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29 Dec 2023
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Local Activity Guide

Costa Rica is a year-round beach destination that beckons with unparalleled experiences. We’re breaking down Costa Rica’s seasons and when to visit.

Exploring the breathtaking landscapes and vibrant culture of Costa Rica from your Los Sueños Resort accommodations promises the adventure of a lifetime. Unlike the distinctive four seasons, Costa Rica’s seasons have a unique climate that invites travelers year-round to bask in its beauty. When planning your escapade to this tropical paradise, understanding its seasonal nuances is a good idea.

Costa Rica doesn't conform to the typical winter, spring, summer, and fall cycles. Instead, it embraces a tale of two seasons – the dry or "high" season and the wet or "green" season.

Costa Rica's tourism experiences its own rhythms throughout the year. From the bustling crowds flocking to witness sea turtles nesting on the Pacific shores, humpback whale sightings, lush rainforests, and diverse wildlife during the ‘green season’ to the high season drawing adventure enthusiasts seeking thrilling experiences, stunning coastlines of sun-kissed beaches like Playa Hermosa and national parks of the ‘dry season‘ each part of the year presents a unique tapestry of opportunities.

Costa Rica’s Weather

Costa Rica’s average temperatures stay pretty consistent throughout the year. Costa Rica lies close to the equator, allowing 12 hours of sunlight daily. Sunrise begins year-round between 5:15 AM and 6 AM, with sunsets between 5:40 PM and 6:30 PM.

Temperatures average 80 F to 90 F on the coasts and 70 F to 80 F in the mountains and countryside.

The hottest months are March and April. Rainfall determines the season and not necessarily the temperature. Costa Ricans refer to the dry season as summer (verano) and the rainy season as winter (invierno), establishing the naming of the season by rainfall amount, not the temperature.

Tropical Costa Rican Rainfall

Photo.Credit: Abbyhoosh

The rain usually begins in May and dries out in December. The average yearly rainfall in Costa Rica is 100 inches, with the mountainous rainforest getting more precipitation. The upside is super lush tropical landscapes! While there can be spells of rain, it's often warm and brief.

Just try to plan to be out enjoying nature or the beach when the sun is out. If you wake up and it is sunny in the morning, head to the beach. If it rains later, you can spend the afternoon relaxing in a hammock, napping, or enjoying a good book or a massage!

Costa Rica’s Green Season (May through November)

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Costa Rica's green season, also known as the rainy season, typically spans from May to November. This part of the year brings the kind of weather that breathes life into the landscapes, creating a paradise for nature lovers seeking tranquility and a more authentic experience away from the crowds, making it an enticing time to visit for those seeking a more serene and authentic experience.

Some refer to the main part of the green season being May through mid-August, which coincides with school being out and family vacations.

Things To Do In the Green Season

Costa Rica Whale Watching Tours

Photo Credit: Dynamoland

Travelers and whale enthusiasts have the opportunity to embark on whale-watching tours led by experienced guides and boat operators. These tours offer a chance to witness these incredible marine giants breaching, slapping their fins or tails, and displaying other fascinating behaviors as they navigate the warm waters of Costa Rica.

Whales come to breed and raise their young in January, February, August and September. For near daily sightings, August and September are the best months for seeing humpback whales in Costa Rica.

Turtle (Tortuguero) Nesting Season

Photo Credit: Jarno Gonzalez Zarraonandia 

The main nesting season in Costa Rica typically spans from March to November. Around Jaco, Costa Rica, your best opportunity to spot turtles nesting is November and December.

The most common sea turtle species that nest along the Costa Rican coastline include the Olive Ridley, Green, Leatherback, and Hawksbill turtles. Guided tours are available to witness this incredible natural phenomenon while respecting the nesting turtles and their habitats. There are conservation programs in place where turtles nest to protect the nesting sites and provide educational opportunities for you to observe these magnificent creatures in their natural environment.

Wildlife Exploration

Photo Credit: Thorsten Spoerlein

Costa Rica's rainforests burst with life during the green season. Take advantage of this time to explore the nearby national parks, such as Carara National Park, where you can spot diverse wildlife, including scarlet macaws, monkeys, sloths, and colorful frogs.

Waterfall Tours and Hiking

Photo Credit: Brad Schinkel

The rain rejuvenates the rivers and waterfalls in the region, making it an excellent time for waterfall tours and hiking adventures. Explore the lush rainforest trails leading to stunning waterfalls like the ones found at Monteverde Cloud Forest Biological Preserve.

Canopy Tours and Zip Lining

Photo Credit: Wollertz

Embrace the adrenaline rush with canopy tours and zip-lining adventures amidst the verdant canopy. Glide through the rainforest, enjoying breathtaking views and an exhilarating experience. Many tour operators in the area offer canopy tours.


Photo Credit: Jorge A. Russell 

Jaco is renowned for its consistent waves, attracting surfers year-round. The green season brings larger swells and fewer crowds to the beaches, making it a great time to catch some waves.


Photo Credit: Jorge A. Russell

Despite the intermittent rain, fishing enthusiasts can still enjoy great sport fishing off Jaco's coast during the green season. Charter boats are available for half-day or full-day excursions, offering opportunities to catch marlin, sailfish, dorado, and more.

Relaxation and Spa Retreats

Photo Credit: UfaBizPhoto

Take advantage of the quieter season to indulge in relaxation at the various spas and wellness centers in neighboring Jaco. Treat yourself to massages, yoga classes, and rejuvenating spa treatments.

Costa Rica’s Dry Season (December through April)

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Costa Rica embraces the dichotomy of microclimates with the drier or "high" season contrasting with the rainy or "green" season. The dry season is characterized by sunny skies and warm weather, drawing in crowds eager to explore Costa Rica's renowned beaches, national parks, and outdoor adventures.

Costa Rica's dry season typically extends from December to April. This period showcases the country at its sunniest and driest, making it a popular time for seeking outdoor adventures and exploring the diverse offerings of this tropical paradise.

Things To Do In Costa Rica During The Dry Season


With consistent waves and favorable conditions, Jaco remains a haven for surfers during the dry season with more opportunities to be on the water. There are numerous surf schools and rental shops along the beach and in town, making it an ideal spot for both beginners and experienced surfers.

Water Activities

Photo Credit: Joan Vendrell

From snorkeling and scuba diving to sport fishing and boat tours, the dry season offers ideal conditions for various water-based activities. Explore the vibrant underwater world, go on catamaran cruises, or try your hand at catching dorado, marlin, and other fish species off the coast.


Fishing, and beach life in general, are the two main attractions during the dry season. Whether you’re a spectator or competing, participating in the Signature Triple Crown is a must-do and is hosted at Los Sueños Resort.

Hiking and Waterfall Exploration

Take advantage of the dry weather to hike through rainforest trails leading to stunning waterfalls. This season allows for easier access to trails and paths, making it an excellent time for outdoor enthusiasts to explore the region's natural beauty.

Nature Tours and Wildlife Watching

Photo Credit: Simon Dannhauer

Costa Rica's rich biodiversity is on full display during the dry season. Guided tours are available to explore the nearby rainforests, national parks like Manuel Antonio and Corcovado, and wildlife reserves. Expect to encounter diverse wildlife such as monkeys, sloths, colorful birds like toucans and parrots, reptiles, and more.

Night Tours and Wildlife Spotting

Engage in nocturnal wildlife tours to witness a different side of Costa Rica's wildlife. Spot creatures that come to life after dusk, such as frogs, nocturnal mammals, and fascinating insects. During the dry season, your chance of rain at night lessons, making this a great time to catch nocturnal creatures.

What To Pack For Your Costa Rica Vacation

Photo Credit: Art_Photo

Packing for your vacation in Costa Rica requires very little effort. The temperatures are mostly consistent year round. But you do want to consider what type of activities you’re keen on booking.

Here's your guide to all the essentials to pack:

  • Lightweight Clothing: Costa Rica's weather can vary, so pack lightweight, breathable clothing suitable for warm temperatures. T-shirts, tank tops, shorts, and sundresses are ideal for beach areas, while long-sleeved linen or breathable shirts and pants are useful for cooler evenings or forest excursions.
  • Rain Gear: If visiting during the green or rainy season, bring a lightweight waterproof jacket or poncho. Quick-dry or wicking clothing is also helpful in case of rain.
  • Swimwear: Don't forget your swimsuits! Costa Rica's stunning beaches and opportunities for water activities make swimwear a must.
  • Footwear: Comfortable walking shoes or hiking sandals for outdoor activities and excursions. Flip-flops or sandals for the beach and casual outings.
  • Sun Protection: Sunscreen with a high SPF, sunglasses, a wide-brimmed hat, and a lightweight, long-sleeved shirt for extra sun protection.
  • Insect Repellent: Costa Rica has its share of insects, especially in rainforest areas. If you have a favorite, go ahead and pack it, but you can pick up insect repellent containing DEET or other ingredients locally.
  • Daypack: A small backpack or daypack for carrying essentials during excursions, hikes, and day trips. Doubles as a carry-on or 2nd personal item.
  • Reusable Water Bottle: Staying hydrated is important. You will be able to find safe drinking water anywhere to refill your bottle.
  • Cash and Cards: Costa Rica accepts US dollars in many places, but it's advisable to carry local currency (Colón) for smaller purchases. Credit/debit cards are widely accepted, especially in tourist areas. We recommend small denominations of US dollars for tipping purposes. Generally, bills larger than $20 are not accepted.

Stay and Play Year Round at Los Sueños Resort

If you need additional help planning your trip, your Concierge at Los Sueños Resort can help you with every detail and even help you get a spot on that incredible tour that is always full. Costa Rica awaits—a destination where the notion of "seasons" takes on a whole new meaning!

Book your stay at Los Sueños Resort and Marina today!