February in Costa Rica is sunny, chilly and sometimes, in some regions, rainy. It is a transition month from wet to bright in the Caribbean and the North and sunny in the rest of the country
February in Costa Rica is beautiful if you are on the Pacific side, or it may be chilly whenever there is a north front, if you are in the Southern mountains or the Central Valley, and damp if you are in the Caribbean.
This guide breaks down the seasons and regions, as well as the highlights you can enjoy during February in Costa Rica; there might be several differences from one area to another. As small as Costa Rica may seem it has a complexity in its calendar which will probably affect your itinerary if you are currently planning your trip.
If you seek warm weather and a place that offers beaches, adventure, and the attractions of a tropical destination, February in Costa Rica offers plenty of options for you to consider. Let’s see some of the general weather per area all year round:
Costa Rica has no seasons; temperature changes little from period to period. (The right way to call them is “periods” even though most people call them seasons). There are times of the year when it rains more than others. This periodicity changes according to height, winds and other facts.
At the Pacific Coast, Central Valley, Southern areas and the Central Volcanic Mountain Range, the sunny period goes from December to April, sometimes May. As for the rainy season: it goes from May to November.
Around the Caribbean Coast, Arenal, Sarapiqui, Turrialba, Talamanca Mountain Ranges, the sunny period is the not the same. It is in March and April, and in September and October. Therefore, these places are in the rainy season during February in Costa Rica.
Costa Rica in FebruaryHave in mind that the tropics weather is unpredictable and there are sunny Februaries, and some other are dry. However, these are exceptions.
The landscapes in February in Costa Rica change considerably by regions. The coastal zones are generally hot, and the highlands are ordinarily cooler. Moving to the south on the Pacific coast, moisture levels grow. The Caribbean Coast and the Northern Area is generally hot and rainy.
However do not misunderstand this: Remember this is the rainforest. Humidity and rain will always make a region more attractive, an uncountable amount of opportunities for wildlife sightings as the sun comes out after a pour.
The Central Valley, Pacific Coast, South areas and the Central Volcanic Mountain Range will be sunny. There is a chance that cold fronts may show up occasionally lowering temperatures (Down to 55’s F – 15°C in the Central Valley)
Monteverde and Rincon de la Vieja are both sunny during February. And the January winds have receded.
Caribbean Coast, Arenal, the West side of the Central and Talamanca Mountain Ranges, Turrialba, or Sarapiqui areas: It might be rainy. However, this is when periods are changing so, it might be as sunny and dry as the rest of the country.
The coffee picking is still on, as well as its process. It is a great time for coffee tours.
Sugarcane harvest time, you will see some noticeable loads on large carts carried by tractors and on containers on some of the roads in the North Pacific. If you are driving, and on winding roads pay attention as they are heavy and can be slow.
Strawberries, star-fruits, and passion fruits are in season, as well as guavas, cantaloupes, tamarind, and watermelons.
It is possible that for tree lovers this is a perfect time as several species are in bloom.
The most attractive ones in this time of year are the Poro Poro or Flame of the Forest. These trees were used to shade the coffee, and they lose their leaves and blossoms with bright orange/red flowers creating a fantastic landscape in green and orange that is hard to forget.
The famous ironwood comes from another tree that begins to bloom in this time of year, the Yellow Cortez. As its name says, the tree gets covered with bright yellow flowers, complementing the fantastic landscapes of the orange poro poro trees.
Wildlife Sightings in Costa Rica in February:
Nature doesn’t work like a visit to the zoo, sightings usually rely on spontaneity, but there are a lot of animals in Costa Rica you can see through the whole year like monkeys, coatimundis, sloths and more than 600 species of birds, six species of toucans as well as over 50 species of hummingbirds.
In this time of year, the 252 seasonal bird species are relishing in the Costa Rica sunny weather and profusion of food. A lot of resident and attractive migratory species can be seen at this time of the year, some examples below:
Parrots: Scarlet Macaw is the biggest parrot in the world. Observable at Jaco, Osa Peninsula, Manuel Antonio, Carara National Park, and Corcovado National Park.
Hummingbirds: There are over 50 species of hummingbirds in Costa Rica, they have a very distinctive appearance and way to fly as well. You can see them all year round.
Toucans: Six species in Costa Rica. Keel-billed toucans are on the Caribbean side and both Keel and Black Mandibuled too. The Emerald Toucanet is seen up in a high elevated land like Monteverde. The yellow Eared Toucanet is very hard to spot.
Resplendent Quetzal: You can spot this majestic bird in Monteverde and Savegre during February as other highlands of the mountain areas. Resplendent Quetzals build their nests at this time of the year, if you observe one of these nests, they get quite visible (From a logical distance and with right optical gear, this is a great experience!).
You will see all the other bird species throughout the year at any time in the proper regions.
California Humpback Whales – From December to April
North Atlantic humpback whales – From December to March
Best Places to see whales:
Dominical (Parque Marino Ballena)
Golfo de Nicoya
Species like the bottlenose and spotted dolphins can be enjoyed throughout the whole year.
Spinner or common dolphin – December to March
The Best places to go dolphin watching:
Dominical (Parque Marino Ballena)
Golfo de Nicoya
Caribbean: South Caribbean and Limon
They can be seen in the Tortuguero Canals but is rare.
The species you can see all year round: Olive Ridley, Hawksbill, Leatherback, and Pacific Green Sea Turtle.
Best places to see Sea Turtles:
Parque Nacional Marino Las Baulas (Tamarindo, Playa Grande)
Santa Rosa National Park
Ostional Wildlife Refuge (Arribadas)
Arriving in Puntarenas on the following dates: 4,9,12,16,18,22,23,26,29. (2019)
On these dates, the following may be crowded: Carara National Park, Tarcoles Crocodile Safari, Aerial Tram of the Pacific, the Coffee Tour and Waterfall Gardens, and in Monteverde, Selvatura Park, Sky Adventures and the Monteverde Reserve.
February in the touristic places
Regions like Arenal, Tamarindo, and Manuel Antonio will have a lot of tourists around.
In Manuel Antonio, you may have to make a line in the mornings at the entrance of the National Park, same with Tortuguero where there will be some waiting time on the boats before entering the National Park canals.
Holidays of February in Costa Rica:
First Sunday of February, every four years (Next is 2022) – Election Day.
First Monday – Back to classes: Schools come back from “summer vacation.”
The first week of February – Celebrations at Perez Zeledón: A popular regional fair and party, with bullfights (Costa Rican style), carousels, horse parades and some other activities in the town of Perez Zeledon (A couple of hours of distance from San Jose, on the south).
Both the highest and most constant waves appear from January to March, caused by cold winter fronts pushing into the Caribbean.
Salsa Brava at Puerto Viejo in the South Caribbean is at its most significant point, to take advantage of the waves of February in Costa Rica.
Ask our travel company about the best times for you to come to Costa Rica depending on what you are looking for.
Have in mind that February is a perfect sunny month!
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