July in Costa Rica

July rain and weather pattern map of Costa Rica
Costa Rica July rainfall patterns. It’s the rainy season across the country but mostly in the afternoons and evenings or overnight.

Best Time to Travel – Low Season?


or see when to travel summary

A few years ago only insiders and people in the know traveled to Costa Rica in July, but the secret is out. It’s still far from crowded and nothing like the peak season weeks of Christmas/New Years and Easter but it can hardly be called off season any more.

July Weather

Bright sunny mornings heat up the ocean and rainforest canopy loading the air near the surface with water and causing it to rise. As the moisture laden air climbs it expands and cools condensing out droplets that form clouds and eventually rain. This pattern dominates the Costa Rica wet season from May through November and July is no exception. Still, it’s a great time to visit with hot sunny days to enjoy the beach and afternoon and evening rains cooling it off so you can enjoy a meal al fresco.

Although it is the middle of the rainy season Costa Rica typically experiences a short mid-year mini-dry season in July and the beginning of August. Rainfall decreases significantly for three or four weeks especially in the northern Pacific.  Ticos call this the veranillo or little summer and you can read about how it occurs here.

As noted above out of all the rainy season months July is usually a bit drier than the rest, but occasionally it’s very wet. 2007 was a record breaker with rainfalls nearly double the average in some regions of the north and northeast that washed out dozens of bridges. Five vacationers died in flash flooding while rappelling a waterfall in the mountains and another was struck by lightning and died while swimming in the Pacific.

The Caribbean side is solidly in the rainy season and heavy rain is common especially in the north.

The beaches and lowlands have high temperatures in the low nineties and  low temperatures in the upper seventies or low eighties.   A week or two of temperatures in the mid nineties is possible at low elevations and especially on the Nicoya coast during July. Three thousand feet higher around San José and the Central Valley temperatures are 5-10 degrees cooler and temperatures at high elevations (Monteverde and Chirripo) can be 20 or even 30 degrees lower. The higher you go the more it cools off at night so if you’re looking for some relief head to the mountains.

Reservations

July has grown immensely in popularity in the past few years and now rivals December, January and March as the most popular month to visit Costa Rica. Advanced reservations are strongly recommended for the popular northwest, Nicoya and central beach and volcano destinations although if you arrive early in the day and are flexible about where you end up staying you probably will be able to get a room as a walk-in at any except the most popular hotels.

Costs & Availability for Travel in July

There are still some low season discounts for July, but as the number of travelers increases they are becoming a thing of the past.

One thing that can still be a great deal in July is airfare. Especially if your travel dates are flexible and you can fly on weekdays last minute sales (2-12 weeks in advance) have been fairly common for the past few years.

Alternatives to July

August is quite similar to July – it has similar weather (slightly wetter), the big surf swells, fewer people and more low season discounts. May, June and November are also alternatives, each with a little more rain but even fewer people.

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

Notes:

The developing El Niño Weather pattern announced in April and subsequently described as strengthening by NOAA will have increased drying effects on Costa Rica’s weather through 2015 and into mid 2016. Something to keep in mind when looking at the rainfall maps.

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

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

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.

July 2015
approximate exchange rate ¢533 per $U.S.
Rise & Set
Tide Times
Pacific
Caribbean
Costa Rica Moon Phase sunrise and sunset
Costa Rica High and Low Tides
rainy season    wave size
rainy season    wave size
Wed 1
Costa Rica Moon Phase ↑17:49 ↓4:52 ↑5:22 ↓18:04 ↑7:53
↑20:27
↓2:00
↓14:12
olive ridley turtle  green turtle  leather back turtlehumpback whale  quetzal nesting
green turtle  leather back turtle  humpback whale
Thu 2
Costa Rica Moon Phase ↑18:45 ↓5:49 ↑5:22 ↓18:04 ↑8:40
↑21:11
↓2:45
↓14:58
olive ridley turtle  green turtle  leather back turtlehumpback whale  quetzal nesting
green turtle  leather back turtle  humpback whale
Fri 3
Costa Rica Moon Phase ↑19:40 ↓6:48 ↑5:22 ↓18:04 ↑9:27
↑21:55
↓3:30
↓15:43
olive ridley turtle  green turtle  leather back turtlehumpback whale  quetzal nesting
green turtle  leather back turtle  humpback whale
Sat 4
Costa Rica Moon Phase ↑20:33 ↓7:46 ↑5:23 ↓18:04 ↑10:14
↑22:39
↓4:14
↓16:29
olive ridley turtle  green turtle  leather back turtlehumpback whale  quetzal nesting
green turtle  leather back turtle  humpback whale
Fourth of July – It has nothing to do with Costa Rica but there are a lot of expats in the beach areas and Ticos love an excuse for a party.
Sun 5
Costa Rica Moon Phase ↑21:23 ↓8:44 ↑5:23 ↓18:04 ↑11:02
↑23:25
↓5:00
↓17:16
olive ridley turtle  green turtle  leather back turtlehumpback whale  quetzal nesting
green turtle  leather back turtle  humpback whale
Mon 6
Costa Rica Moon Phase ↑22:13 ↓9:41 ↑5:23 ↓18:04 ↑11:52
↓5:47
↓18:05
olive ridley turtle  green turtle  leather back turtlehumpback whale  quetzal nesting
green turtle  leather back turtle  humpback whale
Tue 7
Costa Rica Moon Phase ↑23:02 ↓10:36 ↑5:23 ↓18:04 ↑0:13
↑12:43
↓6:37
↓18:58
olive ridley turtle  green turtle  leather back turtlehumpback whale  quetzal nesting
green turtle  leather back turtle  humpback whale
Wed 8
Costa Rica Moon Phase ↑23:50 ↓11:32 ↑5:24 ↓18:04 ↑1:03
↑13:39
↓7:29
↓19:53
olive ridley turtle  green turtle  leather back turtlehumpback whale  quetzal nesting
green turtle  leather back turtle  humpback whale
Thu 9
Costa Rica Moon Phase ↑23:50 ↓12:27 ↑5:24 ↓18:04 ↑1:57
↑14:38
↓8:25
↓20:54
olive ridley turtle  green turtle  leather back turtlehumpback whale  quetzal nesting
green turtle  leather back turtle  humpback whale
Fri 10
Costa Rica Moon Phase ↑0:39 ↓13:22 ↑5:24 ↓18:04 ↑2:55
↑15:42
↓9:26
↓21:59
olive ridley turtle  green turtle  leather back turtlehumpback whale  quetzal nesting
green turtle  leather back turtle  humpback whale
Sat 11
Costa Rica Moon Phase ↑1:30 ↓14:18 ↑5:24 ↓18:05 ↑3:58
↑16:48
↓10:29
↓23:05
olive ridley turtle  green turtle  leather back turtlehumpback whale  quetzal nesting
green turtle  leather back turtle  humpback whale
Sun 12
Costa Rica Moon Phase ↑2:21 ↓15:13 ↑5:25 ↓18:05 ↑5:04
↑17:53
↓11:32
olive ridley turtle  green turtle  leather back turtlehumpback whale  quetzal nesting
green turtle  leather back turtle  humpback whale
Mon 13
Costa Rica Moon Phase ↑3:14 ↓16:07 ↑5:25 ↓18:05 ↑6:08
↑18:52
↓0:10
↓12:32
olive ridley turtle  green turtle  leather back turtlehumpback whale  quetzal nesting
green turtle  leather back turtle  humpback whale
Tue 14
Costa Rica Moon Phase ↑4:07 ↓17:00 ↑5:25 ↓18:04 ↑7:08
↑19:46
↓1:09
↓13:27
olive ridley turtle  green turtle  leather back turtlehumpback whale  quetzal nesting
green turtle  leather back turtle  humpback whale
Wed 15
Costa Rica Moon Phase ↑5:00 ↓17:50 ↑5:25 ↓18:04 ↑8:02
↑20:34
↓2:02
↓14:17
olive ridley turtle  green turtle  leather back turtlehumpback whale  quetzal nesting
green turtle  leather back turtle  humpback whale
Thu 16
Costa Rica Moon Phase ↑5:51 ↓18:38 ↑5:25 ↓18:04 ↑8:51
↑21:18
↓2:51
↓15:04
olive ridley turtle  green turtle  leather back turtlehumpback whale  quetzal nesting
green turtle  leather back turtle  humpback whale
Fiesta de La Virgen del Mar – The Fiesta of the Virgin of the Sea on the Saturday closest to the 16th is marked in Puntarenas by a procession of decorated fishing boats carrying a statue of La Virgen del Monte Carmelo (the city’s patron saint) and a special mass. The secular celebrat
Fri 17
Costa Rica Moon Phase ↑6:41 ↓19:23 ↑5:26 ↓18:04 ↑9:35
↑21:58
↓3:35
↓15:47
olive ridley turtle  green turtle  leather back turtlehumpback whale  quetzal nesting
green turtle  leather back turtle  humpback whale
Sat 18
Costa Rica Moon Phase ↑7:30 ↓20:05 ↑5:26 ↓18:04 ↑10:17
↑22:37
↓4:17
↓16:28
olive ridley turtle  green turtle  leather back turtlehumpback whale  quetzal nesting
green turtle  leather back turtle  humpback whale
Sun 19
Costa Rica Moon Phase ↑8:17 ↓20:46 ↑5:26 ↓18:04 ↑10:58
↑23:15
↓4:57
↓17:08
olive ridley turtle  green turtle  leather back turtlehumpback whale  quetzal nesting
green turtle  leather back turtle  humpback whale
Mon 20
Costa Rica Moon Phase ↑9:02 ↓21:26 ↑5:26 ↓18:04 ↑11:37
↑23:52
↓5:36
↓17:48
olive ridley turtle  green turtle  leather back turtlehumpback whale  quetzal nesting
green turtle  leather back turtle  humpback whale
Tue 21
Costa Rica Moon Phase ↑9:47 ↓22:05 ↑5:27 ↓18:04 ↑12:17
↓6:15
↓18:29
olive ridley turtle  green turtle  leather back turtlehumpback whale  quetzal nesting
green turtle  leather back turtle  humpback whale
Wed 22
Costa Rica Moon Phase ↑10:32 ↓22:45 ↑5:27 ↓18:04 ↑0:30
↑12:59
↓6:55
↓19:11
olive ridley turtle  green turtle  leather back turtlehumpback whale  quetzal nesting
green turtle  leather back turtle  humpback whale
Thu 23
Costa Rica Moon Phase ↑11:18 ↓23:27 ↑5:27 ↓18:04 ↑1:10
↑13:43
↓7:37
↓19:56
olive ridley turtle  green turtle  leather back turtlehumpback whale  quetzal nesting
green turtle  leather back turtle  humpback whale
Día de Guanacaste – Guanacaste Day celebrates the annexation of Guancaste from Nicaragua in 1824. Street fiestas, folk dancing, topes (horse show/parade), traditional bullfights, rodeos and cattle shows are particularily colorful and exhuberant in the eponymous northwest reg
Fri 24
Costa Rica Moon Phase ↑12:05 ↓23:27 ↑5:27 ↓18:04 ↑1:52
↑14:31
↓8:22
↓20:47
olive ridley turtle  green turtle  leather back turtlehumpback whale  quetzal nesting
green turtle  leather back turtle  humpback whale
Sat 25
Costa Rica Moon Phase ↑12:54 ↓0:10 ↑5:27 ↓18:03 ↑2:39
↑15:25
↓9:12
↓21:43
olive ridley turtle  green turtle  leather back turtlehumpback whale  quetzal nesting
green turtle  leather back turtle  humpback whale
Sun 26
Costa Rica Moon Phase ↑13:46 ↓0:56 ↑5:28 ↓18:03 ↑3:33
↑16:23
↓10:07
↓22:43
olive ridley turtle  green turtle  leather back turtlehumpback whale  quetzal nesting
green turtle  leather back turtle  humpback whale
Mon 27
Costa Rica Moon Phase ↑14:39 ↓1:45 ↑5:28 ↓18:03 ↑4:32
↑17:22
↓11:05
↓23:44
olive ridley turtle  green turtle  leather back turtlehumpback whale  quetzal nesting
green turtle  leather back turtle  humpback whale
Tue 28
Costa Rica Moon Phase ↑15:35 ↓2:38 ↑5:28 ↓18:03 ↑5:33
↑18:19
↓12:02
olive ridley turtle  green turtle  leather back turtlehumpback whale  quetzal nesting
green turtle  leather back turtle  humpback whale
Wed 29
Costa Rica Moon Phase ↑16:31 ↓3:34 ↑5:28 ↓18:03 ↑6:32
↑19:11
↓0:39
↓12:56
olive ridley turtle  green turtle  leather back turtlehumpback whale  quetzal nesting
green turtle  leather back turtle  humpback whale
Thu 30
Costa Rica Moon Phase ↑17:27 ↓4:32 ↑5:28 ↓18:02 ↑7:27
↑20:00
↓1:31
↓13:47
olive ridley turtle  green turtle  leather back turtlehumpback whale  quetzal nesting
green turtle  leather back turtle  humpback whale
Fri 31
Costa Rica Moon Phase ↑18:22 ↓5:32 ↑5:28 ↓18:02 ↑8:18
↑20:47
↓2:19
↓14:36
olive ridley turtle  green turtle  leather back turtlehumpback whale  quetzal nesting
green turtle  leather back turtle  humpback whale
Virgen de Los Angeles – National holiday celebrating the patron saint of Costa Rica, La Negrita. Special masses and a religious procession from San José to La Basilica de Cartago. Pilgrims come from all over the country, many on foot to celebrate the mass at Cartago.
Costa Rica Moon Phase sunrise and sunset
Costa Rica High and Low Tides
rainy 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.