Costa Rica

Costa Rica in January

January weather & where to go

The first week of January can be crowded due to New Year’s celebrations, however the lovely weather does make it one of the best months to travel to Costa Rica. January is part of Costa Rica’s high season; there is little rain, bright green forests and national parks, and sunny beaches. 

This is an excellent month for wildlife activities, but is one of the busier times to travel.

Up in the cloud forests, such as Monteverde and Saint Elena, and the Arenal Volcano, temperatures will be around 28 degrees Celsius in the day. Between January and July, you may even spot the resplendent quetzal here. Average rainfall here is just over 280mm for the month of January, which is actually one of the drier months, but being cloud forests, you can expect quite a bit of precipitation at any time of year. Most exploration in the cloud forests is on foot, horseback or by 4 wheel drive, and you will always be accompanied by an expert naturalist guide. In January, good weather means you can explore a lot of the area, keeping your eyes peeled for some of the more elusive wildlife. You can even enjoy night trails and zip lining through the canopies.

In Central Costa Rica, around San Jose and the Central Valley, temperatures are slightly lower at 24 degrees Celsius, making them a great warmth to explore the city without being uncomfortable. The average rainfall for January here is just 11mm, so you can expect to travel quite comfortably.

On the east, around Tortuguero National Park and the Caribbean Coast, it is lovely and warm, at about 30 degrees Celsius. Perfect beach weather, and there is a lot to explore here too, although if you want to see nesting sea turtles, you’ll need to wait for the right season - between July and September.

With lovely weather throughout the country, January can be an excellent time to travel. Horse-riding, hiking and zip lining activities are all available, and there is no area of the country to be avoided. Although, you must note that there may be a lot of American students around, as it is their holiday period. Those who wish to surf should head to the Caribbean Coast.

January is also a good month for watching humpback whales and this can be done on the Caribbean and Pacific Coast. On the Pacific Coast too, head to the Nicoya Peninsula and Guanacaste where you can relax on some very beautiful beaches.

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