Central America - Central America/Costa Rica, bad idea in October?
Jul 29, 08, 1:46 pm
We were originally planning a trip to Costa Rica in October to celebrate my birthday... I knew it was the low season, but the manager of one of the villas we were looking at asked if there was any way we could come before or after October -- that it was definitely the rainiest month of the year.
Has anyone else experienced this, and is it that wet across all of Central America in October?
Jul 30, 08, 12:52 pm
If you want to know how rainy it's likely to be in CR and other parts of Central America in October, this website is helpful:
We were in CR last year in August, visiting both the Caribbean and Pacific coasts from a base in the highlands (Lago Arenal). We had a lot of rain, especially in the highlands where it poured. But that's what you expect in the rain forest! and despite it we had a great time. So I wouldn't hesitate to travel in October, unless you've got a water allergy.
Aug 1, 08, 11:05 am
Well, I'm going in November, and everything I look at makes it seem like it will be rainy. My previous visit was in December. Yep. Rainy. Looking at a climate map I pulled up on the internet, seems like what the other poster said -- "It's a rain forest, it's gonna rain." I don't plan to worry about it.
I just ran the numbers from the site given above, converted to inches, and get 5.85 inches of rain in November total for Alajuela. Not very scary for someone from New Orleans, unless it all comes in one day. For October it was a bit over 13.3 inches, with some of the rain expected every day. So it seems like it will be wet but not ridiculously wet. I've had good birding experiences in the rain because it may bring the birds down and keep the temperatures down. Examples would be my previous trip to Costa Rica, a remarkable day in a remnant patch of rain forest in Veracruz state in October where we saw an amazing variety of migrants very close, Manoa Falls area on Oahu (158 inches per year). Depends on what you're visiting for. You probably won't be getting a tan.
Aug 2, 08, 5:25 pm
But do as we do and get out early in the day. Usually the rains don't come until around 1pm, depending on where you are. The higher the elevation, the more wet. Bring a good umbrella and make sure the windshield wipers work on your rental vehicle!
Aug 7, 08, 10:24 pm
It will definitely be rainy and there may be some days when it is raining from before you get up until after you go to bed. It's not just that afternoon rain like you get in Florida. Some parts of the country get more rain in a year than London, Seattle, and Portland combined.
But parts of it are better than others. The northern Pacific coast for example, where all the retirees are buying $500K condos, is significantly drier.
Aug 12, 08, 4:28 pm
October is very rainy, even in Guanacaste in the northwest. If hanging out at the beach was a primary objective, you may want to reconsider. Also take into account that the heavy rain makes driving more difficult and slower.
The first two weeks of November can be bad rainwise, but the last two weeks it usualy lets up. Of course some years the rains extend all the way into October.
BTW, CR can be a lot rainier than NO; San Jose gets 73 inches a year versus 67 or so for NO. IIRC, San Jose would be the rainiest city in the US if it were located there. Guanacaste is less rainy (about 50 inches per year depending on the location), while parts of the Caribbean are extremely rainy (160 inches per year).
Aug 14, 08, 1:49 pm
I don't know if October is a bad idea or not. There's usually a "veranillo" - translated as little summer, but better thought of as a little dry season - somewhere between August and October. It can last two months or so, so if you hit the veranillo, you should be drier than you would otherwise think.
I agree Guanacaste is the way to go if you want to avoid the rain. Anywhere on the west coast except for the southwest (Osa Peninsula, Manuel Antonio) is likely to be drier.
FWIW, rain not only affects beach weather, but snorkeling or diving gets bad during and after heavy rains.