Costa Rica July Print e-mail this info
Costa Rica July Rainfall Patterns
Costa Rica July rainfall patterns. It's the rainy season across the country. (©Toucan Guides)

When to Travel?

A few years ago only insiders and people in the know traveled to Costa Rica in July, but the secret is out.

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 begining 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.


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.

The estimated exchange rate is shown on the calendar below.

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.

Costa Rica July 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.

 July 2015

Exchange Rate 0 ¢ per $U.S.
Sunrise ↑ 5:22, Sunset ↓ 18:04























Fiesta de La Virgen del Mar








Día de Guanacaste









Virgen de Los Angeles

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

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

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

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 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 (5:22) and sunset (18:04) 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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