is a great time to visit and the local Costa Ricans actually have a two week vacation during this time so you might have the chance to join some of the locals at the beach which is always great fun.
This is your last chance to get in a Costa Rica family vacation without more rain than you can handle. It is also a popular time for Europeans to visit as of Spain & Italy have their main vacation time during the month of August. August is a great time to travel and you will have plenty of rain and plenty of dry time.
This is a month when not many tourists visit Costa Rica. It is when the heavy rain comes but if you have the time you can always find great deals and still have an amazing Costa Rica adventure tour. There is something magical about being able to experience the heavy intense rains of the tropics that give the rest of our planet life, controlling the water cycle.
Keep the rain coming as October has been known as the hardest rains of the year. Again if you don't mind rain and you can see it for the beauty it really is, it is just beautiful driving in Costa Rica in a Land Rover on a bumpy road and reaching a Costa Rica ecolodge to relax under the heavy downpours of the tropics during your luxurious Costa Rica vacation.
There is a small rise in tourism this month and there is some peaks of the dry season. November is still heavy on the rain in certain parts of the day and the Northern Pacific Coast of Guanacaste is starting to see longer sunny days.
The first half of December is everyone getting ready for vacation. The local Costa Rican kids go on summer vacation and most head out to the beach because the dry season has arrived around mid-December. I would like to note that this is never accurate year after year and with climate change it is just too hard to predict.