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Costa Rica climate guide
Read our complete guide to the climate in Costa Rica.
|Maximum daytime temperature °C|
|Hours of sunshine (daily)|
|Days with some rainfall|
Below are average maximum temperatures at popular destinations in Costa Rica for next month - January. Select a destination to see the climate guide for all months of the year.
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The climate guide for Costa Rica (San Jose) shows long term monthly weather averages processed from data supplied by CRU (University of East Anglia), the Met Office & the Netherlands Meteorological Institute. Find out more about our data sources.
Metric (°C / mm) | Imperial (°F / inches)
Costa Rica climate overview
Costa Rica lies in Central America and has both Caribbean and Pacific coastlines. Spanish architecture and language is all that remains from its colonial past. Today, the economy relies on light industry and agricultural exports, with coffee and bananas the main cash crops.
Running down the spine of the country is a series of volcanic mountain chains forming a high-altitude plateau. A few hissing volcanoes are still active as well as boiling mud pools, craters, and sulphur springs. Fertile volcanic soils support several types of forest, with lush tropical rainforest dominating.
The climate on the plateau is tropical and very wet for most of the year, although a brief drier winter period runs from December to April. Due to the altitude, temperatures are comfortable in the winter and warm, rather than hot, in the summer.
Eastward from the central mountains, a lowland plain runs down to the Caribbean Sea. Costa Rica's east coast has beautiful white sandy beaches but also miles of mangroves. The tropical climate produces rainfall in all months, and as a result, the eastern half of the country is also fairly cloudy. A combination of hot summer temperatures and high coastal humidity, make for oppressive conditions at times.
Extensive savannahs dominate the Pacific coastal plain. A huge national park in the north is home to a vast area of tropical rainforest, along with deciduous and non-deciduous forests, while the coastline itself is rugged. A well-defined sunny and dry winter spell runs from December to April, followed by a wet, hot and humid summer season.
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