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For all travelers looking for an exotic and unique holiday, Costa Rica is a dream destination, and staying there is an unforgettable experience. However, although the Central American country is a year-round destination that can be visited all year round, some information about the weather in Costa Rica is essential for travel planning – because the climate changes over the months and differs depending on the region.
Although Costa Rica is a relatively small country (51,100 square kilometers, for comparison: Germany with 357,000 square kilometers or Austria with about 83,900 square kilometers), which lies in the tropical climate zone, the weather conditions differ greatly depending on the region due to several hundred sin e different microclimates. Even the dry and rainy seasons, into which Costa Rica’s climate is often divided, hardly ever apply to the country. It can happen, for example, that it rains in the central valley, but the weather is entirely different on the coasts or in the highlands.
The location between the two oceans, the different altitudes, and the multitude of volcanic reliefs also strongly influence the climate of the individual regions: the Atlantic coast has an ever-humid tropical climate, and the Pacific coast has an alternating humid (also called summer-humid) tropical climate. Therefore, it isn’t easy to generally speak about the weather in Costa Rica and determine the best time to travel. Instead, looking at individual parts of the country makes more sense.
Regarding shoes, you should not skimp on space in your luggage: Trekking shoes are best suited for hikes through the forest. Ankle-high models with good soles are predestined for this – the variant for mountaineering and hiking in European mountains is not necessary for Costa Rica. In addition, trainers or sneakers should not be missing; in the best case, they should also be allowed to get wet. This can happen on rafting tours or similar. Flip-flops or (trekking) sandals are best for beach time. This way, you are well prepared for shorter walks on the beach. In addition, we recommend a pair of nice shoes for going out. A couple of knee socks are also recommended in addition to regular socks: Often, you can borrow rubber boots at the lodges, so high socks are advantageous to avoid blisters.
Clothing should be very varied: Even if you expect the sun to always shine in Costa Rica, you should bring one or two long-sleeved tops and long trousers as protection against mosquitoes and low temperatures. It can get chilly, especially in the mountains. It would be best if you also packed a rain jacket or poncho for possible showers, which are not uncommon here, and of course, loose casual clothes. A sports bra, in the case of women, is also highly recommended for sporting activities. Finally, make sure to bring mainly quick-drying clothes. Especially in the rainforest, clothes tend to get wet and then don’t dry properly for a long time.
Hiking is a must on any trip to Costa Rica. For the perfect excursion, we therefore definitely recommend binoculars. The incredible variety of colorful birds in the canopy, monkeys, tapirs, jaguars, and sloths, will allow you to discover nature at close range. For your adventure, you should also bring a refillable water bottle. Since 2020, it has been no longer permitted to bring disposable water bottles into the national parks. We advise you to get a good guidebook or an app to identify tropical animals and plants. Animals of Costa Rica by Stefan Kunz.
Last but not least, an absolute insider tip: Take a small umbrella with you on your hikes. You can buy them cheaply in supermarkets. Short but heavy showers can occur in the rainforest, and this fixed solution protects you from water.
Travel with friends Blog is the most updated digital travel magazine of the Costa Rican market, property of the travel agency Bella Aventura Costa Rica S.A., where we publish weekly the best recommendations, destinations, and experiences you cannot miss during your trip to Costa Rica. Be encouraged to travel with friends who will advise you to have the best experience.
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