What to do in Costa Rica in December

Manuel Antonio National Park, Costa Rica.
© Pascal Boegli/Moment/Getty Images

Costa Rica is known for having a great weather all year long. It is also an amazing place to visit for all of those who enjoy nature, adventure, gorgeous beaches and wildlife encounters. This is definitely an amazing option for all of those who are looking to get away from the cold winter that some countries experience during December. 

Keep reading to find the average temperatures during the month of December and learn about all of the cool events that take place in Costa Rica in that time. 

The Weather in Costa Rica in December

December is the middle of the winter season for most of the northern countries. However during this time, Costa Rica experiences some of its best weather of the year—just in time for the Christmas holidays. The rainy season is officially over by the middle of November in most of the country. That's when the climate gets just a bit colder and windier(still ward for our standards) and less muggy, providing gorgeous clear skies and sunny days. This happens pretty much all over Central America during this time of the year.

December Average Temperatures in the Main Regions

The weather might get a bit colder, but it is still quite warm for people who aren't used to living in a tropical country. 

  • San Jose:
    • Highs of 73ºF
    • Lows of 59ºF
    • Average Rainfall: 1.6 inches
    • Humidity: 83%
  • Manuel Antonio (Pacific):
    • Highs of 86ºF
    • Lows of 69ºF
    • Average Rainfall: 6.65 inches
    • Humidity: 86%
  • Limón (Caribbean):
    • Highs of 88ºF
    • Lows of 69ºF
    • Average Rainfall: 17.5 inches
    • Humidity: 88%

Costa Rica Events in December

Locals from Costa Rica love a good celebration, each month the different towns host some kind of celebration. December isn't the exception. There are tos of cool celebrations that you can take part in. Here are some of them: 

  • Christmas Holidays- During Christmas Day and the week after December 25, pretty much all of Costa Rica erupts in celebrations: fireworks, fruits and festivals. Many Tico children believe in Santa Claus, anticipating the magical arrival of his gifts under their Christmas tree. There is also tons of traditional food around.
  • “Summer” School Holidays—The long public school vacations in Costa Rica run from the middle of the second week in December through the beginning of the second week in February. so you can expect to see tons of families on vacation. This means that the beaches will be a bit more crowded than they normally are.
  • Festival de la Luz—This one takes place in San José. The festival lasts a whole week and is basically tons of lighting displays, concerts and fireworks after dark in the park. Everything of course with a Christmas feel to it. 
  • Fiesta Pattronale Pavas—This is a pretty common type of street fair with music, dancing, traditional food and toro a la Tica (bullfights without the bloodshed). As the name impies it takes place in the Pavas area of San Jose.
  • Fiesta de la Yeguita— During this time you will see bullfights and a parade followed by a large Tico style party at the central park of Nicoya with food, concerts and fireworks.
  • Misa de Gallo— This isn't exactly a celebration. It is the christmas eve midnight mass. (Literally, Mass of the Rooster.) If you are religious you might enjoy it.
  • Tope Caballos—A horse parade on the 26th of December through downtown San José.

Tips on Traveling to Costa Rica in December

Costa Rica takes its holidays seriously! While the Christmas holiday season is an extraordinary time to visit Costa Rica, it’s also an extremely busy time to visit. Prices are higher, and accommodations must be booked far in advance. Many businesses are also closed all week long.