Costa Rica Weather in January

What's the weather like in Costa Rica in January? Luckily, January falls during Costa Rica’s dry season. In general, the weather is typically warm and sunny, with low humidity and little rainfall. Coastal areas like Nicoya tend to be more humid, while the Central Valley has a milder climate. Although January is the dry season in many parts of the country, rain is still possible in some regions.

What is the weather like in Costa Rica in January?

In general, the weather in Costa Rica during January is typically warm and sunny, with low humidity and little rainfall. It's one of the best months to visit Costa Rica, just after the busy December month and outside the international holiday months.

Average temperatures during the day are typically in the high 70°Fs to low 80°Fs (25-28°C) with nighttime temperatures dropping to the low 70°Fs (21-23°C). However, temperatures can vary depending on the location and elevation.

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Is Costa Rica warm in January?

Costa Rica is warm in January with the country in its dry season, characterized by hot sunny days and minimal rainfall. The average temperatures vary across different regions. In coastal areas, like Tamarindo, Jaco, or Manuel Antonio, you can expect temperatures around 30°C (86°F), providing ideal conditions for sunbathing and water sports.

In the mountainous regions, temperatures tend to be cooler, ranging from 18-22°C (64-72°F), creating a comfortable environment for exploring the lush green landscape of Manuel Antonio National Park or trying to spot monkeys, sloths and toucans at Corcovado National Park.

espadilla beach and Coastline near the Manuel Antonio national park, Costa Rica © Shutterstock

Espadilla beach and Coastline near the Manuel Antonio national park © Shutterstock

Is January a good time to visit Costa Rica?

January is considered a great time to visit Costa Rica, especially for outdoor activities like hiking the Osa Peninsula in the far south of the country. This biologically rich, coastal rainforest is one of Costa Rica’s finest destinations for walking and wildlife-spotting.

January is a good time to visit the best beaches too. Head to Islas Tortuga, off the Nicoya Peninsula, where pristine white sands, palm trees, and lush jungle await. The sportfishing season also runs from January to May.

Parque Nacional Palo Verde is also of interest to serious birders between January and March when most of the 250 or so migratory species are in residence here.

This ultimate Costa Rica trip couldn't be better suited to a visit to Costa Rica in January. Spend a few days around Arenal volcano & the Cloud Forest Monteverde before heading to the coast - a beautiful hotel at the Gulf of Papagayo invites you to relax and for some water activities.

Average rainfall in Costa Rica in January?

In January, Costa Rica experiences varying levels of rainfall across different regions. The average rainfall ranges from approximately 30 mm (1.2 inches) to 200 mm (7.9 inches).

The Caribbean coast, including areas like Tortuguero National Park and Puerto Limón, generally receives higher rainfall, with averages around 150-200 mm (5.9-7.9 inches). The Central Valley, where the capital city of San José is located, experiences moderate rainfall, typically ranging from 30 to 70 mm (1.2-2.8 inches).

The northern Pacific coast, including popular tourist destinations like Tamarindo and Liberia, generally has lower rainfall, averaging around 30-50 mm (1.2-2 inches) during January.

Playa-Tamarindo-costa-rica-shutterstock_184286795

Playa Tamarindo © Shutterstock

Festivals and events in Costa Rica in January

There are several festivals and events that take place in Costa Rica during the month of January. Here are some of them:

  • New Year’s Day: Celebrated on 1 January. Revellers who were partying in the clubs the night before gather in San José’s Parque Central and Buenos Aires, and Puntarenas to continue the festivities at dances.
  • Fiestas Palmares: This is a 12-day event that takes place in Palmares, a town in the Central Valley region of Costa Rica. The festival features music, parades, bullfights, carnival rides, and other activities. It usually runs from the second to the fourth week of January.

Ready for your dream trip to Costa Rica in January?

Our tailor-made trip service allows you to go on the trip of your dreams without the planning or hassle. All of our planned itineraries are created by local travel experts and can be tailored to meet your specific needs.

  • Costa Rica: Coast to Coast (12 days): From paradise beaches, scenic narrow waterways and magical rainforests, Costa Rica has much to offer. Head east and discover the tranquil Caribbean Sea, head west for the tumultuous Pacific Ocean and surfer’s paradise.
  • A Self Drive Caribbean Adventure (10 days): Embark on a Costa Rican adventure along the Caribbean coast with your rental car. Explore Boca Pacuare, witness turtle nesting, experience Cahuita's unique culture, and bask in the beauty of Puerto Viejo's beaches. Your journey concludes in Turrialba, where the country's primary archaeological monument awaits.
  • Or discover more Costa Rica itineraries.
Rough Guides Editors

written by Rough Guides Editors

updated 2.02.2024

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