The dry season is over in Costa Rica and the wet season is on. If that sounds like gobbledygook, well, the off-season is in and the high season is out. Off-season in Costa Rica runs from May to mid-December – a period officially known as the green season – when Costa Rica gets lots of precipitation and fewer tourists. A lot of people wonder if this is the best time to visit Costa Rica.
A bit of clarification is in order on Costa Rica’s green season aka wet season aka rainy season. It is more a half-wet, half-dry season, with sunny mornings and rainy afternoons or evenings. Sometimes the dry spell continues for 1-2 days. Your plans can fit in snugly.
For those of you who were biding your time to capitalize on off-season perks, the time has come to start making plans! For those of you who are yet to embrace the idea of an off-season Costa Rica vacation, here are six reasons to change your mind:
1. There is no mad holiday rush: Thus making it the best time to visit Costa Rica. If places teeming with tourists is a big no-no for you, the off-season is the best time to holiday in Costa Rica. Between May to October, as the rain gathers force, the flow of tourists dries to a trickle, relieving the congestion in its famous hotspots. No jangled nerves for you if you can’t stand the crowd. Off-season travel does appeal to a lot of folks, so don’t be surprised if you run into many Gringos, particularly in July and August, which are popular off-season months.
2. Rentals are not overpriced or heavily booked: While it’s near impossible to get a decent condo or private villa without reservations in December, during off-season, there is no such fuss. That makes off-season the best time for a Costa Rica vacation. Not long ago, rental prices used to plummet when the last bus of tourists rolled out of sight. Those mega discounts have disappeared as more folks discover the benefits of the off-season. Yet this is the cheapest time to go to Costa Rica. You can make savings – anywhere between $100 to $1100 – on rental prices alone.
3. It’s time to indulge in your favorite sports: The green season is optimal for surfing, white water rafting, and yes, even ATV rides! You can score the big waves at Jaco beach and Playa Hermosa. In the case of white-water rafting, the swollen rivers of Costa Rica offer the ultimate adrenaline-inducing adventure. The tours and equipment come with attractive price tags, so you can pocket the many deals of the season and save more money on your tours.
4. You can go sportfishing: Come rain or shine, it’s always sportfishing time! The change in weather changes the game, but not the bonding with fellow anglers or the buildup. Many topline Costa Rica fishing charters based in Tamarindo, Los Suenos, and Quepos offer discounted rates at this time of the year. May through September is extremely good for billfishing as well as for fishing tuna and dorado.
5. Nature is lush green: The wet season was re-labeled the green season a few years ago by the government to give it a touristy sheen. This PR makeover has more than a grain of truth. Swept by the rain, the forests of Costa Rica don a verdant green that is thoroughly refreshing – a cleansing of sorts for our jaded urban senses, to be frank! As for the rains, this is one place where it can rain cats and dogs on some days, an amazing show in itself, not to be missed.
6.Live, breathe “pura vida”: Red carpets rolled back, life resumes its normal course and Costa Rica’s laid-back culture comes to the fore. Mingle with the friendly and good-natured Ticos, get a taste of local cuisine, enjoy life sans the tourist pageantry and fanfare. Does it sound as dull as dishwater? You couldn’t be more wrong. Costa Ricans love to have a good party. Religious and cultural festivities abound during the off-season and these give you an authentic experience of ethnic Costa Rica.
Is there a downside to traveling off-season to Costa Rica? We can’t think of any except that you may not get the tan you desire, with the sun slipping in and out of sight most of the time. The beauty of off-season is more than skin deep. Mesmerizing nature tours, a rejuvenating bath in the natural hot springs of Tabacon, and exhilarating adventures rounded off with a wellness retreat should find you glowing inside out when you fly back home.
If this sounds like the best time for you to visit Costa Rica, send us your dates and planned activities. Who knows, it might rain luck with some handsome deals!