Top 5 Reasons For Your Costa Rica Vacation During the Green Season
The green season: one of the numerous aliases for Costa Rica’s wetter months of May through November. It’s also known as the low tourism period, the rainy season and “invierno,” which translates as winter. While they all mean the same thing – smaller tourist crowds, discounted rates on Costa Rica vacation rentals and hotels, and regular bouts of afternoon showers – we prefer the term green season as it most aptly conveys the spectacular lushness that prevails. Even the dry grasslands of Guanacaste, the country’s most arid province, bursts with emerald greenery and Technicolor shades during this time of year. Here are five good reasons why you should leave your weather worries behind and experience the beauty of the green season.
While Mother Nature operates on her own clock, the green season typically begins in mid May and lasts through early December. Most companies in the tourist industry begin offering lower rates on hotels, vacation packages and beach rentals starting May 15. The savings can be phenomenal – anywhere from 15 to 40 percent off the high season tariffs. And if you offer to pay in cash or are planning an extended stay, you may be able to negotiate an even better deal. Look for special low season fares when you book your tours and accommodations and don’t be afraid to ask about discounts when paying in cash.
Adventure tours galore
A little rain won’t hamper your adventures in the land of Pura Vida. In fact, certain tours and activities are in their prime during the green season months. If you’re a wildlife buff, head to the Caribbean hamlet of Tortuguero to observe nesting sea turtles in action. July through October is the nesting period for green sea turtles, though loggerheads and hawksbills may also be spotted. Whitewater rafting is also most thrilling during this time, when rains have swelled the rivers to maximum levels, ensuring an adrenaline-pumping ride. And veteran surfers know that the green season months mean marathon waves in south Pacific hotspots like Pavones and Dominical.
Smaller crowds and empty beaches
Whether you’re planning a lazy beach holiday in Manuel Antonio, or have dreamt up the ultimate in romantic getaways, you can count on fewer crowds from May through November. June and July witness a slight spike in tourists with summer student groups, but a September or October visit guarantees a peaceful trip with smaller numbers of travelers and more one-on-one time with your naturalist guides.
Less expensive transportation
From your international flight to your in-country car rental, prices will be much easier on the wallet. Costa Rica boasts two international airports – Liberia and San Jose – offering more choices when booking your flight. With advance reservations and promo deals, you can save upwards of $200 per ticket during the rainy season months, outside of major holidays. If you’re headed to popular north Pacific beaches such as Playa del Coco, Papagayo, Flamingo or Tamarindo, look for low season discounted fares into the Liberia airport, a one-hour drive away.
Warm, tropical rain showers
Similar to other equatorial countries with two distinct seasons, the rainy period in Costa Rica is usually characterized by sunny mornings with afternoon thunderstorms and showers. It seldom rains all day. Plan your major adventure tours for the morning and then head back to your luxury digs for an afternoon waterworks display. It may begin drizzling as early as 2 p.m., but the showers generally start around 4 p.m. and last a few hours – the perfect timing for a pre-cocktail siesta!