Best time to visit the Nicoya Peninsula

Sunset on Nicoya Peninsula
Sunsets are most colorful during rainy season

The Nicoya Peninsula is perfect to visit basically year-round, only October should be avoided as it’s usually a wash-out. Sunshine however is guaranteed during the high-season months, from January to April.

In May a mellow rainy season follows which the tourism industry has dubbed the Green Season. It’s the time of the year preferred by eco-tourists as nature is verdant green, sunsets multi-hued, and many hotels offer lower rates.

Seasons and Weather

Dry Season:Dec – AprHigh Season“Summer”
Rainy Season:May – NovLow Season“Winter”
Sunset in Samara
Sunshine guarantee from January to April

Dry Season

The Pacific side of Costa Rica conveniently offers sunshine guarantee when the Northern hemisphere experiences its coldest and darkest time of the year. On the Nicoya Peninsula you can expect brillant sunshine, day after day, from mid December until April.

During this long and pronounced dry season many trees and shrub shed their leaves which makes it easier to spot birds and other animals.
Locals refer to the dry season as summer and this is also the high season for tourism. Many shops, bars and restaurants are only open in dry season, rates in hotels rise up and will even double around New Year and Easter when national tourists as well spend their vacation on the beach.

Green Season:

Low season starts the week after Easter and soon after that the first rainfalls occur and initiate the rainy season. The tourism industry promotes the rainy season from May to August as the “Green Season”. The Costa Ricans and regular visitors love this season particularly because temperatures are pleasant, the nature verdant green, and sunsets multi-hued. In fact it only rains occasionally and mostly in the late afternoon or at night.

Rainfall pattern of Costa Rica
Costa Rica Rainfall Pattern

Rainy Season:

The real rain months are September and October when it is sometimes difficult to get around. Many hotels and other tourist businesses are closed during that time. However, this time can still be great for vacation in Costa Rica. It’s the least busy and touristic time of the year, when locals always have time for a chat and nature has turned into a lush jungle full of orchids and butterflies.

Monthly rainfalls on the Nicoya Peninsula
Average rainfall per month on the Nicoya Peninsula

Mid November some days of strong north-eastern winds mark the end of the rainy season. These offshore trade winds, called Papagayo, continue on a lesser scale during the following dry season months and provide perfect surf conditions.