Much of Costa Rica is enjoying the sunny season in January, which is one reason why it continues to be a busy time of year throughout the country. The Central, South and Pacific Northwest regions will experience minimal rain, and temperatures can easily get to the 90s each day. Closer to Arenal, temperatures are a much more comfortable 75 degrees, but there are the occasional rain showers at night to contend with. If you’re heading to Arenal, it’s smart to bring along an umbrella and some covered shoes, because the ground could get muddy.
If you’re spending time along the Pacific Coast, then expect bigger crowds at most of the popular beaches. You should also expect hotels to book quickly and be more expensive than in the low season. However, January is also the ideal time to visit a place like Arenal. It won’t be too hot to get active and explore outdoors, and there is no end of things to do, see and explore in the area. Arenal is home to Arenal Volcano as well as Lake Arenal, not to mention a number of stunning waterfalls. Perhaps most popular are the hot springs, which are kept warm thanks to geothermal activity underground.
There are many hotels in Arenal that offer access to onsite hot springs, and they run from upscale to affordable. If you want to enjoy the amenities without blowing your budget, Volcano Lodge & Springs is a great compromise. It also happens to be close to Nenes Restaurant, a great international dining destination that offers everything from hearty grilled steaks to fresh ceviche.
The first day of January is the biggest event of the month, and many partygoers from the night before continue the festivities at local eateries and in town squares. Several towns in Costa Rica also hold a festival on the first week of January, and bullfights without bloodshed as well as delicious food, dancing and music are all to be expected.
For more information about when to travel to Costa Rica, we recommend reading the following articles: