rainy beach

Rainy Season in Costa Rica – A Complete Guide

Rainy season in Costa Rica, or green season as it is often called, runs from later April until December. 

Yes, that sounds like an extremely long period of rain. 

Although this time is considered the rainy season, it does not mean that you will have non-stop rain. 

In fact, there is a chance you won’t have any rain at all!

Rainy Season By Month

costa rica rainy season

We created a complete guide to Costa Rica weather by month if you would like a detailed assessment of what you can expect.

However, to keep it brief, from mid December until late April (peak season for travel to Costa Rica) it is very rare to experience rain at all. 

From May until August you will likely have an afternoon rainstorm for an hour or two, but the rest of the day will be sunny and warm.

We like to start our day around by 7 am and enjoy the beautiful weather before the rain moves in.

September and October tend to be the rainiest months in the country. During this time of year, you could have some complete washout days. 

Hurricanes don’t often make their way to Costa Rica, but in recent years there have been more instances of tropical storms and even the occasional hurricane touching down on Costa Rican soil.

Keep in mind that all this seasonal info applies to the Pacific coast and San Jose central valley area. The Caribbean coast part of the country is on a whole other seasonal weather pattern, which I’ll get into further in this post.

Should You Visit During Rainy Season?

palm trees on uvita beach

We say yes! 

In fact, we think that early on during the rainy season is the best time to visit Costa Rica. 

Everything is green, all the tourists go home after the high season, and prices go down. 

Sure, you may be blessed with the daily afternoon thunderstorm, but it’s all just part of the experience!

The Best Places to Visit During Rainy Season

ocean near Uvita

There really is no “bad” places to visit during the rainy season, but there, of course, some spots that seem to get all the rain. 

For example, although we absolutely love San Gerardo de Dota, it can be really cold and nonstop rainy if you visit later in the rainy season. Monteverde can be pretty similar.

You can expect anywhere on the Pacific coast or in San Jose to have the typical rain storm in the afternoon, but mostly good weather during the morning.

La Fortuna is kind of random. It seems that sometimes the weather is amazing there in July. In fact, the time we had the best views of Arenal Volcano was in July.

If you really want to avoid the rainy season when visiting during the Pacific rainy season months, just head to the Caribbean coast. 

Caribbean Coast Rainy Season

boat tortuguero

The Caribbean coast has an opposite rainy season. The absolute best months to visit the Caribbean are August and September. During this time you can expect dry weather and hot sun shine.

Pro Tip: Visit Tortuguero on the Caribbean coast between July and November to see turtles laying their eggs. It will be one of the coolest experiences of your life!

Fun Rainy Season Activities

rainy costa rica

Try out some craft beers

Craft beer culture in Costa Rica is starting to pick up pace. One of our favorite rainy day activities is finding a local brewery to try some nice beers. Just be warned craft beer can be expensive here because almost all the ingredients have to be imported.

Tip: Check out our guide to craft beer in Costa Rica for all the best spots. 

Enjoy each others company

We always pack a deck of cards to entertain us while traveling. On rainy days we love to cook lots of food, make good drinks, and play games.

If you want to have a similar experience, we suggest staying at an Airbnb instead of a hotel. We love getting a place with a kitchen so we can cook nice meals and spread out a bit more.

Check out a Day Spa

Not exactly a budget activity, but there are some really nice day spas throughout Costa Rica. Most day spas are at the big hotels, but you don’t need to be a hotel guest to enjoy some serious relaxation.

If you are anything like me you will be excited to hear that many of the hot springs have chocolate massages. How cool is that?!?

Buy Some Souvenirs

I know you didn’t come all the way to Costa Rica to go shopping, but I don’t mean at a mall. Many towns in Costa Rica have streets with nice little shops. 

Pro Tip: Check out our guide to souvenirs in Costa Rica for some great ideas of what to get your loved ones back home. 

Check out a Museum 

San Jose is home to several nice museums. The three top ones are the Jade Museum, the Children’s Museum, and the Museum of National History.

All three museums are in the downtown San Jose area so you can easily check out more than one of them in one day.

Relax at a Cafe

I love finding cute cafes or nice restaurants and just having long lazy lunches. It’s fun to people watch, talk, and just relax! Find a spot with a view and you can enjoy the comforts of being away from the rain while still seeing outside.

See Some Sea Turtles

Had to add this in here because if you visit Costa Rica during the rainy season you have a much higher chance of seeing turtles than all of those none rainy season visitors. 

Our favorite places to see turtles are Tortuguero, and Ostional

Put Your Rain Gear on and Deal

The rain isn’t much fun, but sometimes you end up visiting during a rainy week, and you still want to enjoy your vacation. 

In that situation, we just bundle up in our rain gear and enjoy our time anyway. Don’t let the rain get you down!

What to Pack for Green Season

rainy season packing

We created a complete guide to packing during rainy season to further help you with the whole packing situation.

There are several things we suggest bringing that will help make your experience a bit less wet and humid.

Rainy Season Money Saving Tips

monteverde zip lining

Visiting during the rainy season is almost always cheaper in general because prices go way down!

-Rent a car with Adobe. We have partnered with our favorite rental car company in Costa Rica, Adobe to bring you all a 10% to 20% discount. If you are renting a car during the rainy season the price is automatically a lot lower than during the dry season. 

Plus, the rainy season is when Adobe sometimes increases that savings up to 20%. Either way, it’s a really great deal! You can find out more about our discount with Adobe here.

-Check out hotels and Airbnb’s. Hotel prices go way down during the rainy season, but I have found that sometimes Airbnb prices go down even more than hotels do. Definitely, check both to find the best deals.

If it is your first time using Airbnb we have a $25 discount for you. Just click here!

-Don’t hesitate to ask for discounts. Sometimes companies don’t advertise that their price is lower during the rainy season, but they are happy to lower their costs a bit. If you are doing an activity ask if they have a rainy season discount. 

Just remember, Ticos don’t do well with confrontation so if they say that they don’t have a discounted rate it is best not to push the subject. It will make them very uncomfortable.

-Ask your hotel if they partner with any local companies. It is not unusual for hotels to partner with different activities in the area. Sometimes your hotel might be able to give you a great green season discounted rate on nearby activities.

-Pay attention to when schools are off in Costa Rica. During national holidays and school vacation time, things tend to fill up a bit more. If you want maximum savings and minimum crowds, pay attention to these dates before booking your vacation. 

I hope this helped you all to plan your trip to Costa Rica during the rainy season. If you have any questions about the rainy season in Costa Rica, just leave them in the comment section below. We love to hear from you and are always happy to help you out!

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About Us

We’re Thomas (the German) and Sarah (the US-er).

We met in Virginia, moved to Germany, and now live in sunny Costa Rica. It was a spontaneous decision to move here, but it was the best decision!

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4 Responses

  1. We want to rent a care with Adobe but we arrive fairly late(midnight) in San Jose. Does Adobe allow for late pickup? Online it only gives the option of 11:30, which we would definitely miss.

    Any advice for what we can do? I don’t want to take an Uber since our rented house is pretty far from the airport.

    1. Hi Rahma,
      Hmmm that is a tough question. Let me ask my contact at Adobe if he has any suggestions. He probably won’t answer me until tomorrow (Monday) though, but I’ll get back to you as soon as he does. 🙂

  2. hi Sarah how is the weather and road conditions in april thinking about heading there in about 2 weeks staying in Puntarenas do you need a 4×4 or is not necessary?

    1. Hi Martha. Right now it is dry and hot, hot, hot! Rainy season could start soon but even if, you may have a few days with a short afternoon shower, nothing more. Also, you dont need a 4×4 for Puntarenas. Roads are well paved in that area. If you head up to Monteverde from there you will need a 4×4 or at least a 4×2, but otherwise youll be fine with something smaller.
      Let me know if you have more questions as you plan!

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