Costa Rica’s “green season” is full of fantastic things to do.
While some might assume that green season in Costa Rica is not a good time of year to visit, they couldn’t be further from the truth. In fact, I often tell friends and family that the “rainy” season is the best season to vacation in Costa Rica.
With a few exceptions, even though it rains almost every day in green season, it very rarely rains all day. In fact, the rain often comes in the late afternoon or evening, lending for a perfect time to rest, get pampered in the spa, or take a nice long nap. Cooler weather, lower rates, and fewer tourists also lend to a more tranquil time in the rainforest.
So, pack your boots and bathers and get ready to get a little wet; green season in Costa Rica is a terrific time to have fun.
Here are five really fun things to do from April to November in Costa Rica:
Costa Rica ATV Tours
There is something to be said for speeding over hills and through valleys, through the rainforest and across rivers on an all-terrain vehicle (ATV). Yep, you’ll get a little muddy, but that’s part of the fun! Be sure to wear plenty of sunscreen and closed toed shoes, leave the fastidiousness and fear behind, and get ready to explore Costa Rica’s beautiful rainforests and waterfalls.
Great for guests who are twelve years old and up, ATVs are fun for everyone who loves adventure, speed and discovery.
Costa Rica River Rafting
There’s not much more exciting than rushing over white water river rapids during green season in Costa Rica. With Class II, III and IV rivers flowing in abundance, the rivers are high and exciting for those who love thrill of the water.
Never been river rafting before? No worries! Experienced guides will be at your side the entire time and you’ll be given safety instructions (and life jackets!) before you begin.
Be sure to bring your water shoes, a bathing suit, sunscreen, sunglasses and hats that have security straps or ties, a zip-lock bag for things you want to keep dry inside your backpack, such as your cell phone and cash, and an adventurous spirit.
Catch Sight of Nesting Turtles
Ostional is a bonanza for Olive Ridley turtles and September through October is the very best time to catch site of them in the area. The majority of Costa Rica turtle nesting sites require visits through authorized access points, with a guide along to keep the turtles safe and protect their nesting rituals.
Late at night, usually about a week before the full moon, thousands of turtles descend upon the beach to lay their eggs- this yearly phenomena is called the “arribada” and Ostional is one of fewer than ten locations around the world that it takes place. Night tours are available with knowledgeable guides; if you do decide to visit, keep your interaction with these magnificent creatures to a minimum and just sit back and be awed by nature.
Hiking through the rainforest
You’ll want to pack waterproof hiking shoes and a light, water-wicking jacket for this adventure, but green season can be the most incredible time to hike through the rain forests of Costa Rica.
Yes, you’ll get a bit wet and possibly muddy, but, oh my, will you be blown away by the abundance of green nature that surrounds you. Keep an eye out for tropical birds, sloths, and monkeys, as well as for lusciously velvet mushrooms (look, but don’t touch and certainly don’t eat!), tropical flowers, brightly colored red, green and blue frogs, and vibrant butterflies.
I’m not much of a surfer, but have many friends who live for the sport here in Costa Rica. So, over the years I’ve heard them make much ado about various swells that grace our beautiful beaches.
According to Ryan Waldron, writing for Witch’s Rock Surf Camp, tropical storm swells can make for some incredible surf. Waldron says, “During the peak months of the Pacific Hurricane season, tropical cyclones off the coast of Mexico will send a quick shot of medium period swell (10-14 second) in our direction. This only happens a few times a year, but when a nice pulse of Northwesterly hurricane swell impacts the region, most beaches can expect fun, peaky waves along the coast….. these can be some of the best swell events of the year.”
Don’t worry about tropical storms, though; Costa Rica has only ever seen one hurricane touch down in known history- and even then, there was very little damage.
When someone asks me about the best time of year is to visit Costa Rica, I always tell them that my favorite time is rainy season. Of course, it’s a matter of personal preference, but for me the pros of all that green and cooler weather far outweigh the cons of a brief, daily rain shower; besides, who can resist a delicious nap or good night’s sleep to the sound of pouring rain? Hey- now that I think about it, that’s six fun things to do during green season!