For most, the name Costa Rica conjures up the image of lush rainforest and sandy beaches – and for good reason! But there is so much more to the country and knowing when to go based on your interests is key in planning and we’ve worked with our partners at Costa Rica Sun Tours to help! The majority of North American travelers flock to this lovely Central American nation during the months of December – April. What they don’t know is there is a secret ‘green season’ that makes up the rest of the year – literally from May to the end of November!
There are so many reasons to travel to Costa Rica at this time of year including:
- Beauty: This time of year is often referred to as the green season because of its gorgeous foliage – everything transforms to beautiful, verdant green! Even the typically arid region of Guanacaste comes alive practically overnight.
- No crowds – nature tour where it’s really just you and nature! It’s natural that so many travelers would want to escape the cost northern climate to explore Costa Rica from Dec – April but travel at any other time of the year practically guarantees you’ll avoid the crowds.
- During the months of May – November prices are lower and there are so many special offers to select from based on the travelers’ interests.
- The weather is fresh and contrary to what most people think, it is not a wash-out all day long. In most parts of the country, the mornings are bright and sunny and ideal for activities, if and when it rains, it’s generally in the form of an afternoon shower for an hour or two – ideal to pamper yourself with some downtime in a hammock. What a great way to enjoy Costa Rica at a local’s pace! In addition, the Caribbean Zone (Arenal, Sarapiqui) and Coast, stay the driest during these months and trade winds are almost absent; landscape and volcanoes views are fantastic!
- Not only are most accommodation rates lower – so are airline fares (not to mention making the most of your frequent flyer miles for greater savings at this time of the year!).
- Birdwatching: This is the peak fall migration for birds – they can refuel on the abundant fruits and insects in the tree-top canopy. Migrating species head to Central and South America to spend their winters from August to December and January through early May the birds head back to North America. For the twitchers out there….a few highlight birds to see from May through August are Bell birds in Monteverde and the Resplendent Quetzals in el Cerro.
- Whale watching: The best time to see whales in the Pacific waters off Costa Rica is August through October, when humpback whales come to breed and raise their young.
- Turtle watching: Five of the seven species of sea turtles in the world come to nest in Costa Rica, on both the Pacific and Caribbean coasts. Hawksbill Sea Turtles (Carey in Spanish), are mostly seen May through November in Tortuguero. The Atlantic Green Sea Turtles (Verde in Spanish) can be seen June through November and nest June through October in Tortuguero, on the Northern Caribbean. The Olive Ridleys arrive on the Pacific side, mostly July through November, arriving in the thousands in the Ostional Wildlife Refuge on the Nicoya Peninsula. The largest of the marine turtles, the Leatherbacks (Baulas in Spanish), nest in Playa Grande, Guanacaste on the Pacific Coast, September through March. They also arrive on the Caribbean Coast, mainly in Gandoca-Manzanillo in Limon, March through July. The variety of species, locations and seasons, means turtle watching can be done almost year-round in Costa Rica.
Costa Rica is clearly a destination any time of year! Contact us if you’d like to explore options and learn about special offers during the green season!