May brings a unique charm to Costa Rica, marking the onset of the low season. This period stands out for its quiet streets, reduced prices, and a gentle nudge from the dry to the rainy season. Unlike the heavier showers seen in September and October, May’s rains sprinkle just enough to refresh the landscape without disrupting travel plans.


Understanding May’s Weather in Costa Rica


The weather in Costa Rica during May often strikes a balance between the expected and the unforeseen. Traditionally marking the commencement of the rainy season in various locales, the intensity and onset of precipitation can vary widely from year to year. Some periods have seen exceptionally high rainfall, while others followed notably dry seasons with prolonged spells of light rain. Factors such as the La Niña phenomenon have been known to influence the early arrival of rains, leading to particularly wet conditions in some years.


Rainy Season Gradual Arrival


The approach of the rainy season in Costa Rica is typically gradual. May sees sporadic showers, which gently increase through June and the following months, peaking in heavy rainfall by late autumn. This pattern positions May as a transitional month, with the remnants of the dry season lingering into June during drier years, like from 2013 to 2016. Notably, May 2018 was marked by severe rains causing floods and landslides, especially in the central mountains and coastal regions of Guanacaste and Nicoya.


Temperatures in May fluctuate depending on the onset of rain. Early May can mirror the hot, dry conditions of April, with temperatures soaring into the 90s (32-36°C). However, as the rainy season takes hold, temperatures cool down slightly, resembling the milder June weather. The Caribbean side experiences more consistent rain, with common afternoon and overnight showers.


Travel Tips for May


May is slowly becoming a favored month for visiting Costa Rica, signaling the start of the low season. While some popular destinations may still require advance booking, May offers the flexibility of traveling without a tightly scheduled itinerary. 


Affordability and Discounts


The beginning of the rainy season sees a decrease in tourist numbers, leading to a drop in prices. Lodging discounts ranging from 10-20% are common, though transportation and tour prices remain stable. For those looking to budget their trip, Costa Rica offers an instant trip cost calculator, aiding in financial planning without the need for app downloads or subscription sign-ups.


Alternatives to May


For travelers weighing their options, November presents a similar transitional period but with a shift from a rainy to a dry season. However, November’s weather is less predictable and can bring intense rainfall. For those seeking low-season prices with moderate rainfall, June and August are excellent choices.


In summary, May in Costa Rica offers a serene and cost-effective experience for explorers. With mild weather changes and fewer crowds, it’s an ideal time for those seeking a blend of adventure and relaxation in this tropical paradise. #howlermag #howlermagazine

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