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La Fortuna Weather: Does It Rain In The Rainforest During The Rain Season?

La Fortuna Weather: Does It Rain In The Rainforest During The Rain Season?

Last updated on May 13th, 2022 at 07:35 am EST

Does it rain in the rainforest during the rain season?

You bet it does! Costa Rica hosts a humid, tropical environment and La Fortuna is a part of it. Not only is rain at the destination inevitable, but it plays a significant part in keeping the area lush, beautiful, and replete with wildlife.

If you’re like most Costa Rica visitors, you’re probably planning to spend some time in the La Fortuna / Arenal region. We’ll even go as far as to guess that La Fortuna is the first destination on your trip itinerary following your arrival at San Jose or Liberia. Given that La Fortuna is such a popular place, we’re often asked about the town’s weather and what visitors can expect at different times during the year. Though you may want to hear us say that cloud cover and rain are rare occurrences, the truth is, both are staples of La Fortuna weather.

La Fortuna weather: Does it rain all of the time?

Nope! It doesn’t even rain all of the time during the rain/green/wet season. The Arenal region, like most other Costa Rica destinations, experiences sporadic and heavy downpours from time to time but clear skies are also common. In the morning, you can find the town warmed by sunshine and surprisingly muggy heat, but by the afternoon, La Fortuna may appear fresh, smothered by cloudy patches, and dampened by rain. Or vice versa. You may wake up to a clear morning and an exposed Arenal Volcano only to watch it disappear into clouds moments later. The irregularity of La Fortuna’s weather patterns makes each day’s outcome difficult to predict, which is why you should never guess what the weather will deliver tomorrow based on what you receive today.

Favorable weather, defined by most people as warm and sunny weather, is most consistent in La Fortuna during the summer/dry season. This being said, it comes and goes throughout the year. Having spent many years in La Fortuna, Ricky and I have experienced just as many rainy days during the summer/dry season as we have lapped up sun rays during the rain/green/wet season. Most people will tell you, with a certain degree of confidence, that La Fortuna weather is best during the first four months of the year (January through April). If you track weather reports, you’ll know there’s some truth to that statement, but what we consider to be the more accurate is the fact that La Fortuna weather is whimsical and tough to predict.

How to plan for La Fortuna weather and its unpredictability

Prepare for the unknown

Since La Fortuna weather reports aren’t overly telling or reliable, the best way to plan for the weather in La Fortuna is to prepare for the unknown. Visit with an understanding that it may or may not rain while you’re in town and pack for both outcomes. You may be soaking wet the entire time or you may end up with a horrendous sunburn, so pack a rain jacket or poncho and sunscreen. While you can’t control the weather, you can plan for the worst and hope for the best, saving you from disappointment if Mother Nature doesn’t give you what you want.

Need help deciding what to pack for Costa Rica? Don’t miss our related blog post:

What To Pack For Costa Rica (And What Not To Pack)

Recognize that any time of year is a good time of year to visit La Fortuna (and Costa Rica in general)

Sure, the argument can be made that people who come to Costa Rica for the beach want to be showered with sunshine the entire time they’re here. But if you’ve chosen to visit the rainforest, an ecosystem found in La Fortuna, don’t let rain hinder your experience. Rain is a part of the experience. If it wasn’t, there wouldn’t be lush forest for you to tour, beautiful foliage and gardens for you to admire, powerful waterfalls for you to gaze at, and thousands of wildlife, plant, and tree species for you to encounter.

For this reason, any time of year is a good time of year to visit La Fortuna or any destination in the country for that matter. If you’re up for an adventure, and we assume that you are because you’ve chosen to visit La Fortuna—the epicenter of adventure in Costa Rica—then recognize that adventure is always in season and isn’t limited to sunny days. If it helps you any, rainy periods in La Fortuna aren’t usually cold rainstorms, they’re warm rain showers that can be peaceful and refreshing.

Side with the morning

If you absolutely must try to predict when it will rain in La Fortuna, bet your chips on the afternoon. Though La Fortuna weather doesn’t operate like clockwork, it rains more often in the afternoon than in the morning. If you’re trying to avoid rain at all costs, plan to be more active during the first half of the day.

Have a backup plan in case it rains

Fear not, disgruntled traveler, there are plenty of rain-friendly activities you can participate in when rain hits the La Fortuna / Arenal region. Activities that require getting wet, such as white-water rafting tours, waterfall jumping tours, canyoneering/canyoning/rappelling tours, and visits to the hot springs, run rain or shine (so long as the amount of rainfall received isn’t a dangerous amount.) Covered boat tours, such as those run on Rio Frio bordering the Cano Negro Wildlife Refuge, can protect you from rainfall. Indoor activities, like cooking classes, dance classes, and some exhibit tours, are options if you want to avoid the outdoors altogether.

Map of La Fortuna Costa Rica

QUESTION TO COMMENT ON: Is rain enough to negatively affect your Costa Rica travel experience?

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La Fortuna Weather: Does It Rain In The Rainforest During The Rain Season?
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La Fortuna Weather: Does It Rain In The Rainforest During The Rain Season?
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Wondering about La Fortuna weather? We outline what you should expect and how to plan your visit according to the weather in La Fortuna!
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The Official Costa Rica Travel Blog
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