Best Months to Visit Guanacaste Costa Rica

Best Months to Visit Guanacaste Costa Rica

Costa Rica is often lauded for being an idyllic year-round destination, particularly for surf camps in Guanacaste. The sea enjoys an average year-round temp of 83 F (28C) and consistent surfing waves. Yet that doesn’t mean that all conditions – from rainfall to crowds and availability – are exactly the same all year long. 

Seasonal changes may be subtle here, but when it comes to rainfall, tourist crowds, prices and availability, they can still affect your visit. 

Travelers planning a surf vacation will want to know the best month to visit Guanacaste Costa Rica, and may also be interested to know what the weather is like elsewhere in the country. After all, Costa Rica offers a host of incredible highlights, from the cloud rainforests of Monteverde to the towering peaks of the Central Highlands, the luscious rainforests of Tortuguero, and all those endless miles of pristine Pacific coast beaches – and there is an ideal time of year to enjoy them all at their very best.  

Overview of Costa Rica’s Climate & the best month to visit Guanacaste

Costa Rica’s climate has two main seasons: wet and dry. It might be more accurate to label them ‘very wet’ and ‘slightly less wet,’ given rain is a constant (after all, 51% of the country is covered in primary forests.) However, some months are notably rainier than others. There’s also a mini shoulder season, the transitional months, that can offer the best of both worlds. 

Temperatures stay warm year-round in Costa Rica, with daytime averages between 72-82F (11-28C). Naturally, you’ll experience cooler temperatures as you ascend the highlands. In October, up in the mountains, the overnight temperatures can quickly drop to 50F (10C).

Here’s a quick overview of Costa Rica’s seasons:

The dry season runs from December to April – These are the best months to visit Guanacaste and enjoy a surfing vacation if you are an absolute beginner. They are also the best months to visit Costa Rica in general. Reliably clear skies, minimal rainfall, and perfect weather along the Pacific coast translate to gentle waves and picture-perfect conditions for beginner surf lessons

surf costa rica Traveling solo? No worries! Meet like-minded people and share a group surfing lesson in Tamarindo

Want to learn to surf with us? At Iguana, we offer private and group lessons on Costa Rica’s premier surf beach for beginners, Tamarindo!

The shoulder season runs from May to June – In May, the weather subtly changes, and we start to see slightly more rainfall, which progresses gradually as the weeks pass. This period marks the end of peak season in Costa Rica, so you’ll enjoy lower rates on flights, hotels, and tours. It’s a great time to visit for budget-conscious travelers and anyone who wants quieter travels.

The rain (or green) season runs from July to November – The pros move in when beginner surfers run away from the swells and big waves of the Guanacaste coast. The wet season is a magnet for intermediate and advanced surfers as southern swells finally arrive on the central Pacific coast, bringing with them the year’s biggest waves. This is a sensational time to enjoy a week of non-stop epic surfing. 

We offer the best Costa Rica surf camp  and surf gear rental, and Mother Nature serves up the best waves of the year. Now, all you have to do is come dive right in! Come surf Costa Rica!

Month-by-month highlights in Costa Rica

December – The start of the high travel season in Costa Rica and the beginning of the dry season. Coincidence? We think not! Countless travelers escape the winter chill in the north and enjoy sensational Christmas surfing trips in our tropical paradise. December is a festive month and an excellent time to enjoy local traditions, festivities, and thrilling canopy tours

January – We bid farewell to the Christmas crowd and welcome adventure travelers and avid surfers. The dry season makes the whole country accessible. Combining your surf camp with horseback riding tours and diving excursions is perfect.

February – This is the most popular month to visit Guanacaste and the pristine beaches of Tamarindo, so booking your trip in advance is a must. This is prime time for surfing, beach-bumming, and all water sports, like Tamarindo snorkeling trips. Visitor numbers all over Costa Rica will reach their peak this month, so it’s not a good time to wing your trip – pre-book the essentials and you’ll never worry about missing out

March As the dry season continues, wildlife enthusiasts should consider including a visit to the country’s most remote parks, before or after their surf trip on the coast. Typically, these off-beat wildlife reserves such as Corcovado (in the southwest) and Tortuguero (in the northeast) are cut off during the wet season. For exotic wildlife spotting closer to the surf, include a Tamarindo Estuary Boat Trip in your itinerary. From iguanas to flying fish, crocodiles, different species of monkeys and a crazy array of stunning exotic birds, our local mangroves are an animal lover’s dream spot.

best month to visit guanacaste costa rica Costa Rica is home to nearly 5% of all wildlife species on earth

April – Easter is an exceptionally popular travel month in Latin America, so, depending on the date, it means a little ‘mini high season’ for a week. Weatherwise, Costa Rica remains heavenly in April, although you notice more cloud cover as the month progresses. The country’s wilderness is prime for ATV tours this month.

May – The start of the shoulder season is favored by return visitors, especially intermediate and pro surfers. They know that while occasional showers may occur, tourist crowds will diminish nationwide. Plus, Tamarindo’s waves start to swell this month, creating idyllic surfing conditions. 

June – Witnessing the transition from dry to verdant green is a magical experience. Rainfall still won’t hinder travel, so consider exploring the country’s luscious rainforests after your Costa Rica surf camp. You’ll undoubtedly enjoy the lower prices this month, so why not enjoy an even longer holiday with us? You can expect heavy but short-lived rains this month, usually in the early afternoon. The perfect siesta excuse!

July – As the wet season lays its roots firmly on the ground, you can experience a different side of Costa Rica, one not many have the privilege of experiencing. The rainforests are alive with activity this month, and you can witness the fascinating spectacle of sea turtles nesting in Tortuguero. Plus, smaller crowds mean you can have some of the country’s most famous attractions, like Arenal Volcano and Monteverde Cloud Forest, almost to yourself.

best month to visit guanacaste costa rica The mystical hanging bridges of Arenal are a must-see

August – In a land where life flourishes under nature’s refreshing showers, the approaching months promise a vibrant resurgence of Costa Rica’s untamed wilderness and magnificent wildlife. As the temps drop slightly and the oppressive summer heat diminishes, the country’s wildlife becomes much more active. Extra rain means outstanding white water rafting trips from Tamarindo. 

best month to visit guanacaste costa rica Alongside surfing, rafting is one of the most iconic activities to enjoy in Costa Rica

September – The start of the peak rain season attracts a different kind of visitor to Costa Rica. Avid birdwatchers come to see migratory birds, while coffee enthusiasts indulge in tours of coffee plantations during the harvest season—a fantastic time to enjoy a wetlands boat tour in Palo Verde.

October – The rainiest month of the year sees heavy downpours lasting several hours. This is peak Green Season and a month that kicks off turtle nesting season. Arribadas, or mass turtle nesting events, occur along the Guanacaste coast between October and March. One of nature’s most jaw-dropping events and an unmissable Costa Rica highlight – see our seasonal turtle-watching tours

surf costa rica A sunset surfing stint in the wet season – the Tamarindo magic!

November – The rainy season winds down, yet the landscapes will remain lush and verdant for many weeks. The easing cloud cover makes for some truly magical sunsets. This is a gorgeous time to visit and perhaps the best month to visit Guanacaste Costa Rica. Rainfall won’t hinder your surfing lessons, yet peak crowds won’t be here. It’s the calm before the tourist storm!

With minimal temperature fluctuations year-round and just about perfect sea temps, every month of the year, it is no wonder Costa Rica consistently rates as one of the best surfing destinations on earth. We hope our overview of the best months to visit Costa Rica will help you decide which month is best for you.

At Iguana Surf, we don’t just offer the best surf camps in Guanacaste but also plan fantastic tours and activities that showcase the best Costa Rica has to offer. Come surf with us, and you’re guaranteed an unforgettable adventure! Surf Iguana, Surf Costa Rica!

    Ready for Paradise? Or Have a Question?
    Send our Surf Team a Message!

    Your Name (required)

    Your Email (required)

    What are you interested in? (required)

    Your Message (required)

    Need help?