Sunset in Nicoya Penisula, Costa Rica

The best time of year to travel to Costa Rica

Devraj Lahiri Devraj Lahiri 19 September 2021
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Costa Rica is as diverse as they come. This country is a beehive of activity filled with some of the most colourful and varied landscapes. The country has plenty of attractions, one of which is the wildlife. The tropical country is also known for its unseasonal rain. However, before we embark on an epic journey, I want to remind you to get your Costa Rica visa and passport in order, as these are the most important travel documents you will need to enter the country. What better place but to acquire all your information regarding the visa than Pickvisa.

When is the best time to travel to Costa Rica?

lush forest

When is the best time to travel to Costa Rica is the most pertinent question asked by world travellers. The best time of year to travel to Costa Rica is between December and April. It is the time when the weather is at its driest and brightest. One may also travel between May and June or in November, which is also called the green season. This period is when the seasons are in transition, and most of the national parks are quieter. However, a quick survey on the best time of year to travel to Costa Rica, as per a large percentage of travellers, is the month of May. There is some rainfall, but the wildlife spotting becomes more exciting with plenty of sightings. The beach, too, becomes a relaxing place to spend time at. Due to the quick movement of the clouds during this time, it is easier to spot the Arenal Volcano and its perfect cone. However, May becoming the best time to travel to Costa Rica is for another reason: the lower airfares. A lower cost of travel would mean a manageable budget and greater spending on other excursions.

The worst time to visit Costa Rica

bridge

The worst time to visit Costa Rica is in September and October. It is the period of heavy rainfall though being a tropical country, about of the skies pouring can be expected anytime. Even dry seasons can have unexpected rain, so visitors should always be prepared in advance. One of the advantages of visiting the country during the heavy rainfalls is witnessing the lush fauna, which gets invigorated due to the relentless monsoon, but severe challenges exist. The spotting of wildlife becomes difficult, and the roads turn into a cesspool of slush and mud. Travelling on these roads becomes not just difficult but extremely risky too. Overflowing rivers and landslides pose a major issue, too, making venturing beyond the highways near impossible.

December to April

capuchin monkey

Let us talk about the best time to visit Costa Rica for wildlife: December to April. It is the time when the seasons are at their driest and brightest. The country gets besieged by travellers worldwide who seek the lush tropical forests and the magnificent beaches for themselves. It is also when the soaring Quetzals make an appearance while the waddling turtles create a sight. The period between December and April is also called the best time to visit Costa Rica for wildlife for a reason: Fiestas, Bull fights, music, fun and frolic, food and cultural shows fill the entire country with much festivity and gaiety. It is also the best time to travel to Costa Rica Guanacaste region since the temperature hovered around the 90s. December and January is also the best time to travel to Costa Rica Guanacaste because of the Sun beaten beaches. Europeans and North Americans make a beeline for this region on the planet to get over their chilling winters and overcast conditions. Because of this rush, making bookings and reservations in advance is necessary to avoid last-minute heartbreaks. Costa Rica is an emotion to savour, and not being able to experience it due to the unavailability of rooms and accommodations can be crushing to the soul.

A few events that take place during this period are:

• El Tope and Carnival (December)

• Festejos Populares (December)

• Copa del Cafe (January)

• Palmares Fiestas (January)

• Santa Cruz Fiesta (January)

• Diabilitos Fiesta (January)

• National Orchid Show (March)

• Juan Santamaría Day (April)

What do I need to travel to Costa Rica?

juan santamaria international airport

Costa Rica is connected by flights and ships from all parts of the world. It also is connected via road with its neighbouring countries. However, there are a few travels to Costa Rica requirements.

The digital form called the Health Pass has to fill completely and correctly. It has to be done within 72 hours of arriving in the country. Each form has to be filled individually, and there are no exceptions, including minors.

As of the 1st of August, 2021, all individuals under 18 can enter Costa Rica without any COVID restrictions. All tourists of all ages should be vaccinated with any one of the following vaccinations: Moderna, Pfizer-BioNTech, AstraZeneca or Johnson & Johnson.

Vaccinated travellers need to be attaching their vaccination certificates to their health passes. Vaccination cards and certificates need to have the following information or at least two of the following:

1. Name of the person who received the vaccine

2. Date of each dose

3. Pharmaceutical house

An insurance certificate in English or Spanish is mandatory and needs to have the following information:

Name of the individual

The policy will have to be valid during the entire stay

Guarantee of coverage of medical expenses arising out of COVID infection amounting to $50,000

Lodging expenses of up to $2000 or interruption in the trip amounting to $2000.

The travel to Costa Rica requirements are stringently followed, and any failure to do so may cancel the entry.

What do I need to travel to Costa Rica becomes irrelevant if you are a Costa Rican yourself? However, if you are transiting, then the minimum insurance coverage of five days is required.

What are the best months to go to Costa Rica?

swimming pool at the barcelo tambor beach hotel

One of the pertinent questions that travellers ask is what are the best months to go to Costa Rica. As mentioned, December to April are the best months to visit Costa Rica since they are the driest and the brightest months, which provide an excellent opportunity for beach lovers and jungle travellers. The rainy season causes much mayhem across the country, and visiting during this period may not always be a good idea. There are numerous landslides and blocked roads, which will put a dampener on your trip. However, because of them, it is also the cheapest time to travel to Costa Rica. That is because the rates of hotels are down due to the lack of travellers and one can get the country all by themselves devoid of bustling crowds and long queues. However, some risks may prove to be a costly proposition. Off seasons in Costa Rica is usually the rainy season, which sees a trickle of tourists. However, that too is slowly gaining attraction since travellers now want to savour the heavy rainfall and watch the lush forests transform into green behemoths. The off-season is also a great way to get ahead of the crowd and have some privacy, sitting on the beach and watching the evening sun slowly disappear into the distant azure of the sky. One can also indulge in activities like ATV rides, sportfishing, etc.

The pertinent thing to be remembered by travellers is that the best time to travel to Costa Rica is never the cheapest time to travel to Costa Rica. The best months, which are between December and April, see a whole lot of visitors and hence the rental prices of hotels and guest houses go up considerably. The cheapest months are the off seasons; usually the rainy season, and Costa Rica sees a lot of rain. It is a tropical country, and rain can be expected anytime. However, the rainy season sees torrential downpours for a prolonged period and most parts of the country become inaccessible, especially the forested areas. Those braving the weather would have to face slush and muddy roads. Landslides, too, are quite commonplace in this part of the woods.

Conclusion

aerial view of beach

This Central American country, bound by Nicaragua to the north, the Caribbean Sea to the northeast, Panama to the southeast, the Pacific Ocean to the southwest, and Ecuador to the south of Cocos Island and having a population of 5 million, is a traveller’s delight. The ecological biodiversity that the small nation contains is sought after by environmentalists and ecologists from across the globe. It also does have a favourable Human Development Index, indicating a fairly well-informed citizenry. It also has one of the highest standards of living in Central America. In this article, we have mentioned the best time to travel to Costa Rica and the off-seasons. With December approaching, it is time that travellers start making their plans for this gem of a country.

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Devraj Lahiri

Devraj Lahiri is a resident of Kolkata, India. He is an IT Entrepreneur by profession but a writer, traveller and a photographer by vocation. Besides, he is a gastronome who indulges in eating the myriad variety of delicacies while the universe keeps tempting him. His favourite leisure activity is walking around his hometown. The city of Kolkata is his muse, and he wishes never to leave it except for the short trips for travel inspiration.

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