6 Best Things to Do in Costa Rica in October (+ Weather & Cost)
If you’re looking to explore Costa Rica without the crowds—October in Costa Rica is the perfect time to visit! October is one of Costa Rica’s rainiest months, so it’s an ideal time to explore the country if you don’t mind trading the dry season’s sunny weather for lower prices on flights, accommodations, and activities.
Before traveling to Costa Rica in October, here’s everything you should know—including the best things to do in Costa Rica during this month to plan the perfect trip.
Rainy weather brings refreshing temperatures
October is one of the last months in Costa Rica’s rainy season (also known as the “green season”) and is often considered the country’s wettest month. However, the benefit of planning a trip to Costa Rica during the rainy season is that the countryside is lush, green, and in full bloom due to the increased rainfall. Because of the frequent showers, visitors can also enjoy cooler temperatures.
While most of the country experiences heavy rains in the green season, some regions enjoy drier days with more sun in October. For example, the Caribbean coast experiences some of its best weather of the year in October.
Minimal crowds and affordable costs
Since October is the peak of Costa Rica’s green season, visitors can enjoy lower prices on domestic and international flights into San José. Typically, hotels on the Pacific Coast are cheaper, too, since this side of the country experiences so much rain in October.
If you want to explore famous locations on the western side of the country, like Manuel Antonio, Arenal Volcano, La Fortuna, and the Monteverde Cloud Forest Preserve without the crowds, October is a great time to visit. You’ll dodge the masses common in the dry season, and many Costa Rica tours offer steep discounts.
However, many accommodations on the Caribbean side of Costa Rica book out far in advance for October since the weather is ideal on this side of the country. If you’re visiting Costa Rica in October and staying on the Caribbean Coast, start planning your trip months in advance to secure a reasonable rate on a hotel.
Top things to do in Costa Rica in October
1. Explore Tortuguero National Park
October is the last month of turtle nesting season in Tortuguero National Park, which lasts from July to mid-October. This national park is ideal for seeing leatherback, olive ridley, and green sea turtles in October.
While you’re here, you can also explore the park’s freshwater creeks and lagoons via kayak or canoe or visit the surrounding rainforest to spot wildlife, like monkeys and birds.
2. Experience Caribbean Carnival
Starting on Columbus Day, Costa Ricans in Limón Province, including the surfing town of Puerto Viejo, celebrate carnival—a 12-day celebration that honors Afro-Caribbean heritage. If you plan your trip to Costa Rica during this festival, you can enjoy street dancing, parades, live music, regional cuisine, and more.
3. Go scuba diving
Many places in Costa Rica’s Guanacaste Province, like the Bat Islands and Catalina Islands, offer the best conditions for experienced scuba divers to see pelagic species, like sharks, in October.
If you’re staying on the Caribbean side, you can enjoy snorkeling with tropical fish and sea turtles at Cahuita National Park in October or head down to the Southern Caribbean Coast for scuba diving at Uvita Island.
4. Try surfing
Costa Rica’s shores are a great place to find killer waves in October. Travelers staying on the Pacific side of Costa Rica should head to the Puntarenas Province, like Jaco Beach and Santa Teresa Beach, for the best surfing conditions during their trip to Costa Rica.
On the Caribbean side of Costa Rica, experienced surfers can try riding Salsa Brava—one of the top surf breaks in the world.
5. Go on a whitewater rafting adventure
If rafting on fast and furious rapids sounds thrilling, a trip to Costa Rica in October is ideal. Unlike the calmer rapids during the dry season, travelers can enjoy Class III, IV, and V rapids from coast to coast, spanning from the South Caribbean to the North Pacific Coast.
Rincón de la Vieja, La Fortuna, and Turrialba, a small city outside of San José, offer excellent rafting experiences in Costa Rica.
6. Relax on the beautiful beaches
Costa Rica is known for its 300+ gorgeous beaches, and the ones in the Guanacaste Province and along the Caribbean Coast shine in October.
Playa Cocles, Playa Negra, Punta Uva, Playa Flamingo, and Playa Tamarindo are all great beaches to explore during October travel to Costa Rica.
Plan the Perfect Visit to Costa Rica in October
If you plan a trip to Costa Rica in October, you’re bound to have a fantastic time—regardless of the rain.
If you’re looking to avoid the high prices on Costa Rica’s Caribbean Coast but would still like to enjoy a drier climate, we recommend checking out our wide range of vacation rentals in the Guanacaste Province. Special Places of Costa Rica offers all types of properties, from practical condos to luxury beachfront villas, so you’re sure to find something to match your budget and style for your vacation.
Browse our vacation rentals to see the properties we have available during your trip.