The Best Time To Visit Costa Rica And Avoid Crowds

By Tae Haahr

Costa Rica is a beautiful destination with diverse vegetation and wildlife, gorgeous beaches and an engaging culture. If you’re planning on heading there for your next trip, here’s our advice on the best time to visit so you get nice weather and avoid most of the tourists, allowing your economic impact to support 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, but you are visiting the rainforest after all.   

Costa Rica Beach
An uncrowded Mal Pais beach in Costa Rica | SAMUEL CHARRON

In fact, the amount of rain that you’ll see on your trip depends on when, exactly, during the rainy season you visit and where you go. For example, while the interior of Costa Rica is rainy during September and October, 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 where the weather is the warmest and driest, and as a result, the tourist population is the highest. You’ll want to avoid this season to avoid the crowds and your impact on the country.

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, so you might want to avoid traveling during their main religious holidays, specifically Easter and Christmas, when the crowds are bound to be largest.

Monkey in tree in 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. And Costa Rica 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.