To many, Costa Rica’s charm lies in its lush rainforests, unspoiled beaches and abundance of wildlife. With breathtaking landscapes and a myriad of creatures – from toucans to monkeys to jaguars – it’s easy to see why. Where else can you hike active volcanoes, zip line through cloud-covered rainforests and surf warm turquoise waters within the span of just a few days? In this compact but diverse tropical paradise, exhilarating outdoor activities are abundant. Nature-seekers will roam thick jungles while beachgoers will sprawl across the powdery sands. It’s hard not to admire all the splendors this “Rich Coast” has to offer.
However, for others, this small Latin American country has a different appeal: it’s a relaxed way of life. Residents – known as Ticos – often recite the catchphrase “pura vida” (or “pure life”). This guiding philosophy can be observed from Costa Rica’s central cosmopolitan capital of San José all the way to the sandy Atlantic and Pacific coasts. To truly immerse yourself in the good life, kick back and admire the awe-inspiring scenery. Surround yourself with graceful butterflies at La Paz Waterfall Gardens, hike along the monumental Arenal Volcano, mingle with locals at Puerto Viejo de Talamanca, or simply sit in a hammock under a palm tree along the Nicoya Peninsula. We have a strong feeling you’ll discover the pure life, too.
Best Months to Visit
The best time to visit Costa Rica is from mid-December to April (the dry season). This peak tourist season boasts plenty of sunshine making it an ideal time for exploring rainforests and lounging on beaches. That said, the dry season is the most popular (and expensive) time to visit. Luckily the U.S. dollar goes a long way in Costa Rica no matter the season. You’ll have to book your room and tour reservations three months in advance to secure a spot. If you don’t mind getting a little wet, visit between May and November when prices are at their lowest. During June and July, rain showers pause briefly, and Costa Rica’s forests burst with green foliage.
While planning your trip, keep in mind that the weather varies by region. In the thick forests of the Caribbean Sea coast and Northern Plains, expect high humidity and temperatures ranging between the 70s and high 80s year-round. Conversely, in the North Pacific, prepare for lower humidity levels, but temperatures that often soar into the 90s during Costa Rica’s dry months.