Complete Guide to January in Costa Rica

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January may be the high season in Costa Rica, so it’s not the ideal time to visit if you want to save money and avoid bigger crowds.

However, if you’re looking for a custom-made trip filled with once-in-a-lifetime experiences, like zip-liningscuba diving, and strapping on your hiking boots to explore some unique places off the beaten path—visiting Costa Rica during the dry season is perfect for you!

We’ve rounded up all our best Costa Rica travel advice for visiting in January, including the weather forecast, festivals, and things to do so that you can plan the perfect trip to Costa Rica.

Costa Rica Weather in January

In January, most of the country is experiencing the beginning of Costa Rica’s dry season, so you can expect warm daytime temperatures and sunny days during your trip to Costa Rica. Here’s what type of weather you can expect by region:

  • Pacific Coast: The dry season is in full swing along the entire Pacific side of Costa Rica, from the Northwest Pacific to the South Pacific, in January. You can expect temperatures around 90°F and little rain during your trip to Costa Rica.
  • Caribbean Coast: During January, the Caribbean Coast, including popular locations like Puerto Viejo, is still in the midst of the rainy season, so the weather isn’t ideal. You can expect temperatures around 85°F with rainstorms that may last all day.
  • Central Valley: The weather in Monteverde, Arenal Volcano, and San Jose is lovely in January, with temperatures hovering just shy of 80°F and occasional evening showers.

Holidays & Events in Costa Rica in January

January is one of the best months to plan a trip to Costa Rica if you want to participate in the local festivals, parties, and events! These are a few of the most popular events you can partake in when you visit Costa Rica in January.

New Years crowd in Costa Rica


New Year’s Day

New Year’s Day is a national holiday that Costa Ricans often spend with their families that includes food, fireworks, and fun. However, since January is in the midst of the peak season for visiting Costa Rica, most tour operators will still be running, so you don’t have to miss out on any fun during your Costa Rica vacation!


Santa Cruz Festival

The Santa Cruz Festival held on the Nicoya Peninsula celebrates the ranching and “cowboy” culture in Costa Rica. You can expect food, drinks, fireworks, parades, and bullfighting during this event, usually during the first or second week of January.


Fiestas de Palmares

The Palmares Festival is just like a county fair but has the tropical vibes you would expect from Costa Rica! This event, held in mid-January, attracts over a million visitors. You can expect live music, dancing, food, drinks, bullfights, horse parades, and more fun during this event.


Fiestas de Alajuelita

Fiestas de Alajulita is an oxcart parade and procession over a mountain to the Black Christ of Esquipulas to ask for a miracle or blessing. This well-respected practice of pilgrimage is still observed by many locals and occurs in Costa Rica around January 15th each year.

Costa Rica Tours & Fun Things to Do in January

Costa Rica’s excellent weather and festive events aren’t all tourists love about visiting the country in January. These activities are perfect for enjoying while spending time in Costa Rica in January:


La Fortuna

If you’ve always wanted to see active volcanoes up close and personal, head to Arenal Volcano National Park and La Fortuna. Not only will you be able to go hiking near the volcano in January, but you can also soak in natural hot springs, go ziplining, and participate in other fun activities in the tropical rainforest!


Manuel Antonio National Park

Manuel Antonio National Park aerial view

From hiking and swimming to surfing and wildlife spotting, there is certainly no shortage of things to do at Manuel Antonio National Park. January is the perfect time to visit this popular destination because of the dry, sunny weather, so whether you hire tour guides or explore the park yourself, be sure to pay a visit during your vacation to Costa Rica in January.


Pacific Coast Beaches

January brings strong winds to the North Pacific, so this month is one of the best times for experienced surfers to “shred the gnar” on the country’s tropical beaches, like Playa Avellanas and Santa Teresa. However, even if you’re not a surfer, the warm, sunny weather offers the perfect conditions for sunbathing or hanging out on the beaches along the Pacific Coast!


Osa Peninsula

If you want to escape the crowds from the festivals in January, head down to the Osa Peninsula. Over half of the animal species in the country live here, so it’s a great place to see monkeys, eagles, toucans, sloths, ocelots, and more. Consider hiring a tour guide for a sustainable tourism experience in Corcovado National Park—one of the most biodiverse regions in the world!

Visit Costa Rica in January for Great Weather, Fun Festivals & Good Times

Whether you love exploring national parks, attending cultural events, or relaxing on the beach, you’ll find something to love about Costa Rica in January.Costa Rica’s northern region shines in January, so it’s a great place to stay during your visit to this diverse country! Browse our wide selection of beachfront properties, comfortable condos, and vacation homes in Playa Flamingo and Playas del Cocos to book your “home away from home” during your vacation to Costa Rica in January.

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