South America | Destination Guides

5 reasons why July is the best month to visit Costa Rica

Looking for a tropical adventure this July – we’re going to delve into why it’s the best month to visit the wonders of Costa Rica. Set in the heart of Central America, this vibrant and wild country beckons with open arms, offering endless natural splendor that’s truly hard to beat. 

Imagine lush rainforests teeming with diverse wildlife, pristine beaches kissed by the Pacific and the Caribbean, and the mesmerizing spectacle of humpback whales gracing the surrounding waters. 

July unveils Costa Rica at its finest, offering a perfect blend of sunshine, biodiversity, and unique experiences. Join us on a journey to find out why July is the best month to visit Costa Rica and discover the best places to go in Costa Rica during this month.

P.S. Did you know our Trafalgar Unlocked Awards 2024 winners’ trip will take our lucky winners to Costa Rica in July? Enter now for a chance to win a place for you and travel buddy (with flights included!)

July is the low season, but the weather is still good

July in Costa Rica might be considered the low season, but don’t let that fool you—this month brings its own unique charm. Contrary to the rainy season stereotype, July is surprisingly pleasant in terms of weather. 

While occasional rain showers do make an appearance, they’re usually short-lived and create a refreshing ambiance in the late afternoon. The temperatures remain comfortably warm, and the lush landscapes are at their most vibrant. It’s like Mother Nature’s subtle way of giving the entire country a nourishing shower, turning the scenery into a lush, green paradise. 

Late July is even better, with a period the locals call “little summer” when the sun is shining and people flock to the beaches to tan. Depending on where you are in the country, daily highs can fall between 23°C (73°F) and 33°C (91°F).

So, if you’re up for a bit of spontaneity and want to experience Costa Rica without the usual crowds, July might just be the best month to visit Costa Rica and the perfect time to enjoy the beauty of this Central American gem.

TAKE A TOUR: Costa Rica Eco Adventure

Wildlife on show in July

Despite being the low season, July offers a remarkable opportunity to witness the country’s diverse fauna in all its wild glory. The rainforest comes alive with the vibrant hues of numerous bird species, including toucans and macaws, making it a paradise for birdwatchers. Sloths leisurely lounge in the treetops, and capuchin monkeys swing through the branches. 

The low season also means fewer tourists, providing a more intimate and immersive experience with local wildlife. The best places to see wildlife in Costa Rica is, of course, its national parks. During July you may even have a great chance at spotting elusive creatures like jaguars and tapirs. 

For wildlife enthusiasts, July in Costa Rica promises an authentic and up-close encounter with the rich biodiversity that defines this tropical haven.

JOIN A FAMILY TOUR: Monkeys, Jungles and Volcanoes

See migrating whales in Costa Rican waters

A captivating aquatic spectacle pops up along Costa Rica’s coast each July, marking the start of one of the country’s whale-watching seasons. July offers a prime opportunity to witness the majestic dance of humpback whales. The Southern Hemisphere humpback whales travel from Antarctica to Costa Rica from late July through October each year, converging in the surrounding warm waters to breed and give birth. 

For travellers, it’s a breathtaking display of nature’s grandeur as these massive creatures breach and tail-slap against the backdrop of the Pacific Ocean. The best places to see whales in July in Costa Rica is Guanacaste Province and the Gulf of Papagayo, also known as Papagayo Bay. Stretching from Santa Rosa National Park to southern gems like Playas del Coco and Playa Hermosa, this gulf offers prime real estate for whale sightings. 

The low tourist turnout in July translates into more intimate and peaceful moments with these marine marvels. Guided boat tours offer a front-row seat to this awe-inspiring show, making it an ideal time for those seeking a serene encounter with the enchanting world beneath the waves in Costa Rica.

RELATED BLOG: How these Costa Rica tours are inspiring the next generation of environmental guardians

See the ‘real’ side of Costa Rica without the crowds

Savvy travelers know Costa Rica is a delight come July when the country gracefully slips into its low season. While some might shy away due to the misconception of rain, the discerning few know that this is the secret ingredient to a more tranquil escape. 

With the low season comes a refreshing decline in crowds, offering a rare chance to savor the beauty of this tropical haven without the usual hustle and bustle. Whether you’re exploring the rich biodiversity of national parks or lounging on pristine beaches, the more peaceful ambiance transforms your experience into an intimate rendezvous with nature. 

In July the mornings and days are usually sunny, with a heavy afternoon storm cooling things off but not taking away from the fun. So, for those who relish a quieter, more authentic getaway, July in Costa Rica unveils a side of paradise often missed by the masses.

GET INSPIRED: Costa Rica Eco Adventure

Meet the locals with festivals and events

It’s easy to connect with locals in July in Costa Rica thanks to a handful of local holidays and events. On July 17, the coastal towns of Puntarenas and Playas del Coco come alive with the Fiesta de la Virgen del Mar, a lively celebration honoring the Virgin of the Sea. Fishing boats embark on a picturesque procession at sea, bearing a statue of the patron saint, plus you’ll enjoy vibrant children’s parades, fried foods, rhythmic music, and fireworks.

Later in the month, on July 25, the whole nation commemorates Guanacaste Day, marking the peaceful annexation of Guanacaste from Nicaragua in 1924. Celebrations unfold with civic acts in schools nationwide, and the northwestern region hosts traditional Costa Rican bullfights, cattle shows, fairs, and fireworks.

Adding to the local dynamics, there’s a two-week school vacation for Costa Rican students and teachers. While the exact dates vary, this mid-year break encourages many families to explore local beaches and tourist attractions. The overall atmosphere during this period is one of joyful celebration and community spirit.

Those are five great reasons why we think July is the best month to visit Costa Rica. Tell us in the comments which places you’re most excited to see in Costa Rica!

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