Some people feel the rain. Others just get wet.
Costa Rica has two seasons. The rainy season lasts from May to mid-November in most of the country, with some exceptions along the Caribbean coast. Costa Ricans call this the wet time of year, which is their winter. The dry season, when Costa Ricans consider their summer, extends from mid-November to April. As I scribble this post, it’s May 31, and we are well into the rainy season. It often starts to rain in the afternoon—sometimes very hard while at other times only light showers. Oftentimes, it even rains all night long. We usually run errands in town early in the day and return home before the rains sets in, so our day is not completely rained out. I especially love it when it rains at night because I get the best sleep on those nights.
Another reason I love the rainy season in Costa Rica is because it produces the most beautiful tropical flowers. The hills turn a rich shade of jade, and the fruits are ripe and sweet during this time of the year. The temperatures are slightly cooler, especially here on the mountain ridges of Grecia, and the air is fresh and clean.
Tezzy’s small garden is enjoying the rains as well. She’s growing squash, sweet potatoes, green onions, tomatoes, chayote, bell peppers, bitter melon, and eggplant. In our yard, we’re surrounded by nature, with mature plantains, papaya, avocado, lemon, moringa, and mulberry trees as well as lots of herbs, including oregano, thyme, cilantro, and lemon grass.
I should also mention that it is less busy during this time of year. Normally tourism picks up during the dry season, causing some of the bigger towns to become congested. Traffic increases, and finding space on the beach can be tough. It might be a bit cheaper to travel during the rainy season as well. The high season is considered to be December through April, including the weeks around Christmas, New Year’s, and Easter, whereas the low season is generally May to November. During the low season, just about every hotel has reduced rates, and car rentals tend to be cheaper. Of course, Covid-19 has put a damper (pun intended) on all of that.
Costa Rica can roughly be divided into five climate regions, although there are plenty of micro-climates within each of these. For instance, Guanacaste Province is the driest part of the country and has the shortest rainy season. In fact, if you visit Guanacaste in May, it still might not have had its first rain of the rainy season. Meanwhile, rainforest zones like the Southern Pacific Coast and the Osa Peninsula have the longest rainy seasons and get the most rain. The rainy season just might be the best time to visit this amazing country.