Photo Credit: Chris Goldberg

Travelers who are planning to fly to Central America may want to do some research on the before heading off on their trip. As any tourist knows, the weather during a trip can make a big difference, even in this tropical paradise.

The small nation of Costa Rica is located near the equator. Therefore, it has a warm climate with no true winter. The sun is always in the sky for about 12 hours every day, creating an average annual temperature of between 70 and 81 degrees Fahrenheit. However, this does not mean that the weather in the country is the same throughout the months, or from place to place. Depending on the season and the location, the weather in Costa Rica can actually vary greatly.

Months in the country are divided between a rainy season and a dry season. The rainy days of the year tend to occur between May and November. The heaviest rains falling between September and October, so tourists who are venturing into the country at this time should definitely bring an umbrella or two. On the other hand, between December and April, there is little to no rainfall in the country, which can be perfect for lounging on the beach.

Another reason why the weather in Costa Rica is so diverse is due to the changes in elevation at various parts of the nation, which can really impact the climate, regardless of the season. For example, the lowlands of Guanacaste tend to be fairly dry year round, with an average temperature of about 79 degrees Fahrenheit. Visitors who go to this region should therefore be sure to bring a swimsuit and a fresh container of sunblock. The highlands of Monteverde, on the other hand, receive more rain, mist and fog. This area has an average temperature of about 55 degree Fahrenheit. In other words, bring a light raincoat. Many travelers find that the Central Valley, including the capital city of San Jose, has the best climate, with an average temperature of 72 degree Fahrenheit and cool tropical breezes that travelers will fantasize about long after their vacation is over.

Since many tourists come to Costa Rica to see its bounty of flora and fauna, travelers should also know that these varying weather patterns will also affect the species they will encounter in different regions. For example, since Guanacaste is dry and hot, it houses species that enjoy this type of environment, such as iguanas, brown pelicans and howler monkeys. In the wet rainforests of Monteverde, bring binoculars and a camera because it attracts many creatures that love the moist atmosphere. These lush forests are home to animals such as hummingbirds, tree frogs and jaguars.