• Source: Condé Nast Traveller

These are the best months to visit Costa Rica for our Globe Aware volunteers interested in continuing their stay after their volunteer vacation!

The Best Time to Visit Costa Rica for Wildlife, Surfing, and Fewer Crowds

These are the best months to visit Costa Rica—whether you're looking to spot sea turtles, chase swells, or learn to surf.

Condé Nast Traveler 
March 12, 2024

Costa Rica is easy to love with its awe-inspiring landscape and infectious atmosphere. With so much to offer, the best time to visit Costa Rica depends on what you're looking to do during your holiday. Whether you're off wildlife spotting or chasing swells, spending time in this picturesque Central American nation quickly teaches visitors what the “pura vida” lifestyle is all about. Below, see the best months to plan a Costa Rican getaway for surfing, budget travel, whale spotting, and more.

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The best time to visit Costa Rica for good weather

If you’re looking to catch some sun, we recommend visiting Costa Rica between December and April. This is when temperatures are at their best, averaging 80 degrees Fahrenheit, with the hottest temperatures in March and April reaching around 97 degrees Fahrenheit. The chance of rainfall is low during these months, with an average of 61% humidity, making it more manageable than the rainier seasons.

The best time to visit Costa Rica for wildlife spotting

Costa Rica is full of opportunities to spot wildlife, no matter what season you decide to head to this beautiful country. There are numerous national parks and wildlife refuges, all boasting unique sights. If you’re looking to spot sea life, we recommend visiting between July and August–it’s the optimal time for whale spotting in Dominical and sea turtles in Tortuguero National Park. And if you’re a sloth lover, then you’re in luck. Costa Rica’s Manuel Antonio beach is an excellent place for sloth spotting.

The best time to visit Costa Rica for lower prices

We’d recommend visiting in the early and later months of the off-season, like May and September. Costa Rica is a popular destination with North American travelers, so traveling before the high season and school holidays means you are more likely to save some money on accommodations and flights. The best weather spans from December to April, coinciding with the holiday season in North America, so this also tends to be a more expensive time to visit Costa Rica.

The best time to visit Costa Rica for surfing

It depends on your experience level. If this is your first foray into surfing, visiting in the dry season is the perfect time. March and April bring tame waves–perfect for learning how to surf. If you’re an experienced surfer, the green season (May to November) is for you, with September and October bringing the biggest swells.

The best time to visit Costa Rica for fewer crowds

If you want to avoid crowds, we’d recommend visiting at the beginning and end of the rainy season–May and October. The dry season between December and April will bring many tourists, as will the summer months as families head down during the school holidays.

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