Cruise and Beach Destinations
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Costa Rica

Puntarenas Climate: Extreme Wet to Extreme Dry

Puntarenas beach
Puntarenas beaches usually have clear skies from December through April. Credit: Wikimedia
Puntarenas Costa Rica is a popular cruise port with extreme climate seasons.

Visitors will find that the climate has one extreme dry season and one extreme rainy season. They change virtually overnight.

As a result, cruise visits climb during the dry season and drop steeply during the rainy season.

In contrast, temperatures are highly consistent with an average high of 91 degrees Fahrenheit or 33 degrees Celsius and an average low of 73 degrees Fahrenheit or 23 degrees Celsius.

Puntarenas Rainy Season

Extensive historical data from Instituto Meteorologico Nacional, the Costa Rica meteorological service shows that this tourist mecca on the Pacific Coast has a distinct rainy season from May through November.

MonthMin TempMax TemRain InchesRain Days
The chart to the right shows that total average rainfall jumps to eight inches in May and hits a high point of 11 inches in September and October.

September and October also are the peak months for the Caribbean hurricane season, which runs from June through November.

The eastern Pacific hurricane season runs from May 15 through November and also has peak months in September and October.

Although Costa Rica rarely gets a direct hit from hurricanes or tropical storms, it does feel the impact of the nearby weather.

Puntarenas climate also experiences a sharp increase in the number of days that it rains during the rainy season, reaching a high point of 25 days during October.

Puntarenas Dry Season

The area also has a distinct dry season that goes from December through March every year.

Average high temperatures stay above 90 degrees Fahrenheit and average lows around 72 degrees.

Rainfall has a steep decline to about one inch in December and nearly zero from January through March. It then climbs back to above one inch in April before resuming the rainy season in May.
Scott S. Bateman is a professional journalist who has traveled widely throughout the Caribbean and the Americas.

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February 17, 2020
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