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Geography and Climate Costa Rica - Costa Rica Travel Guide and Travel Information

Travel Guide - Costa Rica



Rugged highlands are found throughout most of the country, ranging from approximately 1,000 to 2,000 meters (3,000 to 6,000 feet above sea level). The Guanacaste Mountain Range, Central Mountain Range, and Talamanca Mountain Range are the main mountain ranges extending the entire length of the country. There are several active volcanoes (Arenal Volcano, Irazu Volcano, Rincon de la Vieja Volcano and Turrialba Volcano) and the country’s highest mountain (Chirripo Hill) with a height of 3,819 m/12,530 ft. The country has a relatively long coastline in both the Atlantic and Pacific oceans, as well as a number of rivers and streams that attract specialist kayakers and rafters from all over the world.

Climate in Costa Rica

Costa Rica’s reputation as a tropical paradise precedes it and with sun, sea and surf, it’s a notoriety well deserved. This country boasts a range of different climates so that there really is something for everyone.
With its long coasts of Caribbean and Pacific beaches as well as mountainous highlands, thick rain forests, and abundant valleys there are many different climates to choose from.
To change your weather in Costa Rica you must change your altitude, which in turn will change the amount of rain fall.
Go to the highland city of Monteverde for example and you’ll be surrounded by a cool mist and fog for most of the year. The Pacific coast around Guanacaste, on the other hand is hot and dry, perfect for the many world-class beaches.
Costa Rica itself has an average temperature of 70 to 81 F (21 to 27 C). Due to its proximity to the equator, it has no real summer or winter.
It does however have a rainy season from May to November. Average rainfall in Costa Rica is around 100 inches a year, but some areas in Costa Rica’s mountains can get 25 feet of rainfall annually.

The Caribbean coast has its own microclimate thanks to continual trade winds that keep the climate hot and moist, with rain year around.
Many people think that the country’s capital of San José and the Central Valley boast the best weather in the country. At altitudes that vary around 2,000 feet above sea level, the average temperature is near perfect at 72 F (22 C).
Costa Rica’s lowlands and coastal areas have an average temperature of 79 F (26 C), if you like warm weather. In fact, if you are looking for a warm climate, head to Costa Rica’s northern Pacific coast. Known as the Gold Coast, this area receives the least rainfall and has more sunny days than anywhere else in the country


Enjoy the sun, but carefully

Going to the beach is a must when traveling to Costa Rica and a nice suntan is always possible. It is not advisable however, to try to tan in just one day because it takes 24 to 48 hours for the skin to produce melanin, a dark pigment that reduces the aging process caused by sunburn. The healthiest thing for you to do is to use a PABA-free suntan or UV sun blocking lotion.