Climate – As Good As It Gets
Costa Rica is about ten degrees north of the Equator. The climate is tropical overall, yet far from uniform throughout the country. In general, there is a wet (May-November) and a dry (December-April) season, the defining characteristic of tropical weather. But those seasons can mean entirely different weather realities depending on location. Micro-climates, even ‘nano-climates’ can have a profound influence on the weather. For a small country, there is wide variation in the weather.
A favored time to visit Costa Rica is early in the rainy season, late April through early May. At that time, Easter – a big time for locals to vacation – has passed. Some welcome rainfall may be starting, breaking the dry, dusty conditions, and letting the tropical flora flourish. The summer travel season for North America and Europe has yet to begin, so things are less crowded and prices can be more favorable.
Vistas Hermosita is located in one of the very most favorable climate zones.
The Puntarenas province in the southwestern coast benefits from a somewhat less dry climate than the Guanacaste Peninsula to the north, and a less wet and muggy climate than the Caribbean side of the country. Most visitors agree that the area surrounding Uvita, Dominical, and Manual Antonio is especially, even magically, beautiful.
The area around San Jose, where about half the population of just over 4 million lives, has a mild climate with relatively less variation between dry and wet seasons. This region offers no beach experience, but a visit to San Jose and the surrounding area can be a welcome respite from the dry heat of the dry season, or the muggy damp of the wet season on the coasts.
Yet, even though an area may have 100 or more inches of rainfall annually over two-thirds of that rain could occur on less than 15 days. On the west coast, the dry season – roughly December through April or May – can become exceedingly dry, dusty and parched, especially in the Guanacaste region where 100 years of intensive cattle ranching destroyed much hardwood forest. Conversely, in the cloud forests to the north and east, there can be drizzle almost every day.
Very strong and sustained winds from the northeast and the northwest during the dry season are not uncommon, especially in the northwest of the country. These can offer welcome sport for windsurfers on the lakes (like Lake Arenal), but be plain annoying and irritating to everyone else.
Vistas Hermosita is ideally located to avoid the extremes of both the dry and wet season. Artificial heating and cooling isn’t needed. Except for a few days of heavy rain during the rainy season, that can be truly extreme, with swollen rivers, and travel to some areas treacherous, almost every day is suitable for virtually any indoor or activity one might enjoy – with the exception of winter sports.
For winter sports, a short flight to an appropriate destination in the Andes is one attractive alternative.