When to Go
High Season: Mid-December to April
The Central Valley’s elevation keeps temperatures pleasant and springlike year-round, slightly warmer to the west and slightly cooler to the east. Turrialba and the Orosi Valley represent a transition zone between the valley and the Caribbean slope; expect warmer temperatures there. December and January kick off the dry season with sunny days and brisk nights. February, March, and April warm up considerably. Some hotels here keep rates constant throughout the year; others follow high-season/low-season fluctuations.
Low Season: May to mid-November
The rainy season moves in gradually with afternoon showers from May through July. August becomes wetter, and September and October can mean prolonged downpours. The valley’s western sector—Alajuela, San Antonio de Belén, Escazú, and Santa Ana—always catches a tad less rain than its eastern counterpart.
Shoulder Season: Mid-November to mid-December
Rains start to wind down by mid-November, and the month before Christmas is a terrific time to enjoy the Central Valley at its most lush and green, and before the big influx of tourists arrives. As an added bonus, the coffee harvest is under way in earnest in this part of the country, too—always a bustling, fascinating spectacle.