Costa Rica’s reputation as a tropical paradise precedes it and with sun, sea, and surf, its notoriety is well deserved. Though just the size of West Virginia, this country boasts a wide range of different climates, so there really is something for everyone.
With its long coasts of Caribbean and Pacific beaches as well as mountainous highlands, thick rainforests, and abundant valleys there are many different climates to choose from.
To change your weather in Costa Rica you must change your elevation, which in turn will change the amount of rain fall.
Go to the highland town of Monteverde for example and you’ll be surrounded by a cool mist and fog at least part of the day for most of the year. The Pacific coast around Guanacaste, on the other hand is hot and dry, perfect for the many world-class beaches.
Costa Rica itself has an average temperature of 70 F to 81 F. Due to its proximity to the equator, it has no real summer or winter.
It does however have a rainy season from May to November. Average rainfall in Costa Rica is around 100 inches a year, but some areas in Costa Rica’s mountains can get 25 feet of rainfall annually. And it can rain quite heavily in rainforest areas as well.
The Caribbean coast has its own microclimate thanks to continual trade winds that keep the climate hot and moist, with rain year around.
Many people think that the capital of San José and the Central Valley boast the best weather in the country. At altitudes that vary from 2,000 feet to 5,000 feet above sea level, it is temperate year-round, with temperatures ranging from highs in the mid-80s F to lows at night in the mid-60s. The higher in elevation you go, the cooler the average temperatures.
The rainforests of the southern Pacific coast are warm and humid, with heavy rains in the rainy season. But many expats live in homes set on the hillsides overlooking the vast green jungles and glittering ocean. At elevation, the weather is cooler than at sea level and benefits from cooling ocean and mountain breezes. Some expats here actually don’t use much air conditioning if their home was built to take advantage of these breezes.
Costa Rica’s lowlands and coastal areas have an average temperature of 79 F, if you like warm weather. In fact, if you are looking for a warm climate, head to Costa Rica’s northern Pacific coast. Known as the Gold Coast, this area receives the least rainfall and has more sunny days than anywhere else in the country. The rainy season here starts later as well.