When to Go
High Season: December to April
Dry season means high season here. Your payback for braving the crowds is nearly ideal weather. Expect warm, sunny days and pleasant evenings. If, however, you’re not big on heat, March and April may feel stiflingly hot. Lots of visitors push hotel prices up and crowd the beaches, especially on dry-season weekends. Weekdays offer a slight respite from the crowds. During Holy Week and the last week of December, rooms are even harder to come by. If you’re in the area during high season and want to visit one of the parks, especially Manuel Antonio, get an early start and arrive by 7 am.
Low Season: September to November
This is the wettest of the rainy season, when showers become frequent and prolonged. The landmass and wind patterns that cause hurricane activity off the Caribbean coast create significant rain in the Central Pacific. Nature-themed activities usually go on rain or shine, but beach-lazing plans may well go awry. Keep in mind that some smaller hotels and restaurants actually close for several weeks during low season.
Shoulder Season: May to August
The rains begin in mid-May, but the first half of the wet season sees warm, mostly sunny days with lighter afternoon showers. It’s easy to plan around them, and the precipitation keeps everything lush and green. Mid-year school vacations fall in early July, with Costa Rican families flocking to the beach, especially Jacó and Manuel Antonio.