Costa Rica Weather in July Guide for Families
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Costa Rica Weather in July: Exploring Costa Rica with Kids

June 5, 2024

Costa Rica, known for its lush rainforests, diverse wildlife, and stunning beaches, is a fantastic destination for families looking to explore nature and culture together. Visiting Costa Rica in July offers a unique experience due to the country’s distinctive weather patterns. In this blog post, we’ll explore what to expect from Costa Rica’s weather in July and provide tips on exploring this beautiful country with kids.

Costa Rica Arenal Volcano

Understanding Costa Rica’s Weather in July: The Green Season

Costa Rica’s climate is divided into two main seasons: the dry season (December to April) and the rainy season (May to November). July falls within the green season, characterized by daily rain showers and lush landscapes. The wet season brings daily rains and tropical thunderstorms, but also cooler weather and fewer crowds. The weather in July can be surprisingly pleasant, with a phenomenon locals call the “little summer” or “veranillo.”

The “Veranillo” Phenomenon

In July, Costa Rica experiences a short dry spell within the rainy season, typically lasting a couple of weeks. Costa Ricans attribute the pleasant weather in July to the famous ‘veranillo de San Juan,’ which impacts their daily lives and agriculture. This period, known as the veranillo, offers warm, sunny days with less rain, making it an ideal time for families to explore the outdoors. Temperatures during this time range from 70°F to 80°F (21°C to 27°C), providing a comfortable climate for various activities.

Benefits of Visiting Costa Rica in July

Fewer Crowds

One of the biggest advantages of traveling to Costa Rica in July is the reduced number of tourists. With the peak season over, popular attractions and national parks are less crowded, allowing your family to enjoy a more intimate experience with nature.

Lush Greenery

The rainy season brings out the best in Costa Rica’s flora. The landscapes are vibrant and lush, making it a perfect time for nature walks, bird watching, and exploring the rainforests. Kids will be amazed by the variety of plants and animals they can see.

Budget-Friendly Travel

July is considered the shoulder season, which means you can find better deals on flights, accommodations, and tours. This can significantly reduce the overall cost of your trip, making it more affordable for families.

Family-Friendly Activities in Costa Rica

Costa Rica offers a plethora of activities that cater to families with children. Here are some top recommendations for family-friendly adventures in July:

Costa Rica is an adventure-lover’s paradise, offering various activities for all interests and activity levels, including high-octane adventures like rafting, ATVs, and surfing, as well as more low-key adventures like hiking, zip lining, and horseback riding for the whole family.

Manuel Antonio National Park


  • Wildlife: Manuel Antonio is famous for its abundance of wildlife, including capuchin monkeys, howler monkeys, sloths, iguanas, and a variety of birds.
  • Beaches: The park boasts beautiful beaches such as Playa Manuel Antonio and Playa Espadilla Sur, ideal for swimming and picnicking.
  • Trails: Well-maintained trails like the Sendero Punta Catedral and Sendero Mirador provide easy hikes with stunning views.
Family at the beach Costa Rica


  • Guided Tours: Consider hiring a local guide to maximize wildlife sightings and learn more about the park’s ecosystem.
  • Timing: Visit early in the morning to avoid crowds and see more active wildlife.
  • Facilities: There are restrooms and picnic areas, making it convenient for families with young children.

Arenal Volcano National Park


  • Arenal Volcano: The iconic Arenal volcano located in La Fortuna is a must-see. Although its eruptions have ceased, the sight of the volcano is breathtaking.
  • Hot Springs: Numerous hot springs in the area, such as Tabacón and Baldi, offer a relaxing experience. Many resorts have kid-friendly pools and water slides.
  • Hiking: Trails like the Las Coladas trail offer views of old lava fields and the volcano.
Arenal Zone


  • Safety: Stay on designated trails and follow safety instructions, especially around the volcano.
  • Combination Tours: Consider packages that combine a hike, hot springs visit, and a visit to La Fortuna Waterfall.
  • Weather: Bring rain gear as weather can be unpredictable, even during the veranillo.

Monteverde Cloud Forest Reserve


  • Biodiversity: Monteverde is a haven for bird watchers with over 400 bird species, including the resplendent quetzal.
  • Hanging Bridges: Walk among the treetops on hanging bridges, offering a unique perspective of the cloud forest.
  • Night Tours: Experience the forest’s nocturnal side with guided night tours where kids can spot frogs, insects, and other night-active animals.
Hanging Bridges Monteverde


  • Clothing: Wear layers and waterproof gear as the cloud forest can be cool and damp.
  • Education: Visit the Monteverde Butterfly Garden and the Hummingbird Gallery to learn more about local species.
  • Transportation: Roads to Monteverde can be rough; consider a 4×4 vehicle or arrange transport with a tour company.

Beach Adventures

Guanacaste Beach Costa Rica

Tamarindo Beach


  • Surfing: Tamarindo is known for its surf-friendly waves, with numerous surf schools offering lessons for all ages.
  • Marine Life: Take a boat tour to spot dolphins and turtles, or go snorkeling to explore underwater life.
  • Sunset Views: The sunsets in Tamarindo are spectacular, making evening beach walks a must.


  • Lessons: Opt for family surf lessons; many schools offer packages for kids and beginners.
  • Safety: Ensure kids are supervised in the water and wear life jackets if necessary.
  • Shops and Restaurants: Tamarindo has a variety of family-friendly restaurants and shops, making it easy to find food and supplies.

Playa Conchal


  • Unique Sand: The beach is known for its tiny crushed shells, giving it a unique texture and beauty.
  • Calm Waters: Ideal for swimming, snorkeling, and paddleboarding.
  • Relaxation: Less crowded than other beaches, it’s perfect for a quiet family day out.


  • Snorkeling Gear: Bring your own gear to explore the crystal-clear waters and see colorful fish.
  • Shade: There’s limited natural shade, so consider bringing umbrellas or renting shaded spots.
  • Picnicking: Pack a picnic as there are few restaurants directly on the beach.

Wildlife Encounters

Tortuguero National Park


  • Turtle Nesting: Witnessing sea turtles nesting is a magical experience. July marks the beginning of the green sea turtle nesting season. The rainy season in Costa Rica typically lasts from late May through November, bringing daily rains and tropical thunderstorms.
  • Boat Tours: Explore the park’s canals on a boat tour to see caimans, monkeys, and a variety of bird species.
  • Jungle Walks: Guided walks offer insights into the rich biodiversity of the rainforest.
Tortuguero Boat Trip Costa Rica


  • Guided Tours: Book a guided turtle tour to ensure a respectful and informative experience.
  • Timing: Turtle tours are typically conducted at night. Bring insect repellent and wear long sleeves.
  • Access: Tortuguero is accessible only by boat or plane, so plan your transportation in advance.

La Paz Waterfall Gardens


  • Waterfalls: Five beautiful waterfalls accessible via safe, well-marked trails.
  • Wildlife Sanctuary: Home to rescued animals like jaguars, monkeys, and an aviary with tropical birds.
  • Butterfly Observatory: One of the largest butterfly observatories in the world, perfect for kids.
La Paz Waterfall


  • Strollers: The trails are well-maintained but can be steep; consider a baby carrier for younger children.
  • Interactive Exhibits: Spend time at the  zoo and frog exhibit, where kids can learn and interact.
  • Day Trip: It’s an easy day trip from San José, making it convenient if you’re based in the capital.

Adventure Activities

Zip Lining


  • Canopy Tours: Experience the thrill of zip lining through the rainforest canopy in places like Monteverde and Arenal.
  • Family-Friendly: Many zip line operators offer courses suitable for children, with safety harnesses and trained guides.
  • Views: Enjoy breathtaking views of the forest, valleys, and rivers below.


  • Age Limits: Check age and weight limits with the tour provider to ensure your kids can participate.
  • Clothing: Wear comfortable, secure clothing and closed-toe shoes.
  • Safety: Choose reputable tour operators with excellent safety records and equipment.

White Water Rafting


  • Balsa River: Offers Class II-III rapids, perfect for beginners and families with children.
  • Scenic Views: Enjoy the lush rainforest scenery and spot wildlife along the riverbanks.


  • Safety Gear: Ensure everyone wears helmets and life jackets provided by the tour operator.
  • Experience Level: Choose a rafting trip that matches your family’s comfort level and experience.
  • Photography: Some tours offer professional photos of your adventure, a great way to capture memories.

Tips for Traveling with Kids in Costa Rica

Traveling with children requires a bit of extra planning. Here are some tips to ensure a smooth and enjoyable trip:

When you visit Costa Rica, you’ll find a family-friendly culture and plenty of activities designed for children.

Kids taking at photo

1. Pack Accordingly

In July, you’ll need to be prepared for both sunny and rainy weather. Pack lightweight, quick-drying clothing, rain jackets, and waterproof shoes. Don’t forget essentials like sunscreen, insect repellent, and hats.

2. Stay Hydrated and Protected

The tropical climate can be intense, so ensure everyone stays hydrated. Bring reusable water bottles and remind kids to drink water regularly. Also, apply sunscreen frequently to protect against sunburn.

3. Plan Kid-Friendly Itineraries

While Costa Rica is full of exciting activities, it’s important to balance adventure with relaxation. Include downtime in your itinerary to avoid exhausting the little ones. Many resorts offer kids’ clubs and family-friendly amenities, providing parents with a chance to relax as well.

4. Use Local Guides

Hiring local guides can greatly enhance your experience. They are knowledgeable about the best spots for wildlife viewing and can provide insights into the local culture and environment. Many tours are designed with families in mind, ensuring they are both educational and fun.

Kids walking at the beach

Health and Safety Considerations

Safety is a priority when traveling with kids. Here are some health and safety tips:

1. Health Precautions

  • Vaccinations: Ensure everyone is up to date on routine vaccinations. Check if any additional vaccines are recommended for travel to Costa Rica.
  • First Aid Kit: Pack a basic first aid kit with items like band-aids, antiseptic wipes, and any necessary medications.

2. Safety Tips

  • Wildlife Safety: Teach kids to observe wildlife from a distance and not to feed or touch animals.
  • Water Safety: Be cautious around water, especially when swimming or engaging in water sports. Always supervise children and use life jackets when necessary.
  • Food and Water: Stick to bottled or purified water to avoid stomach issues. Enjoy fresh, cooked food and be cautious with street food.

Costa Rica in July offers a unique blend of pleasant weather, vibrant landscapes, and a myriad of activities perfect for families. Whether exploring rainforests, relaxing on pristine beaches, or embarking on wildlife adventures, there’s something for everyone. With careful planning and consideration, your family can create unforgettable memories while exploring this tropical paradise. Embrace the “pura vida” spirit and let Costa Rica’s natural wonders captivate your family this July. July is also a great time for a summer vacation in Costa Rica, with unique experiences and activities for the whole family.

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