If you’ve listened to our recent Talk Show #7, you have heard us convey how much we enjoy the rainy season down here in Costa Rica. As Ben mentioned in that video, “Four out of five people who live here would probably say they prefer the rainy season.” (Disclaimer- this estimate is not based on scientific data.) However, there are those visitors to our blog and websites who see the rain as a deterrent for buying here, a sentiment that serves as my motivation to write this article.
First, the rain here is different than in most areas of North America and Europe. It doesn’t bring a shiver to the bones; it’s refreshing and a welcomed break from the heat. Warmth is just one of many characteristics that make this tropical precipitation so vital and so magical.
Six Months Of Rain?
Climate is a significant factor for most buyers when determining where to buy their piece of Costa Rica real estate. In fact, one of the most popular questions Ben and I field is “How many months per year does it rain?” The quick answer is around seven; however, that number doesn’t tell an accurate story. The rainy season starts in mid-April and usually runs through mid-November. Most days start out cool, clear and sunny with some rain in the afternoon and evening. Rainfall in September and especially October can be heavy. These September-October downpours, aguaceros in Spanish, lead some residents to make plans to be elsewhere during that time. That being said, even in October the sun will come out at some point during the day. We do experience the occasional tropical storm, but hurricanes on the Pacific side of Costa Rica are a rarity.
One of my favorite benefits of the rainy season is there aren’t as many people. It’s not that I have anything against tourists; we were all tourists at one point in the Costa Rican journey. However, if you live here full time or part time, the small town, pura vida is easier to absorb without the extra traffic, both automotive and human. Tourism, and the vacation rental market, is still strong between June and August as most kids are out of school.
I spent most of my life in the relatively dry Bay Area of California, my love of the rain comes as a surprise to friends and family back home. I try to explain how the rain cools things down, how it takes the dust out of the air, how it replenishes the fresh water tables, and how it summarily brings this place to life. The southern Pacific zone is SO GREEN that at times it seems like someone has adjusted the color balance. The tropical flowers and budding fruit pop against an ever-changing jungle backdrop. Simply put, rain helps everything grow, and that includes the wildlife and the humans walking around.
Like buying real estate in Costa Rica, living here is relatively easy with the right contacts. It can also be a very enriching experience with some understanding of Spanish. If you want to be on the Pacific Coast, you have to enjoy the heat to some degree (pardon the pun). Thanks to the heat, I am now a morning person. Thanks to the rain in Costa Rica, I am now living a dream.