May is officially the start of the rainy season in Costa Rica. But don’t worry too much, because the heavy rains don’t show up until later in the season.
In fact, May is a beautiful time to be in the country. This is the start of low season, so the dry season crowds are dissipating, which means that tourists attractions are quieter and costs for hotels and flights are much lower.
Here’s our guide to the best places to visit in Costa Rica in May.
Weather in Costa Rica in May
Yes, this is the start of the rainy season in Costa Rica, but that doesn’t mean the weather is instantly going to switch from clear skies to torrential thunderstorms. May is a transitional month. The weather can start to become a little rainy, but it’s not going to ruin your holiday.
It’s a good tip to take advantage of the lower prices and save your holiday until May if you want to save money and have a more peaceful time in Costa Rica, in comparison to the much busier dry season.
Are there Events & Festivals in Costa Rica in May?
There’s always a lot going on in Costa Rica, no matter which month it is. May is no exception. A big public holiday is Labour Day, and you can expect there to be exciting sporting events in stadiums, and plenty of street parties and fiestas across the country.
Many food festivals are also held throughout May, including chocolate festivals in San Jose, as the locals celebrate the start of the rains by eating and drinking. Many individual towns will host fiestas in May as well, celebrating their local patron saint. Again, there are always lots of eating and drinking to enjoy.
Best Things to See & Do in Costa Rica in May?
There are a lot of great things to see and to do in Costa Rica in May. Best of all, you’ll find that the tourist crowds are starting to disappear, too.
If you want to be guaranteed a mostly dry trip to Costa Rica in May, then keep to the north. In particular, head northwest to the Nicoya Peninsula, the driest place to be in May. Here you can enjoy the beautiful beaches and national parks of this scenic region, visiting the likes of Palo Verde National Park and Barra Honda National Park. If you’re looking for a little luxury though, head to the Papagayo Peninsula, also in the northwest, where you can enjoy beach resorts with lower prices and beautiful beaches with few other tourists to share them with.
Inland, head to the Arenal Volcano to hike the trails around this spectacular volcanic peak, before the rains begin to make access in or out more difficult. Or visit the Monteverde Cloud Forest to see the famed tall trees surrounded in mist – with quieter crowds than earlier in the year.
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