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By: Genna Marie
If you’re planning to visit Costa Rica between May and November, you’ve probably seen advertising for “green season” prices.
Green season is just a nice way to say “rainy season.” Luckily, that doesn’t mean it pours buckets 24/7. On the contrary – rainy season just means it rains for an hour or so per day – usually quite predictably in the afternoon.
Note I said usually. I am not a weatherman.
But I have lived in this area for many years, and can happily say that Tamarindo’s rainy season is often my favorite time of year. The cool, crisp rain can be a pleasant and refreshing relief from the hot Guanacaste sun. The trees are lush and green thanks to regular watering, and the sunsets are consistently killer. Rentals and tours also tend to be less expensive because there are fewer tourists in town.
The bottom line? Just because it rains for a while in the afternoon doesn’t mean you can’t still enjoy Costa Rica and its great outdoors.
WHAT TO EXPECT DURING RAINY SEASON
During the months of May to early September, you can expect it to rain for 20 minutes to an hour a day; most often in the afternoon. Moving into September, October and November, however, Tamarindo is a rain free-for-all.
Each year is different, but September to November it may rain more than it shines (particularly in October). Many locals close shop and leave town during October, going on their own vacations to drier destinations.
ADVICE FOR TRAVELING COSTA RICA DURING RAINY SEASON
Do things in the morning
The rainy season doesn’t have to affect your travel all that much if you plan accordingly. Schedule all of your activities early, so it’s no big deal if you get hit with a torrential downpour in the early afternoon. It rarely rains in the morning.
Use your bartering power
Green season means fewer tourists, and more tour operators fighting over them. You can often find some of the best deals during rainy season.
Get your dive on
Marine creatures don’t care if it’s raining, so plan to do a lot of scuba diving while you’re here. And if you get wet on the boat, so what?
Olive Ridley sea turtles swarm the beaches of Ostional, Costa Rica, south of Tamarindo during the rainy season months. Their “arrivals,” or arribadas coincide with the moon cycle so be sure to check this turtle calendar to find out when to expect them.
Embrace the rain
If you thought canopy tours in the sun were adventurous, wait ‘till you try one in the pouring rain. You’ll feel like Indiana Jones on steroids. Surfing is also amazing in the rain. If you get thirsty, just look up and open your mouth.
If you’re really brave, off-roading is super fun during rainy season. If you take your rental car through rivers (not recommended!) make sure there isn’t water in your headlights when you return it.
photo credit: Tamarindo Family Photos