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The weather in Costa Rica is quite a mystery, even for the locals. Some say it’s unpredictable; some say it is always the same. None can say it’s boring!

The weather in Costa Rica goes like this: There are two-year periods: Sunny and rainy. The temperature varies between two or three degrees from one period to the next. Sounds easy uh?

Well, it isn’t.

The Costa Rica weather is partly responsible for the incredible diversity of the country. And with the different heights and soil types, they team up to create a place where 5% of the living known species of planet Earth can thrive.

And all this creates a small corner in the World where life is condensed and just fantastic.

First, let’s see the three main facts that shape the weather in Costa Rica.

1. Latitude

Costa Rica is located 10 degrees North of the Equator, and this means we are in the tropics.

But it means much more than that. We are in the Thermal Equator.

The Thermal Equator

The Thermal Equator is the area of the globe where the highest temperatures go between the Tropic of Cancer and the Tropic of Capricorn. It is a region known as the Intertropical Convergence Zone because it is precisely here where the trade winds from the North and the South in the hemisphere converge. Sometimes crashing.

2. The Oceans

And, we also must think about two remarkably different oceans:

The Caribbean considered to be a warm ocean and on the East. And that means that the rotation of Earth affects with pouring rains inland. We could almost say non-stop.

The Pacific Ocean that carries different currents, and it is very distinctive regarding the two periods.

When we say the Pacific coast in Costa Rica though, we are talking about the two different areas on the West coast: North and South Pacific regions as their climate is very different.

3. Heights diversity

And then, we must think that Costa Rica has heights up to over 12,000 feet above sea level. Creating a series of walls between the two sides.

These facts create a substantial diversity of conditions with the rainfalls, winds and sunny and dry times.

And if we add to all this the fact that over 50% of Costa Rica is reforested, we do have a country that produces water itself.

Now, regarding these conditions the country is divided in “Climatic Provinces”:

Caribbean:

From Sixaola in the border with Panama to the San Juan River in the border with Nicaragua. All the Caribbean coast. Turrialba Valley. Talamanca Mountain Range, San Isidro Valley. Includes the East side of the Central Volcanic Mountain Range.

The North:

Sarapiqui, Boca Tapada, Arenal Volcano, Rio Celeste, Caño Negro and Monteverde.

North Pacific:

All Guanacaste and the Guanacaste Mountains Range

Central Pacific:

Santa Teresa, Montezuma, Malpais. Herradura, Jaco, Playa Hermosa and up to Manuel Antonio.

South Pacific:

From Dominical all the way to Paso Canoas in the border with Panama. Including all the area of Coto Brus. As well as the Osa Peninsula and Golfo Dulce.

Central Valley: The four main cities: San Jose, Heredia, Alajuela, and Cartago.

To make a very long story short: Weather in Costa Rica is not about seasons, but about where you are going and what time of the year you are making your trip.

So! Because of all this, we will give you a summary of the weather in Costa Rica by the month and regions:

When is the best time to travel to Costa Rica

January:

It is the sunny season for:
All the Pacific Coast, the Central Valley, and the Southern Area. (It may also be quite windy).

It can be rainy at:
Talamanca Mountain range, Chirripó Mountain, and Monteverde

It is rainy season in the Caribbean and North areas.

At the Central Valley and mountains, the temperature may drop to 60’s.

February:

It is the sunny season for:

All of the Pacific Coast, the Central Valley, and the Southern Area.

It can be rainy at:

Turrialba, Los Santos region in the Talamanca Mountain range, Chirripó Mountain, and Monteverde

It is rainy season in the Caribbean and North areas.

At the Central Valley and mountains, the temperature may drop to 60’s.

March and April:

It is the sunny season for the whole country.

May:

Transition month from sunny to rainy season all throughout the country.

This means that early May will probably be very sunny and late May can be quite rainy.

(Our farmers say that if it does not rain by May 20, it will not rain).

June to August:

The rainy season for the whole country.

September and October:

Sunny Season for the Caribbean Coast and the Northern region

Rainy season for all the Pacific Coast, the Central Valley, and the Southern Area.

November:

Transition Month for the Pacific coast. Start of the sunny season

Rainy season in the Caribbean coast, Northern region and the Central Valley.

December:

Transition Month for the Central Valley and Mountain Ranges.

The sunny season for the Pacific Coast

Rainy Season for the Caribbean coast and the Northern region.

A word on the seasons.

The weather in Costa Rica is quite changeable. There will be a tendency to sunny weather in the sunny season and to rain in the rainy season. However, it is not written in stone.

Usually, in the rainy season, it rains in the afternoons or early in the evening and the rest of the day may be cloudy with blue sky patches.

And, in the sunny season, North fronts can enter causing strong winds throughout the country. And these winds may feel quite chilly up on the mountains or in the Central Valley. And can cause sudden pours when you least expect it.

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