Costa Rica in May is a fantastic idea if you are willing to get away, as it will bring some warm sunny rays over your head and the first rains in the year. Let’s see a bit of how is Costa Rica in May:

Costa Rica in May

Costa Rica in May


Besides the fact that it may rain occasionally, May is probably one of the best times in the year to come to Costa Rica. Still sunny with occasional two hours periods of rain, May is when life comes back. The landscapes turn luscious green and species come out to feed everywhere.

This together with the fact that the rates already come down and lodges and resorts are virtually empty.


Costa Rica doesn’t really have seasons, as the temperature changes just a little bit from period to period, yes “period”.

If you are in:

The Pacific Coast, Central Valley, Southern areas and the Central Volcanic Mountain Range, the sunny period goes from December to April, even May. (Our grandparents used to say that if by May 20th it had not rained, it wouldn’t rain at all). And then, of course, vice versa for the rainy season: From May to November.

If you are in:

Anywhere in the Caribbean Coast, Turrialba, the West side of the Central and Talamanca Mountain Ranges, Sarapiqui or Arenal areas, the sunny period is different.

May is the transition between sunny and rainy season!

Diverse Climates

We have to realize that the climates and therefore the landscapes of Costa Rica vary considerably by sector. The coastal areas are usually hot, and the highlands are ordinarily cooler. As you travel south on the Pacific coast, moisture levels rise. The Caribbean Coast and almost all the Northern Area is generally hot and humid. And when it rains it pours.

The more humidity and rain there is in a region, it will be more exuberant and wildlife sightings are more common.

Costa Rica Weather Chart Month by Month:


Source: Climate Change Knowledge Portal

Read also: The Ultimate Guide to driving in Costa Rica

Weather Map:

Costa Rica Weather in May:

As you can see in the chart above, it really depends on where you are to know what the weather is like.

May is quite a special month. It is what meteorologists call a “Transition Month”. This means the weather is simply unpredictable. It will rain one day and then, there will be three days of sun.

Even if it is so, there are usually more sunny days in early May. And the rain lasts usually a couple of hours.

Wildlife Sightings in May:


Best time to see them: Year-round. Several species such as bottlenose and spotted dolphins can be seen all year so you have a good chance to see them.

The Best places to go dolphin watching:

  • Drake Bay
  • Golfo Dulce
  • Dominical (Parque Marino Ballena)
  • Tambor
  • Golfo de Nicoya
  • Tamarindo and surroundings.
  • Caribbean: Limon and South Caribbean

*Some lucky people has seen dolphins in the Tortuguero Canals


Best time to see them: All year round:  Olive Ridley, Hawksbill, Leatherback and Pacific Green Sea Turtle.

Best places to see Sea Turtles:

  • Parque Nacional Marino Las Baulas (Playa Grande (Close to Tamarindo)
  • Santa Rosa National Park
  • Ostional Wildlife Refuge (Arribadas)


May isn’t the greatest month for birding in Costa Rica. In fact, it’s usually one of the months that has the fewest visiting birders.

Costa Rica Bird watching

Migratory Species

In May, there are very few migratory species left.

Birds in General: 

It is a great time for bird watching as March is the nesting month, and May is the juveniles time. They come out of their nests and you can see them in many places using their brand new wings for the first flights.

Resplendent Quetzal

Visible in Monteverde and Savegre in May as other high areas of the mountain ranges. This is the time of year when species are mating and watching for their eggs and little ones. The mating dances and songs are on and sometimes, the feathers and noises show can be amazing.

The rest of the bird species can be seen all year round… May is no exception.


Read also: Traveling in Costa Rica: A personal development trip to oneself

In the tourism area


Dates of cruises in the Pacific Side are; 2 and 12.

These are important dates if you are planning to visit Carara National Park, the Aerial Tram of the Pacific, the Crocodile Safari in Tarcoles River, or Hanging Bridges, Coffee Tour or Monteverde Reserve in the area of Monteverde.

As well as regions like Monteverde, Arenal, Tamarindo and Manuel Antonio will have a lot of people around. The tour companies and operators are already prepared for this and in general terms, it is all well organized.

In Manuel Antonio, you will probably have to make a line in the mornings to get in the National Park and in Tortuguero, there might be some waiting time on the boats before getting in the main National Park canals.




If you like to know more about Costa Rica in May, concerts, how to get tickets or simply where to spend this marvelous time in Costa Rica… Please ask our Travel Consultants simply clicking here