Costa Rica in July: Weather, Activities, and Best Areas to Visit

Costa Rica in July means that the rainy season is going strong. Despite that, it is still a great time to visit and experience the country. Get ready for lush green jungles, warm temperatures, active wildlife, and afternoon rain storms.

We created this guide to fill you in on all you can expect if visiting Costa Rica during this time of year. 

Should You Visit Costa Rica in July?

Costa Rica in July: Weather, Activities, and Best Areas to Visit

Pros

Prices start to go down a bit.

Everything is green and lush

The temperatures are still nice and warm in the beach towns

There are fewer tourists

Sometimes there are two weeks of zero rain

Cons

It is summer vacation and schools are closed in Costa Rica and in most of the world (in other words, a lot of people are traveling)

You will have afternoon rain storms

Prices usually go down but aren’t super low

Certain activities might not be possible due to the rain

Our Opinion

This is actually our favorite month in Costa Rica. We love that everything is green, the weather is still decent, and that there aren’t as many tourists. 

We love this time of year so much that we opted to get married in early July a few years ago. It was a close call (there was a crazy terrifying lightning storm the afternoon before our wedding) but the whole day/ night of our wedding there was zero rain. 

Costa Rica Weather in July

manzanillo

In July, the rainy season is in full swing. Let’s go through every area of the country to give you a better idea of what to expect.

Guanacaste

In Guanacaste, you can expect dry hot days and the occasional afternoon rain storm which will last about an hour. It hardly ever rains here as much as the rest of the country. 

That is nice, but it also means things aren’t usually as green as the rest of the country.

Also, this is a popular beach area, so expect that the main beach towns might be busy.

Nicoya Peninsula

The Nicoya Peninsula is usually a bit rainier than Guanacaste, but not too bad. You can expect a brief afternoon rainstorm and consistently warm weather. 

This area is not as popular with tourists and locals, so it is a bit more calm.

Central & South Pacific

The Central and South Pacific are known for hot days and warm evenings. In the afternoon you may have rain for an hour or two. We like to get up early, enjoy the day, take a little afternoon siesta during the rain, and head back out for the epic Pacific coast sunset views. 

Keep in mind that the mosquitos tend to be bad here once the sun sets. 

Central Valley

The Central Valley area consists of the capital city, San Jose, and the surrounding hills and valleys. This area tends to always be a bit cooler than the coastal towns.

Usually, you can expect daytime temperatures in the mid to high 70’s °F and evening temperatures in the mid-sixties. 

Typically, the rain will roll in around 2pm and last for an hour or two. Sometimes these are torrential rain storms with thunder and lightning (but not usually at this time of year) and sometimes these are just steady rains. 

Northern Mountains

In La Fortuna, you will likely have sunny days and good Arenal Volcano views (especially in the morning). In the afternoon or early evening, you might experience a rainstorm for an hour or two.

In Monteverde, you can expect that there will probably be a constant drizzle of rain. I feel like this is part of the charm of this area though. Just bring plenty of rainproofing gear!

Caribbean Coast

The Caribbean coast is hard to predict. Typically, the dry season should be just starting in the Caribbean. 

But, this area is also much more likely than the rest of the country to get hit by tropical storms which can start cropping up at this time of year.

Mini Dry Season

santa teresa costa rica

Usually in July, there are about two weeks of no rain. It’s a little dry season known in Spanish as veranillo. 

It is impossible to predict if this will actually happen or exactly when. I like to think of it as just a nice little treat if you travel in July and happen to have zero rain.

What to Pack for Costa Rica in July

– Rain Jacket

– Bug Spray

– Waterproof Backpack

– A good sun-blocking hat

– A glasses strap to keep your sunglasses secure

– A filtered waterbottle just to block out any additional bacteria

– Motion sickness pills (for boats and for curvy drives)

– Sunscreen

Check out our Complete Rainy Season Packing List on Amazon for All the Essentials

The Best Places to Visit / Places to Avoid

zip lining monteverde

There is no place that you should necessarily avoid. But just note that certain areas will come with their own weather issues. 

For example, I love Monteverde at this time of year because it really feels like the cloud forest it is meant to be. It just has such a jungle vibe.

Fun Activities in Costa Rica in July

rio celeste

July is a great month for most activities. I suggest arranging as many things to do in the morning versus the afternoon so you can enjoy your day before the rain.

There are a few things you may want to avoid (or just consider) before doing. 

For example, we love the Rio Celeste waterfall, but there is a chance that it will be brown instead of bright blue during this time of year due to the rain. Check out the picture above to see what it looked like when we visited in July versus in the dry season.

This goes for all waterfalls. They might not look as beautiful as you expect.

Also, hiking trails can be really muddy.

At this time of year, it is usually not necessary to book activities for your trip to Costa Rica far in advance. 

Booking Transportation

We always suggest renting a car for your travels in Costa Rica because it will give you the most flexibility for getting around. 

If visiting in July, it is a good idea to rent a 4×4 vehicle. This especially applies to if you are staying in Monteverde, Nosara area, any other remote town, or in an accommodation on a steep hill. 

The reason I say this is because the roads aren’t always the best in certain parts of the country. During the rainy season, dirt roads can become more difficult to navigate. 

Also, keep in mind that certain areas involve river crossings. For example, near Nosara, near Purto Jimenez, and on the back road between Mal Pais and Montezuma there are river crossings. 

During the dry season, this usually isn’t too much of a problem because the water level is low enough, but during the rainy season the water level can get high and there is a good chance you won’t be able to cross.

We always suggest renting your car with our favorite local rental car company, Adobe. 

In June, rental cars tend to be way cheaper than they are during the high season. Plus, we have a 10% discount plus other great perks for you!

Our #1 Car Rental Choice
Costa Rica in July: Weather, Activities, and Best Areas to Visit

Adobe Rent-a-Car

  • 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

Booking Hotels

Booking accommodations in July means you can enjoy Costa Rican mid-season prices. That means, usually rates aren’t as low as they are in the autumn, but they are much lower than they are in the high season. 

To get the best rates possible we suggest booking as early as possible. 

For hotels, we like Booking.com. Many of the listings offer free cancellations up to a certain date. This will allow you to book early and cancel if your plans change. Just keep track of the cancellation deadline!

We also really like VRBO when booking condos, houses, and villas. This is nice because you can rent a place with a kitchen if you plan on cooking some of your own meals. VRBO also has some listings with free cancellation. 

Holiday & Festivals

July 25th is the day of Nicoya’s annexation. You can expect events in this area, especially in the town of Nicoya.

And, as I already mentioned, July is school vacation month in Costa Rica. 

Travel Tips for Visiting in July

cahuita national park

Please keep an eye out for flash flooding. It, unfortunately, does happen and can be really scary. If you notice a stream or river instantly turn muddy, that means it’s time to get out ASAP because a flash flood is coming. 

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Also, keep in mind that things can be slippery after a rainstorm. Typically, places don’t have the same security levels you might be used to in your home country. It is up to you to use your discretion. 

For example, at waterfalls, there is often not any fencing around the base or top of the falls. In the past, people have gotten killed and seriously injured by getting too close to the edge and slipping.

FAQ: Costa Rica in July

Does it rain a lot in Costa Rica in July?

In July, Costa Rica is typically in its rainy season. Rainfall typically occurs in the afternoon for an hour or two. However, the amount of rain can vary depending on the specific location within the country.

Is it better to go to Costa Rica in July or August?

In our opinion, July is a much better month. In August, the rain can start to really pick up and big thunderstorms are more common.

Is Costa Rica crowded in July?

Yes, it can be crowded. Most schools in Costa Rica are closed for the month, so a lot of locals are traveling. Also, most schools are closed throughout the world, so there are a lot of tourists.

Is July a good time to go to Costa Rica?

Yes, July in Costa Rica is great! You may experience afternoon rain storms, but everything is green and lush.

Conclusion

In conclusion, Costa Rica in July comes with some challenges such as afternoon rain in most of the country, but it is a really amazing time to fully experience the Costa Rica paradise.

So, what do you think? Are you ready to plan your travels to Costa Rica in July? If you still have questions, don’t hesitate to leave them in the comment section below. We are always happy to help you plan!

You Might Also Find These Posts Helpful:

Costa Rica Travel Details: What You Need to Know

๐Ÿš— 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.

๐Ÿ„๐Ÿฝ 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.

๐Ÿ I’m overwhelmed with planning. Can you help?

Of course! I suggest joining our Facebook group for specific questions and head to our Start Here Page to get started planning.

โœˆ๏ธ 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).

๐Ÿ›๏ธ What is the best way to book my Costa Rica hotels?

We highly suggest Booking.com for hotel bookings and typically use VRBO for Costa Rica vacation rentals.

๐Ÿ—ฃ๏ธ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.

๐Ÿ’ฐ What is the currency in Costa Rica?

The currency used in Costa Rica is the Costa Rican colรณn (CRC). However, the US dollar is widely accepted in most tourist areas

๐Ÿ“ž 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.

๐ŸŒด 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.

๐Ÿ›‚ Do you need a passport to go to Costa Rica?

Yes, Costa Rica is its own country. You will need a passport to visit.

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