Although Costa Rica is always fun to visit, some months are better than others. Two months to avoid unless you absolutely adore buckets and bathtubs of rain are October and November. October is typically the worst month of the year for rain and I’m not talking about pleasant downpours ot cool you off. No, more like giant faucets in the sky left open for too long that will remind you of a story about Noah the animal lover. The rain itself isn’t so bad (although most locals, my wife included, seem to be afraid of getting wet), but the results are; annual flooding, landslides and closed roads. At least the rest of the year isn’t too bad and I still prefer all this water over a cold, snowy, breaking the ice off your car winter. The frequent rain can be tiresome though. It’s especially bad when a cold front from the north stews like an airborn whirlpool directly above the country. I witnessed one of those temporadas when it rained for nearly all of November, 1999. And I mean nearly all, not just a downpour or two rain each day. No, CONSTANT rain day and night; it just didn’t stop! It let up and now and then to mist but the water kept coming for nearly a month. It was driving me nuts! At least I could escape it by visiting the Pacific slope as the torrents from the sky were limited to the Caribbean slope. In general though, the worst flooding occurs on the Pacific slope. At this moment, much of Parrita near Quepos is under water as are several areas of Guanacaste. The nightly news shows scenes of flooding every along with other related stories such as; 3 people bit by snakes displaced by the rains, closed roads, and various accidents; the worst of which were some poor guy who died along the road up to Monteverde and a couple kids who were crushed by a falling wall while they slept).
No, October isn’t the best of times to visit Costa Rica. Don’t be fooled by cheap tour packages. I mean, you can still have a good trip but there is an excellent chance that you will have problems getting around and might not be able to visit sites on your itinerary so I think it is worth considering a visit at some other time of the year.
Here is a link to the Tico Times with english articles about Costa Rica, including the weather. This week’s edition shows someone wading through a flooded area near an oil palm plantation. Since terribly venemous Fer-de-Lance snakes thrive in oil palm plantations, you couldn’t pay me enough to wade through that water!