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Explore Costa Rica In December Climate Weather And What To Bring

Are you planning to explore Costa Rica in December?

This tropical paradise is a popular destination for those seeking a break from the cold winter weather.

With its lush rainforests, stunning beaches, and diverse wildlife, there’s something for everyone in Costa Rica.

But before you pack your bags, it’s important to understand the climate and weather conditions in December and what to bring to make the most of your trip.

December is considered to be one of the best months to visit Costa Rica, thanks to its dry season.

The weather is warm and sunny, with temperatures ranging from the mid-70s to mid-80s Fahrenheit.

However, the climate can vary depending on the region you’re visiting.

From the Pacific coast to the Caribbean side, there’s a lot to explore in Costa Rica.

So, whether you’re planning to hike through the rainforests, relax on the beaches, or explore the cities, it’s important to pack accordingly.

In this article, we’ll take a closer look at what to wear and bring when exploring Costa Rica in December.

Understanding the Climate and Weather in Costa Rica in December


You’ll want to know what to expect from the weather during this time of year so you can pack accordingly and be prepared for any outdoor activities.

December is the beginning of the dry season in Costa Rica, which means you can expect plenty of sunshine and warm temperatures. The average temperature in December is around 70-80 degrees Fahrenheit, making it the perfect time for outdoor adventures like hiking, surfing, and zip-lining. Just be sure to bring plenty of sunscreen and a hat to protect yourself from the strong sun.

In addition to the great weather, December is also a time for local customs and traditions. The holiday season is in full swing, and you can expect to see plenty of Christmas lights and decorations throughout the country. Many towns and cities also hold parades and festivals, so be sure to check out the local events calendar to see what’s happening in the areas you’ll be visiting.

Overall, December is a great time to explore Costa Rica and immerse yourself in the local culture while enjoying the beautiful weather and outdoor activities.

What to Wear in Costa Rica in December


For this time of year, it’s best to pack light and wear breathable clothing so you can stay cool in the hot, humid weather. Sarah, a traveler from California, found that packing loose-fitting shorts and tank tops kept her comfortable during her visit to Costa Rica in December.

Here are some beachwear essentials that you should consider bringing with you:

1. Swimsuits – You’ll want to pack at least two swimsuits so that you can wear one while the other is drying.

2. Sunscreen – With the intense sun in Costa Rica, it’s important to protect your skin from harmful UV rays. Make sure to bring a high SPF sunscreen and apply it frequently.

3. Sunglasses – Protect your eyes from the bright sunlight with a pair of sunglasses.

4. Hat – A hat will provide additional protection from the sun and keep you cool.

When it comes to footwear options, sandals or flip-flops are the best choices for the beach and casual outings. However, if you plan on hiking or doing any activities that require more support, bring a pair of comfortable walking shoes.

With the right clothing and accessories, you’ll be able to enjoy all that Costa Rica has to offer without feeling weighed down by heavy clothing.

Packing for Outdoor Activities


When you’re packing for outdoor activities in Costa Rica, it’s important to keep a few key items in mind. First and foremost, make sure you have ample sun protection, including hats, sunglasses, and plenty of sunscreen.

Additionally, insect repellant is a must-have for keeping pesky bugs at bay. Don’t forget to pack plenty of water and snacks to stay hydrated and energized during your adventures.

Finally, be sure to bring appropriate hiking and adventure gear, such as sturdy shoes and breathable clothing, to ensure you’re comfortable and safe on your excursions.

Sun Protection

Don’t forget your sunscreen and hat for ultimate protection against the tropical sun. December in Costa Rica is known for its hot and humid weather, making it important to take sun protection seriously. Whether you’re heading to the beach, hiking in the rainforest or exploring the city, SPF options and sun hats should be at the top of your packing list.

SPF options come in many forms, from lotions to sprays, and choosing the right one can make all the difference. Look for a broad-spectrum sunscreen with at least SPF 30 to protect against both UVA and UVB rays. Don’t forget to reapply every few hours, especially if you’re swimming or sweating.

A sun hat is also a must for any outdoor activity. Not only will it protect your face and neck from the sun, but it can also help keep you cool in the heat. Opt for a wide-brimmed hat made of breathable material for maximum comfort.

With the right sun protection, you’ll be able to enjoy Costa Rica’s natural beauty without any worries.

Insect Repellant

Protect yourself from pesky bugs with insect repellent – it’s a must-have for any outdoor adventure in Costa Rica!

The country is home to a variety of insects, including mosquitoes, ticks, and biting flies. These insects can carry diseases like dengue, chikungunya, and Zika. To avoid getting bitten, it’s important to apply insect repellent before heading out on any outdoor activities.

While DEET is a popular ingredient in many insect repellents, there are also natural alternatives and DEET-free options available. Citronella, lavender, and eucalyptus oil are all effective natural repellents and can be found in many products on the market.

It’s important to read the label carefully and follow the application instructions to ensure maximum protection. Don’t let pesky insects ruin your Costa Rican adventure – be prepared with insect repellent!

Water and Snacks

Make sure you’ve got plenty of water and snacks with you for your outdoor adventures in Costa Rica. The hot and humid climate can quickly dehydrate you, so it’s essential to carry enough water to keep yourself hydrated.

You can buy bottled water from any local store, but it’s better to carry a reusable water bottle to reduce plastic waste. You can also find water fountains in public places like parks and beaches, so don’t hesitate to refill your bottle whenever you get a chance.

Costa Rica has plenty of delicious treats to offer. You can try fresh tropical fruits like mangoes, pineapples, and papayas, which are available everywhere. For a more filling option, you can try gallo pinto, a traditional dish made with rice and beans.

Granola bars, nuts, and energy bars are also great options for a quick snack on the go. Make sure to carry a small backpack or a fanny pack to keep your water and snacks handy during your adventures.

Hiking and Adventure Gear

If you want to fully enjoy your outdoor adventures in Costa Rica, it’s essential to have the right hiking and adventure gear. The country’s terrain is diverse and can be challenging, so it’s wise to invest in quality gear that can withstand the elements.

Top rated brands like Patagonia, North Face, and Columbia offer a variety of options for all your adventure needs. From waterproof jackets and hiking boots to backpacks and camping gear, these brands have got you covered.

When choosing your gear, consider sustainable options that have minimal impact on the environment. Eco-friendly brands like prAna and Cotopaxi use sustainable materials and ethical manufacturing practices to create high-quality products. They also give back to local communities and conservation efforts, making them a great choice for conscious travelers.

With the right gear, you’ll be able to fully immerse yourself in Costa Rica’s lush rainforests, stunning beaches, and challenging mountain trails.

Packing for Beaches


When you’re hitting the beaches in Costa Rica in December, you’ll want to pack plenty of sunscreen and a good book to unwind with. Here are four other items you should consider bringing along:

1. A wide-brimmed hat to protect your face and neck from the sun
2. A beach bag to carry all your essentials (think: water bottle, snacks, towel)
3. Comfortable sandals that you can wear both on the beach and around town
4. Lightweight, breathable clothing that will keep you cool in the tropical climate

It’s important to note that Costa Rica’s beaches can be rocky in some areas, so water shoes or sturdy sandals are also a good idea to protect your feet.

And don’t forget to bring a beach towel or two! While some hotels and resorts may provide them, it’s always better to have your own.

Finally, be sure to pack a reusable water bottle to help reduce waste and stay hydrated while enjoying your time on the beach.

Packing for the City


As we delve into the next section, let’s gear up for urban exploration with some savvy packing tips.

Costa Rica’s cities offer a unique blend of traditional and modern culture, so be sure to pack accordingly. You’ll want to bring comfortable walking shoes for all the exploring you’ll be doing, and don’t forget a light jacket or sweater for cooler evenings.

Other urban essentials include a day pack for carrying any souvenirs or snacks you pick up along the way, as well as a reusable water bottle to stay hydrated in the city heat.

Sunscreen and sunglasses are a must for protecting yourself from the strong tropical sun, and a hat can also provide some extra shade.

Finally, be sure to bring your camera to capture all the vibrant colors and architecture of Costa Rica’s urban landscapes. With these packing tips, you’ll be ready to take on the city like a pro.

Tips for Packing Light


When it comes to packing light, there are a few key tips you should keep in mind.

First, consider choosing dual-purpose items to save space in your luggage. For example, a scarf can double as a shawl or a beach cover-up.

Second, limit your toiletries to only the essentials and consider using travel-sized containers.

And finally, research laundry options at your destination so you can pack fewer clothes and do laundry as needed.

By following these tips, you can pack efficiently and enjoy a lighter load on your travels.

Choosing Dual-Purpose Items

Get the most out of your packing by bringing items that can serve multiple purposes during your trip to Costa Rica in December. With limited space in your luggage, choosing dual-purpose items can help you save room and make your trip more efficient.

Here are some sustainable options to consider:

1. Sarong: A sarong can be used as a beach cover-up, a towel, a blanket, and even a headscarf to protect yourself from the sun.

2. Scarf: A scarf can add style to your outfit while also keeping you warm on chilly nights or acting as a makeshift pillow during long bus rides.

3. Water bottle: Bringing a reusable water bottle not only helps reduce plastic waste but can also be used as a hot water bottle or a container for snacks.

4. Ziplock bags: Ziplock bags can keep your electronics safe from water damage, store wet clothes, and even serve as makeshift ice packs for sore muscles.

By choosing dual-purpose items, you can pack smarter and have more freedom to explore Costa Rica without worrying about carrying too much luggage. Don’t be afraid to get creative with your packing and think outside the box for ways to make the most of each item in your suitcase.

Limiting Toiletries

You can save space and reduce waste by limiting the number of toiletries you pack for your trip to Costa Rica. Taking a minimalist approach to your packing list can not only make your luggage lighter but also help you be more sustainable.

Instead of bringing multiple bottles of shampoo, conditioner, and body wash, opt for solid bars that can be used for multiple purposes.

There are also sustainable alternatives to consider, such as reusable cotton rounds, bamboo toothbrushes, and refillable containers. These items not only reduce waste but also support local businesses that prioritize environmentally-friendly products.

By limiting your toiletries and choosing sustainable options, you can travel lighter and leave a smaller carbon footprint on the beautiful country of Costa Rica.

Laundry Options

Ready to wash away your worries? When exploring Costa Rica in December, it’s important to have clean clothes, but it’s also important to be conscious of sustainable options.

While many hotels and accommodations offer laundry facilities, they may not always be environmentally friendly. Instead, consider DIY laundry options like hand-washing clothes in the sink or using a portable washing machine. Not only will you be reducing your carbon footprint, but you’ll also save money on laundry services.

When packing for your trip, be sure to bring a small container of biodegradable laundry detergent and a clothesline to hang your clothes to dry. This will not only save you money, but it’s also a great opportunity to take in the beautiful scenery while you wait for your clothes to dry.

Additionally, many accommodations may have restrictions on drying clothes outside, so it’s important to check with them beforehand. With these sustainable options, you can explore Costa Rica with a lighter environmental impact and a clean wardrobe.

Additional Considerations


When planning your trip to Costa Rica in December, there are a few additional considerations to keep in mind.

First and foremost, make sure you have all necessary travel documents, such as a valid passport and any required visas.

It’s also important to consider purchasing travel insurance and researching medical considerations, such as vaccinations and local healthcare options.

Lastly, be sure to familiarize yourself with the local currency and money tips, such as using credit cards with no foreign transaction fees and exchanging money at reputable banks or exchange bureaus.

By taking these extra steps, you can ensure a smooth and stress-free trip to Costa Rica.

Travel Documents

Don’t forget to have all your travel documents in order before embarking on your adventure in this beautiful country. Costa Rica has specific passport requirements and visa regulations that you need to comply with in order to enter the country.

Here are some important things to keep in mind before you leave:

– Make sure your passport is valid for at least six months beyond your planned departure date.
– Check the visa requirements for your country and make sure you have the appropriate visa, if necessary.
– Bring a copy of your passport and other important travel documents in case of loss or theft.
– Consider purchasing travel insurance to cover any unexpected situations that may arise.

By taking care of these details in advance, you can ensure a smooth and hassle-free journey to Costa Rica. Remember, your travel documents are your ticket to freedom and adventure, so make sure you have everything in order before you go.

Insurance and Medical Considerations

Now that you’ve got your travel documents sorted out, it’s time to consider your insurance and medical needs for your Costa Rica trip in December. It’s always better to be safe than sorry, especially when it comes to your health and safety while traveling abroad.

First and foremost, make sure to purchase travel insurance before your trip. This will give you peace of mind, knowing that you’re covered in case of any unforeseen circumstances such as trip cancellations, lost luggage, or medical emergencies.

Additionally, it’s important to research the emergency medical services available in Costa Rica and make a note of their contact information in case of an emergency. With these precautions in place, you can fully enjoy your Costa Rica adventure without worrying about unexpected expenses or medical emergencies.

Currency and Money Tips

Let’s talk about how to handle your money and currency during your upcoming trip to Costa Rica. Exchanging currency is a must, especially if you plan on venturing outside tourist areas. You can do this at the airport, banks, or exchange offices, but be aware that exchange rates may vary. It’s recommended to exchange a small amount of money at the airport for immediate expenses, then find a bank or exchange office for larger transactions.

Keep in mind that US dollars are widely accepted, but you’ll likely receive change in the local currency, colones. Budgeting expenses is also important to prevent overspending. Costa Rica can be expensive, especially in tourist areas, so plan accordingly. Research prices for transportation, food, and activities to have a rough idea of how much you’ll need.

Using credit cards is convenient, but not all places accept them, so always have cash on hand. ATM withdrawals are also an option, but be aware of fees and notify your bank of your travel plans to avoid any issues.

By being mindful of your expenses and knowing your options for handling money, you’ll be able to fully enjoy your Costa Rican adventure without any financial stress. Incorporating these simple tips will make your trip to Costa Rica an enjoyable and hassle-free experience. Remember, exchanging currency, budgeting expenses, and using credit cards or ATM withdrawals wisely can go a long way in ensuring you have a stress-free vacation. So go ahead, enjoy the beauty and freedom that Costa Rica has to offer!

Frequently Asked Questions

Are there any unique cultural events or festivals happening in Costa Rica in December?

Looking for unique cultural events and festivals to experience in Costa Rica during December? You’re in luck! This vibrant country has a rich calendar of December festivities that celebrate its traditions and heritage.

From the Fiestas de Zapote in San Jose, featuring bullfighting and amusement park rides, to the colorful parade and fireworks of the Festival de la Luz, there’s something for everyone.

Don’t miss the traditional celebrations of the Virgin of Guadalupe in Cartago, where pilgrims from all over the country gather to pay their respects.

With so much to see and do, you’ll want to pack your bags and join the fun!

Is it easy to find vegetarian or vegan food options in Costa Rica?

If you’re a vegan or vegetarian, you’ll be pleased to know that Costa Rica has plenty of options for you to choose from. From vegan cuisine to locally grown fruits and vegetables, you’ll find all sorts of delicious and healthy food options.

Local markets are a great place to find fresh produce and homemade vegan snacks. You won’t have to worry about missing out on the local cuisine either, as many restaurants offer vegan and vegetarian options.

So, whether you’re looking for a hearty vegan meal or a light snack, Costa Rica has got you covered.

What are some recommended hiking trails or national parks to visit in December?

Looking for some adventure in Costa Rica in December? You’re in luck! There are plenty of hiking trails and national parks to explore during this time of year.

Some of the top rated waterfalls to check out include La Fortuna Waterfall, Nauyaca Waterfalls, and Rio Celeste Waterfall.

If beaches are more your style, head to Manuel Antonio National Park or Tamarindo Beach.

For wildlife spotting, consider taking a guided tour in Corcovado National Park or the Monteverde Cloud Forest Reserve.

With so many options, you’re sure to find something that fits your desire for freedom and adventure.

Can you recommend any eco-friendly accommodations in Costa Rica?

Looking for eco-friendly lodging options in Costa Rica? Sustainable tourism is becoming increasingly popular, and there are many great options available!

From eco-lodges to sustainable resorts, there are plenty of places to stay that will allow you to enjoy your vacation while still being mindful of your impact on the environment. Some eco-friendly options include using solar power, recycling and composting facilities, and sourcing food locally to reduce carbon emissions.

When choosing your accommodation, make sure to do your research and choose a place that aligns with your values. So, why not make your next vacation an eco-friendly one? You’ll not only be doing your part to protect the planet, but you’ll also have the opportunity to experience Costa Rica in a unique and sustainable way.

Are there any health or safety precautions to take into consideration when traveling to Costa Rica in December?

When traveling to Costa Rica in December, it’s important to consider a few health and safety precautions. Firstly, it’s recommended to purchase travel insurance to protect yourself from any unforeseen events such as medical emergencies or trip cancellations.

Additionally, the Zika virus is still present in Costa Rica, so it’s important to take precautions to prevent mosquito bites. This includes wearing long-sleeved clothing, using insect repellent, and staying in places with screens on windows and doors.

By taking these precautions, you can ensure a safe and enjoyable trip to Costa Rica.


In conclusion, exploring Costa Rica in December can be an incredible experience, but it’s important to be prepared for the varying climates and weather conditions you may encounter. Remember to pack for outdoor activities, beaches, and the city, and consider the tips for packing light to make your trip more enjoyable.

One thing to keep in mind is the metaphor of a chameleon when packing for Costa Rica. Just as a chameleon adapts to its surroundings to survive, you too must adapt to the changing climates and environments of the country.

From the lush rainforests to the sunny beaches, Costa Rica has so much to offer, but it’s up to you to be prepared and flexible.

With a little planning and the right gear, you can fully enjoy the vibrant culture and natural beauty of Costa Rica in December. So don’t hesitate to book your trip and start packing for your own adventure in this tropical paradise. Pura vida!