by Herb DeMars
Published on January 12, 2022 by Brittany Sawyer
If you’re visiting Costa Rica in March—you’re in good company.
March is one of the most popular times to visit Costa Rica since the warm sunshine and clear skies provide the perfect environment to explore the country’s natural beauty.
Before you travel to Costa Rica this spring, here’s everything you need to know—including the best things to do in Costa Rica in March.
Warm, sunny weather
Fortunately, March offers warm, sunny weather in Costa Rica, with highs ranging from 85°F to 95°F and lows between 75°F and 85°F.
March falls in Costa Rica’s “dry” season (or “high” season) that runs from December through April. This means you can expect perfect beach weather and clear skies during your March visit.
You can enjoy clear skies like these every day when traveling to Costa Rica in March.
High season means higher prices
March is one of the most popular times to visit Costa Rica, primarily due to the warm weather and spring break travelers. The country also draws large crowds during the week of Easter if it falls in late March.
You may be dismayed to discover that hotels, resorts, flights and activities are more expensive than if you were to travel to Costa Rica during the “green season” from May to November. However, when you visit Costa Rica in March, you’re paying for a lively atmosphere and great weather that allows you to experience the best of everything this beautiful country has to offer—which is totally worth it, if you ask us.
Best things to do in Costa Rica in March
1. San José
If you’d like to venture into Costa Rica’s capital city for proximity to the activities in March, San José offers plenty of cultural activities to enjoy while you’re there, like the Jade Museum and Pre-Columbian Gold Museum. You can also enjoy the city’s photo-worthy architecture in Barrio Amón or the restaurants, bakeries, and bars in Barrio Escalante, two of the city’s most popular districts.
San José has tons of unique places to explore, from museums to restaurants.
If you’re planning to base your trip in San José and still want to explore the country’s beautiful beaches, rainforests and famous landmarks, you’re in luck. You can book tons of Costa Rica tours and excursions with tour companies based in the capital city so that you can experience Costa Rica to the fullest during your trip.
2. Arenal Volcano
Arenal Volcano is one of the world’s most active volcanoes, and as you can imagine, it’s a must-see spot for all first-time travelers to Costa Rica.
This volcano, standing at over 5,000 feet, is usually covered with a layer of fog. However, from February through April, you’re likely to have the best views of the volcano—making March the ideal time to visit.
While you’re exploring this famous landmark, you should also consider paying a visit to La Fortuna, a quaint town located at the base of the volcano. Here, you’ll find unique shops, hot springs, colorful parks, and beautiful views of the towering volcano.
3. Tortuguero National Park
Located on Costa Rica’s Caribbean coast, Tortuguero National Park is an excellent location to experience the country’s tropical climate. Plus, if you’re hoping to do some wildlife spotting while you’re in Costa Rica—you’re in luck. Tortuguero National Park is teeming with exotic animals, like white-faced monkeys, toucans, exotic birds, jaguars, bright lizards, red-eyed frogs and blue morpho butterflies.
In March, you’ll see toucans and other wildlife at Tortuguero National Park in Costa Rica.
One of the highlights of visiting Tortuguero National Park during March is the chance for a sea turtle encounter. The park is a major nesting ground for sea turtles that make seasonal appearances, including green, leatherback, hawksbill and loggerhead turtles.
4. Pacific Coast
March brings beautiful weather to Costa Rica, and one of the best ways to enjoy the warm temperatures is to soak up the sun exploring the outdoors on Costa Rica’s west coast—spanning over 600 miles.
Here’s a look at some of the best beaches and recreation opportunities on the country’s west coast, categorized by region.
Northern Pacific Coast
5. Playa Flamingo
Located in Costa Rica’s Guanacaste Province, this beach location offers an upscale, relaxed, family-friendly environment due to the area’s wide variety of hotels, luxury homes and entertainment.
Here you’ll be able to explore secluded beaches and lagoons, and if you’re feeling adventurous, you can go scuba diving—this area is well known for its abundant marine life.
6. Playa Hermosa
Playa Hermosa means “beautiful beach”—and it’s easy to see why. This gorgeous, secluded location is perfect for swimming and snorkeling and offers plenty of shade trees—ideal for warm, sunny days.
Playa Hermosa is a popular spot for snorkeling and spotting aquatic life.
Fun Fact: Did you know that Costa Rica has three other beaches named “Playa Hermosa?” The others are located near Jaco, Santa Teresa and Uvita if you want to explore them all.
7. Playa Grande
Playa Grande is a laid-back, beautiful beach in the Parque Nacional Marino Las Baulas with exquisite sunset views. It’s also internationally recognized as one of the best surfing spots in Costa Rica—making this the perfect spot to visit if you’re ready to ride the waves.
8. Nicoya Peninsula
The Nicoya Peninsula is known for its scenic beaches and is an excellent location for surfing and wildlife spotting. Located on the peninsula’s tip, Santa Teresa Beach and Isla Tortuga are two must-visit areas.
You can learn to surf at one of Costa Rica’s beautiful beaches in the Guanacaste Province.
Central Pacific Coast
9. Manuel Antonio National Park
This small, protected national park includes secluded coves, beautiful white-sand beaches, and thick rainforests filled with hundreds of birds, iguanas, and monkeys.
Southern Pacific Coast
10. Corcovado National Park
This expansive tropical rainforest on the Osa Peninsula is known for its picturesque hiking trails, diverse wildlife and gorgeous beaches. If you’re trying to spot some whales during your trip in March, this park is an excellent location to watch for humpback whales.
You can hike and explore the natural beauty of Corcovado National Park while visiting Costa Rica in March.
Bonus things to do in Costa Rica in March: Costa Rica events
Día del Boyero
Día del Boyero is an annual event that occurs every second Sunday in March in San Antonio de Escazú, a town located on a hill just outside of San José.
During the event, local farmers and Costa Ricans parade their ornately painted oxcarts around the town. If you’d like to gain a deeper understanding of Costa Rica’s culture and history, this event is one you can’t skip. Plus, the colorful oxcarts aren’t hard on the eyes, either.
Witnessing the colorful oxcarts at Día del Boyero is one of the highlights of visiting Costa Rica in March.
International Festival of the Arts
The International Festival of the Arts is a ten-day event that usually takes place in San José towards the end of March. It features first-class literature, music, theatre and dance presentations by artistic groups from around the world.
National Orchid Show
In early March, the Costa Rican Orchid Association holds a flower festival that celebrates hundreds of species of orchids—featuring both common and rare varieties. You’ll have to visit to see which orchid takes home the first-place ribbon this year.
You can see gorgeous orchids, like these, at the National Orchid Show in Costa Rica.
Semana Santa (Holy Week) is a week-long celebration that occurs the week leading up to Easter in Costa Rica and most of Central America.
Catholic churches in each town organize religious festivals and colorful processions, specifically on Palm Sunday, Holy Thursday, Good Friday, and Easter Sunday, for each city to partake in. Additionally, many Costa Rican residents spend Easter weekend with their families at the beach, so this can be an extremely busy (yet fun) time to visit Costa Rica.
However, you should note that a “dry law” is enforced in certain parts of Costa Rica, with no alcohol sales allowed, typically on the Thursday and Friday before Easter. If your ideal vacation is lounging on the beach with a drink in hand—you may want to rethink visiting Costa Rica during Holy Week.
Semana Santa, or Holy Week, is a fun time to celebrate with the locals in Costa Rica.