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9 reasons to visit Costa Rica during the Green Season (May through November)
Waiting for Costa Rica’s dry season (December through April)? You may be missing out on the more intense experience happening during the green (low/rainy) season, which runs from May to November. Here's every reason to explore Costa Rica during this period, even with the rain showers and all.
Hotels drop their rates significantly in green season, which runs from May to November (mid-December), charging about 30 percent less than during the drier high season. In August, rates dip to their lowest, and are discounted as much as 50 percent.
Score a stay at the magical Lapa Rios, surrounded by wildlife on the pristine Osa Peninsula, for $280 per night (verses $430 in high season). Or stay in buzzy Papagayo at the country’s newest resort, the 85-suite El Mangroove, for $192 a night ($345 in the peak season).
While summer vacationers flood the country from June to July, the rest of the green season sees a lull and diminished crowds.
At Rainforest Adventures’ Atlantic park, less than an hour from San Jose and on the border of Braulio Carrillo National Park, that could mean zipping through the forest like you own the place.
Green season means more showers throughout the day, but mornings are still warm and clear, with plenty of time to hit the pool or beach.
Surfers should check out the excellent break at Nosaro Playa Guiones, a quick jungle trek from the low-key Harmony Hotel. Cool off with the afternoon rains—if they come at all—and look forward to clear skies by sunset.
Impossible as it seems, the green season is proof that Costa Rica can be even more lush, abundant, and, well, green. Frequent rains power blooming fruits and flowers, which draw more birds and butterflies, like the blue morpho. Watch it unfold when you wander the new hummingbird and orchid gardens at Rainforest Adventures.
August marks the start of turtle nesting season on the Osa Peninsula.
Take a guided tour from Lapa Rios, and watch the teeny baby turtles emerge through November. Just offshore in the warm waters of the Gulfo Dulce, spot humpback whales, already arriving to have their calves through October.
Most Costa Rican coffee harvests begin in the green season.
In the Central Valley at Finca Rosa Blanca, a sustainable hotel and organic coffee plantation, join local pickers in plucking the red berries from October to December.
No matter the season, take the coffee farm tour followed by a fresh-as-fresh cup.
More rain not only makes white water rafting possible, it often stirs up Costa Rica’s biggest, baddest, and most furious rapids.
Join outfitter Rios Tropicales, for a paddle—and heart-thumping thrills—down the Pacuare River, which can dish up class IV rapids in green season.
«The forest comes alive in the rainy season,» says Edwin Villarreal, a naturalist guide at Lapa Rios, «especially at night.»
See for yourself on the eco lodge’s freaky, guided night hike past Halloween crabs, tarantulas, kinkajous, and cat-eyed snakes and adorable red-eyed tree frogs—the last two of which love the added humidity.
It’s not everyday you get to stand in a primary rainforest in the middle of a storm. Leaves reaching for light flap under the drill of raindrops, golden orb spiders hold tight to their webs, and sloths inch slowly, if at all, just like on any other day.
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