While September falls within the country's rainy season, often referred to as the ‘green season’, it presents an opportunity to witness Costa Rica's vibrant nature in its full splendour. From lush rainforests to cascading waterfalls, the wet season amplifies the country's green, natural beauty thanks to the increased rainfall. Expect thunderstorms too, as well as cheaper prices. Generally speaking, the Pacific coast tends to be drier than the Caribbean coast in September.
What is the weather like in Costa Rica in September?
September is still considered part of the rainy season, which typically extends from May to November. During this month, you can expect higher rainfall and increased cloud cover in many parts of the country.
September is known to be one of the rainiest months in Costa Rica, so you might want to consider other months to visit Costa Rica. Rainfall can be frequent and heavy, especially in the afternoons and evenings. However, it's important to note that weather patterns can vary, and localized variations in rainfall can occur.
In terms of temperatures, September generally experiences warm and humid weather. Average temperatures can range from the mid-70s to mid-80s Fahrenheit (mid-20s to high 20s Celsius) in most regions.
Both coasts can experience significant rainfall, with the Caribbean, with destinations like Puerto Viejo and Puerto Limon, side potentially experiencing more consistent and intense rain showers. While September is a rainy month, it doesn't mean that you won't have opportunities to enjoy Costa Rica. Rain showers are often intermittent, and there can still be periods of sunshine.
Is Costa Rica warm in September?
As a tropical destination located near the equator, Costa Rica generally experiences consistent temperatures throughout the year. In September, the average temperatures in most regions range from the mid-70s to low 80s°F(mid-20s to high-20s°C). However, it's important to consider that specific temperatures can vary depending on the region and elevation.
In the Central Valley region, where San Jose is located, the average temperatures range from the mid-70s to low 80s°F (24–28°C). In higher elevation areas, such as Monteverde and Arenal, the temperatures can be slightly cooler, with averages ranging from the mid-60s to low 70s°F (18–23°C). These areas are known for their lush cloud forests and cooler climates, providing a refreshing escape from the heat of the coastal regions.
Is September a good time to visit Costa Rica?
September is considered the rainy season in Costa Rica, so the weather may be more unpredictable and wetter than during other times of the year. However, the rainfall can also bring lush greenery and beautiful scenery, and you may find fewer crowds and lower prices on accommodations and tours.
Keep in mind that the amount of rain can vary greatly depending on where you are in the country. For example, the Caribbean coast tends to be wetter than the Pacific coast, and the northern regions tend to have more rainfall than the southern regions.
From July to November, however, you may be able to witness hundreds of olive ridley turtles (tortugas lloras) dragging themselves out of the surf and nesting on Playa Nancite by moonlight; September and October are the months in which you are most likely to see them.
Average rainfall in September
Costa Rica receives a significant amount of rainfall during September, making it one of the wettest months of the year.
On average, the country receives around 300mm to 400mm (12 to 16 inches) of precipitation over the four weeks with the Caribbean coast and the northern Pacific coast receiving the most rain.
This increased rainfall contributes to the lush greenery that Costa Rica is famous for. While it may limit some outdoor activities, it also enhances the beauty of the rainforests and provides travellers with the chance to take advantage of the quieter tourist season.
It's advisable to pack rain gear and always have a back-up plan in September, should heavy downpours prevent you from doing what you had wanted.
Festivals and events in Costa Rica in September
There are fewer festivals and events that take place in Costa Rica during September due to the rain. Here is the biggest:
- Independence Day (15 September): Expect big patriotic parades celebrating Costa Rica’s independence from Spain in 1821. The highlight is a student relay race across the entire Central American isthmus, carrying a “freedom torch” from Guatemala to Cartago (the original capital of Costa Rica).
Ready for your dream trip to Costa Rica in September?
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 Eco Adventure (12 days): Come to Costa Rica for its compact jungle, tropical beaches, forests, wildlife and national parks. The country may be small but it’s a land of stunning natural diversity and the perfect backdrop to a veritable eco-adventure.
- Costa Rica Express (10 days): Start with Arenal Volcano with its waterfalls, hot springs and hanging bridges before crossing the lake to Monteverde. The unique cloud forest invites both adventure and nature lovers for canopy and zip-lining activities as well as wildlife spotting. Finish the trip on the beach in Manuel Antonio.
- Or discover more Costa Rica itineraries.