September in Costa Rica

September rain map in Costa Rica
Costa Rica September rainfall patterns. September is one of the rainiest months on the west coast and one of the driest on the east.

When to Visit Costa Rica?


or see when to go summary

Notes:

The El Niño Weather pattern will have increased drying effects on Costa Rica’s Pacific side and will increase rainfall on the Caribbean 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 at least until the end of 2015 – see Choosing an Airport for more info.

September Weather

September is one of the rainiest months of the year on the west side and in the mountains of Costa Rica.  The Pacific beaches and central region get significant rain most days; generally with a pattern of sunny mornings followed by showers in the afternoon or evening. Occasionally tropical lows stall off west coast or the edge of a hurricane skims across from the Caribbean bringing several days of continuous heavy rains.

The southern Pacific and Osa peninsula are inundated by days or even weeks of continuous rainfall driven by westerly winds and referred to as temporales del Pacífico. Rain is measured in feet rather than inches.  Many of the lodges and tour operators are closed until November.

The Caribbean side of the country gets a reprieve in September and October as the Talamanca mountains force the moisture out of the westerly winds bringing clear weather especially in the southern Atlantic beach areas of Cahuita, Puerto Viejo and Manzanillo.

Planning Ahead & Reservations

In general “green season” (rainy season) travel is gaining popularity in Costa Rica, but it’s unlikely any except the most popular hotels will be booked in September.  You’re safe to travel without a fixed itinerary or reservations but watch road conditions to make sure you can get where you’re going (and don’t try Drake, Corcovado, Golfito, and/or Zancudo). If you do decide to travel to the southwest and Osa peninsula check to make sure that the hotels and lodges you’re interested in are actually open and accessible.

The drier weather in the southern Caribbean this time of year makes it a relatively undiscovered rainy season bargain but word is getting out quickly and if you have your heart set on a particular hotel you should probably have reservations.

Costs & Availability for Travel in September

Lower numbers of travelers mean lower prices and most places on the Pacific side offer discounts of 20-40% throughout September. On the Caribbean September is the high season so discounts are generally not available.

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

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

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.

September 2015
approximate exchange rate ¢532 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
dry season    wave size
Tue 1
Costa Rica Moon Phase ↑20:30 ↓8:11 ↑5:30 ↓17:48 ↑10:24
↑22:43
↓4:15
↓16:38
olive ridley turtle  green turtle  leather back turtlehumpback whale  quetzal nesting
green turtle  leather back turtle  humpback whale
Wed 2
Costa Rica Moon Phase ↑21:22 ↓9:09 ↑5:30 ↓17:47 ↑11:12
↑23:31
↓5:03
↓17:27
olive ridley turtle  green turtle  leather back turtlehumpback whale  quetzal nesting
green turtle  leather back turtle  humpback whale
Thu 3
Costa Rica Moon Phase ↑22:14 ↓10:07 ↑5:30 ↓17:47 ↑12:02
↓5:52
↓18:18
olive ridley turtle  green turtle  leather back turtlehumpback whale  quetzal nesting
green turtle  leather back turtle  humpback whale
Fri 4
Costa Rica Moon Phase ↑23:07 ↓11:04 ↑5:29 ↓17:46 ↑0:21
↑12:55
↓6:43
↓19:12
olive ridley turtle  green turtle  leather back turtlehumpback whale  quetzal nesting
green turtle  leather back turtle  humpback whale
Sat 5
Costa Rica Moon Phase ↑23:07 ↓11:59 ↑5:29 ↓17:46 ↑1:14
↑13:52
↓7:38
↓20:12
olive ridley turtle  green turtle  leather back turtlehumpback whale  quetzal nesting
green turtle  leather back turtle  humpback whale
Sun 6
Costa Rica Moon Phase ↑0:00 ↓12:52 ↑5:29 ↓17:45 ↑2:13
↑14:56
↓8:39
↓21:18
olive ridley turtle  green turtle  leather back turtlehumpback whale  quetzal nesting
green turtle  leather back turtle  humpback whale
Mon 7
Costa Rica Moon Phase ↑0:52 ↓13:43 ↑5:29 ↓17:44 ↑3:20
↑16:05
↓9:46
↓22:29
olive ridley turtle  green turtle  leather back turtlehumpback whale  quetzal nesting
green turtle  leather back turtle  humpback whale
Tue 8
Costa Rica Moon Phase ↑1:43 ↓14:32 ↑5:29 ↓17:44 ↑4:33
↑17:16
↓10:56
↓23:37
olive ridley turtle  green turtle  leather back turtlehumpback whale  quetzal nesting
green turtle  leather back turtle  humpback whale
Wed 9
Costa Rica Moon Phase ↑2:33 ↓15:18 ↑5:29 ↓17:43 ↑5:44
↑18:19
↓12:01
olive ridley turtle  green turtle  leather back turtlehumpback whale  quetzal nesting
green turtle  leather back turtle  humpback whale
Thu 10
Costa Rica Moon Phase ↑3:22 ↓16:01 ↑5:29 ↓17:42 ↑6:45
↑19:11
↓0:37
↓12:56
olive ridley turtle  green turtle  leather back turtlehumpback whale  quetzal nesting
green turtle  leather back turtle  humpback whale
Fri 11
Costa Rica Moon Phase ↑4:09 ↓16:43 ↑5:29 ↓17:42 ↑7:35
↑19:55
↓1:27
↓13:44
olive ridley turtle  green turtle  leather back turtlehumpback whale  quetzal nesting
green turtle  leather back turtle  humpback whale
Sat 12
Costa Rica Moon Phase ↑4:55 ↓17:23 ↑5:29 ↓17:41 ↑8:16
↑20:32
↓2:10
↓14:26
olive ridley turtle  green turtle  leather back turtlehumpback whale  quetzal nesting
green turtle  leather back turtle  humpback whale
Sun 13
Costa Rica Moon Phase ↑5:41 ↓18:03 ↑5:29 ↓17:41 ↑8:54
↑21:07
↓2:48
↓15:04
olive ridley turtle  green turtle  leather back turtlehumpback whale  quetzal nesting
green turtle  leather back turtle  humpback whale
Mon 14
Costa Rica Moon Phase ↑6:26 ↓18:42 ↑5:29 ↓17:40 ↑9:28
↑21:41
↓3:23
↓15:40
olive ridley turtle  green turtle  leather back turtlehumpback whale  quetzal nesting
green turtle  leather back turtle  humpback whale
Independence Day – Costa Rica gained independence from Spain on the same day as the rest of Central America in 1821. The nationwide celebration starts with parades, traditional dancers, and street parties and culminates with the arrival of the Freedom Torch in Cartago (del
Tue 15
Costa Rica Moon Phase ↑7:11 ↓19:23 ↑5:28 ↓17:39 ↑10:03
↑22:14
↓3:58
↓16:15
olive ridley turtle  green turtle  leather back turtlehumpback whale  quetzal nesting
green turtle  leather back turtle  humpback whale
Wed 16
Costa Rica Moon Phase ↑7:56 ↓20:04 ↑5:28 ↓17:39 ↑10:37
↑22:47
↓4:32
↓16:50
olive ridley turtle  green turtle  leather back turtlehumpback whale  quetzal nesting
green turtle  leather back turtle  humpback whale
Thu 17
Costa Rica Moon Phase ↑8:43 ↓20:47 ↑5:28 ↓17:38 ↑11:12
↑23:22
↓5:06
↓17:26
olive ridley turtle  green turtle  leather back turtlehumpback whale  quetzal nesting
green turtle  leather back turtle  humpback whale
Fri 18
Costa Rica Moon Phase ↑9:31 ↓21:32 ↑5:28 ↓17:37 ↑11:48
↑23:58
↓5:41
↓18:03
olive ridley turtle  green turtle  leather back turtlehumpback whale  quetzal nesting
green turtle  leather back turtle  humpback whale
Sat 19
Costa Rica Moon Phase ↑10:21 ↓22:19 ↑5:28 ↓17:37 ↑12:27
↓6:17
↓18:42
olive ridley turtle  green turtle  leather back turtlehumpback whale  quetzal nesting
green turtle  leather back turtle  humpback whale
Sun 20
Costa Rica Moon Phase ↑11:12 ↓23:09 ↑5:28 ↓17:36 ↑0:38
↑13:10
↓6:58
↓19:28
olive ridley turtle  green turtle  leather back turtlehumpback whale  quetzal nesting
green turtle  leather back turtle  humpback whale
Mon 21
Costa Rica Moon Phase ↑12:04 ↓23:09 ↑5:28 ↓17:36 ↑1:23
↑14:00
↓7:46
↓20:22
olive ridley turtle  green turtle  leather back turtlehumpback whale  quetzal nesting
green turtle  leather back turtle  humpback whale
Tue 22
Costa Rica Moon Phase ↑12:57 ↓0:02 ↑5:28 ↓17:35 ↑2:18
↑14:59
↓8:44
↓21:25
olive ridley turtle  green turtle  leather back turtlehumpback whale  quetzal nesting
green turtle  leather back turtle  humpback whale
Wed 23
Costa Rica Moon Phase ↑13:51 ↓0:58 ↑5:28 ↓17:34 ↑3:23
↑16:04
↓9:52
↓22:33
olive ridley turtle  green turtle  leather back turtlehumpback whale  quetzal nesting
green turtle  leather back turtle  humpback whale
Thu 24
Costa Rica Moon Phase ↑14:44 ↓1:55 ↑5:28 ↓17:34 ↑4:34
↑17:10
↓11:00
↓23:37
olive ridley turtle  green turtle  leather back turtlehumpback whale  quetzal nesting
green turtle  leather back turtle  humpback whale
Fri 25
Costa Rica Moon Phase ↑15:37 ↓2:53 ↑5:28 ↓17:33 ↑5:41
↑18:11
↓12:03
olive ridley turtle  green turtle  leather back turtlehumpback whale  quetzal nesting
green turtle  leather back turtle  humpback whale
Sat 26
Costa Rica Moon Phase ↑16:30 ↓3:53 ↑5:28 ↓17:32 ↑6:41
↑19:06
↓0:34
↓13:00
olive ridley turtle  green turtle  leather back turtlehumpback whale  quetzal nesting
green turtle  leather back turtle  humpback whale
Sun 27
Costa Rica Moon Phase ↑17:23 ↓4:52 ↑5:28 ↓17:32 ↑7:35
↑19:57
↓1:27
↓13:52
olive ridley turtle  green turtle  leather back turtlehumpback whale  quetzal nesting
green turtle  leather back turtle  humpback whale
Mon 28
Costa Rica Moon Phase ↑18:16 ↓5:52 ↑5:28 ↓17:31 ↑8:26
↑20:45
↓2:16
↓14:41
olive ridley turtle  green turtle  leather back turtlehumpback whale  quetzal nesting
green turtle  leather back turtle  humpback whale
Tue 29
Costa Rica Moon Phase ↑19:09 ↓6:52 ↑5:28 ↓17:30 ↑9:15
↑21:33
↓3:04
↓15:30
olive ridley turtle  green turtle  leather back turtlehumpback whale  quetzal nesting
green turtle  leather back turtle  humpback whale
Wed 30
Costa Rica Moon Phase ↑20:03 ↓7:52 ↑5:27 ↓17:30 ↑10:03
↑22:21
↓3:52
↓16:18
olive ridley turtle  green turtle  leather back turtlehumpback whale  quetzal nesting
green turtle  leather back turtle  humpback whale
Costa Rica Moon Phase sunrise and sunset
Costa Rica High and Low Tides
rainy season    wave size
dry    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.