Costa Rica September Print e-mail this info
Costa Rica September Rainfall Patterns
Costa Rica September rainfall patterns.  September is one of the rainiest months on the west coast and one of the driest on the east. (©Toucan Guides)

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 fully booked.  If you want the flexibility of traveling without a fixed itinerary or reservations September can be a good choice (as long as you don't want to go to 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.

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

Costa Rica September Calendar

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

 September 2015

Exchange Rate 0 ¢ per $U.S.
Sunrise ↑ 5:30, Sunset ↓ 17:48




















Independence Day


















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

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

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 (5:30) and sunset (17:48) 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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