The climate of Costa Rica
Costa Rica is located in Central America bordering the countries of
Panama and Nicaragua. Costa Rica has tropical climate types. The
eastern and northeastern part of the country have a tropical
rainforest climate (type Af according to the Köppen climate
classification). The rest of the country has a tropical monsoon
climate (type Am) and a tropical savannah climate (type Af). Because
of the many differences in altitude (the Central Cordilla mountain
range runs east to west through the middle of the island) and the
influences of the Caribbean Sea and the Pacific Ocean many micro
climates can be found within Costa Rica. Within a radius of just a few
kilometers there may be large differences in temperatures,
precipitation figures and hours of sunshine. The highest peaks in
Costa Rica (Mount Cerro Chirrpó at 3,819 meters and Mount Irazú at
3,431 meters) have a climate that cannot be classified as tropical
because of lower temperatures. With temperatures between 2 and 20
degrees Celsius these regions have a moderate sea climate.
Climate information of places and areas in Costa Rica
The climate information on this page is only brief. Specific
information about weather and climate can be found on the climate
pages per area or town. As for Costa Rica the following climate
information is available:
East of the Mountains
The northeastern part of Costa Rica bordering Nicaragua and the
Caribbean Sea has a tropical rainforest climate. The highest humidity
figures of Costa Rica can be recorded in this part of the country.
Maximum temperatures are 26-31 degrees Celsius all year round. As
opposed to the rest of the country this part has no dry season or
rainy season but is rainy and hot all year round. The Limón province
gets 3,000-3,500 millimeters of annual precipitation, all of which
falls in the form of rain. Precipitation figures are slightly lower in
February, March, September and October. However, these months still
get 160-220 millimeters per month. Temperatures are also most constant
in this region. The average maximum temperature in
Limón is between
26-29 degrees Celsius, minimum temperatures are between 22-24 degrees
Celsius. The Heredia province in the northeastern part of the country
bordering Nicaragua has slightly higher temperatures on average.
The central part and the western part of Costa Rica have a distinct
rainy season. From May precipitation figures start to rise and the
rainy season starts. This monsoon period lasts to the end of October
till the beginning of December, depending on the region you are in.
From December precipitation figures start to decrease. The combination
of dry and sunny weather and pleasant temperatures, especially in the
Guanacaste province make this part of Costa Rica very popular as a
winter sun destination among Americans.
Because Costa Rica is located in the southern part of Central America
the risk of hurricanes is almost nil. Most hurricanes pass by north of
Costa Rica. The northeastern part of Costa Rica may experience
indirect consequences of a hurricane because the neighboring country
of Nicaragua may get hit by a hurricane. Within a radius of a few
hundreds of kilometers of a hurricane large amounts of rain may fall.
When a hurricane forms over sea, water is lifted into the air which
may cause floods in surrounding areas.
Throughout Costa Rica several climate figures and temperatures can
be recorded. The figures below are for the capital San José and cannot
be seen as an average for the country. For climate figures for other
places and regions in Costa Rica please, visit the individual climate
More climate information
Climate tables are useful but they don’t give an overall picture of
the climate and possible weather conditions during a period of time.
How high the chances are of hot or cold weather or hurricanes can
often not be found in these tables. This is why we offer extra climate
information per month. The figures below are for the capital San José.
For climate figures for other places and regions in Costa Rica please,
visit the individual climate pages.
The information at this site was carefully composed from climate data collected by meteorological services, meteorological offices, climate experts and other sources. “More climate info” is based on statistics, climate data and personal experience. No rights can be derived from this site. Weather has no memory and gives no guaranties. Nothing is as changeable and unpredictable as the weather. The authors of this site feel in no way responsible for any damages caused by misinterpretation or other circumstances that may influence your holiday or trip to a certain destination. We provide information, it’s up to the reader to use it to it’s benefit.