Costa Rica is a green country, but during part of the year, it is even greener! Unlike its more northern neighbors, Costa Rica has just two seasons, each lasting six months.  This is characteristic of a tropical country. Costa Rica has a dry or “golden” season and a wet or “green” season. Why visit Costa Rica in the Green Season? Let´s look at five reasons to visit Costa Rica and Guanacaste during this colorful season of the year! 

Guanacaste is Costa Rica´s northwestern province and sits partly on the Nicoya Peninsula. It is on the Pacific Ocean side of Costa Rica and boasts some of the most beautiful beaches in the country. White sand beaches, pristine waters, and blue, sunny skies are part of the Guanacaste coastline, which is stunning. Lazy Lizard Sailing shows its guests part of this beautiful part of the world on its morning and sunset tours that leave daily from the newly opened Flamingo Marina.

When is the Wet Season in Costa Rica?

The wet season in Costa Rica runs from mid-May to mid-November, with some transition time on either side. The dry season runs from mid-November to mid-May.

What is the main difference between these two seasons?

During the dry or the “golden” season, there is little to no rain on the Pacific coast and Central Valley during the six months of the year. During the wet or “green” season, this part of the country has afternoon showers that last a couple of hours and nearly are clockwork. As midday arrives, the clouds cover the blue skies, and the rains begin soon after, lasting a few hours and usually lifting around sunset at 5:30 pm.

With daily rains comes incredible differences between the two seasons. The colors, aromas, and flavors of Costa Rica become more intense, and signature migratory animals arrive at its shores too. While Costa Rica is beautiful at any time of the year, its beauty is enhanced as the rains bring new life and renewed growth. The rains refresh and revitalize.  

Let´s explore Guanacaste and why the wet season is a great time to visit Costa Rica!

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Humpback Whales cruise the Costa Rican Pacific Ocean coastline during the wet season

1. Whale Watching

From July through to October, the migratory and majestic Humpback Whales reach the Pacific Ocean shores and protected tropical waters of Costa Rica, and they are a sight to see! They come to breed, give birth to their calves, and nurture them in preparation for the swim back to Antarctica.

While most of the Humpback Whales congregate on the southern Pacific Coast, they are sighted frequently as they move up and down the Guanacaste coast. So, during your Lazy Lizard Sailing tour, you may well see these gentle giants of the oceans cruising the Guanacaste waters flapping their enormous flippers, or maybe even breaching.

Just in case, there is another whale-watching season from December to April, so if the green season is not possible, you can have a second chance to see them. These are the northern hemisphere humpback whales, whereas Costa Rica receives the southern hemisphere humpbacks during the wet season.

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Baby turtles hatching and making their way to the sea

2. Turtle Nesting

Costa Rica is also where a variety of sea turtles come to lay their eggs, and Guanacaste is one of these privileged sanctuaries for these prehistoric marine species. At the Ostional Wildlife Refuge, thousands of Olive Ridley turtles arrive at the nine-mile-long beach to lay their eggs. This incredible feat of nature is called the “arribadas” or arrivals, and they occur from July to December, with September to November being the high season.

The same natural phenomenon occurs on the northern Caribbean coast in the Amazonia-style canals of Tortuguero.  The turtle-nesting season begins in July and ends around mid-October. No amount of rain deters these animals as they slowly make their way up the beach beyond the tideline to make the nests and then proceed to lay dozens of eggs—a true feat of Mother Nature.

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Bluish Green Rainforest at Sensoria. Photo credit Sensoria.

3. Everything is Greener!

With rain comes new growth, and everything is green of greens. After months of little to no rain, many types of grass, underbrush, and bushes turn a golden brown, especially in Guanacaste. The vast savannas are dry and awaiting the first rains to regain their color. Rain is welcomed with new life bursting through.

Green also means beautiful contrasts from the ocean as you look towards the green forests that embrace the beaches and headlands. Lazy Lizard Sailing tours take you around the coastline, so enjoy the vibrant blues and greens as you relax on the catamaran and enjoy the fresh sea breeze.

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Hammock time! Take an afternoon nap listening to the rain.

4. Afternoon naps are more relaxing

The great thing about the Costa Rica wet season is that the mornings are still sunny and perfect for sunbaking on the beach or by the pool. Take an early morning walk or run to start your day with a burst of energy and enjoy the sunny, blue skies and refreshing tropical waters. By lunchtime, your Vitamin C and D intake are just enough, and that post-lunch “afternoon dip” in energy calls for a nap!

Let´s be honest; it is delicious to sleep listening to the rain. It is meditative and is the best way to regain lost energy from the morning in the sun and lunch. It is also the perfect introduction to that afternoon, Costa Rican coffee, for an additional lift. So, for a great way to enjoy the wet season´s sunny mornings, take the Lazy Lizard morning tour, enjoy the sun, and have a swim and a snorkel.

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A perfect day on the water for the family with few travelers during the Green Season

5. Fewer travelers

The wet season is also the time that Costa Rica receives fewer visitors. Most travelers come during the dry season, which means more lines and more waits.  The northern hemisphere winter means busier times for Guanacaste and Costa Rica in general.

As the winter whites melt away, Costa Rica slows down, bringing new opportunities for eager travelers wanting to experience Costa Rica and its treasures. So, the wet season means more pool lounge chairs, fewer hikers on the trails, and more beaches for you to enjoy. It also means that prices go done, so come prepared for some Green Seasons Specials to enjoy too!

Lazy Lizard Sailing loves the wet and dry seasons of Costa Rica. So come and enjoy Costa Rica when it is golden or green! Which is your favorite season? 


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