February in Costa Rica

Costa Rica February Rainfall Patterns
Costa Rica February rainfall patterns. February is solidly in the dry season for the central and Pacific zones.

Best Time to Travel?


or see when to travel summary

By some standards February is the best time there is for a Costa Rica vacation. The weather is hot and dry in the most popular destinations. It is high season but even at the most popular hotels and resorts availability is reasonable (sometimes even only a couple of weeks in advance) and there are no peak season surcharges (as there are around Christmas, New Years and Spring Break/Easter).

February Weather

February is the middle of the dry season in Costa Rica’s Central Valley and Pacific beaches. The western and central regions of Costa Rica have sunny hot weather and nearly no rain.  What little rain falls usually comes as afternoon or evening showers.

It’s wetter on the Caribbean side of the central mountains and the likelihood of temporales del Atlantico (polar air pushes across the Gulf of Mexico picking up heat and moisture then deposits it as continuous days of rain) is still fairly high.

In February high temperatures in the lowlands and and near the beaches are in the low to mid-eighties (low to mid nineties are possible) and lows in the low seventies.  As you move up to the Central Valley around San José both the highs and lows are 5-10 degrees cooler. By the time you reach the high elevations around cloud forest destinations like Monteverde and Chirripó the high temperatures are in the mid sixties to low seventies and it can be downright chilly at night.

Planning Ahead & Reservations

The best lodges and resorts sell out in February, but not six months in advance like December, January, March and April. If you’re thinking about a last minute trip you can probably find great accommodations a couple of weeks in advance if you’re a little flexible. If you have your heart set on a particular property on specific dates you should probably still plan to reserve at least three to six months in advance and some small boutique hotels are always booked years in advance for the holidays.

Costa Rican School holidays end at the end of January or early February so there’s less local competition for activities and accommodations.

Costs & Availability for Travel in February

February is the high season but not the peak so you’ll find slightly lower prices and better availability that may give you the option of choosing a less luxurious room that better matches your budget.

Reasonable airfares are available for advance purchasers, but most have sold out by December. Occasionally airfares for February go on sale a few weeks in advance especially when temperatures have been unseasonably warm in the northeastern U.S. and Canada.

Alternatives to February in Costa Rica

February is one of the alternatives to the crowds in December and January. If February dates don’t work for you but you want to stick with the Dry Season then take a look at early March before the Spring Break and Easter crowds arrive.

…Other Bests…best kept secrets, best to do & best places

Notes:

The El Niño Weather pattern will have drying effects on Costa Rica’s Pacific side and will increase rainfall on the Caribbean into mid 2016.  Drought conditions are likely in Guanacaste and Nicoya and water restrictions may be enforced.  Hydroelectric power will be reduced making brownouts and blackouts likely in the central valley.

Ash from intermittent eruptions of Turrialba volcano is expected to occasionally disrupt operations at San Jose (SJO) airport at least until the end of 2015 and probably into 2016 – see Choosing an Airport for more info.

Calendar of Nature, Holidays & Fiestas – Costa Rica in February

The more you see of a turtle, whale or quetzal symbol the more likely you’ll see one. A detailed explanation and legend is also included at the bottom.

February 2016
approximate exchange rate ¢531 per $U.S.
Rise & Set
Tide Times
Pacific
Caribbean
Costa Rica Moon Phase sunrise and sunset
Costa Rica High and Low Tides
dry season    wave size
rainy season    wave size
Mon 1
Costa Rica Moon Phase ↑23:51 ↓11:54 ↑6:01 ↓17:44 ↑2:12
↑14:21
↓8:27
↓20:52
olive ridley turtle  green turtle  leather back turtlehumpback whale  quetzal nesting
green turtle  leather back turtle  humpback whale
Tue 2
Costa Rica Moon Phase ↑0:39 ↓12:39 ↑6:01 ↓17:44 ↑3:05
↑15:14
↓9:23
↓21:48
olive ridley turtle  green turtle  leather back turtlehumpback whale  quetzal nesting
green turtle  leather back turtle  humpback whale
Wed 3
Costa Rica Moon Phase ↑1:28 ↓13:27 ↑6:01 ↓17:44 ↑4:04
↑16:14
↓10:26
↓22:48
olive ridley turtle  green turtle  leather back turtlehumpback whale  quetzal nesting
green turtle  leather back turtle  humpback whale
Thu 4
Costa Rica Moon Phase ↑2:20 ↓14:17 ↑6:01 ↓17:45 ↑5:06
↑17:18
↓11:29
↓23:48
olive ridley turtle  green turtle  leather back turtlehumpback whale  quetzal nesting
green turtle  leather back turtle  humpback whale
Fri 5
Costa Rica Moon Phase ↑3:12 ↓15:11 ↑6:01 ↓17:45 ↑6:06
↑18:19
↓12:28
olive ridley turtle  green turtle  leather back turtlehumpback whale  quetzal nesting
green turtle  leather back turtle  humpback whale
Sat 6
Costa Rica Moon Phase ↑4:06 ↓16:06 ↑6:01 ↓17:45 ↑6:59
↑19:14
↓0:43
↓13:19
olive ridley turtle  green turtle  leather back turtlehumpback whale  quetzal nesting
green turtle  leather back turtle  humpback whale
Sun 7
Costa Rica Moon Phase ↑5:00 ↓17:04 ↑6:01 ↓17:45 ↑7:47
↑20:04
↓1:34
↓14:06
olive ridley turtle  green turtle  leather back turtlehumpback whale  quetzal nesting
green turtle  leather back turtle  humpback whale
Mon 8
Costa Rica Moon Phase ↑5:53 ↓18:02 ↑6:00 ↓17:46 ↑8:32
↑20:51
↓2:21
↓14:51
olive ridley turtle  green turtle  leather back turtlehumpback whale  quetzal nesting
green turtle  leather back turtle  humpback whale
Tue 9
Costa Rica Moon Phase ↑6:45 ↓18:59 ↑6:00 ↓17:46 ↑9:15
↑21:36
↓3:06
↓15:34
olive ridley turtle  green turtle  leather back turtlehumpback whale  quetzal nesting
green turtle  leather back turtle  humpback whale
Wed 10
Costa Rica Moon Phase ↑7:36 ↓19:57 ↑6:00 ↓17:46 ↑9:59
↑22:22
↓3:51
↓16:17
olive ridley turtle  green turtle  leather back turtlehumpback whale  quetzal nesting
green turtle  leather back turtle  humpback whale
Ash Wed. –
Thu 11
Costa Rica Moon Phase ↑8:26 ↓20:54 ↑6:00 ↓17:47 ↑10:42
↑23:08
↓4:36
↓17:02
olive ridley turtle  green turtle  leather back turtlehumpback whale  quetzal nesting
green turtle  leather back turtle  humpback whale
Fri 12
Costa Rica Moon Phase ↑9:17 ↓21:51 ↑5:59 ↓17:47 ↑11:27
↑23:56
↓5:22
↓17:48
olive ridley turtle  green turtle  leather back turtlehumpback whale  quetzal nesting
green turtle  leather back turtle  humpback whale
Sat 13
Costa Rica Moon Phase ↑10:07 ↓22:48 ↑5:59 ↓17:47 ↑12:13
↓6:10
↓18:36
olive ridley turtle  green turtle  leather back turtlehumpback whale  quetzal nesting
green turtle  leather back turtle  humpback whale
Sun 14
Costa Rica Moon Phase ↑10:58 ↓23:45 ↑5:59 ↓17:47 ↑0:46
↑13:03
↓7:00
↓19:28
olive ridley turtle  green turtle  leather back turtlehumpback whale  quetzal nesting
green turtle  leather back turtle  humpback whale
Valentines Day – Dia del Amour as celebrated around the world
Mon 15
Costa Rica Moon Phase ↑11:51 ↓23:45 ↑5:59 ↓17:47 ↑1:40
↑13:58
↓7:56
↓20:25
olive ridley turtle  green turtle  leather back turtlehumpback whale  quetzal nesting
green turtle  leather back turtle  humpback whale
Fiesta de los Diablitos – The festival of the little devils takes place in the second half of February. An indigenous celebration wrapped around a re-enactment of a battle between the toro (Spanish troops) and the diablitos (Boruca Indians). Striking hand carved masks and tradit
Tue 16
Costa Rica Moon Phase ↑12:44 ↓0:41 ↑5:58 ↓17:48 ↑2:40
↑14:59
↓8:59
↓21:29
olive ridley turtle  green turtle  leather back turtlehumpback whale  quetzal nesting
green turtle  leather back turtle  humpback whale
Wed 17
Costa Rica Moon Phase ↑13:38 ↓1:37 ↑5:58 ↓17:48 ↑3:47
↑16:09
↓10:09
↓22:39
olive ridley turtle  green turtle  leather back turtlehumpback whale  quetzal nesting
green turtle  leather back turtle  humpback whale
Thu 18
Costa Rica Moon Phase ↑14:32 ↓2:31 ↑5:58 ↓17:48 ↑4:59
↑17:23
↓11:21
↓23:48
olive ridley turtle  green turtle  leather back turtlehumpback whale  quetzal nesting
green turtle  leather back turtle  humpback whale
Fri 19
Costa Rica Moon Phase ↑15:25 ↓3:23 ↑5:57 ↓17:48 ↑6:09
↑18:32
↓12:28
olive ridley turtle  green turtle  leather back turtlehumpback whale  quetzal nesting
green turtle  leather back turtle  humpback whale
Sat 20
Costa Rica Moon Phase ↑16:16 ↓4:13 ↑5:57 ↓17:48 ↑7:09
↑19:31
↓0:50
↓13:26
olive ridley turtle  green turtle  leather back turtlehumpback whale  quetzal nesting
green turtle  leather back turtle  humpback whale
Sun 21
Costa Rica Moon Phase ↑17:06 ↓5:00 ↑5:57 ↓17:48 ↑8:00
↑20:20
↓1:44
↓14:16
olive ridley turtle  green turtle  leather back turtlehumpback whale  quetzal nesting
green turtle  leather back turtle  humpback whale
Mon 22
Costa Rica Moon Phase ↑17:55 ↓5:44 ↑5:56 ↓17:49 ↑8:44
↑21:04
↓2:32
↓14:59
olive ridley turtle  green turtle  leather back turtlehumpback whale  quetzal nesting
green turtle  leather back turtle  humpback whale
Tue 23
Costa Rica Moon Phase ↑18:42 ↓6:27 ↑5:56 ↓17:49 ↑9:23
↑21:43
↓3:14
↓15:39
olive ridley turtle  green turtle  leather back turtlehumpback whale  quetzal nesting
green turtle  leather back turtle  humpback whale
Carnival and Festival del Mar – A week of local celebrations in Puntarenas and Quepos including street fairs and fiestas, dancing and sporting events.
Wed 24
Costa Rica Moon Phase ↑19:28 ↓7:08 ↑5:55 ↓17:49 ↑9:59
↑22:20
↓3:53
↓16:16
olive ridley turtle  green turtle  leather back turtlehumpback whale  quetzal nesting
green turtle  leather back turtle  humpback whale
Thu 25
Costa Rica Moon Phase ↑20:13 ↓7:48 ↑5:55 ↓17:49 ↑10:34
↑22:56
↓4:31
↓16:52
olive ridley turtle  green turtle  leather back turtlehumpback whale  quetzal nesting
green turtle  leather back turtle  humpback whale
Fri 26
Costa Rica Moon Phase ↑20:59 ↓8:28 ↑5:55 ↓17:49 ↑11:08
↑23:32
↓5:07
↓17:28
olive ridley turtle  green turtle  leather back turtlehumpback whale  quetzal nesting
green turtle  leather back turtle  humpback whale
Envision Festival – Music, dancing and rave style parties on the beaches at Dominical and Rancho la Merced the last weekend in February
Sat 27
Costa Rica Moon Phase ↑21:45 ↓9:08 ↑5:54 ↓17:49 ↑11:43
↓5:44
↓18:03
olive ridley turtle  green turtle  leather back turtlehumpback whale  quetzal nesting
green turtle  leather back turtle  humpback whale
Sun 28
Costa Rica Moon Phase ↑22:31 ↓9:50 ↑5:54 ↓17:49 ↑0:08
↑12:18
↓6:21
↓18:40
olive ridley turtle  green turtle  leather back turtlehumpback whale  quetzal nesting
green turtle  leather back turtle  humpback whale
Mon 29
Costa Rica Moon Phase ↑23:20 ↓10:33 ↑5:53 ↓17:49 ↑0:47
↑12:56
↓7:01
↓19:20
olive ridley turtle  green turtle  leather back turtlehumpback whale  quetzal nesting
green turtle  leather back turtle  humpback whale
Leap Day – Do not forget that you have an extra day to enjoy Costa Rica this year
Costa Rica Moon Phase sunrise and sunset
Costa Rica High and Low Tides
dry season    wave size
rainy season    wave size
Rise & Set
Tide Times
Pacific
Caribbean

Calendar Legend

Averages for the month

  • Approximate exchange rate
  • General weather pattern for each half of the country
    dry season or rainy season average weather pattern
  • Average surf wave height for each coast
    larger or smaller than average wave height

Shown for each day

  • The phase of the moon, and the moon and sun rise and set times for planning turtle viewing or a night hike (best under the dark skies of a new moon when nocturnal animals are most active).
  • Times for each high and low tide along the outer Pacific coast (gulfs and bays vary). Average height 8 feet (2.5 meters).
    Not intended for navigation.
  • Tides on the east coast occur about 2 hours earlier. However, the average height is only 8 inches (0.2 meters) so levels in the Caribbean Sea do not significantly impact most activities.
  • Natural events are shown as shaded icons for quetzals (nesting), turtles (nesting), and humpback whales (calving) on each coast.
    wildlife calendar species
  • The more solid color shown the more likely the event, the more shaded the less likely.
    more or less likely turtle nesting
  • Baby turtles hatch (usually at night) after approximately 50-70 days incubation so look for nesting activity on the calendar two months prior to your visit if you’d like to see the little ones popping out of the sand..
  • HolidaysBold indicates a government & bank holiday when most businesses are closed and buses may run on limited schedules.
  • Fiesta and local festival dates are approximate – most include events spread over a week or two so check the schedule locally for more information.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *