February in Costa Rica is considered the peak of the high season and dry season. You can expect hot days, warm ocean temperatures, and absolutely no rain (at least on the Pacific Coast). The downside is that it is also one of the most popular months of the year to travel to Costa Rica.
As a couple who lives in Costa Rica, we have done plenty of traveling to different areas of the country in February. We know all the best places to go, things to avoid, and helpful tips to ensure you have the best vacation at this time of the year.
So, let’s go through everything you need to know about Costa Rica in February to make sure you have the best vacation possible!
Should You Visit Costa Rica in February?
We think a visit to Costa Rica is always a good idea. However, there are several pros and cons to Costa Rica in February. Let’s go through each one.
Pros of February
- You will likely not experience any rain on the Pacific Coast or in the central part of the country.
- Driving conditions are better. Some remote roads in the country some roads go through rivers. These are sometimes not possible to cross during the rainy season. Plus, there are a lot of dirt roads that just aren’t in great condition during the rain. In February, you should have no issue.
- If you are coming from North America or Europe, the tropical environment offers a nice break from the northern winters.
- There is great warm weather! Get ready for hot days and typically not too much humidity.
Cons of February
- It is one of the busiest months in the year to visit Costa Rica. Hotels, rental cars, and activities book out early.
- It is the most expensive time in Costa Rica. Because it is such a popular time to visit, prices go up for almost everything.
- It is one of the driest months in the country and everything starts to get really brown. Because the country hasn’t experienced rain in so long, the landscape just isn’t as lush as during the rainy season.
Our Opinion of Costa Rica in February
In our opinion, the best thing about February is that it offers an escape to all of you coming from cold environments in the northern hemisphere.
For us, as people who live in Costa Rica year-round, we don’t really love February here. Mainly because we like to book last minute weekend trips and that is just not possible in the peak season without spending a lot of money.
I know, we run a Costa Rica travel website, we should not complain about too many people haha.
Costa Rica Weather in February
In general, February is considered a good time to visit a for warm weather and sunny days.
The sun typically rises between 5:30 and 6:00 am throughout the country. It sets between 5:15 and 5:45pm. So, you will get on average a solid 12 hours of sunshine per day. We suggest starting your day early because the mornings are beautiful!
Here is what you can expect throughout the country for weather in the month of February.
The Caribbean side of the country has the opposite rainy and dry season to the rest of the country. In February there are sometimes completely wash out rainy days on the Caribbean.
However, it will be more affordable and way less crowded than other parts of the country.
Temperature: Daytime temperatures range from 75°F to 86°F (24°C to 30°C). Evenings remain comfortably mild.
Humidity: Because this time of year can be wet, you can also expect an increase in humidity. I feel like nothing ever dries here.
The Guanacaste Province is located on the northern Pacific coast of the country. This area is notoriously drier than every other area in the country. Sometimes there are even forest fires here as dry season progresses.
In February, you can expect this area to get very busy. The Liberia International Airport is located here and more and more flights are starting to come in here.
Also, this area is home to some of the nicest resorts in the country, which are great for those of you looking to escape the cold with a relaxing beach vacation.
If you would like to fly into Liberia Airport, but want some more peaceful vibes, check out Playa Avellanas or look into staying north of the Liberia Airport on the beaches near Santa Rosa National Park.
The busy towns will be; Tamarindo, Playa Flamingo, Las Catalinas, Playas del Coco, Playa Hermosa, and Papagayo Peninsula. However, they are amazing places, so don’t let the number of people deter you too much.
Temperature: Get ready for hot and sunny days in Guanacaste during February. Daytime temperatures hover around 82°F to 95°F (28°C to 35°C). Evenings remain mild.
Sunshine: February in Guanacaste brings plenty of sunshine. Mornings start with clear skies, and you can expect most days to be bright and sunny. It’s an excellent time to hit the beaches or engage in outdoor adventures.
The Central Valley region is home to the largest international airport in the country (Juan Santamaria International Airport) and the capital city, San José.
This region notoriously has slightly cooler temperatures. In February it can be somewhat windy, but nice.
Most people don’t spend much time in this region, instead, they fly into the airport and head straight out to beach or jungle towns.
Temperature: Expect mild and comfortable temperatures in the Central Valley during February. Daytime highs typically range from 65°F to 78°F (18°C to 26°C). The nights can get a bit cool though. I find that once the sun goes down I’m usually wearing a long sleeve shirt and long pants.
Sunshine: February brings a lot of sunshine to the Central Valley. Mornings often start with clear skies, and you can expect a good amount of sunlight throughout the day.
The Central Pacific region is one of the most visited spots in the country due to it’s beautiful beaches, abundance of wildlife, and proximity to the San Jose International Airport.
We suggest planning your visit early because places like Manuel Antonio get crowded during the peak travel season.
Temperature: Average temperatures in the day range from 75°F to 90°F (24°C to 32°C).
Humidity: While there’s a bit of humidity, it’s not overwhelming. Plus, the coastal breezes contribute to an overall pleasant atmosphere.
Sunshine: Mornings start with bright and clear conditions, setting the stage for a day filled with sunshine. Whether you’re exploring Manuel Antonio National Park, surfing the waves, or just lounging on the beach, the weather in February will be great.
South Pacific (Osa Peninsula)
The Osa Peninsula located on the south Pacific side of the country experiences the dry season just like the rest of the Pacific coast.
The perk here is that it is not as heavily visited as other areas in the country. This is mainly due to how remote it is.
Temperature: The Osa Peninsula offers a tropical climate in February, with daytime temperatures ranging from 73°F to 88°F (23°C to 31°C). It’s pleasantly warm, providing an ideal environment for hiking through Corcovado National Park or relaxing on the secluded beaches.
Humidity: While the Osa Peninsula does have its share of humidity, February tends to be less muggy compared to other months. The lush greenery benefits from the previous months of rain, creating a vibrant and lively ecosystem that you can explore comfortably.
The Northern Mountains
Temperature: Daytime highs range from 65°F to 80°F (18°C to 27°C), providing a comfortable and refreshing climate. Evenings can be cooler, especially in Monteverde, so packing a light jacket is a good idea for your evening strolls.
Humidity: The humidity in the northern mountains tends to be lower in February compared to the wetter months. This creates a more enjoyable environment for hiking and exploring. While you’ll still feel a touch of humidity, it won’t be as intense as during the rainy season.
The Nicoya Peninsula has a mix of remote towns and really popular towns. For example, Santa Teresa gets very full at this time of the year. However, there are plenty of surrounding beaches that will provide a relaxing oasis in the middle of the dry season.
Temperature: Get ready for some warmth during your stay on the Nicoya Peninsula in February. Daytime temperatures typically range from 78°F to 92°F (26°C to 33°C).
Humidity: While the Nicoya Peninsula does have some humidity, especially closer to the coast, February tends to bring more comfortable levels. The air feels fresh, and the sea breezes provide a natural cool-down.
Sunshine: Expect abundant sunshine throughout February. Mornings start with clear skies, and you can bask in the warmth of the sun all day long.
What to Pack for Costa Rica in February
When packing for Costa Rica for the month of February, consider the following items:
- Passport & Copies: Always keep a digital or photocopied paper copy as a backup.
- Travel Insurance Information: You never know what will happen during your vacation in this tropical country. It is always best to have travel insurance. You can get a quote for Heymondo, our go to travel insurance, here.
- Local Currency (Colones): Most places accept USD. However, it’s good to have some local currency on hand. Check out our guide to Costa Rican currency for more details.
- Debit/Credit Cards: Notify your bank of your travel dates to avoid any issues.
- Adaptors/Converters: Costa Rica uses 110V, 60Hz electricity. These are the same outlets as the United States.
- Lightweight Clothes: We suggest breathable lightweight fabrics that don’t wrinkle easily.
- Light Sweater or Jacket: Some areas, especially at higher altitudes, can get chilly at night.
- Swimwear: There are beautiful beaches, hotel pools and hot springs!
- Hat & Sunglasses: For sun protection.
- Sturdy Sandals: Ideal for beach areas.
- Hiking Shoes/Boots: If you plan to do any trekking or hiking.
Have You Purchased Travel Insurance Yet?
Don’t let unexpected medical expenses or trip interruptions overshadow your dream Costa Rican vacation.
Heymondo is our favorite travel insurance for Costa Rica. Their comprehensive plans will provide a swift resolution to any travel-related disruptions.
- Sunscreen: SPF 50 or higher.
- Insect Repellent
- Shampoo, Conditioner & Soap: Biodegradable soap is preferable if you’re visiting eco-lodges or remote areas.
- Personal Medications & First Aid Kit: Include basics like band-aids, antiseptic wipes, and pain relievers. We also suggest motion sickness pills if you have issues with that. The roads here can be really curvy.
- Travel Towel: We like microfiber towels because they dry fast and can easily fit in your suitcase.
- Camera: With charger and extra memory cards.
- Smartphone & Charger.
- Power Bank: Handy for day trips.
- Waterproof Bags or Cases: Protect electronics from unexpected rain showers.
- Headlamp or Flashlight: Especially if you’re planning any early morning or night excursions.
- Reusable Water Bottle: Stay hydrated! We like Lifestraw bottles for the added bacteria filtration.
- Daypack: For day trips or excursions. We like this waterproof one for hiking and beach days.
- Biodegradable Wet Wipes.
- Ziplock Bags: Useful for storing snacks, protecting electronics, etc.
- Snorkel Gear: If you’re planning to snorkel and don’t want to rent.
- Books or eReader: For relaxation times.
Optional but Recommended:
- Spanish Phrasebook or App: While many Costa Ricans speak English, especially in tourist areas, it’s always nice to know a few phrases in Spanish. The free Google Translate app is always great. Just download Spanish ahead of time and you can even use it offline.
- Binoculars: For wildlife viewing. We have these pocket binoculars and they are great.
Fun Things to Do in Costa Rica in February
There are so many fun things to do in Costa Rica in February. The dry weather means that all of the great outdoor activities are at your disposal.
Just keep in mind that this is one of the hottest months. We find that if we have been in the US or Europe for a few months and then come back to Costa Rica we get very dehydrated and overheated quickly because our bodies just aren’t used to the weather. So, take it easy!
Activities that aren’t overly strenuous are probably best for when you first arrive.
The only activities which aren’t so great in February are visiting certain waterfalls because they might dry up a lot due to lack of rain.
However, other waterfalls, such as Rio Celeste are excellent to visit at this time of the year.
Some of our favorite things to do include:
February Holidays and Festivities
There are no national holidays or festivities in Costa Rica in February.
However, Valentine’s Day is on February 14th. If you would like a romantic activity for that day, we have some suggestions!
Go to A Hot Spring
The best place for hot springs in Costa Rica is in La Fortuna at the base of Arenal Volcano. Our favorite spots for a romantic experience that you can book as a day pass are:
Get a Couples Massage
Most spas are located in resorts in Costa Rica. Typically, you do not need to be staying at these resorts to book a spa experience.
Get a Day Pass to a Resort
Have you ever heard of Resort Pass? It is a website that allows you to book a day pass at certain resorts throughout the world. We love it!
It’s a great way to take advantage of the amenities of a resort for a day without the price tag of actually spending the night at the resort.
Enjoy a Fine Dining Experience
Costa Rica is a great place to enjoy a fine dining experience. There are several excellent restaurants located throughout the country.
We suggest checking our destination guide for the area you are staying. We have our favorite restaurants listed by budget.
Booking Transportation in February
We think that having a rental car is the best way to get around in Costa Rica. This will give you the flexibility to explore a lot on your own. You won’t have to depend on day tours (which can be expensive and book out fast in February).
However, car rentals in Costa Rica can also be pricey in February. They sometimes even book out completely.
Because things book out fast it is best to reserve as soon as possible.
We work exclusively with a local rental car company called Adobe. They are our absolute favorite rental car company in Costa Rica and they have given us a 10% discount plus other perks to pass on to you.
They have a huge fleet of new vehicles, but during the peak travel season it is not unusual for them to be completely booked out. So, reserve as early as possible.
- 10% discount for Costa Rica Vibes readers
- Free second driver
- 0% deductible on Liability Protection Insurance
- Excellent customer service
- New fleet of well-maintained vehicles
One of the many great things about Adobe is that they allow free cancellation. We suggest reserving as soon as possible and altering your reservation if your plans change.
For December, you don’t usually need a 4×4 vehicle, but we suggest booking an SUV for decent clearance for hilly roads.
Another good way to get around is by shuttle. You can get a private shuttle quote from Adobe Transfers here.
For a shared shuttle to anywhere in the entire country, we usually have the best luck with Bookaway. They offer the widest selection of shared shuttles with reputable Costa Rican companies.
Booking Hotels in February
It is best to book your hotels or vacation rentals far in advance if you are visiting Costa Rica in February.
We suggest booking hotels on Booking.com. We like Booking because most places have good cancellation policies. That way you can secure your hotel far in advance and if plans change or you find something better you can always cancel.
Just check with each listing though. They all have different cancellation policies.
Also, pay attention to the “cancel by” date. I don’t want you to miss the cutoff date!
For vacation rentals, we like VRBO over Airbnb. Most of the listings on both platforms are similar, but we have had some issues in the past and have discovered that VRBo is much more dependable and helpful for customer service.
On VRBO you can find amazing condos, houses, and even massive villas that can host your entire family for your Costa Rica vacation.
Booking Things to Do in February
Typically, it is not too crucial to book activities far in advance. However, in February things can occasionally book up early.
Travel Tips for Visiting in February
- Book in Advance: February is a peak tourist month. Ensure that you book accommodations, transportation, and tours well in advance.
- Prepare for Crowds: Popular destinations like Manuel Antonio, Tamarindo, and La Fortuna can get crowded.
- Stay Hydrated: February can sometimes be the hottest month of the year. Drink plenty of water, especially if you’re out exploring. I also find that drinks like Gatorade help a lot when I’m feeling depleted.
- Budget Accordingly: Prices can be higher in February due to increased demand. This includes accommodations, tours, and sometimes even restaurant prices.
- Plan Your Itinerary: With the potential for crowds, it’s beneficial to have a planned itinerary, but also be flexible in case you need to make changes. You can check out our vacation planning page to help get you started.
Conclusion: Visiting Costa Rica in February
In conclusion, February is a great time to visit Costa Rica for sunny warm weather. It is best to arrange things as far in advance as possible so you can get the best deals and ensure things are still available.
Check out our complete guide to the weather in Costa Rica for more year-round details.
If you have any questions about planning your vacation to Costa Rica in February don’t hesitate to leave them in the comment section below. We are always happy to help you out!
You Might Also Like:
Costa Rica Travel Details: What You Need to Know
🚗 Should I rent a car in Costa Rica?
Having a rental car will give you the most flexibility when traveling in Costa Rica. This will also allow you to take fun day trips on your own.
- Save 10% Plus Other Perks with Our Adobe Rental Car Discount
- You might also consider; shared shuttle services or private transfer services
🏄🏽 How can I book things to do?
We find that Viator tends to have the most comprehensive selection of activities with secure booking and good cancellation policies.
🍍 I’m overwhelmed with planning. Can you help?
✈️ What is the best way to book a flight?
Usually, we have the best luck finding great prices with Skyscanner. Check for flights to both San Jose Airport (SJO) and Liberia Airport (LIR).
🛏️ What is the best way to book my Costa Rica hotels?
🗣️What is the main language in Costa Rica?
The main language in Costa Rica is Spanish. Most people working in tourism speak at least some English.
💰 What is the currency in Costa Rica?
The currency used in Costa Rica is the Costa Rican colón (CRC). However, the US dollar is widely accepted in most tourist areas
📞 What is the best way to stay connected?
An eSIM from Airalo is the easiest way to get 4G data while traveling in Costa Rica.
🌴 Is Costa Rica safe?
Generally, Costa Rica is considered safe for tourists. However, like any travel destination, it’s best to use caution and be aware of your surroundings.
🛂 Do you need a passport to go to Costa Rica?
Yes, Costa Rica is its own country. You will need a passport to visit.