Costa Rica time is GMT -6, what the U.S. calls Central Time without Daylight Savings. So summers we are two hours behind Key West and winters we are only one. Très confusing… Daylight Savings with a twist!
On the simple side, Costa Rica is so close to the equator at latitude 9°, the sun rises around 5:15a and sets around 6p. Everyday. 365. You don’t get those delicious long evenings, but it’s predictable! For the longest time, we never went anywhere at night… we would fall asleep when it got dark! Who knew we were so wired to the sun?
Costa Rica has two seasons: wet or "green" as the tourist industry calls it, our winter, from May thru November. And dry, or summer, from December thru April. Like sunrise and sunset, temperatures are pretty constant, though winters tend to be a little cooler.
We were told to expect daily gushing rain storms throughout the rainy season. But here in the central valley around San Jose, it just ain’t so… global warming? After months of occasional gushing rain storms, we are finally seeing daily rain but not an overwhelming amount. On the coasts and in the jungles, it rains appreciably more and reports of flooding are frequent. Apparently October and November are drenched around here. I’ll keep you posted on that. You definitely want to remember your umbrella if you are coming during the green season and leave the nice leather pumps at home.
We live in the mountains near San Jose at 3900′ according to our GPS. Freed from the AC jailhouse, this is our idea of perfect weather! The tourist industry defines it as "t-shirt days, comforter nights". Absolutely, gloriously true!
People who have not lived in the tropics for 30 years, like us, think San Jose at 3000′ is perfect, but that sea level is just too hot for us. And forget the coast for living. Thirty years living in a sauna is enough for this city girl! If you are coming from Siberia, coastal weather will probably seem perfect: HOT and steamy!
In fact, we are going to Manuel Antonio this week for a couple of days… just to check out the weather details for you. Yeah, that’s it. Staying at La Posada in the Monkey Room… should I warn them that Criticia Voluptua Right-Right is headed their way? Nah!!! Takes the fun out of it.
If you are visiting, all the guidebooks we’ve read cover the weather in minute detail and advise what to bring. I say keep it casual: umbrella, sweatshirt and flip flops in the green season. Sunscreen in the dry. I would NOT bring one of those complete rubber rain-gear outfits unless it really turns you on or you decide to become a motorscooter messenger. Because a) you’ll look ridiculous and b) you’ll be the only one wearing one. Besides the motorscooter drivers. Besides, they are hot as hell. Umbrella, flip flips. Done.