Green Season in Costa Rica: A Month-by-Month Guide

Green Season, or May through November, is an enchanting time of year to visit Costa Rica.  The rains return after months of bone dry weather and the country springs back to life showing off every shade of green.  But these seven months aren’t the same from start to finish – each is a little different from the next and weather patterns can also vary from place to place within Costa Rica.  With that in mind, we’ve put together a handy guide to the Green Season by month.   Oh, and never trust the weather app. Here is why.

Costa Rica in May

Dry Season doesn’t turn to Rainy Season overnight.  May is something of a transitional month making it a great time to visit.  Generally, most May mornings are sunny, while the rain showers arrive later in the afternoon and evening.  Despite being early in the season, you’ll still feel that the volume of tourists has thinned out and the travel promotions have picked up.  As far as temperatures go, May is a cooler respite from the typically scorching preceding month.  This year particularly, the rains have been slow to move in. 

Costa Rica in June

June sees Costa Rica move more seriously into Green Season mode.  With a little more frequent rains, the rainforests are as lush as ever, and the true meaning of “Green Season” becomes apparent!  Things tend to be quiet earlier in the month, while they become gradually busier as schools start breaking for the summer. 

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Costa Rica in July and August

Green Season weather in July and August can be pleasantly surprising.  Costa Rica experiences something of a mini Summer, or veranillo as the locals call it, where for a number of weeks there’s a significant dip in rainfall.  Some regions of the country experience it more than others.  In reality, the veranillo can be tricky to predict, falling anywhere in July or August.  But July and August are great months to visit.  The temperatures are very pleasant and things are not as busy as in the high season. 

Costa Rica in September and October

September and October generally receive the brunt of Green Season weather.  Over these two months, when it rains, it pours, particularly on the Pacific side of Costa Rica.  As for wildlife lovers, if you can brave a little mud and rain, you’re in for a special experience.  The rainforests will be in full bloom, the animals out in force, and you’ll find seasonal visitors like the Humpback Whales and Sea Turtles too. 

River rafting is at its best during the rainy season. Waters are still warm.

Costa Rica in November

Just like the transitional month of May, November sees the seasons start to change.  The skies start to clear, with rainfall drying up and the number of sunshine hours gradually increasing – on the whole, the weather is mostly excellent!  Late November or early December might just be the best Green Season months to visit – you’ll just beat the December holiday season influx and in most cases, you’ll still be able to take advantage of special seasonal promotions.

This information also holds true for Panama and Nicaragua.

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