Costa Rica February Print e-mail this info
Costa Rica February Rainfall Patterns
Costa Rica February rainfall patterns.  February is solidly in the dry season for the central and Pacific zones. (©Toucan Guides)

When to Travel?

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 destinationations and while it is high season, availability is reasonable (sometimes even only a couple of weeks in advance) and there are no peak season surcharges (like Christmas, New Years and Spring Break/Easter - see below for details).

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 likelyhood of temporales del Atlantico (polar air pushes across the Gulf of Mexico picking up heat and moisture then deposits it as continous 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 Chirripo 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 a year in advance.

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.

The approximate predicted currency exchange rate is shown on the calendar below.

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.


Costa Rica February Calendar

This calendar shows natural events, turtle nesting, festivals for the upcoming February to help you to plan ahead. The symbols and how to use them to choose the best time to travel are explained at the bottom.

 February 2016

Exchange Rate 0 ¢ per $U.S.
Sunrise ↑ 6:01, Sunset ↓ 17:44















Ash Wed.






Fiesta de los Diablitos









Carnival and Festival del Mar









February Holidays & Festival Notes
indicates an official government and bank holiday when most businesses are closed

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

Carnival and Festival del Mar-A week of local celebrations in Puntarenas and Quepos including street fairs and fiestas, dancing and sporting events.

Costa Rica Calendar Symbol Legend
Price SymbolsSeasonal pricing is indicated by dollars signs. A single $ indicates low season pricing. Two $$ are shown for dates when some properties still have low season prices but others have switched to high season. Three $$$ indicates high season and four $$$$ are shown for dates when the more popular hotels add a holiday surcharge on top of the high season prices. In general the higher the cost at the time you are traveling the more adviseable it is to make reservations and the farther in advance you need to make them. 

Tide SymbolsHigh and low tides are shown for the Pacific coast (Caribbean tides about 15 minutes earlier) and are appropriate for timing surf outings where the break is better on a particular tide or planning a beach walk, but not intended for navigation. Please check locally for precise times for tides when trekking beach routes that require low tide to complete (e.g. in Corcovado). 

Full moonMoon phases and rise and set times are helpful when choosing a date for a moonlight canopy tour (best under a full moon), turtle viewing (see below), or a night hike (best under the dark skies of a new moon when nocturnal animals are most active). Sunrise (6:01) and sunset (17:44) times are for the first of the month and vary by less than ten minutes over the course of the month.

turtle symbols The turtle symbols indicate the best nights to observe mass nesting of Olive Ridley (Lepidochelys olivacea) sea turtles at Playas Nancite and Ostional when up to 40,000 turtles come ashore in events locally refered to as arribadas (arrivals).  A large symbol means more turtles are nesting at that time of year (a big symbol means the peak of nesting season) and the solid symbols indicates the nights when the moon is in its last quarter and the chances are almost five times greater for an arribada than the other moon phases. A big solid turtle symbol represents the best bet for a good viewing night.

Do you have a community event you would like to add, a festival we overlooked or a change in a date? Please contact us and let us know about it.


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