After booking our trip to Costa Rica, we quickly realized we had booked it during the wrong time of the year. Apparently, we were going there right in the middle of rainy season. This was going to be a horrible trip, but everything was booked and all we could do make the most of it. As it turned out, this was probably one of the best times for us to visit and provided us with everything we wanted in the trip.
Costa Rica is known to have a very wet rainy season that spans from May to mid-November. It is quite common for it to rain for days during this time of year, but that doesn’t necessarily mean it will rain all day long. Here are some of the benefits we found to going to Costa Rica during the rainy season.
Just the phrase, “Rainy Season” is enough to scare most tourists away. Hotels are often empty or near empty. Our trip left us alone in our resort with no one to bother us. This isn’t true for all places, but you can be assured that even the more popular resorts and hotels won’t be fully booked. If you’re looking for a romantic getaway then this is a great time to visit during the rainy season. We have never experienced such relaxation on a vacation before. This is one trip that didn’t require another vacation when we got home to de-stress.
The lack of tourists mean lots of discounts. Hotels and resort are often 50% cheaper, or more. Staying at a five star resort like Zephyr Palace, wouldn’t have been an option for us during Costa Rica’s “summer” (Nov-Apr). We were also able to rent a 4×4 vehicle for only $5/day (plus the required insurance). While shopping, vendors were also more inclined to negotiate their prices due to the lack of customers.
Believe it or not, the rain is actually an advantage. Costa Rica is a beautiful country, but without rain, the trees and plants start to die like anywhere else. Being so close to the equator, summer weather in CR is hot, very hot. This also causes some of the touristy attractions such as rivers and waterfalls to dry up. Hiking to waterfalls is always a fun adventure that we love to do, so I’m happy to report that viewing any of the many waterfalls in CR during rainy season is a definite must.
So how did the weather actually fare in mid-September? It rained nearly every day we were there, with the exception of a couple of days, but the rain didn’t start till the afternoon. It was dark around 5:30, with rain starting anywhere from 2:00 PM to 4:00 PM. Sometimes it only rained for a couple of hours and a couple of times it rained through the night. As a result, we went to bed earlier than normal, for us, and were usually ready to tackle the day by 6:00 AM, which is extremely unusual for us. The beaches were amazing in the morning and the sun was in full power. Unfortunately, we never got to see the sun actually set on the horizon. We got close, but in the last 15 minutes every day, the sun went behind clouds prior to making it to the horizon.
Overall, don’t let “rainy season” deter you from visiting Costa Rica. We will not hesitate to go back the same time of year any time.