May is sometimes classified as part of the shoulder season in Costa Rica. Technically, most people think of May’s weather as rainy, but that is not always the case. The beginning of May tends to be drier and warmer than you might expect, and even the second half of the month can vary depending on where in the country you happen to be. However, the fact that it is no longer the high season means that you can snag bargains on both flights and accommodation.
Along the Northern Pacific Coast of Costa Rica, it is basically still the dry season. There is minimal rain, and temperatures can still get to the 90s daily. Further south along the coast, you should expect temperatures in the 80s and the occasional afternoon rainstorm. The same weather pattern is found elsewhere across the country, with mostly sunny and dry mornings paired with wetter evenings. Remember that the weather can change overnight, so it’s smart to bring along a sweater or a light jacket for any evening adventures.
To take advantage of the lingering dry weather in Northwestern Costa Rica, head to the Parque Nacional Santa Rosa. The national park offers dry forest as well as beautiful beaches, and there are even volcanoes in view throughout most of the area. In addition to being dry, sunny and scenic, this is a great place for swimming, hiking and all types of outdoor recreation. The Santa Elena Lodge is just outside of the national park in Barrio Cangrejal, and it is within walking distance of several great shops and restaurants. Don’t miss the Bar Restaurante Arrecife, where the clam fried rice is one of many fusion dishes you will definitely enjoy.
If you’re still planning your trip to Costa Rica in May, remember that the month kicks off with Dia de los Trabajadores, or Labor Day. Expect parades and cricket matches in most major towns and cities throughout Costa Rica. Also in May is Fiestas Pattronales Marcos Tarrazu in Coronada, a major festival complete with performances, music and food.
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