Should I visit Costa Rica in July and August?
With the vast majority of families in Europe and the US taking their main holiday in July and August, this is a question we get asked a lot. The answer in short is "yes, but...". There is no getting round that this is rainy season in Costa Rica and you are likely to experience some afternoon rain most days during July and August, and when it does fall it will invariably be heavy and accompanied by thunder storms. That is the negative out of the way. On the plus side, Costa Rica's beauty comes from the combination of copious amounts of rain and sunshine and you can expect both pretty much year round in Costa Rica. Travelling in July and August you will benefit from refreshingly lower rates. There are also some places less affected by the rain than others. The Guanacaste Coast from Nosara upto the Papagayo Peninsula is dryer than much of the rest of the country and the Caribbean Coast is as wet (or dry) as it is year round. You benefit from wildlife watching opportunities not available at other times of year (whales off Uvita and turtles in Nosara and Tortugeuro).
We have travelled in Costa Rica at this time and had no regrets. Over a week in Nosara in August we had bright sunshine and clear skies every day until around 2pm when the clouds would gather and we would have occasional scattered thunderstorms in the afternoon. This was the general pattern throughout our trip with the exception of a particularlly heavy afternoon of rain in Uvita which was stunning in its ferocity! In terms of activities, snorkelling is a no go at this time of year (but Costa Rica isn't a great snorkelling destination at any time of year), whilst the surf is best at this time of year.