San José Weather Guide

San José’s weather is pleasant all year round due to the city’s 1,170 metre-high elevation above sea level in the Costa Rican Central Valley. Like the rest of Costa Rica, San José experiences just two seasons annually: wet and dry.

Season and Clothing

Dry Season: December to April

Summer is also known as the dry and peak tourist season in Costa Rica. There’s also a small spring between March and May. Beach towns on both coasts are particularly popular during this time, but San José is a nice escape from the extreme heat of some other areas. On April 11, San José honors national hero and 19th-century fallen soldier Juan Santamaria with parades, live concerts and dancing. The San José Carnival on Boxing Day is a flamboyant pre-New Year celebration complete with a colourful parade and floats.

Average temperatures: 19 to 29 degrees Celsius.
Appropriate clothing: Light, loose-fitting clothing.
Don’t forget: Comfortable shoes for exploring.

Wet Season: May to November

Winter is also the wet or low season in Costa Rica. However, San José has less rainfall compared to most of the country so it’s a good time to explore the city and nearby national parks thanks to fewer crowds and costs. There’s a mini tourism influx during June and July, while September to November is also known as autumn - although the difference in weather is minimal. September 15 is Independence Day and the city comes to a near standstill to watch the marching bands and parades. Check out what’s playing at National Gymnasium, a venue for large pop concerts, or the National Stadium for sports in Savannah Metropolitan Park.

Average temperatures: 14 to 27 degrees Celsius.
Appropriate clothing: Loose, comfortable clothing plus light layers for the evenings.
Don’t forget: A waterproof parka or umbrella, especially if you’re planning to travel further afield.