Costa Rica Weather

The key to Costa Rica’s climate is its nearness to the equator. This proximity has two overriding consequences: first, it means that like all tropical countries, Costa Rica has wet and dry seasons; and second, it means temperatures in most places are pretty much the same year round.

The wet or “green” season, as locals call it, runs from May to November and is characterized by lush foliage, afternoon thunderstorms, and impassable conditions on some of the country’s unpaved roads. The dry season, by contrast, extends from December to April and coincides with the peak tourist times, as many North Americans take advantage of the Christmas holidays to escape to Costa Rica’s warm beaches and cloud forests. In certain areas, however—notably the Caribbean coast—you can count on rain year round.

Generally speaking, temperatures in Costa Rica vary with the elevation. Coastal cities like Puerto Limón, Puntarenas, and Nicoya remain in the 80’s more or less non-stop, while San José, at 3,800 feet, enjoys a kind of eternal spring, with its 70-odd degrees providing welcome relief from the extremes of the tropical climate. At higher elevations, it can get cool at night.

Average monthly temperatures (°F) and rainfall (inches) for select locations in Costa Rica are shown below.

Golfito

 Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec
High 90 92 92 91 89 89 88 88 88 87 87 89
Low 70 70 71 72 72 72 72 71 72 72 72 71
Rain 5 4 7 11 20 20 22 23 25 27 22 10

Liberia

Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec
High 92 94 96 97 93 90 90 90 88 88 89 91
Low 69 70 71 73 74 74 73 73 72 72 71 70
Rain 0 0 0 1 8 10 6 8 14 13 4 0

Nicoya

Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec
High 93 95 97 98 94 91 91 91 90 88 89 91
Low 73 73 74 75 75 75 74 74 74 74 73 73
Rain 0 0 0 1 10 11 8 10 15 14 5 0

Puerto Limon

Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec
High 83 83 84 85 85 85 84 84 86 85 84 83
Low 72 72 73 74 75 75 75 74 74 74 74 72
Rain 13 9 8 11 11 11 16 12 6 7 15 16

Puntarenas

 Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec
High 89 91 92 92 89 88 87 87 87 86 86 87
Low 76 77 77 78 78 77 76 75 75 76 76 76
Rain 0 0 0 1 8 10 7 10 12 10 5 1

Quepos

Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec
High 88 90 90 90 89 87 87 87 87 86 86 87
Low 72 72 73 74 74 74 73 73 73 73 73 72
Rain 2 1 2 6 15 16 18 18 21 21 14 6

San Jose

Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec
High 75 76 79 79 80 79 77 78 79 77 77 75
Low 58 58 59 62 62 62 62 61 61 60 60 58
Rain 1 0 1 2 9 10 8 10 12 12 6 2

Source: Weatherbase.

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