With the fantastic weather in Costa Rica, along with the intensely reduced cost of living, (based on U.S. standards) it’s easy to understand why the country has become such a popular place for retirement. However, while the entire country offers great weather, no one can accuse this small country of being stagnant in its climate. Costa Rica is considered tropical from top to bottom but there is a variety of climates that can be defined in six different zones.
Though the weather in Costa Rica is known as the best in the world due to it’s average temperature of 79°F (26°C) all year, you can expect a good deal of rainfall annually in all parts of the country.
However, some areas have a more distinct dry season than others, and the rain tends to be lighter in some areas.
The Central Valley region, centered on parts of San Jose, varies from east to west. The far western area tends to remain between 64-80°F (18-27°C), with light rainfall most afternoons, while the eastern area (at an elevation of over 6,000 feet/1829m and about double that of the west) is a little cooler, running between 53-73°F (12-23°C) with considerably heavier rainfall.
The North Pacific region, defined mainly by Guanacaste, is where the most commonly visited beaches are and makes up a huge tourist district. Temperatures average around 82°F (28°C) year round, and while this is probably the sunniest region of Costa Rica, you can still expect general light afternoon showers between June and October.
The Central Pacific region includes parts of Puntarenas and San Jose, as well as a great number of beaches and a national park. This is the hot region of Costa Rica, with temperatures reaching the low to mid 90s (33°C) during the day throughout much of the year. Still, with the exception of the dry season from January through March, you can expect daily showers.
The South Pacific region is full of high mountains and rainforests and has a distinct rainy season from May through December and a notable dry season from January to April. Along the coast, temperatures remain in the 80s (27°C) and lower 90s (33°C) year round, while the Valle del General is more moderate, ranging from 70s (21°C) to 80s (27°C). At higher altitudes, you’ll find morning temperatures as low as the 50s (10°C). Rainfall in this region is heavy during the wet season, with an annual downfall of over 200 inches (508cm).
The Caribbean region is the most humid and rainiest part of Costa Rica and would most likely not be recommended to those with arthritis. Temperatures here average in the 80s (27°C), even in the Talamanca Mountains, with just a bit of a cool down in December through February.
The Northern Zone region is rural, with greatly varying conditions dependent upon altitude. The lowlands of San Carlos average in the upper 70s (21°C) and lower 80s (27°C), while the higher elevations may drop to an average in the low 60s (16°C).
One thing that can be said for weather in Costa Rica is that, if you like a tropical environment that includes the regular afternoon shower, there are plenty of options where you can settle down and retire, with a climate to meet your standards.
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