The Best Time To Visit Costa Rica And Avoid Crowds

By Tae Haahr

Costa Rica is a beautiful destination with diverse vegetation, wildlife, gorgeous beaches and an engaging culture. Here’s our advice on the best time to visit Costa Rica so you get nice weather and avoid most of the tourists. That way, your economic impact supports locals in the slow season.

Travel during shoulder or off-season

Costa Rica has two seasons, wet and dry. The wet, or green season, is from May to November. The dry season, also considered to be peak season, is from December to April. 

The best time to visit Costa Rica is during the wet season, but specifically in May, September, October or November when you can experience the vibrant culture of Costa Rica. But with less crowds. Weather is great during those months if you don’t mind getting a little wet. You are visiting the rainforest, after all.   

Best time to visit Costa Rica beach
An uncrowded Mal Pais beach in Costa Rica | SAMUEL CHARRON

The amount of rain you’ll see on your trip depends on when, exactly, during the rainy season you visit and where you go. The interior of Costa Rica is rainy during September and October. However, you can often find sun and nice weather on the country’s Caribbean coast.  

The busy season in Costa Rica is from December to April. This is the time when the weather is the warmest and driest. As a result, the tourist population is the highest. You’ll want to avoid this season to escape the crowds which can have a negative impact.

Avoid holidays

You might also want to avoid traveling during the holidays. Costa Rica is a largely Christian nation with over half of the population being Catholic. That means major crowds during their main religious holidays, specifically Easter and Christmas.

Best time to visit Costa Rica Manuel Antonio National Park
A monkey in Manuel Antonio National Park in Costa Rica | ISABELLA JUSKOVA

Things to do in Costa Rica

Not sure what to put on your Costa Rica itinerary? Costa Rica is home to gorgeous natural settings and outdoor enthusiasts might enjoy a guided tour of the Manuel Antonio National Park or a zip line tour with Pura Vida Packages over the Arenal Volcano National Park.

For those interested in learning new skills, the Guaitil Pottery Studio gives travelers a chance to learn how to make pottery. Costa Rica also has an abundance of eco-lodges, so check out one like Finca Luna Nueva where you can experience luxury and comfort in a sustainable environment. For more ideas, read our ecotourism in Costa Rica guide.