CARIBBEAN REGION

The Caribbean weather region stretches from Tortuguero in the north all the way down to Gandoca Manzanillo at Costa Rica’s southern tip.  It also includes the inland towns of Siquirres and Guapiles as well as lush ribbons of rainforest, white sand beaches and coral reef. 

The Caribbean weather region has no definable dry season, but that doesn’t mean there isn’t any sun. The least rainy months tend to be February/March and September/October. On average, the Caribbean weather region receives 141 inches of rain per year, with the rainiest months being July, November and December. Despite all the rain, patches of sunshine pierce through the clouds and radiate the landscape in between the scattered showers. All months have at least four to five hours of sun daily except July, the cloudiest and rainiest month of the year. March and April are the sunniest months with more than five to six hours of sun per day. Temperatures are relatively consistent year round with daily averages between 77 and 81 degrees. May, June and October are the warmest months with average daily highs of 88 degree while the coolest day time temperatures are found during January, February, July and December, with an average of 84 degrees. Night time temperatures range from 68 to 71 degrees and are usually cool and comfortable. 

Most days are blessed with trade winds that help buffer the high humidity, The Caribbean weather region is the most humid region in Costa Rica.  Humidity values are fairly consistent throughout the year. March and April tend to be the least humid months at 84 percent humidity while the rest of the year experiences averages between 87 and 90 percent humidity.  June, July, November and December are the most humid with values reaching 90 percent humidity (these are also the rainiest months).

CENTRAL PACIFIC REGION

The central Pacific weather region runs from the western parts of the San Jose and Puntarenas provinces, extending south from the Tarcoles River to the mouth of the Baru River, which is just north of Dominical. This region also includes Puntarenas town, Jaco, Quepos, Manuel Antonio and Parrita.

The central Pacific weather region runs from the western parts of the San Jose and Puntarenas provinces, extending south from the Tarcoles River to the mouth of the Baru River, which is just north of Dominical. This region also includes Puntarenas town, Jaco, Quepos, Manuel Antonio and Parrita.

Because of its location and its inclusion of coastal areas and mountains (up to 6,167 feet above sea level), this weather region has less continuity in climate than other parts of the country.  Along the coast, average rainfall is 143 inches per year, but as you ascend into the mountains up to 2,500 feet above sea level, the rainfall almost doubles to 262 inches per year.

The dry season in this region lasts from January to March, with February being the driest month. The rest of the year is technically the wet season, October being the rainiest. There are typically five hours of sun during the rainy months, and eight hours of sun from January to April. The days begin sunny with clouds moving in during the early afternoon and rain during the afternoon and/or night.

The average temperature is 81 degrees on the coast and 63 degrees in the mountains. Average day time temperatures along the coast are at their highest between January and May, reaching 90 degrees, and generally, temperatures never drop below 71degrees at night. While in the mountains the temperature can drop to 48 degrees.

The relative humidity is consistently at 85 percent.  During January and February, it drops to between 75 and 80 percent humidity, and reaches its peak of 90 percent humidity in June, September and November. Winds from the south dominate the days, while the nights are usually calm with slight breezes from the east.

CENTRAL VALLEY REGION

Costa Rica’s Central Valley is the urban population center for good reason, with daily average temperatures between 72 and 75 degrees, the Central Valley has the mildest climate in the whole country. 

closeThe Central Valley weather region includes parts of the provinces of Heredia, San Jose, Alajuela and Cartago, including popular cities like San Jose, Heredia, Escazu, Santa Ana, Cartago, Barva and Grecia, among many others.

Max average temperatures rarely exceed 84 degrees while the lowest average temperatures are a mere 64 degrees. Relative humidity averages about 75 percent, dropping to 69 percent during the dry season.

The dry season runs from December to March, with April and November being months of transition. During the dry season, the humidity is lower. The months of January through March are also marked with persistent northeast winds and lots of sunshine. 

The wet season months of May through November are characterized by less sun and more rain. July tends to be the driest of the wet months and is considered a miniature dry season.  Usually, you get at least four hours of sun in the morning before the afternoon storms develop. September and October are the rainiest months (averaging 26 inches per month) of the year, and the most humid. The Central Valley weather region receives 77.4 inches of annual rainfall.

As you ascend into the mountains north of Heredia, especially up past Barva, the weather tends to be cooler and cloudier.

NORTHERN REGION

The northern weather region spans from the north of Alajuela through the cloud forests of Monteverde, past Ciudad Quesada and Lake Arenal to the Nicaraguan border.

While the rain patterns are evenly distributed across the northern weather region, the highlands including Arenal and Monteverde tend to receive a larger amount of rain than the lowlands. Temperatures too, are affected by altitude. In the lowlands, daytime temperatures hover around 86 degrees whereas in the mountains, daytime temperatures average 70 degrees.  Nights cool down in the mountains dropping to as low as 55 degrees while the lowlands see lows of 68 degrees.

January through April are the driest months in the northern weather region. Decreased humidity levels coincide with decreased rainfall and are at their lowest from March to April with an average of 75 percent humidity. The rest of the year, humidity levels average 85 percent in both the lowlands and mountains. 

Winds are usually from the south averaging 3.4 miles per hour throughout the year, but as you go up in elevation, wind speed increases. Monteverde can be very windy during the dry season. 

NORTH PACIFIC REGION (Liberia, Tamarindo, Nicoya, Tilaran)

The north Pacific weather region includes some of Costa Rica’s most popular tourist destinations and the country’s driest weather in a province known as Guanacaste.  Among the province’s prominent towns are Playa del Coco, Playa Flamingo, Tamarindo, Nosara, Samara, Liberia and Tilaran. The north Pacific weather region also encompasses Orotina and San Mateo from the Alajuela province and the northern part of the Puntarenas province from the river mouth of the Tarcoles River. The average annual temperature in this weather region is 82 degrees, with April being the warmest month when temperatures can reach 100 degrees.  The rest of the year, daytime temperatures average 91 degrees.  The coolest nights are found between November and March, going down to an average of 66 degrees.

The dry season runs from November through April when the northern Pacific weather region receives almost no rain.  Daytime temperatures hover around 89 and 96 degrees with an average of ten hours of sunshine every day. During the dry season and a brief dry spell that occurs in July and August, winds from predominately northeast max out at 7.5 miles per hour.  

The wet season is clearly defined between the months of May and October, with the rainiest months being June, September and October. July tends to be the least rainy of the wet months. The wet season has the highest relative humidity at 80 and 85 percent when compared to the rest of the year (only 60 to 65 percent humidity in the dry season). During the wet season, the rain falls in a generally consistent pattern with most showers occurring during the afternoon and evenings.  Winds tend to be calm during the wet season.  Despite all this rain there is still an average six hours of sun per day during the wet season. 

SOUTH PACIFIC REGION

The south Pacific weather region, which includes the Osa Peninsula, the south Pacific coast from Dominical to Sierpe and the highest concentration of biodiversity in the entire country, has a shorter dry season and experiences more intense afternoon storms than its counterpart, the north Pacific.

From the end of December until April, the dry season’s average temperatures are 79 degrees along the coast (average daytime of 88 degrees and evening temperatures of 71 degrees). In the lowlands during the wet season (May-Nov.) the southern Pacific weather region receives 157 inches of rain per year while the Osa Peninsula receives more than 197 inches of rain per year.

This region maintains an average humidity of 75 percent during the dry season, escalating slightly during the wet season (May-Nov.), and reaching 90 percent in July, October and December. Strangely enough, late June or July typically experiences a little dry season with a decrease in rainfall, but it is still one of the most humid months.