Cruise and Beach Destinations
in the Caribbean, Mexico & Beyond
Costa Rica

Costa Rica Weather in December - Rainfall and Temperatures

Credit: Wikimedia

For a small country with Caribbean and Pacific coastlines, Costa Rica has wildly uneven weather in December.

This Central American country is known for its ecotourism, rain forests and natural attractions. As a result, it is popular with resort and cruise ship visitors on both coasts.

The two most popular coastal cities are Limon on the east coast—a popular stop for western Caribbean cruises—and Puntarenas on the west coast.

Let’s cut to the chase. December is a great time to visit Puntarenas, but it’s a terrible time to visit Limon.

Now let’s find out why.

Puntarenas in December

One of the unusual aspects of Puntarenas for resort and cruise visitors is that it has remarkably consistent temperatures throughout the year compared to most tropical destinations.

The average high temperature over a 30-year period is about 90 degrees Fahrenheit and 32 degrees Celsius, according to the World Weather Organization. That average varies only by a few degrees throughout the entire year.

The average low temperature, which is mainly at night, is about 72 degrees F and 22 degrees C.

These numbers are averages and the actual temperature during the visit may be somewhat higher or lower.

December also is an excellent time to visit because of the low risk of rain.

Puntarenas averages only about one inch of rain during the month and is near the start of the dry season, which lasts from January through March.

December also has one of the lowest number of rain days—the number of days with actual rainfall—at less than six.

Although tourists will find better weather from January through March, the warm temperatures and low risk of rain make December a good time to go.

Limon in December

The same can’t be said for Limon on the Caribbean coast, which has the worst month of the year for rainfall.

Average rain totals nearly 18 inches, which is one of the highest levels of any Caribbean cruise destination for any month of the year.

It also has one of the highest number of rain days at 21.

To be fair, Limon receives high amounts of rain throughout the year because of its location. But every month receives less than December, and some quite a bit more.

Temperatures do remain comfortable at an average high of 84 degrees Fahrenheit and 29 degrees Celsius.

  • Costa Rica weather in January, February, March, April, May, June, July, August, September, October, November, December

Scott S. Bateman is a professional journalist who has traveled widely throughout the Caribbean and the Americas. He is the author of four books about cruising in the Caribbean, Alaska and Mexican Riviera.
February 17, 2020