CR Sept-Oct - how much rain have you encountered?

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Jun 16th, 2009, 02:48 PM
  #1
aby
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CR Sept-Oct - how much rain have you encountered?

Hi

pleae tell me of your experince concernung rain during Septeber-October
did you have only afternoon rains? or whole days?
(will be visiting MA, MV, arenal and Tortuguero)

aby
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Jun 16th, 2009, 02:57 PM
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http://costa-rica-guide.com/Weather/WeatherMap.html is a good map to show you the weather during certain months in specific regions. Personally, I wouldn't go to MA or Arenal during those months. Tortuguero would probably be okay. October is the rainiest month for a lot of CR.
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Jun 16th, 2009, 03:21 PM
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Hey aby - I checked out the link vgirl posted above first before I finalized my itinerary last year and the info contained on the site is pretty reliable. Having said that, we've all experienced different kinds of weather from what we we expected at any given location.

I left the US at the end of September and spent all of October in CR last year. Per the info on the link above, mornings were generally clear, and late afternoons to early evenings brought rain which was sometimes just a drizzle and sometimes a sustained shower and then it would clear up. My first week I spent on the Atlantic side and it rained from late afternoon to evening with two nights of heavy rainfall. The rains didn't really interrupt any activities though as some friends went out and saw turtles laying eggs in the pouring rain in an uncovered boat. My third week in the city (SJ) we had rain all day from when I woke up in the morning to late afternoon and then it cleared up again. I spent part of my fourth week in Rincon de la Vieja where we had rain in the late afternoon and early evening and then Arenal where it only rained in the evening.

I won't know if my experience of weather is typical until I return to CR during another October so the best idea is to map out second options in case the places you want to visit are either closed or too wet for comfort to visit. With October being the rainiest month for much of CR, I met and spoke with a lot of people who told me the Osa Peninsula might be a trek to get to during the month but stubborn person that I am, I went anyway and the weather cooperated 99% of the time meaning that it never stopped us from doing what we had planned to do that day.
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Jun 16th, 2009, 04:10 PM
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Costa Rica floated away last november

Especially Carib side

Days of rain flooding road washouts

October traditionally the rainiest month

www.weather2travel.com CR good info

Nicoya gets less...
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Jun 16th, 2009, 06:29 PM
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I asked Phillip at BdC about October, and he said, "What kind of an idiot would go to Costa Rica in October?!" I think Phillip thinks everyone is an idiot though - lol!
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Jun 17th, 2009, 06:26 AM
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Are your plans set, aby, or are you still deciding on a place? 2008 was the heaviest rainy season since 1944. It was bad, especially in September and October. I wouldn't go so far as Phillip at BdC, but if I were planning a vacation in September or October, I would never choose Costa Rica. Even in a normal year, it's more than just a couple hours of rain in the afternoon. It can rain all day, all night for days at a time. Since a trip to Costa Rica means spending so much time outdoors, that wouldn't be a risk I'd be willing to take.
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Jun 17th, 2009, 07:25 AM
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I have to agree. September and October can be awfully rainy. I live in a kinda wet place (New Orleans), so it probably doesn't bother me as much. But it is something to think about.

It is the "green" season in Costa Rica almost three quarters of the time! But the least wet months of the rainy season are July, August and (normally) November. Actually late November is usually pretty good. We always have Thanksgiving with the family every year, and head for Costa Rica that weekend.

But Qwovadis is right. Costa Rica got pounded last November, especially the Caribbean side. It was the rainiest in years, and totally unexpected. Hopefully, that won't be the case this year.

Even in the rainiest times, the mornings are still generally clear. So you learn to get out early. You can get a few hours at the beach or hiking, then spend the afternoon with an adult beverage and a good book. Or just put on your rain gear, and go for it.

Hope this helps! Let me know if I can offer any more advice.

Warm Regards,
Pat Hewitt
Travel Professional
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Jun 17th, 2009, 08:05 AM
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If you knew Phillip, you could completely imagine his saying that!
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Jun 17th, 2009, 09:06 AM
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People still do come to Costa Rica during those months, and there's a lot you can do. I've gone on nature hikes in the pouring rain. Everyone in the group is bundled up in ponchos. It's been fun.

If you are planning on logging some serious beach time, that's a big risk with the weather that time of year. I've been to beach resorts in October when it's been raining non-stop for days. The guests are inside, reading or playing cards, looking longingly outdoors and wondering if the rain is ever going to let up. They're paying a lot of money and it's a shame for them that that's the end result.

As much as I love Costa Rica and recommend it highly, those are the two months a year when I don't recommend it.
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Jun 17th, 2009, 09:15 AM
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Am I nuts to consider Selva Verde in Sarapiqui region for mid-November? I've got three days at the end of my trip where I'm still looking at options. I know that region gets pretty high rainfall year-round, so I think it's always a bit of a chance there.
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Jun 17th, 2009, 01:47 PM
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I should probably avoid BdC in October then, right, vgirl?

I am surprised to learn that 2008 set a record with regards to rainfall but then again, I seemed to have lucked out everywhere I went the as rains dutifully stopped when I was out and about. I was caught out just once but we were already on our way back to the lodge anyway as it was late afternoon and we had picnicked, snorkeled and whale-watched all day.

Oh, I also picked October because I wanted to make sure the rivers ran high as I am an avid rafter. When the water's low you end up navigating more rocks than water and hitting rocks when you dig in to paddle is not fun.
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Jun 17th, 2009, 01:50 PM
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E, yes - Phillip told us that sometimes entire portions of the property go under water in October. He said he uses that time to go visit family elsewhere. Maybe you could raft on the property - lol!
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Jun 17th, 2009, 02:08 PM
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How AWESOME would that be, vgirl? LOL. Not just rafting the property but having it all to myself? Well, just me and any other intrepid Fodorites willing to come on by of course. ;-P
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Jun 17th, 2009, 03:24 PM
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Maybe we're both loco I've been thinking of late Oct, CR or Nicaragua, and of course of I go to CR I go to Bdc! We could kayak up the driveway!
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Jun 17th, 2009, 03:42 PM
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Now you're talking!
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Jun 18th, 2009, 12:25 PM
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Hey tully - once I learn the other half of the Eskimo roll (currently I only know the upside down with my head under water part), I am there! In the meantime, I'm happy to paddle alongside you in my raft. ;-)
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Jun 18th, 2009, 12:32 PM
  #17
aby
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thanks everybody!

i've read about those tropical afternoon showers, i've encountered in other places, though i've been in tropical regions during the rainy season and have experienced less rain than in the "dry" season...
since a friend told me of a continuous 3 day rain, i had to check your 'statistics'
Jeff's "I've been to beach resorts in October when it's been raining non-stop for days." is such an answer

further questions:
do roads get blocked?
Is there more chance for land-slides ?
(a landslide blocked my way from SJ to Tortuguero in the dry season last year)

aby
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Jun 21st, 2009, 03:41 AM
  #18
aby
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loved the term Green Season
chapeau to the CR tourism PR
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Jun 21st, 2009, 07:53 AM
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Yes, it's a lovely euphemism isn't it?!
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Jun 21st, 2009, 11:14 AM
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Last year we had a wonderful September (I'm talking about Central Valley). October was miserable. If your dates are flexible, try to come in September rather than October.
Last year it was ok in the Caribbean in Sept-early October. Do not go to the Caribbean after mid-October. It might get flooded.

Yes, there are land slides; and roads do get blocked in October-November. Each time you plan to drive, go to the http://www.transito.go.cr/estadorutas/index.html
(be patient with that link, sometimes you have to refresh it several times)

If you don't speak Spanish, ask the hotel employees to help you figure out if you're clear to go.

If it's your first time driving in Costa Rica, read these 2 articles. Hope that helps you a lot.

http://www.mangovalley.com/costa-ric...osta-rica.html

http://www.mangovalley.com/costa-ric...osta-rica.html
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