Costa Rica, Toucan
Pacific Ocean coast in Costa Rica
Waterfall, Costa Rica
Volcano, Costa Rica
Sloth, Costa Rica


Costa Rica

Why to travel in the ‘green’ season

There’s no need to wait for the more popular dry season to head to Costa Rica. In many ways, the country’s green (rainy) season is the best time to visit.

You could be forgiven for thinking that the best time to travel to tiny Costa Rica is from mid-December until the end of April when the country is driest. But there are many good reasons to visit in the wet or green season, which runs roughly from May to mid-December.

“Travelling at this time you’ll find the country lush, vibrant and energised. Yes you’ll see some rain, but the downpours tend to be short-lived and often reserved for the evenings. Plus you’ll find lower prices, fewer crowds and see wildlife not around at any other time of year.”

Sloth, Costa Rica


For seeing the rainforest at its best, this is our favourite time of the year. The rains sweep away the dust, allowing the jungle’s full lushness to come to the fore. Fruits and flowers bloom, drawing birds and butterflies as the forest comes alive. There’s nothing like being in the middle of a primary rainforest during a spectacular thundershower, watching as sloths cling tightly to the trees and spider monkeys take shelter.

Hawksbill sea turtle on the beach, Thailand.
Hawaiian Green Sea Turtle


“On the Pacific Coast, August marks the start of turtle nesting season on the Osa Peninsula, with hatchlings emerging through October and November.”

Tortuguero National Park on the Caribbean coast boasts one of the largest nesting populations of green turtles in the world. They start arriving to lay their eggs in July and keep coming until early October. With it taking just over nine weeks for the eggs to hatch, it’s possible to catch hatchlings emerging from the sand and making their way to the water as late as early December, though the likeliest time to catch this mesmerising spectacle is September and October.

Unlike in the rest of the country, this is actually dry season on the Caribbean coast, so when you’re not spotting turtles, it’s the perfect time to explore the park’s coastal rainforest, threading your way through canals, swamps and waterways in search of caiman, monkeys, sloths and macaws.

Puerto Carrillo, Costa Rica


While the school holiday months of July and August will always see an increased number of visitors, the rest of the green season sees far fewer tourists than the earlier months of the year. Not only does this mean quieter beaches and a more private experience while wildlife viewing, it also means greater availability at the country’s top hotels and far more competitive prices, with some hotels charging up to 30% less than they do in high season.


The green season is the most exciting time to book a stay at the award-winning Pecuare Lodge, where it’s customary to arrive by rafting down the Pecuare River. Increased rains raise the levels of the river, creating faster flowing water and even wilder rapids.

Rafting adventures in Costa Rica

Summer is also prime surfing season on both the Pacific and Caribbean coasts, with waves breaking everywhere from Nosara to Witch’s Rock.

“From riding zip-lines through the rainforest canopy to riding waves at Tamarindo, there’s no shortage of adventure through the Costa Rican summer.”
Marino Ballena Nationalpark in Costa Rica


Humpback whales arrive in Costa Rica from Antarctica every year from July to October, a journey of some 8,000km. They come to the warm, shallow waters around Uvita to give birth and raise their calves. Uvita’s cluster of luxurious, boutique, clifftop hotels provide an ideal vantage point, though there are also opportunities to get out on boats (sea conditions permitting) and see the giants up close as they show off their acrobatic skills.

Reifer Kaffee, Costa Rica


Most Costa Rican coffee harvests begin in the greens season. In the Central Valley, Bailey Robinson favourites like coffee-plantation-cum-boutique-hotel Finca Rosa Blanca offer rare opportunities to join local pickers in bringing in the harvest, plucking the red berries from October to December.

Beach, Costa Rica
Costa Rica bridge


“Costa Rica has so many micro-climates that if it’s raining where you are it could be perfectly sunny just a short hop away.”

It may be the wet season, but it certainly doesn’t rain all the time. Mornings in particular tend to be bright and sunny, making them perfect for wildlife viewing, hikes, lying by the pool or trips to the beach. Then if it rains in the afternoon, you’ve the perfect excuse to book yourself a massage or order another cocktail.

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