Despite its diminutive size, Costa Rica a study in contrasts and contradictions. The diversity of its ecosystems, crammed into a relatively small area, makes it a rewarding place to explore… Lonely Planet
Where is Costa Rica?
The Continent: located in Central America, the southern most part of the North American continent. Central America separates the North America and South American continents.
Geo Location: 8-10 Degrees North of the Equator.
What’s Costa Rica’s Topography?
Costa Rica is the backbone of the Central American continental divide, with elevations ranging from sea level, to 12,533 ft, from island to volcano, from dry-forest to cloud-forest to rain-forest and everything in between. Costa Rica has it all. From its highest peak, Cerro Chirripo, one can see both the Caribbean and Pacific oceans at the same time because the shortest distance between the two coasts are only about 75 miles.
How about Sunshine and Daylight?
Daylight: due to its location near the equator, Costa Rica receives roughly equal amounts of daylight the year around with sunrise generally occurring around 5:30AM and sunset at about 5:30PM. Evenings can be VERY dark as there are few streetlights and virtually no cloud-reflected light from nearby cities. RIP: small, lightweight LED flashlights can be more valuable than an umbrella.
Sunshine: beaches to mountains, each zone will differ. Try this chart for starters.
Average Weather and Climate Zones in Costa Rica
Because Costa Rica is located between eight to ten degrees north of the Equator where the climate is tropical year round. However, the country has many micro-climates depending on elevation, rainfall, topography. Costa Rica’s seasons are defined by how much it rains during a particular period and not to the four seasons in the Northern Hemisphere. The year can be split into two periods, the dry season known to the residents as summer or (Red Season), and the rainy season, known locally as winter or (Green Season). The “summer” or dry season goes from December to April, and “winter” or rainy season goes from May to November.
Best Time to Travel Costa Rica?
Almost any time you can get away for a break; there will always be a micro-climates that’s perfect for you. A variety of specifics ubfirnatuib about geographic and micro-climates can be found on the Resources menu tab.
Here are some quick facts on San Jose, the cooler, inland capital located at an elevation of appx. 4,000ft:
- A lot of rain (rainy season) falls in the months: May, June, July, August, September, October and November.
- San José has dry periods in January, February and March.
- On average, the warmest month is March.
- On average, the coolest month is September.
- September is the wettest month.
- January is the driest month.