Complete Guide to Spending May in Costa Rica

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If you’re planning to spend the month of May in Costa Rica — you are in for a treat.

May brings sunshine during the day, cooler weather at night, and just a touch of precipitation so that you can enjoy all the fun tours and outdoor adventures this country offers without the massive crowds that come with the dry season and the unpredictable weather in the rainy season.

May is truly a sweet spot for travel to Costa Rica — you can enjoy beautiful weather, lower prices, and smaller crowds all in one trip. Keep reading to learn everything you need to know about visiting Costa Rica in May!

Costa Rica Weather in May — Start of the Rainy Season

May is the beginning of Costa Rica’s rainy season (also called the green season), so overall, you will enjoy great weather in Costa Rica during this transition month!

While the beginning of the month is still considered to be part of the dry season with less rain, by the end of the month, the weather changes to reflect the coming green season in Costa Rica — which is generally wetter and cooler. In May, the average temperatures in Costa Rica hover between 78°F and 82°F. However, the average precipitation measurement jumps from four inches of rainfall in April to over ten inches in May.

While it’s unlikely you’ll experience heavy rains in Costa Rica in May, you can expect a good mix of sunny days, cloud cover, and light rain as the dry season shifts into the green season.

Important Events When Visiting Costa Rica in May

May is a great month to travel to Costa Rica since it’s the first month of the low season (also known as the rainy season). The weather is still great, but it falls right between spring break and summer vacation — two popular travel times — so you can expect lower prices on flights and hotels and fewer tourists.

May is a great time to travel to Costa Rica if you want to enjoy the great weather while avoiding the tourists.

While there aren’t many holidays you should be aware of when visiting Costa Rica in May that attract big crowds, like Easter or Christmas — keep the following events on your radar.


Labor Day

Labor Day has been a national holiday in Costa Rica since 1917. On May 1st, schools, banks, and other companies around the country close in the afternoon to celebrate, and they often listen to a speech from the President of Costa Rica.


Corpus Christi Day

Corpus Christi Day is a national holiday in Costa Rica on May 29th. Costa Ricans celebrate in cities and towns across the country with festivals and other fun activities. However, it shouldn’t affect your travel plans.

You may see locals celebrating Corpus Christi Day if you visit Costa Rica in May.

Best Things to Do When You Visit Costa Rica in May

If you’re visiting Costa Rica in May — you’re coming at a great time to enjoy Costa Rica’s nature, wildlife, and other fun activities. Plus, you’ll be able to snag low season prices on hotels and activities, which allows you to save money while still having a great time on your trip.


Palo Verde National Park

If you want to see exotic birds during your vacation — visiting Costa Rica in May is a spectacular choice. May is the start of the bird-watching season at Palo Verde National Park, and you’ll have the chance to see Great Egrets, Wood Storks, White Ibis, and other species of birds native to Costa Rica.

When you visit Palo Verde National Park in May, you will see tons of birds, like these, flying through the park.

While you’re here, take advantage of all this national park offers by taking a boat ride to Pajaros Island or visiting the Palo Verde Lagoon.


Nicoya Peninsula

The Nicoya Peninsula is located on Costa Rica’s Pacific Coast and is filled with gorgeous beaches where you can enjoy the surf and sand.

You will see gorgeous beaches and coves, like these, when you visit the stunning beaches along the Nicoya Peninsula, like Playa Flamingo and Playas del Coco.

Playa FlamingoPlayas del Coco, and Playa Tamarindo are some of the most popular destinations to visit along this stretch of Costa Rica’s stunning coastline, nicknamed “The Gold Coast.” Some fun activities to enjoy include surfing, sunset sailing, fishing, and more!


Tortuguero National Park

Tortuguero National Park, located on Costa Rica’s Caribbean Coast just north of Puerto Limón, is a spectacular place to observe nature and wildlife in Costa Rica in May.

May is the middle of sea turtle season in Costa Rica on Playa Tortuguero (the entire season lasts from March until October). While you’re here, you’ll likely have the chance to see olive ridley, loggerhead, leatherback, and green sea turtles resting on the beach.

You can see tons of sea turtles on the beach in May in Tortuguero National Park, including olive ridley, loggerhead, leatherback, and green sea turtles.


Bat Islands & Catalina Islands

If you want to see marine life during your trip to Costa Rica — May is a fabulous time for snorkeling and scuba diving at the Bat Islands and Catalina Islands. These islands are located just off the coast of Playa Flamingo and can be reached by boat from the Marina Flamingo.

Snorkeling at the Bat Islands and Catalina Islands in May is a great time to see giant manta rays and bull sharks.

The Bat Islands are typically an exceptional place to see bull sharks from May to November, and you can swim with giant manta rays at the Catalina Islands from November to May. If you want to swim with both — May and November are the best times to head to Costa Rica!

Secure Your Vacation Rental to Experience May in Costa Rica with Special Places of Costa Rica

May is a prime time to travel to Costa Rica. However, don’t just take our word for it. Plan your early summer vacation to Costa Rica this May to see for yourself!

If you’re looking for somewhere to stay during your trip to Costa Rica, explore the houses, condos, villas, and mansions in Guanacaste you can rent with Special Places of Costa Rica!

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