Getting to Costa Rica
When planning your trip to Costa Rica, the first two things to consider are Where and When you want to go.
There are two international airports to choose from. The first and largest port of entry is the Juan Santamaria International Airport (SJO), about 12 miles from the capital city, San José. Its central location is the best option for traveling to the Central and South Pacific Coast, Central Valley, Southern Zone, and Caribbean Coast.
Your second option is the Daniel Oduber Quiros International Airport (LIR) in the north-central city of Liberia. Liberia Airport is close to several popular national parks and volcanoes, including Arenal and Rincon de la Vieja volcanoes. It provides the quickest access to the popular beach towns on the Nicoya Peninsula and the northwest Pacific Coast, as well as several luxury resorts like the Four Seasons and JW Marriott, among several others.
There are two seasons in Costa Rica: the wet season (aka winter or the Green Season) and the dry season (aka summer). The best thing about Costa Rica weather is that when it’s raining on one side of the country, it’s generally dry and sunny on the other.
On the Pacific side and in the Central Valley, summer, or the dry season, runs from December to May, with a let-up in the rains in late July and early August, which is known as St. John’s little summer (El Veranillo de San Juan).
On the Caribbean side, the peak summer/dry season is considerably shorter, from late July to early November, with mild weather in January and February (lighter rains).
Remember, Costa Rica is a tropical country, and much of it is covered in rainforests, so plan for usually sunny mornings and possibly rainy afternoons no matter when you travel.
*The exception is Guanacaste Province in the north, which is arid, hot, and totally dry for most of the summer season.