Destinations

Travelling to Costa Rica in the Rainy Season

Why you should travel in Costa Rica's 'green'season...

Many travel companies will tell you to avoid travelling tropical countries during the rainy season and Costa Rica is no different, but there is generally a misconception about the wet and dry seasons. Many people assume that because it is the dry season then it doesn’t rain...which is not the case! Most of the great places to visit in Costa Rica are surrounded by or in the middle of the rainforest where it tends to rain year round, hence the name. It is called the dry season because it rains less, so it might be more appropriately termed the ‘drier’ season. It stretches from December through to April and it is often referred to as the best time to travel to Costa Rica, but as a result you may see inflated prices which may end up pushing the limits on your budget.

The rainy season, or ‘green season’, as it has become affectionately known, starts in May and can be a fantastic time to travel to Costa Rica. The earlier months in particular can be an extremely advantageous as the hustle and bustle of peak season is significantly reduced; the prices of accommodation become a lot more accessible and there is a great chance to picking up special offers. 

There can also be significant differences in the costs of flights.

The key to travelling in the rainy season is to travel with an open mind. The weather can be unpredictable so it could rain every day, but on the other hand you might be blessed with blue skies, warm temperatures and low humidity. It is true that the possibilities of getting dry weather decreases during the rainy season but if you are prepared to get wet then there is nothing stopping you having a great time during this time of year.

Costa Rica could be considered the adrenalin capital of Latin America, and most of the pulse-raising activities available happen rain or shine. A classic example is white-water rafting; you’re likely to get pretty wet anyway, so a few extra droplets from the sky won’t make a huge difference. To make the most of white-water rafting, go spend time at Pacuare Lodge, an incredible eco-lodge in central rainforest, which most access by the class III/VI rapids of the Pacuare River. Other exciting rivers can be found near to Arenal Volcano, and in Manuel Antonio National Park as well as in other areas. Another activity where rain is no obstacle is surfing, and the shores of both the Pacific and Caribbean coast are lapped by some of the best swells in Latin America. 

The Pacific swells in particular tend to peak during the rainy season.

The Caribbean coast is home to turtle nesting season from late February through to October. One of the best places for turtle encounters is Tortuguero National Park. April and May is peak season for leatherbacks whereas green turtles are more common during August and September. Hawksbill turtles lay their eggs on both coastlines; their primary home is the reef of Cahuita National Park on the southern Caribbean coast, but can also be found on the Osa Peninsula on the Pacific side. 

Costa Rica also enjoys the longest whale watching season in the world. The mighty humpbacks traverse the globe in their mammoth migration brushing the Pacific coast every year from August to November. Whale watching tours are at their best in Manuel Antonio and the Osa Peninsula. A common misconception is that animals are more difficult to spot during rainy season. Although they look for shelter when it rains, the increased foliage and plant life leads to a higher number of feeding grounds which may actually increase your chances. 

Moreover, there are likely to be fewer tourists which usually means you don’t have to fight through crowds to see the animals.

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