Costa Rica calendar of events: January to April

A Costa Rica calendar of events will be a perfect guide for you to use for your next vacation. Be it an adventure, wildlife or pure leisure; this guide will be useful for you to get an idea about when is the most appropriate time for you in Costa Rica.

In this calendar we will see the holidays, the travel industry events, and of course, the wildlife.
As Costa Rica is as diverse as it is, it’s important to realize that there might be great things happening at the same time as the whales’ migration and the resplendent quetzal nesting… From the ocean to the mountains you can see both amazing events of nature.

Whale in Costa Rica Beach

In this first part, we will see Costa Rica in the dry season, from January to April. What you will or may see and events you don’t want to miss!

What to Expect Month by Month

January

Dry season: Pacific side, Central Valley, Southern Mountains.
Rainy season: All the Caribbean, Turrialba Valley and the Northern Plains (Including Sarapiquí and Arenal Volcano

Arenal Volcano Costa Rica

In this time of year, there might be cold fronts coming from the North, creating a cool feeling in the higher areas and a lot of wind in areas like The Arenal Volcano lake, Monteverde, the Guanacaste province, from the mountains to the beaches.

The start of January is a peak travel season in Costa Rica, as crowds from the Christmas and New Year holidays linger.

It is also the dry season in Costa Rica when clear skies accommodate travelers. The first months of the dry season are very appealing since the landscape looks verdant from the recent green season, despite the decreased precipitation.

Aquatic Wildlife: Alaska/California humpback whales; leatherback, hawksbill, olive ridley and green sea turtles on the Pacific coast.

Migratory Birds are in Costa Rica: 220 migratory bird species are in Costa Rica in this time of year.

You may also see the Montezuma Oropéndola nests upon the trees in the lower areas.

All mammals, including monkeys, sloths, agouti pacas, coatimundis, peccaries, tapirs and even the big cats like jaguars and pumas are visible (When they are visible of course!) all throughout the year.

Holidays and Events

It is pretty usual for people throughout Latin America to vacation in the week between Christmas and New Year’s, and you will find all popular vacation areas of Costa Rica packed, not only with the usual North American and European tourism but also with thousands of Latinamericans and Costa Ricans.

Mostly all hotels have dinners and carnivals that will be part of your stay (Paid separately in mostly all cases) and stays usually have to be three or four nights.

On that night you will see fireworks, hear a lot of music and even see people celebrating traditions like walking around with luggage in the streets (A Latin American legend that says that if you walk around your block with your luggage, you will be traveling all year round.).

February

Dry season: Pacific side, Central Valley, Southern Mountains.
Rainy season: All the Caribbean, Turrialba Valley and the Northern Plains (Including Sarapiqui and Arenal Volcano)

Manuel Antonio Beach in Costa Rica

We’re still in dry season, and the climate remains sunny and beautiful on the Pacific side.

In the Caribbean, it is quite unpredictable. It is the end of the rainy season, but if there is a cold front coming from the North, it will be wet.

Aquatic Wildlife: Alaska/California humpback whales; leatherback, hawksbill, olive ridley and green sea turtles on the Pacific coast.

Migratory Birds are in Costa Rica: 220 migratory bird species are in Costa Rica in this time of year.

All mammals, including monkeys, sloths, agouti pacas, coatimundis, peccaries, tapirs and even the big cats like jaguars and pumas are visible (When they are visible of course!) all throughout the year.

Holidays and Events

The first weekend in February / Rey Curre Village (In the area of Perez Zeledón in the South)
Kept by the Boruca people of the region, the multi-day Fiesta of the Diablitos praises to their ancestors and their victory over the Spanish conquerors. The men in the village dress up in the diablito dress with bright balsa masks.

Diablitos Party in Costa Rica

The main character representing the Spanish is the bull, and the rest of the men dress in “Diablito” masks, depicting the ancient conflict between the borucas and the Spaniards. During the dance, sometimes it appears the Spanish will succeed, although, of course at the end, the Borucas people win. Throughout the festival, the Borucas drink chicha, an old drink of fermented corn.

The Fiesta de los diablitos happens at the end of the year in the Boruca village and the Rey Curre that is on the first weekend of February.
It is accessible to the public, but you may be charged to take photos.

March

Sunny season at its best. The weather is sunny throughout Costa Rica. There are plenty of activities in San José, several open-air concerts and the touristic places are filled with travelers.

One of the perks of reading this Costa Rica calendar of events is to know that you must reserve earlier if you are coming for spring break or President’s Day weekend. Hotel space is limited over these preferred vacation dates, and some hotels raise rates in peak seasons. Reserve early.

Aquatic Wildlife: Alaska/California humpback whales; leatherback, hawksbill, olive ridley and green sea turtles on the Pacific coast.

Migratory Birds are going back home this month. You may still catch a glimpse of some species, but mostly all go back in this time of year.

Sloth in Costa Rica Rainforest

All mammals, including monkeys, sloths, agouti pacas, coatimundis, peccaries, tapirs and even the big cats like jaguars and pumas are visible (When they are visible of course!) all throughout the year.

In this time of year, birds begin their courtships and it is a fantastic period to see the herons displaying their magnificent wingspans, or if possible, to enjoy the mystical mating dance of the manakins (Known as the dancing birds)

April

Dry Season throughout all Costa Rica

The sunny season ends in April. It may be a little longer in the Northwest Peninsula of Nicoya, and the vegetation may look a bit too dry. Skies are clear, and temperature will rise while humidity is at its lowest point.

Holidays:

April 14th to 21st: Easter week.

This is a time of year when Costa Ricans go to the beach. And all Latin America has vacations. Places may be crowded and it is not a good idea to come without reservations.

In the year 2020, Easter Sunday will fall on April 12th so, our advice, is to reserve as soon as possible to get the best rooms and tours.

leatherback turtle in Costa Rica

Wildlife: leatherback & hawksbill sea turtles on the Caribbean coast; hawksbill, green, & olive ridley sea turtles on the Pacific coast

Migratory Birds are already gone back home.

All mammals, including monkeys, sloths, agouti pacas, coatimundis, peccaries, tapirs and even the big cats like jaguars and pumas are visible (When they are visible of course!) all throughout the year.

In this time of year, birds are already nesting and with chicks and it is absolutely great to see them trying their wings or being fed and protected by the parents.

In the following post, you will read about the green and rainy season months on this Costa Rica Calendar of Events that will prove to be super useful to plan your vacation!

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