Best time to visit Costa Rica

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Best time of year to visit Costa Rica

Costa Rica is famous for its abundant wildlife, beaches, and volcanoes. This tropical country is washed by the Pacific and the Atlantic oceans. The best time to visit Costa Rica is during the dry season from November to April. Early November is the time for Dia de Los Muertos celebration and La Ruta de Los​ Conquistadores, a challenging mountain bike race. The dry season promises prime surfing conditions on the Caribbean coast and good weather for trekking to Poas and Irazu volcanoes. Don't miss out on the "Festival of the Diablitos" in late December, which celebrates the victory of Boruca tribe over Spanish colonisers. The period from May to October brings so-called 'green season' with afternoon rain downpours and lower rates. In July and August the clouds get thinner, whales cross the Pacific waters on their way from Antarctica, and surfing conditions on the Pacific coast are just right.

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Poas Volcano

Poas Volcano

January–April • nature

Arenal may be the most visited volcano, but Poas is definitely the most spectacular!

Resplendent Quetzal

Resplendent Quetzal

November–April • nature

Used to be called "precious" by Aztecs, resplendent quetzal is considered to be the most beautiful bird on Earth

Whale Watching

Whale Watching

December–April | August–November • nature

Coasta Rica is one of the greatest places to watch wales

Cashew

Cashew

December–May • food

Cashew nut is topped by paprika-like pseudo fruit and has to be roasted before consumption

Leatherback Turtles on the North Caribbean

Leatherback Turtles on the North Caribbean

March–July • nature

Watching turtles is one of the best activities in Costa Rica, especially the largest species

Irazu Volcano

Irazu Volcano

March–April • nature

The highest active volcano in Costa Rica

Tamarind Fruit

Tamarind Fruit

December–March • food

A huge tree that gives plenty of shade and healthy fruits once in six years

Mango Season

Mango Season

March–April • food

There are few people who do not like mango, especially in Costa Rica—the mango kingdom

Fishing in Quepos

Fishing in Quepos

December–April • activity

Prime time for anglers to experience tropical water fishing

Surfing

Surfing

May–November (Pacific), December–April (Caribbean) • activity

In Costa Rica you will find some of the best waves on the planet

Leatherback Turtles on the Pacific

Leatherback Turtles on the Pacific

September–March • nature

Costa Rica is full of spots to watch turtles during their nesting period

Eating Iguanas

Eating Iguanas

March–April • food

What can be more bizarre than the ancient traditions? Only the ancient traditional cuisine choices

Papaya

Papaya

December–April • food

One of the largest fruits in Costa Rica

Star Apple or Caimito

Star Apple or Caimito

February–April • food

Sweet and healthy orange-sized fruit

Sapodilla Season

Sapodilla Season

February–May • food

With a thin gray rind and oval in shape, ​this most-liked fruit is larger than a baseball!

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Arenal Volcano

Arenal Volcano

September–October • nature

Arenal is Costa Rica's most well-known volcano

Coffee Harvest

Coffee Harvest

October–February • food

Costa Rica offers some of the best coffee beans in the world

La Ruta de Los​ Conquistadores

La Ruta de Los​ Conquistadores

October 29–November 03, 2019 • event

One of the most difficult mountain bike races in the world

Envision Festival

Envision Festival

February 20–24, 2020 • event

An annual gathering to promote sustainable development and raise the sense of community

Rafting

Rafting

May–November • activity

Discover why Costa Rica is a prime rafting destination

Olive Ridley Turtles

Olive Ridley Turtles

August–November • nature

Arribada nesting strategy is fun to watch!

Festival of the Diablitos

Festival of the Diablitos

December 30–January 02 • event

One of the most authentic festivals, it's dedicated to the victory of Boruca tribe over Spanish invadors​

Chirripó Race or Carrera Chirripó

Chirripó Race or Carrera Chirripó

February 22, 2020 • event

Run up the country's highest peak at the annual International Chirripó Race in San Gerardo

El Tope Nacional

El Tope Nacional

December 26 • event

The biggest horse parade in the country takes place San José with fun activities and traditional attractions

Hawksbill Turtles

Hawksbill Turtles

July–October • nature

These turtles have a peculiar pattern and beak, and are critically endangered

Birdwatching

Birdwatching

August–October • nature

Plenty of birds all year round could be watched in Costa Rica, however, ​bird migrations are the real highlight

Easter and Holy Week (Semana Santa)

Easter and Holy Week (Semana Santa)

April 05–12, 2020 • event

The week before Easter is of a huge importance and has plenty of interesting traditions to observe in Costa Rica

Limón Carnival

Limón Carnival

mid-October • event

Taking place in the port city of Limon, the carnival celebrates nice weather and joy of life

Fiestas Civicas Liberia

Fiestas Civicas Liberia

February 23–March 04, 2018 • event

A rodeo-like event full of adrenaline and danger

Green Turtles

Green Turtles

June–October • nature

One of the most famous and beautiful species that is also regarded endangered

Día de los Muertos

Día de los Muertos

November 02 • event

Colourful day of the dead commemorates the deceased

Pitaya or Dragon Fruit

Pitaya or Dragon Fruit

June–November • food

This fruit growing on a cactus can be found on trees or rocky terrains

Mamoncillo

Mamoncillo

June–August • food

Also known as Spanish lime, this round fruit is good for juice and a healthy snack.

Parrita Mule Festival

Parrita Mule Festival

January 16–26, 2020 • event

Festival Nacional de las Mulas is now one of the biggest in Costa Rica

Mammee Apple

Mammee Apple

May–August • food

An evergreen tree that can grow up to 25 meters gives a large and round fruit

Fiestas Típicas Nacionales Santa Cruz

Fiestas Típicas Nacionales Santa Cruz

January 14–20, 2019 • event

The festival with lots of dancing and music that also honours the Black Christ of Esquipulas

Palmares Festival

Palmares Festival

January 09–21, 2019 • event

One of the biggest festivals in Costa Rica, it includes two weeks of endless fun

Fiesta de La Virgen del Mar

Fiesta de La Virgen del Mar

July 13, 2019 • event

On this day fishing boats and yachts are decorated colourfully in Puntarenas

Guanacaste Day

Guanacaste Day

July 25 • event

The celebration of Guanacaste’s annexation to Costa Rica

Mandarin Orange

Mandarin Orange

November–December • food

Similar to orange, but smaller, very juicy and sweet

Orchids

Orchids

May • nature

The symbol of Costa​ Rica, this flower is famous for its beauty and colourful charm. Orchid is the country's pride

Sapote

Sapote

June • food

The large fruit with sweet taste

Independence Day

Independence Day

September 15 • event

Widely celebrated, the Independence Day is a central national holiday

Passion Fruit or Maracuya

Passion Fruit or Maracuya

October–February • food

Sweet fruit is healthy and gives tasty juice

Cantaloupe

Cantaloupe

January–February • food

Similar to melon, this fruit has hard beige skin, and sweet yellowish flesh

Reto Jacó Extremo

Reto Jacó Extremo

April 04, 2020 • event

The Jaco Extreme Challenge is a run of 10k through the tough area