Costa Rica travel has two seasons. The dry summer (verano) season is from December to May with many cloudless days and star-filled nights including views of the Southern Cross constellation. Coinciding with the winter in the northern hemisphere, this is the most popular season for visitors. You may be surprised how brown the landscape sometimes appears when flying into San Jose in April but after one or two downpours in May, everything is rapidly transformed into soothing green carpet. The green or rainy winter (invierno) season is a bit of a misnomer as the temperature hovers in the mid 70s year round in the Mesita Central. The mornings are beautiful, usually partially sunny with scattered cumulus clouds, covering over completely by noon, darkening by mid-afternoon with a major downpour often accentuated with a heart jolting lightning storm. Rivers race down the steep pitched gorges and roads washing away the last day’s litter. By early evening it has tapered off to a light rain for an hour or two, and clearing by bedtime. It is a pleasant and alluring time of year with the popular tourist areas less crowded, and everything is so fresh and lush.

Costa Rica, making up 0.01 percent of the planets landmass, and being at the cross-roads of two continents, is said to have an amazing five to six percent of earth’s biodiversity. You will actually see the most wildlife along the Pacific and northwest (towards Nicaragua) where the vegetation is more sparse and open, and cattle ranches have prospered. As you go south and east in Costa Rica towards Panama, the more lush and tropical the rainforests become. It is comforting to know here that the dense flora and diverse fauna are vigorously growing without necessarily having to be seen. Forget the Tarzan stunts, you can barely walk ten feet into the tropical bush, let alone swing on long vines through wide open spaces. Some public parks have trails cut, and guides are often recommended for their knowledge, protection and ability to find their way out.

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