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Costa Rica in December

December starts with lower prices but ends right smack in the peak season, with airfare and hotel prices reaching their maximum during the year. It’s a busy time to visit Costa Rica and all the activities are in full swing.


Early December weather in the Costa Rica Mountains is a bit of gamble. The rainy season is typically gone and it’s common to have beach weather during the entire month. However, occasionally the rainy season ends only a week before Christmas , but overall it’s sunny in the morning and it showers in the afternoon or evening.

On the Caribbean side of the mountains, it’s wet at the start of December and gets even wetter by the end of the month.

Beaches and lowlands experience perfect weather for sunbathing (mid-80s during the day and mid-60s at night). Around San Jose , the temperatures are usually 5-10 degrees cooler.

Some temperatures in December:

Alajuela avg 69F/21C
Puntarenas avg high 87F/30C; avg low 76F/24C
San Jose avg high 75F/23C ; avg low 58F/15C

>>read more about Weather in Costa Rica


December is the most popular month to travel to Costa Rica and definitely competes with Easter in terms of bookings. It’s the peak travel month for international travelers but it also falls during the school break, so the accommodations fill up quickly. So do the activities and tours. Booking ahead – as far as 6 months in advance – is recommended.

Hotels have higher peak season (up to 50% higher than during the high season) around Christmas and New Year’s Eve. At most resorts the festive dinners are mandatory (and add additional costs to the vacation). Minimum stays range from 3 to 7 nights during this time of the year.

Should you plan to visit Costa Rica in the second half of December, book the hotel and airfare at least six to three months in advance. A good alternative for saving money is to book a hostel bed , but also remember to start your search way in advance.

Read more about:
>>Cheap Flights to San Jose
>>Cheap Flights to Liberia
>>Cheap Hotels in San Jose
>>Cheap Hotels in Arenal
>>Cheap Hotels in Manuel Antonio
>>Cheap Hotels in Monteverde
>>Cheap Hostels in San Jose
>>Cheap Hostels in Arenal

Things to Do

Your first encounter with Costa Rica will most likely be San Jose, its cosmopolitan capital. Before heading to another place, take some time to enjoy the city’s most important sights. Visit the Jade Museum and the Pre-Columbian Gold Museum. You can also take a day trip to the Arenal Volcano.

If you don’t manage to visit Arenal Volcano, then just at an hour drive from San Jose you can visit Paos Volcano and you can walk up the crater for some lovely views of the area.

Should you decide to spend some time in the Manuel Antonio National Park, don’t forget your swimsuit and sunscreen because you’ll want to spend some time at the beach. Learn to swim, watch the wildlife or try zip lining in the forest.

If you didn’t have a chance to visit the beaches at Manuel Antonio, head to the Gold Coast beaches in the Guanacaste area. Tamarindo, Playa Grande, Flamingo, Conchal and Ocatol are some of the best choices.

While in Costa Rica, don’t miss taking a coffee tour – you can visit a coffee farm and a processing facility – and enjoying the hot springs. Nature walks are an excellent way to enjoy the natural beauty and don’t worry if you are not a fitness enthusiast. There are 1-3 hours tracks suitable for anyone.

Read more about:
>>Things to do in San Jose
>>Things to do in Manuel Antonio
>>Things to do in Tamarindo

Photo credits: Coffee farm – baby plants , Arenal volcano