Beat the crowds in the green season

When is the Best Time to Visit Costa Rica?

This week is President’s Week.  Our hotels, resorts and lodges have been booked solid for this specific week for months.  Last Saturday, the San Jose airport nearly collapsed with wait times in immigration of more than one hour.  The beaches are super busy, restaurants jam packed and it is hard to get a space on activities such as canopy tours, horseback riding and whitewater rafting.

Beach Honeymoon in Costa Rica
The green season in Costa Rica and Nicaragua is especially popular with honeymooners. Having a beach to yourself is not unusual that time of the year. Especially in the locations where the Cayuga Collection Hotels and Resorts are located.

So why do so many people come to Costa Rica in the peak season?  Most likely it is all about the weather.   Cold, grey and grim weather in the north.  Everybody wearing boots, sweater and scarfs wants to put on shorts, flip flops and have a cold drink at the beach.  Very understandable.  We have lived through winters up north and are thankful for the all year around great weather here in Costa Rica and Nicaragua.

So where you live will determine what the best time to visit Costa Rica is.  Somebody from Chicago, Philadelphia or Boston will most likely want to escape winter for a bit between October and April but somebody from San Diego, Phoenix, Dallas or Miami might want to escape humidity or extreme dry conditions and 100 degree plus heat between May and September.  Coming to Costa Rica to “escape the heat up north”?  Sounds funny, but it makes sense…

Manueul Antonio Beach
It is not usual to find the beaches of Manuel Antonio so deserted. A great benefit of a visit in the Green Season from May through November.

As operators of sustainable luxury hotels, resorts and eco lodges, we try to encourage guests to come during the off season when demand is lower and our most powerful tool is rates and promotions.  It is not unusual to pay less than half for the same room and same experience during a stay in May or June versus a stay in February or March.  Airline fares are often less than half price as well, but even with all of those economic factors in favor of the traveler, we still struggle to sell rooms in the off season.

It is also important to keep in mind that visiting a destination during the off season is much more sustainable then visiting during the peak season when all public services are at full capacity.  See last months blog:  How Travel during the Peak Season is Not Sustainable.

Beach in front of Latitude 10 Resort in Santa Teresa
The benefits of the green season. A hammock all to yourself at the beach in Santa Teresa, Costa Rica.

A lot of the reason for the lack of demand for the off season might have to do with the lack of information what the experience of visiting Costa Rica or Nicaragua is like during the months of April through November.  Let’s “dis-spell” some of the myths of the “green” or rainy season:

“It rains all the time, which makes it impossible to engage in all the tours and activities and enjoy the beaches.”

Not true!  It usually rains only for a few hours during the day, most often in the afternoon and at night.  The rain is “warm” rain and in most cases does not influence the activities and tours.  It can actually make them more fun, authentic and unique.  Don’t be scared off by tropical rain showers.  Look forward to them.  They are magical!!!

Beach near Corcovado National Park in Costa Rica
A walk at a deserted beach or catching a wave with nobody getting in your way.  The benefits of the green season in Costa Rica or Nicaragua.

“It is hard to see wildlife during the rainy season”.

Wrong again.    More rain equals more life.  Frequent showers and high humidity are a given during the country’s rainy season, but so are cooler temperatures, an explosion of vibrant flora and fauna, and an abundance of emerging wildlife. August through November, the remote Osa Peninsula, home to the fantastic Corcovado National Park (where jaguars and pumas roam), sees nesting turtles and their hatchlings on the beaches. Humpback whales are in the Uvita area, just beginning to arrive in late July to have their calves. In the rain forest, now more lush and exuberant than at any other time of year, you can see exotic species and abundant wildlife.

wildlife observation in Manuel Antonio, Costa Rica
Wildlife is active throughout the year. But during the rainy season, it is often easier to observe the animals better and to get closer.

Keep in mind that while rain is more frequent in the green season, it often comes and goes quickly, and there can be days at a time where it doesn’t rain at all.   Weather patterns are changing all around the world and we had a couple of days of rain this February and weeks of uninterrupted sunshine in the “rainy season” months of May through November.

Mornings are usually sunny and warm, with plenty of time to hit the beaches and pools. Still, if you’re lucky, you’ll get to experience the magic of being in a rain forest during a rainstorm, with massive leaves glistening around you and everything buzzing.

One of four native species of monkeys in Costa Rica.
You are guaranteed to see wildlife in the locations of the Cayuga Collection of Sustainable Luxury Hotels and Lodges all through the year.

Take a look at our green season values that offer savings of up to 50% in comparison to the high season rates.  Let us know if you need any help and feel free to contact us at [email protected] or click here.

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