10 Reasons to Visit Costa Rica in Rainy Season

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By Angelica Troeder

 

Costa Rica is one of the most visited countries in the Northern Hemisphere. In 2015, over 2.6 million tourists came to frolick in the country’s cities, beaches, and rainforests. Visiting when the sun is out all day is what most travelers prefer, but what about when it’s Costa Rica’s rainy season? Is the rain a damper or does it add to the adventure? To fill you in, the rainy season is roughly from May through November and visiting during that time can be the best time to go.

 

Here are 10 reasons why you should visit Costa Rica in rainy season:

 

  1. Rainy Season is Green Season

Sunny days may be beautiful but Costa Rica is actually very dry and brown outside of rainy season! Much of the land dries up and does not look like what the world and social media has shown it to be. To see the luscious greens and rolling green hills we see in photos, you have to visit when it rains. Otherwise, you will be disappointed.

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  1. Nature at Its Best

Not only will the lands be green, but the rainforest adventure you have been picturing comes to life in rainy season. Huge green leaves, lush trees, and bountiful plants will be everywhere.

If you love a good storm, then you will get to watch plenty during Costa Rica’s rainy season. Get your camera out or turn off the lights and grab a bag of popcorn. Some of the best lightning and thunder occurs during these months and if sun does peek out, a rainbow is sure to show.

 

  1. Cooler temperatures

Although humidity comes with rain, the temperatures will cool down in the day and night compared to high season. This will make it more comfortable for everyone, especially if you hate sweating after a day at the beach. Sleeping becomes a bit easier also as you might not need the air conditioning some nights.

 

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  1. Less Crowds

During rainy season, you can have more room and more of everything for you. There are less crowds overall, which means it is faster to get around and do what you like. Excursions will not fill up as quickly and if you go out to a popular club or restaurant, chances are your service will be much quicker too.

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  1. Less Expensive

With the rain and less clouds come lower prices. It is cheaper to fly to Costa Rica during rainy season and hotels drop their prices. There still is a cost, as nothing is free, but you can get a better deal and put your savings aside for something else. Negotiate on the prices also in town, especially for locally sold food on the streets and tours.

 

  1. The Waterfalls

Back to nature – we could never forget the waterfalls. During dry season, they are smaller and those cool pools you want to plunge into may not even exist. During rainy season is when the waterfalls are at their fullest size. Find one, grab a rope, and jump in for a swim.

 

  1. The Rivers

Some of the best activities in Costa Rica include white water rafting, kayaking, and going for walks in the mud! Without rain, many of these activities would be impossible and some of the rivers dry up too much in the dry season. When it’s raining, these rivers are flowing and so are you with them.

 

  1. Ripe Fruits

This is the time of the ear when the fruits of Costa Rica ripen and are at their juiciest. June is the best time to eat their mango. Also try their papaya, cas, and guaba fruits which are available usually at the beginning of summer.

 

  1. Surfing the Waves

If you are a surfer, then surfing is at its peak in Costa Rica during the rainy season. Waves are plentiful, larger, and easier to find at the beaches. It gets much more calm in the dry season when some beaches can be like bays with almost no water. Catch those waves and hang ten.

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  1. Turtle Watching

Although wildlife is around year-round in Costa Rica, the rainy season is a special time for the turtles. It is easier to catch them mating and their eggs hatch in September. The most famous are the arribadas in Ostional where the turtles take up the entire beach usually and there is hardly any space to walk!

 

Have you visited Costa Rica in rainy season? What would you most look forward to doing while there?

All images in this article are by Angelica Troeder.

Budget List: Central America on a Shoestring

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By Natasha Lincoln

 

Central America is a wonderland: Lush jungles, pristine beaches, insane wildlife, active volcanoes, ancient ruins, vibrant culture, and so much more. Luckily for travelers, it is also incredibly affordable! Central America is right up there with S.E. Asia as one of the cheapest travel destinations. However, each country has fairly different costs; I hear of travelers all the time being shocked at prices in certain countries; Costa Rica, Belize, and Panama. Although they are still fairly inexpensive, compared to a lot of other travel destinations, it is still good to have an idea of how the different countries vary in prices. I listed the countries below from the most expensive, to the least.

 

I broke it down by calculating the average costs for traveling on a tight budget, and here is what I went by:

 

“A meal out” = A modest meal, at a modest restaurant.

“Accommodation” = A dorm bed in a typical hostel.

“Local Transportation” = Local bus systems, chicken buses, you know, not the fancy kind.

“Alcohol”= Amount per beverage; it’s all about the essentials.

 

Costa Rica– Costa Rica shocks a lot of travelers, not just with beautiful coast lines, jungles, and immense biodiversity, but also with it’s prices. After having traveled through Central America, most travelers are surprised by how much more, in comparison, things cost in Costa Rica.

Daily Cost: $28

A meal out: $7

Accommodation: $14

Local Transportation: $3.50

Alcohol: $3.50

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Panama- Panama is the southernmost country in Central America, and has a lot to offer: modern cities with crazy nightlife, rain forests, as well as more historic and cultural colonial cities. Prices can be a bit high, depending on where you are and what you are doing, but for the most part, is fairly affordable.

Daily Cost: $22

A meal out: $7

Accommodation: $10

Local Transportation: $3

Alcohol: $4

 

Belize- Belize is most known for it’s crystal clear, pristine waters, and is great for learning to scuba dive and for fishing. This country is certainly not the cheapest, but relatively moderate in pricing.

Daily Cost: $20

A meal out: $7

Accommodation: $9

Local Transportation: $2

Alcohol: $4

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Guatemala- Guatemala is the northernmost country is Central America and insanely beautiful; my personal favourite. The pricing is very affordable, and there are many rainforests to explore, volcanoes to hike, and ancient ruins to visit.

Daily Cost: $13

A meal out: $4

Accommodation: $4

Local Transportation: $2

Alcohol: $2

 

Honduras- Honduras is definitely an underrated country, it is just as beautiful as the other Central American countries, and one of the cheapest (next to Nicaragua). By knowing which areas to visit, you will have a wonderful time here.

Daily Cost: $12.50

A meal out: $3

Accommodation: $3

Local Transportation: $4.50

Alcohol: $2

 

Nicaragua: Nicaragua is probably the coolest country in Central America, aside from it being the cheapest and having lots of wildlife, beautiful beaches (awesome surfing!), and jungles… There is volcano boarding!

Daily Cost: $10

A meal out: $4

Accommodation: $4

Local Transportation: $0.50

Alcohol: $1.50

 

Other tips to save money:

 

Work trade

 

Central America is a dangerous vortex- One of the biggest lies I hear here is: “I will be leaving tomorrow.” A lot of travelers check into hostels for just a night or two, but end up staying for much longer. If you are wanting to extend your stays, there is an easy and free way to do this: work trade! Since Central America is such a popular destination for backpackers, there are an abundance of work trade opportunities. You can exchange work at a hostel, a farm, or with a local in exchange for free accommodation and (sometimes) food. Here are a few websites that help make this easy:

 

Work Away

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Wwoof

 

Hitchhiking

I have hitchhiked in several different regions of the world, and by far, Central America has been the most hitchhiker friendly; most people are picked up within 10-15 minutes (depending on the traffic in the area). You are free to do this at your own risk, but I have had great experiences getting to know people, and getting places for free this way.

 

Buy a Bottle of Rum

 

Like I said, the essentials. If you go out and buy drinks/shots at the bars, you may notice your money quickly disappearing. The best thing to do, at least in my experience, is to go to a large market and buy a (large) bottle of liquor for pregaming.

 

Eat at Sodas and Shop at Markets

 

Sodas are locally run and operated restaurants that are generally smaller, a lot cheaper, and completely locally run… It is a great way to experience local cuisine! Also, by shopping at markets and making dinner at a hostel (this is especially fun if you do it with a group of people), you will save a whole lot of money, and get to spend time getting to know interesting travelers.

 

Talking with travelers and locals

 

As you travel along, be social! I know this may seem obvious, but you will gain much greater advice on the best/cheapest places to go and things to do you from the people you meet while traveling than researching online. Try not to plan too much ahead, and keep your heart and mind open!

 

Central America is an absolutely beautiful and unique region of the world to explore. The more you can make your dollar stretch, the farther you can go and the more you can discover; luckily, this is rather easy to do!

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Happy discovering,

 

Natasha