Rainy season: Belize vs. Costa Rica

Old Jul 10th, 2002, 12:07 PM
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Rainy season: Belize vs. Costa Rica

My boyfriend and I are planning a trip in August to Costa Rica but have been warned about the rainy season. We don't want our trip ruined by rain; is Belize a better (drier) alternative?
Old Jul 10th, 2002, 12:46 PM
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I just got back from Costa Rica. We didn't really get caught by rain at all--and the few times we were out in it it was just a matter of slapping on our rainjackets for a half hour. I wouldn't let it stop you from taking a trip, plus it's so much slower paced during the green season it's worth it!
Old Jul 10th, 2002, 12:56 PM
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I've never been to Belize, yet if you look on a map you'll see another potential weather issue --- it's perched on the Yucatan penisula and August is primetime hurricane season for that region. In Costa Rica, you'll get rain for a portion of each day during the "green" season --- however it's not necessarily a full day's deluge. If opting for CR (an excellent choice in my opinion), I'd avoid the Caribbean side during green season (east coast is wetter) --- generally the Guanacaste region (in northwest part of country) is a tad drier than other areas.

Old Jul 10th, 2002, 01:00 PM
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We travelled to Costa Rica a couple of times in August and would not hesitate to go again in August. The only things we could not do due to weather in the 2 weeks that we spent there last year was to hike to a waterfall when we stayed at Vista del Valle (the trail was to slippery) and see the volcano at Arenal (it was completely covered by clouds for 2 days). The year before we went for 8 days and had good weather with very little rain and it did not affect any activities.
I am not sure if the weather would be better in Belize but one thing to keep in mind is that there is a risk of hurricanes in Belize in August.
Old Jul 10th, 2002, 01:26 PM
Lan Sluder
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To clarify a couple of things:

First, August is NOT prime hurricane season in the Western Caribbean. It is hurricane season, but generally storms if they come will come in mid September to early November. Hurricanes have hit both Belize and Caribbean/Atlantic Costa Rica.

Second, both countries have a wide variety of climates and microclimates, Costa Rica more so than Belize. The weather in Costa Rica, including rainfall, varies a LOT depending on whether you are on the Caribbean or Pacific sides, or if you are in the Central Valley.

I have been to both countries in August, and in the case of Belize am usually there every August. Weather is unpredictable anywhere, but generally I find August a pretty good time to be in C.A. In Belize there often is a mini-dry period in August, and in Costa Rica I guess I have been lucky because I've not had bad weather anytime in August.

While tropical waves in the rainy season can dump incredible amounts of water in a short time -- for example in Belize last month there were record floods in the west and south, as seasonal rains began -- unless you are just unlucky the rainy or green season doesn't mean monsoons. Just rain for an hour or two, often at night, and then there's sun aplenty. Things are lush and green, and the rains cool things down.

I wouldn't make a decision on visiting either country just on the weather. Again, unless you just hit a bad period (which can happen most anywhere) the weather will be good enough much of the time in either country.

--Lan Sluder
Old Jul 10th, 2002, 01:48 PM
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Okay, I'll concede it's not 'prime' hurricane season; nevertheless last August hurricaine Chantel made it's way across Yucatan.


I still stand by my recommendation to choose Costa Rica.
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