Climate & Key Facts

Costa Rica’s reputation as a tropical paradise with sun, sea and surf is well deserved. This country hosts a range of different climates so that there really is something for everyone. With its long coasts of Caribbean and Pacific beaches as well as mountainous highlands, thick rain forests, and abundant valleys there are many types of weather.

The above said, Costa Rica overall – being not far from the equator – has a tropical climate year round. The temparture is fairly constant across all 12 months, with a daily low around 18C (64F) reaching a daily high most days around 26/27C (80F). However, it should be noted that the country has multiple microclimates depending on elevation, rainfall, topography, and the geography of each particular region. Thus in the mountains tempratures can be cooler at 10C (50F) and humidity is also higher on the Caribbean side than on the Pacific side.

Costa Rica’s most important climate feature is that the year can be split into two periods, the dry season (December-April) generally the most popular time to go there, and the rainy season, known locally as “the green season” (June to October) – with May and November being the 2 ‘shoulder season’ months, where one season fades out and the other season fades in.

Budget-conscious travelers may prefer to visit Costa Rica in the green season, when hotel rates are lower. Fewer crowds, lush landscapes and inexpensive lodging make August – October wonderful months to travel in Costa Rica. Also much of the rain can be at night on the Pacific side which can leave some of the day clear and sunny even in the rainy season. The country experiences a mini-high season in June and July when the rains temporarily lessen.

 

Up-to-date information for Costa Rica is available at www.gov.uk/foreign-travel-advice.

For up-to-date advice on any vaccination requirements and any health risks associated with visiting Costa Rica, contact your local GP. Additional useful Information is also provided at www.fitfortravel.scot.nhs.uk, an NHS web site specialising in providing health information to travellers from the UK.

For any up-to-date travel advice relating to political and economic stability, safety and security if visiting Costa Rica go the UK Foreign Office web site at www.gov.uk/foreign-travel-advice.

Major credit cards are widely accepted. Travellers’ cheques can be changed at some banks but it’s increasingly viewed as an ‘old-fashioned’ and inconvenient way of obtaining money, and you’ll need to find a bank who will do it for you. So ATMs, cash and cards are the best mix. If you do take Travellers’ Cheques, take them in US Dollars not in Sterling.

Costa Rican colon (CRC) although US Dollars are also widely accepted so there is limited need to change much money into Colones. If you pay in US dollars you can ask for your change to be in US too and most people will accommodate if they can; otherwise they’ll give you change in Colones. When obtaining any US dollars for your trip, make sure you ask for notes in small denominations. Large denominations (eg US$50 & $US100) aren’t impossible to change – especially if you’re paying a large bill – but a US$50 bill to pay, for example, a bill of US$8 is likely to cause a problem for the vendor to find the relevant change. So low-denomination bills are best.

Exchange Rates are subject to change at any time but the following table gives indicative rates for Central and South American countries:

GMT -6 hours.

Juan Santamaria International Airport, San Jose, for those arriving into or departing from the capital. Or the Daniel Oduber Quiros International Airport in Liberia, in Costa Rica’s north.

4,509,290. Whites and mestizos combined make up 94% of the population, while 3% are Black/Afro-Caribbean, 1% Amerindian, 1% Chinese, and 1% other.

50,895 square kilometres (19,700 square miles)

120 V, 60 Hz