Best Rainy Season Activities
From May-November, Costa Rica's green season brings sunny mornings, small crowds and seasonal discounts. Your best strategy to take advantage of the weather is by scheduling outdoor adventures in the morning, and indoor escapades for the afternoon. Even better, choose activities that hit their peak during the rainy season: snorkel in the southern Caribbean, watch sea turtles nesting in Tortuguero, or catch incredible waves in the south Pacific.
Home to more than 1,250 butterfly species, Costa Rica promises excellent opportunities to observe these colorful creatures. Butterfly farms are usually partially or completely indoors, with large open areas for butterflies to roam. La Paz Waterfall Gardens is the country’s largest butterfly garden with more than 4,000 butterflies soaring freely in a natural habitat the size of an American football field. Discover the incredible owl butterfly, whose camouflage truly resembles the nocturnal bird, and keep your eyes peeled for the metallic blue morpho, Costa Rica's most iconic butterfly.
Pure indulgence awaits at the country's top day spas, where you'll choose from volcanic mud wraps, deep-tissue massages and cleansing facials. Many spas also take a holistic approach, adding acupuncture, reiki and reflexology to their treatment menus. You'll be pampered with tropical touches like chocolate body wraps, coconut and ylang ylang oils, and macadamia nut body scrubs. Whether you’re at the beach, trekking through cloud forest, or visiting the capital city, a day spa is never far away.
Reserve the late afternoon, after the rains have tapered off, to take a dip in one of Arenal's volcanic hot springs. Most facilities offer several pools that range from refreshingly cool to downright steamy, and several throw in extras like waterslides and swim-up bars. If you have the evening free, add a buffet dinner to your hot spring package and enjoy a delicious meal followed by an evening of moonlit bathing and stargazing.
Snorkeling & Scuba Diving
Escape from the rain beneath the sea, where the green season heralds some of Costa Rica's best snorkeling and scuba diving opportunities. The north Pacific coast heats up from May-December, when excellent visibility promises prime views of the region's shipwrecks and ocean caves. Or, enjoy visiting the country's two living coral reefs and unique underwater formations in the southern Caribbean.
You can't hang ten without getting wet, so why not brave the waves during peak season? The country has plenty of surf spots that hit their peak during the rainy season months. The beach at Pavones, home to one of the longest left-point breaks in the world, boasts the best surf from April through October, while Drake Bay, Cabo Matapalo and Playa Zancudo offer a tamer challenge from May and November.
Costa Rica's turtle nesting hotspots welcome sea turtles during the green season. Turtle tours take place in the evening, when these marine creatures come ashore to lay their eggs. In Tortuguero, you'll have the chance to spot loggerhead, hawksbill and, most commonly, green sea turtles; Gandoca-Manzanillo Wildlife Refuge protects hawksbill sea turtles; Las Baulas National Marine Park welcomes leatherbacks; and the famous Olive Ridley arribadas (egg-laying episodes) are at Ostional National Wildlife Refuge.