Costa Rica March Print e-mail this info
Costa Rica March Rainfall Patterns
Costa Rica weather map - March.  March is the dry season and the weather is fine across the country. (©Toucan Guides)

When to Travel?

Early March could be the best time for a Costa Rica vacation. The most popular destinations have hot dry weather and many popular hotels and lodges have some rooms available even a couple of weeks ahead. Later in March Spring Break and Costa Rica's Easter vacations (see calendar below and for April) combine to reduce availability and raise prices.

March Weather

March is the heart of the Costa Rican dry season. The western and central regions of Costa Rica have sunny weather, nearly no rain and surprisingly low humididity.  The tropical dry forests covering the lowlands of Guanacaste and the Nicoya Peninsula have dropped their leaves and some are flowering in spectacular displays.

March is also a drier months on the Caribbean coast but this region is covered in lowland rainforest that never experiences the dry dusty conditions that prevail on the Pacific north during the dry season.

Temperatures on the beaches and at low elevations are hot with highs in the upper eighties and lows in the upper seventies. Moving up in elevation things cool down and the Central Valley and San José are a few degrees cooler. Monteverde, Savegre and Los Angeles cloud forests have temperatures 20 or even 30 degrees lower.

Planning Ahead & Reservations

Advance reservations are strongly recommended for mid priced hotels and lodges in March and are essential for all but budget accommodations around Easter. Many popular places (especially in beach areas) have minimum stays of 3-6 nights for the peak season.

Costs & Availability for Travel in March

Easter and the preceding week (Semana Santa or Holy Week) are the busiest time on the Costa Rica travel calendar (exact dates shown below). Cold weather and spring break up north, school and work holidays in Costa Rica, and perfect weather on the beach combine to send demand soaring. Discounts are rare for quality properties and many have peak season surcharges around the holiday.

If you want the flexibility of traveling without reservations early March is better than later in the month and you'll be much happier if you avoid easter week. You may not get your first choice, but with a good guidebook you should be able to find something acceptable if you plan on looking in the morning.

Airfare rarely goes on sale for the peak travel months but if it does it's usually several months in advance. If you plan ahead and set a fare alert on a search site like there are occasional bargains - for 2012 peak dates there were tickets available for less than half price at the beginning of September 2011 to announce the opening of the new terminal at Liberia international airport.

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

Alternatives to March in Costa Rica

Depending on the timing of Easter you may consider shifting into February, or April for similar weather with less crowds.

Costa Rica March Calendar

This calendar shows natural events, turtle nesting, festivals and more for the upcoming March 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.

 March 2016

Exchange Rate 0 ¢ per $U.S.
Sunrise ↑ 5:53, Sunset ↓ 17:49


















Día de los Boyeros







Día de San José


Palm Sun.


Semana Santa




Maundy Thu.


Good Fri.










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

Día de los Boyeros-Oxcart driver's day takes place on the second Sunday in March. A parade of beautifully handmade and painted oxcarts and driving competitions are surrounded by traditional costumes, food and dancing in San Antonio de Escazú. One of the most colorful celeb

Día de San José-Saint Joseph is the patron saint of the capital city San José, and the day is recognized nationwide by Catholics with special masses (especially in the many other towns and communities named San José). It is an official business, bank and school holiday i

Semana Santa-Holy week is observed with religious processions and masses. Starting on Thursday essentially nothing is open and even public transportation does not run until after Easter Sunday

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 (5:53) and sunset (17:49) 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.


Costa Rica map
Costa Rica Beaches, Town, Park, Reserve, Volcano and River search

Active Adventures
Waterfall Rapelling, Surfing, White Water Rafting, Snorkelling and Zip-Lines. Adventures of a lifetime
Inclusive Vacations
Relax with a cool drink (included of course) under a palm tree on a perfect tropical beach
view trips...
Wildlife and Nature
Costa Rica is rightly famous for its wildlife and ecological diversity. Plans optimized for birdwatchers and nature lovers.
see suggestions...