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The Sunrise in Costa Rica: Times and Best Viewpoints

Watching the sunrise in Costa Rica is the perfect way to start your day while vacationing in paradise. Depending on where you are in the country you can enjoy some very epic views.

We created this guide to fill you in on all the best places to enjoy the sunrise, tell you when exactly you can expect the sunrise to occur, and give you tips for what to do after.

Let’s get to it!

When Does the Sun Rise in Costa Rica?

tortuguero sun rise view

The sun rises early in Costa Rica!

All year round, you can expect it to rise between about 5:15 am (in June) and 6 am (in December). 

Costa Rica is in the Northern Hemisphere. That means that June 21st is the longest day of the year and December 21st is the shortest day of the year here. 

The country is located close to the equator, which contributes to this small variety in sunrise times throughout the year. 

The sun also sets between about 5:30pm and 6pm year round. This means that typically you will have about 12 hours of daylight. 

Where are the Best Places to See the Sunrise in Costa Rica?

The best places to see the sunrise are; on the Caribbean Coast, high up in the mountains, on the Nicoya Peninsula, and on the Osa Peninsula.

Our favorite places are:


tortuguero sunrise

Tortuguero is a remote village that is only accessible by boat. It is a very unique place that I strongly suggest visiting for a few nights.

This town is also known as a turtle nesting area. The best time to experience this is during the month of August

The best place to watch the sunrise is along the main beach.  

If you are up early, I suggest scheduling an early morning wildlife canoe ride in the Tortuguero National Park. These canoe rides typically start at 6am and are conducted by an experienced guide who will point out tons of wildlife along the way.

Schedule Your Early Morning Canoe Ride 🛶


sun rise in costa rica in Cahuita

Cahuita is a relaxed village on the Caribbean Coast and home to the beautiful Cahuita National Park.

The national park is filled with stunning coastal views, but it unfortunately doesn’t open until 8am.

Instead, I suggest heading to Playa Negra on the north side of town for relaxed sunrise views on the black sand beach. 

After watching the sunrise you can head into town and try Soda Kawe for breakfast. This is a traditional Caribbean place that is very basic but delicious. Their Google listing says they open at 5:30am. It might actually be a bit later than that, but I’m not sure. We usually go here around 7am before hiking at the national park and it has always been open. 

The restaurant is right next to the national park entrance so, you can try and time it to then immediately enter the park at 8am. 

Puerto Viejo

Puerto Viejo is a bustling beach town just south of Cahuita. This is a popular place for surfers and backpackers coming up from Panama

There are several beaches within the town that are perfect for sunrise views. 

After watching the sun rise you can get breakfast in the downtown area or enjoy an early morning surf. 

For breakfast, I suggest Cafe Rico which opens at 7am.


Paquera is a coastal town located on the Nicoya Peninsula of Costa Rica. It is also where the ferry lands from Puntarenas.

Our favorite beaches to watch the sunrise here are Playa Quesera and Playa Pájaros. 


The Sunrise in Costa Rica: Times and Best Viewpoints

Montezuma is a relaxed beach town also located on the Nicoya Peninsula. This is actually one of our favorite towns in the country. 

Our favorite way to enjoy the sunrise here is by taking a long walk along the Montezuma beach. This walk ends with the amazing waterfall pictured above.

Puerto Jimenez

The Sunrise in Costa Rica: Times and Best Viewpoints

Puerto Jimenez is a Pacific coastal town on the Osa Peninsula. This coastal town sits facing east with the Golfito Bay in front of it.

Our favorite beach for watching the sun rise is Playa Platanares, but you will be able to enjoy it from anywhere in town as well.

After, that you can get breakfast at one of the many Puerto Jimenez restaurants. A lot of places open very early here to accommodate tourists who are going to Corcovado National Park for early morning hikes.  

Monteverde Area

monteverde coffee view

Monteverde is a cloud forest town located at a high elevation. It is possible to enjoy the sunrise directly in Montezuma or head to a nearby peak for epic views.

Our favorite spot near here is Cerro Pelado. This hike is a bit intense, (especially with limited light) but is seriously impressive. On a clear day you can see all the way to both the Pacific and Caribbean Coasts. 

Here is a map of all the places listed above to make your planning a bit easier

Other Things to Know About the Sun Rise in Costa Rica 

costa rica sunrise
  • Costa Rica is typically very safe, but petty theft can happen. I am always a bit extra cautious when out and about while everyone else is sleeping, this also applies to going out to enjoy the sunrise. It is best not to carry valuables on you and if a situation feels uncomfortable, just leave. 
  • In my opinion, the early mornings are the best part of the day in Costa Rica. The air just feels so fresh and the wildlife are the most active. 
  • After your sunrise experience, I definitely suggest enjoying a traditional Costa Rican breakfast to start your day off right. In most towns you should be able to find a typical Costa Rican restaurant that opens very early. 
  • In most areas of the country you should be able to experience great sunrise views year round. It doesn’t typically rain that early in the day. 
  • Some of the places I listed above are on the Caribbean Coast. Keep in mind that the Caribbean Coast has the opposite rainy season and dry season as the Pacific Coast. You will experience the best weather on the Caribbean from July through October. 
  • Did you know that Costa Rica does not use daylight savings time? That means that the clocks never change here throughout the year. 


In conclusion, we strongly suggest getting up early and enjoying the sunrise in Costa Rica. It’s the perfect way to start your day in paradise!

If you have any questions about planning your trip to Costa Rica don’t hesitate to leave them in the comment section below. We are always happy to help you out!

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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.

🏄🏽 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?

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

✈️ 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?

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

🗣️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.