What’s the best time to visit Santa Teresa, Costa Rica? This is the most common question we hear when people are making their Pura Vida Adventures reservations. Great news! Our all-inclusive surf and yoga retreats are offered nearly year-round and there’s no bad time to visit.
Pura Vida Adventures retreats span both the dry and green seasons. We do this because after 15+ years of operation in Costa Rica we know that there’s real magic to be found (and incredible waves to surf) no matter when you visit. It truly comes down to your schedule and personal preferences. We’ll take care of the rest.
The northern pacific coast of Costa Rica where Pura Vida Adventures is located has just two distinct and very predictable seasons. The dry season (basically no rain, late November through about May) and the green season (a mix of showers and sunshine, May through early November). While other regions of the country like the Caribbean coast and the mountainous central valley are characterized by completely different weather patterns, the dry and green seasons arrive in Santa Teresa every year like clockwork.
Beginning in late November and lasting until about May, the dry season is also the peak tourism season in Santa Teresa. And for good reason: the sunshine is abundant, the waves are gentle and consistent, and the social scene is in full bloom. While November is a bit of a transition month with a few lingering showers, once we reach December the town is full of tropical sunshine and there’s palpable excitement as a new tourism season is beginning. The temperature is also very hot and heating up as the months go by, with March and April being the warmest time of year.
Our surf and yoga retreats during these months tend to be the largest of the year, so it’s an extra fun time to come if you’re traveling solo to Costa Rica looking to make new friends or are just excited about socializing and going out on the town. Santa Teresa is busy and full of energy during the dry season, with live music at many restaurants and nightly bonfires on the beach. We also love visiting the swim-up bar at Vista de Olas for an epic sunset view during the dry season months.
The waves in Santa Teresa during the dry season are consistent and gentle, and most days we’ll surf at the beach break directly in front of our retreat hotel. (Roll out of bed and walk right to the waves, how about that?) Whether you’re a first-time surfer or have already ridden some waves on your own, our Pura Vida Adventures’ expert instructor team will take you to the best spot at the break to catch the waves that are perfect for your ability level. On bigger swell days, experienced surfers will find plenty of challenging waves at this fun break.
Our most popular (and often sold-out) retreats take place in November and December to mark the holiday season. These weeks are always filled with special events and fantastic camaraderie. Come to Surfsgiving for a beachside turkey dinner and our memorable “paddle out for gratitude.” Or join us for our epic New Year’s retreat where we’ll welcome the new year with fireworks and a party on the beach.
Ahhhhh, the green season! This shift in our weather begins around May when the first occasional rain showers come after many months of dry weather. Those who are lucky enough to be in Santa Teresa during the green season are treated to the best of both worlds: days filled with sunshine and just a bit of welcome rain to cool everything down. Plus, there’s a very special wave that starts pumping only at this time of year that is a dream for longboard surfers (more on that in a minute).
When those first refreshing raindrops fall to mark the changing of the seasons, the entire town lets out a collective sigh of happiness and joy. You can really sense the natural world coming to life during this transition time. The jungle soaks in those first rains and then bursts with vibrant green color everywhere, giving this time of year its name. It’s breathtakingly gorgeous, especially as you walk along the quiet beach or paddle out into the ocean on your surfboard.
Lengthy downpours are rare until September and October (when our retreat is closed). Instead, from May until August we enjoy a mix of sunny mornings and refreshing showers on some afternoons and the occasional thunderstorm at night. Add to that plenty of days with full sunshine and no rain at all, fewer people, uncrowded waves, and you’ve got what many locals think is the best time of the entire year to be in Santa Teresa.
The pace of life in town is a bit slowed down and you can really feel the Pura Vida vibes for which Costa Rica is so well-known. Our retreats are still filled with plenty of adventure, including visits to exciting restaurants, epic surf sessions, bonding with new friends, massages at the spa, and relaxing yoga on our beachfront deck. If you’re craving a bit of introspection on your vacation or really want to connect with nature, consider a visit during the green season.
The sunsets are especially colorful and dramatic, with the occasional rainbow arching over the blue ocean. Juicy mangoes begin ripening on the trees throughout town, drawing troupes of playful and hungry monkeys. If you’re lucky, you might spot a blue morpho butterfly along a garden path or witness the turquoise bioluminescence that sparkles beneath the sea. With the natural world coming fully to life after so many dry months, this time of year feels full of unexpected possibilities.
But one of the best reasons to come to Santa Teresa in the green season is for the surfing. Because of the swells that arrive at our shores during these particular months, we have access to an additional surf spot that holds a special place in the hearts of many Pura Vida alumni. The Cabuya point break is a favorite destination during our green season retreats. If the weather and swell conditions are right, we’ll hop in the Pura Vida van and make the 45-minute jungle trek to this remote surf spot. Giddy up, it’s adventure time!
The wave is perfect for beginner and intermediate longboard surfers, and our instructor team will paddle out to the break with our guests to help position them to catch this ultra-long and fun ride. Many Pura Vida alums return year after year with the goal of once again surfing this memorable wave.
No matter what time of year you choose to visit our surf and yoga retreat in Santa Teresa, Costa Rica, you are sure to come home with a renewed connection to yourself, an appreciation for Mother Nature, and a heart filled with joy. Check out our full roster of 2021-2022 dates and sign up now. Spots are filling up fast!