Weather in Monteverde can be unpredictable. In general there are two seasons.
Rainy season: Rains can begin as early as late April however generally begins the first part of May with sporadic rains usually in the afternoons or evenings. The rains begin in earnest late May in a typical year.
We have many influences on weather including Pacific or Atlantic tropical storm activity and tropical waves. These can influence the intensity of rains including the possibility of consecutive days of complete cloudiness and rains throughout the day.
Generally however during the rainy season we typically have mornings with sun or at least no rain developing until afternoons. It is best to wake up early and do your outdoor activities early. Bring light rain gear. Making reservations in advance for activities may not be a good idea as you will not know the weather until you arrive. Other than reserving a guide for the reserve reservations are really not needed in advance and any activity you would want to do can be reserved when you arrive, taking into account the weather at that time. Many activities will not refund advance payments if you arrive and want to change or cancel due to weather.
The rainy season usually ends mid to late November and is marked by a change in conditions ushering in the dry season.
Dry Season: The dry season is marked by winds which can remain strong throughout the day and even stronger at night. The winds control the dry season by blowing away clouds preventing rain from developing.
One thing to keep in mind for dry season other than potential very high winds is the affect of cold fronts from the northern hemisphere which can produce in addition to very high winds, misty blowing rain completely blanketing the area. Think of it as horizontal rain. It is not a usual straight down rain like in rainy season but a sideways blowing rain which continues throughout the day and night as the cold front remains in control in the area.
These cold fronts average about 4-5 per season mostly in January and February and typically can last three to four days. Please be aware that you can experience this weather any time from November to April, if with bad luck you arrive when the cold front is active. On the worst days it makes it very difficult to enjoy outdoor activities.
These cold fronts can start very quickly.
Other than potential cold fronts the weather is conducive for outdoor activities but bearing in mind that it can be windy however with no rain mixed in.
This is a general description of what to expect. Because Monteverde is located at higher altitude (1,250 meters and above or close to 4,000 feet above sea level) and is situated at the continental divide between the Atlantic and Pacific coasts our weather is very difficult to predict and available weather information is hard to be precise for our area.
We can not predict the weather in advance of course so in making reservations for Monteverde please keep the above in mind and realize that no guarantees can be made as to what the weather conditions will be when you arrive.
Biting insects, snakes etc. Due to the altitude Monteverde is blessed with fewer biting insects than lower altitudes in Costa Rica. Mosquito’s, while here are very limited. Other biting insects are occasionally encountered but tend to affect only those prone to attract them. In other words, normally no one would need to apply repellent however some people may need to.
Venomous snakes are usually only seen in the local serpent zoos behind glass. You may be lucky to see a live eyelash pit viper in the reserve with a guide or possibly on a night tour. This is not rare but most people do not see one in the wild. And if you do it will be in a tree or crossing the path in front of you and you will not have to worry.
For the rooms at Rainbow Valley Lodge keep in mind that it is tropical. There are many insects living here including scorpions and spiders as well as many other types of insects. We use a low toxicity spray to control them in the rooms. Usually there is no problem and the only thing you may see is a dead bug.
So remember Costa Rica is tropical and part of our diversity is insects.