10 Advantages of Green Season Travel
Last Updated: May 28, 2012
When planning your Costa Rica vacation, consider visiting during the country's low tourism period, from mid-May through November. Don't let the rainy season deter your visions of outdoor adventures! This is Costa Rica's most beautiful time of the year, when every landscape explodes in vibrant colors, with blooming flowers and blossoming fruit trees, not to mention cooler temperatures. Rest assured, green season weather will not disrupt your travel plans, as most tours are unaffected by tropical rains. Here are ten reasons why the green season is Costa Rica’s best season for travel.
It rarely, if ever, rains all day. A typical morning is sunny with clouds and showers rolling in between 2 and 4 p.m. Thunderstorms may last anywhere from 30 minutes to two hours. Many outdoor excursions take place rain or shine, with the exception of storms with heavy lightening. September and October are generally Costa Rica’s rainiest months in the Central Valley and Pacific coast.
It’s called the “green season” for a reason! Even the arid plains of Guanacaste – Costa Rica’s driest province in the north Pacific – transition from brown to green by June. No more dusty gravel roads so common along the beaches; the afternoon showers keep everything fresh.
Book at least one month in advance and you can save $100-$300 off high season fares from major cities like Houston, New York, Washington D.C., Orlando, Atlanta and Los Angeles. The newly expanded Libera international airport is convenient for travel to popular north Pacific beaches like Playa del Coco, Tamarindo, Flamingo, Papagayo and Samara.
Fewer tourists equal more freedom with your itinerary. No need to book every tour in advance; simply follow your whim and make plans day-by-day. Share the beach with just a handful of people, and explore the country’s more rural national parks and reserves completely alone.
Nearly all hotels and vacation rentals advertise high and low season rates. Book your stay after May 1 and expect 20-40% off high season prices. Watch for last-minute deals; many lodges promote fabulous packages, such as two nights for the price of one, and complimentary spa services. Offer to pay in cash, and the discounts get even better.
After the sweltering hot months of March and April, the rains bring a welcome respite to much of the country. Average daytime temperatures reach the upper 70’s in the Central Valley and 80's along the coast.
Smaller Tour Groups
Have a more intimate experience on your tours, with groups as small as two people. You’ll get more quality time with your guide and, with less noise and foot-traffic, see more wildlife.
The Surf is Up
Seasoned surfers know the rainy season means stellar waves, especially along Costa Rica’s south Pacific coast. Hang ten in Dominical and Cabo Matapalo, or travel to Pavones on the Golfo Dulce and teste your mettle one of the world’s longest left point breaks.
Turtle Nesting Tours
This eco-activity is at its peak during the green season months. The Caribbean hamlet of Tortuguero is the country’s prime viewing spot, but many national parks host several species of these gentle giants.
- Green Sea Turtle: July-October
- Leatherback: March- May
- Loggerhead: July-October
- Hawksbill: March-October
Sublime Sunsets & Spectacular Storms
Sit back and revel in Mother Nature's awesome powers. Enjoy a tropical rainstorm from the comfort of your hotel, or even better, deep in the jungle! You'll experience the true essence of Costa Rican rainforests. After a good afternoon storm, the sun begins to descend and seemingly sets the sky on fire with brilliant orange, red and purple hues. Sunsets start early here, so be prepared by 5:30 p.m.