Have you been looking for a country to visit? Then worry no more because Costa Rica has everything it takes to make a good tourist destination. It is a democratic republic which is located in Central America. The Nation has an estimated population of almost 5 million. You have an added advantage if you speak English and Spanish because those are the official and dominant languages.
The currency of Costa Rica is Costa Rica Colon, and according to Xe.com, the 633.75 Colones are trading to the equivalent of $1. To the North, the Nation borders Nicaragua, and to the South, it has Panama. It emerged into the Caribbean Sea to the East and the West, Pacific waters. Comparatively, if you have been to the state of West Virginia, then expect a country that is slightly smaller than it.
The Nation values family as the basic social unit, with children staying with their families until they get married. The most popular sport in Costa Rica is soccer, or Futbol, as they call it. In this article, we shall guide you to know the best and the worst times you should visit Costa Rica.
Best Times to Visit Costa Rica
Naturally, human beings wish to hear the good side of the story before the bad one. Due to such expectations, we shall start by looking at when you should enjoy Costa Rica to the fullest.
April, Enjoy the Sunshine, the Wildlife, and the Samantha Week
James Kaiser has guided visitors on when they should visit different places. He picks out April as one of the best months you should visit Costa Rica. In April, the dry season in Costa Rica is coming to an end. If you love sunny weather, this is your time, especially for those who want to visit the Pacific Ocean and the Central Mountains. However, at this time, you should avoid Drake Bay, Corcovado, because the rains arrive early. The month is also characterized by some slight drizzles in the evening, which welcome the mild temperatures of the night. At the end of the month, the big crowds which had turned up to celebrate the Easter holiday start to go low, and the hotels charge the cheapest.
Though dusty, the roads are passable, wild animals can easily be identified, and tour guides charge the least. Not all is gone for those who want to compare the green and the dry weather. At the Nicoya Peninsula, plants are starting to flower, and you can take one of the best photos you have ever had.
May, Witness the Transition to Rainy Seasons
In May, the rains had started to pick up in most parts of the country, roads were still passable, and hotels were still within the price ranges of April. Most days remain sunny, and they receive afternoon showers which help keep the temperatures steady. The good thing with Costa Rica rains is that they start softly before gradually picking. This is your favorite month for those who want to enjoy the weather transition.
The Nicoya Peninsula and the mountainous area around Rincon de la Vieja National Park have slight rainfalls compared to other places. The month also gives a chance to visit the parks to see how animals transition their behavioral patterns. You will notice that some are closer to the roads, and their health starts to pick up. You can travel to the Central Pacific Coat if you are still interested in the sunny weather of April, though slightly lower.
If you are not a fan of the heavy rains, do not travel to the South Pacific because the rains here are heavy by the second week of May. May is sometimes referred to as the "magical month." Here the Gringos are enjoying summer and escaping Winter at the same time. The Arenal Volcano, Manuel Antonio, and Tamarindo are the most popular places to visit in May.
December, Take Advantage of the Holiday Celebrations
According to Audley Travel, December is probably the best time for those who love outdoor activities. At this time, the weather is dry and bright. Costa Rica has one of the most beautiful beaches, which you can relax on when the Winter is over. It allows you to swap your heavy winter clothing with admirable carnival costumes. In December, the temperatures range from 24 to 30 degrees Celsius. At this time, you also have several festive celebrations, such as the Festival de la Luz in San Jose, which is held in the second week of the month. You shall witness unmatched street parades, bull runs, dancing, and rodeos.
The event brings in more than 1500 musicians who will entertain you. Oh, and before we forget, December gives you another opportunity to see the extraordinary decorations by the Costa Ricans. They have an amazing way of doing flowers. No one is tired of receiving Christmas gifts, you can give your sons one of the most memorable gifts you ever have, and here they call it the Nino Dios Moment.
Worst Times to Visit Costa Rica
Whereas the Nation is one of the most attractive in Central America, there are times you should avoid it as much as you can. Here comes the part of our guide that many would flash by the headlines. Let's have a look at them.
During General Election
As stated in our introduction, Costa Rica is a democratic country whose president and two deputies are elected through a popular initiative. Most elections are held in February. Latino U.S.A reported that during elections, there are economic tensions during the election month in Costa Rica. When the Nation faces two presidential rounds, this polarizes the tourism industry. Therefore, the chance that you shall get competitive services is so low. Sometimes, political statements fly across the political scene, discouraging investment in the hotel industry. However, it is good to note that this is a problem experienced in nations with the same economic strength as Costa Rica.
Taking the last general elections, for example, there were serious concerns among the conservatives that there would be a gay deputy president in the country. In such a scenario, local conservative members may discriminate against you if you are from a country that supports a topic they are not comfortable with. The best advice is that you should wait until the political temperatures cool.
October, the Terrible Roads in Parks and Low Hotel Season
In October, the rains are heavy, making some parts of the country mildly inaccessible. On the Pacific Coast, the month with the highest amount of rain. It is so bad that hotels and businesses are closed on the South Pacific coast. Even the driest parts of Costa Rica, such as the North Pacific, still experience high rainfall.
The mountain areas are constantly receiving rains and unpredictable weather changes this month, and you are highly discouraged from having outdoor camping this month. The few available hotels are usually aware that in some parts, hotels have closed, so they take advantage of the situation and hike prices. The choices of the animal parks you can visit are limited to places such as the Punta Uva and Cahuita National Parks. Arguably, this is one of the worst months you should avoid if you are visiting Costa Rica.
November, The Month with the Highest Number of Places You Should Avoid
Probably you have been planning on visiting Costa Rica, and you have shed to the internet, the chances are that you are given narrations of how this month is great in Costa Rica. They are not telling you that the rainy seasons are not over in Costa Rica now. Hotels and businesses are dragging to reopen or reinvest after the business had slowed down during the rainy peaks of September and October. The mountain regions are yet to dry, the road in them is clogged with mad, and you can still experience rainfalls at any given time. Animals are still hiding in the thick bushes, and you must travel for so long before seeing them.
The International Living gives a detailed report on the places you should avoid the most in November: Santa Rita de Alajuela, Leon XIIII, Tibas, San Jose, Limon City, Santa Rosa de Pocosol, San Carlos, and the Puntarenas City, Puntarenas. In addition, in November, beach activities are very low, crowds are still not picking up early, and this denies the chance to learn more about the culture of the Costa Ricans.
The Best Places You Can Visit at Any Time in Costa Rica
Costa Rica ranks top among the nations with the happiest people in the world. There are some places which, if you make the right decisions on when to visit them, will give you the most extraordinary experience you will ever have. Some of them include
Monteverde is a famous moist and cloudy forest and ranks high among the best natural tourist destinations in the world. It is the home of 400 varieties of birds and 2500 plant species and has more than 100 mammals. The forest has the great Sky Trek zip line, which you can take advantage of.
For those who love waterfall hiking, then here is your solution. It gives amazing green landscapes and lush. Get your camera because here you can take one of your best photos.
Manuel Antonio National Park
Located along the Pacific Coast, the park has light sand beaches, ancient rainforests, coral reefs, and clear water. Here you can do diving, mountain climbing, and snorkeling, among other activities.
Tortuguero is the home of those who love turtles. It is located in a village with rainforests which have covered the beach. Here is your chance if you have never seen the green sea turtle nesting sites.
The UNESCO world heritage listed the island as among the best-inhabited places for those who love nature. It is surrounded by very welcoming locals who guide through the waters and the hiking trails.
Things to Avoid When You are in Costa Rica
We understand that you are excited that you know when and where to visit when you are in Costa Rica but hold on. There are several things you should avoid doing when you are in Costa Rica. Some are harmful to your health, while others risk your security. They include:
Leaving your items unattended
According to the Culture Trip, theft is a common type of crime in Costa Rica, so the chances of you losing your values to this are so high.
Avoid the beach at night
Many beaches are poorly lit, which creates a prime avenue for criminal activities. Though not common, there are reported cases of rapes, assaults, and robberies at different beaches.
Do not buy drugs in the streets
The Costa Rica market is flooded with hard drugs such as cocaine, and there are instances where even medicinal drugs are stuffed with them to recruit new drug customers.
Watch your speed
Many of the roads in Costa Rica have potholes, lack guard rails, and high speeding youths under the influence of drugs. So, watch out.
Swimming in the rivers
Unless you have been fully guided, avoid the rivers of Costa Rica. Crocodiles occupy many, and some have bull sharks.
Costa Rica is one of the leading tourist destinations in the world. Beautiful water bodies surround it. As seen above, the local communities in different attraction sites are very helpful. Despite its average economy, there is plenty you can enjoy. The most interesting feature of the Costa Ricans is their happiness. If you are visiting the country, take note of the times we have given you and avoid the places we have warned you.
Ask the locals or your tour guide if you do not understand what to do. Due to its relatively cheap currency against the U.S dollar, services are cheaper here. Most of the businesses are available online, so compare prices. All said and done; we hope that you shall enjoy your stay in Costa Rica.
Written by Liz Flynn
Read more posts by Liz Flynn