A relatively quick but to answer a question that I really wanted to know before I visited Costa Rica: what’s it like in December?

I have to admit, the trip was planned and booked before I started seeing articles online about why you shouldn’t visit in December or how expensive it was in December. And although I don’t have any other months to compare it to, I have to say that I loved visiting in December. And I would do it all over again in a heartbeat.


If you’re visiting in December, spend some time on the coast. This was where we got the nicest weather, with the Carribean coast hitting high twenties almost every day we were there. This lovely weather also meant that much more wildlife was out. When you’re visiting some of the other regions like Monteverde, take a coat, or at least a rain jacket. Although it didn’t rain consistently, you will appreciate that extra layer.


December is admittedly one of the peak tourist seasons, and we did meet a lot of people travelling from North America and Canada down to Costa Rica for Christmas. However for me, this wasn’t a disadvantage as such as it was lovely to chat not only to the locals but also other travellers. It also meant that there were plenty of shared shuttles going round Costa Rica so we were not struggling with that type of transport.

Are places shut?

You don’t need to worry too much about shops and restaurants being shut on Christmas Day – I spent Christmas day in Cahuita national park after cooking banana pancakes, swimming in the sea and then went to a local Carribean restaurant for fruit punch and a meal afterwards. The only place I would advise checking for closures are the large museums in places like San Jose. As I discovered through experience, most of these are shut on New Years Eve and New Years Day.

Flight Prices

They vary year by year, so check on sites like skyscanner rather than just taking my word for it. However, we managed to keep flight costs down by flying back New Years Eve. Flying back New Years Eve was definitely a good experience. It was a fairly eventful flight too, with a flight attendant getting engaged, and all of us being provided with free champagne at midnight as we flew over the Carribbean.

In summary, if you’re thinking about not going to Costa Rica because you’ve only got Christmas holidays to go in – just go. I loved my Christmas in Costa Rica and wouldn’t have changed it – even walking up a volcano and it being a bit too foggy to see the views. The culture and people don’t change and you’re likely to get on plenty of tours with it being tourist season.

If you’re intending to go to Costa Rica, have a read of my other posts below:

Costa Rica Series Out Now…

2 Week Costa Rica Itinerary
What to do in Monteverde, Costa Rica?
Itinerary for 3 Days in La Fortuna, Costa Rica
What to do for 5 days in Cahuita?
Why you should visit Tortuguero
Food Checklist for Costa Rica