Costa Rica Weather and Climate
Costa Rica is a Central American state that forms the land bridge between South America and North America. Immediate neighbors are Nicaragua in the north and Panama in the south of the country.
The modern country is characterized by its spectacular natural diversity and is considered one of the most biodiverse countries in the world. In addition to the approximately 4.8 million inhabitants, Costa Rica is also home to a fascinating animal world with rare species such as the sloth, toucans and colorful frogs.
From active volcanoes to lush rainforests to fantastic Caribbean beaches, the politically very stable Costa Rica is a land of contrasts and is also nicknamed the “Green Paradise” in Central America.
The capital is San José in the Central Valley, the volcanic mountain ranges of the Cordilleras and the elongated ones on the Caribbean coast are particularly characteristic of the landscape. The highest point in the country is Chirripó Grande at 3820 meters.
Costa Rica, the land area of which is almost 30% under nature protection, can be reached from Germany by direct flight (e.g. with Condor) in around 12 hours by flight.
Climate in Costa Rica
In general, a typical tropical climate is predominant in Costa Rica, whereby the high mountains and many volcanoes lead to a climatic edge that leads to regional differences. While the Caribbean coast registers precipitation all year round due to moist winds, a significant rainy season can be heard on the Pacific coast.
In the Central Valley and in the northwest of Costa Rica, the rainy season begins around the beginning of May and runs until the end of November ; in the more humid south and in the area of the central coast on the Pacific, the rainy season usually ends in January. A reliable dry season can be found between February and April.
The Caribbean coast usually has its driest months between February and April and September and October. The remaining parts of the country are mainly transition regions, the climate of which is similar to the Pacific coast, but does not show any extremes. Means: The dry season remains a little more humid, the rainy season is not quite as humid.
When to go to Costa Rica
In general, both the dry season and the rainy season in Costa Rica have their special charms. Since the humidity in most regions of the country and in the neighboring states of Panama and Nicaragua drops between Christmas and Easter, this is also the most popular high season for Costa Rica.
One should not stick too rigidly to the distinction between dry and rainy seasons, as there are always surprises, not least due to climate change. However, we recommend February to April as the statistically best travel time for Costa Rica, and December and January with minor restrictions.
If you are traveling as a backpacker in the country and therefore have a little more time with you than a normal vacationer, you will of course find significantly lower prices in the rainy season. The rains usually start at noon and last up to four hours, on unpaved roads it can then be impaired.
Optimal travel time for the regions
In the following overview you can see the best travel time depending on the region (Costa Rica).
|Place||Best travel time|
|Puerto Limón||February, March and April|
|San Jose||January, February, March, April and December|
Temperatures, precipitation, sunshine in Puerto Limón (Costa Rica)
|Daytime temperature||30 ° C||30 ° C||30 ° C||31 ° C||31 ° C||31 ° C||30 ° C||30 ° C||30 ° C||31 ° C||30 ° C||30 ° C|
|Night temperature||20 ° C||20 ° C||21 ° C||22 ° C||22 ° C||22 ° C||22 ° C||22 ° C||22 ° C||22 ° C||22 ° C||21 ° C|
|Water temperature||27 ° C||26 ° C||26 ° C||27 ° C||28 ° C||28 ° C||28 ° C||28 ° C||29 ° C||28 ° C||27 ° C||27 ° C|
|Precipitation in mm||271||201||193||187||281||276||408||289||183||198||367||302|
|Hours of sunshine||5||6||6||6||6||4||4||5||5||5||5||5|
The average annual temperature in Puerto Limón is 25.2 ° C. For comparison: Munich reaches an average of 8.6 ° C, in Berlin it is 9.6 ° C. The warmest month is May (26.1 ° C), coldest month of January with mean values of 24 ° C. The maximum water temperature in Limon is 29 ° C. Comfortable bathing is possible at these temperatures. All months have a water temperature of at least 21 ° C and are therefore suitable for a beach holiday.
Annual precipitation is 3156 mm on 189 days with precipitation. For comparison: In Munich, 967 mm, in Berlin 570 mm, precipitation is measured annually. The all months are considered the rainy season, as more than 175 mm of precipitation can be expected in this month. Overall, about 3156 mm of precipitation can be expected in the rainy season. You cannot expect snow in any month in Puerto Limón.
As our climate table shows, April is the sunniest month with an average of 5.8 hours of sunshine per day. On average over the year the sun shines for 5.1 hours per day. For comparison: In Munich and Berlin, the sun shines an average of 4.7 hours per day throughout the year.
Highlights in Costa Rica
The greatest highlights in Costa Rica are of course the breathtaking natural beauty and diversity of the country. For many visitors, the perfect cone of the Arenal volcano is one of the unforgettable highlights of a Costa Rica trip. The surrounding national park also inspires with mystical waterfalls and cloud forests.
The Monteverde rainforest to the south is a retreat for rare animal species, from wild cats to tapirs to quetzals. Our favorite waterfalls are La Fortuna, La Paz, Rio Celeste and the Montezuma Falls.
Our other favorites in the breathtakingly beautiful Costa Rica are Puerto Viejo de Talamanca, the bustling San José, the surfing village Santa Teresa, the turtles in Tortuguero National Park, the geysers in Rincón de la Vieja and Manuel Antonio National Park.