In the rainy season, sunny mornings are typically followed up by cloudy mid-day and an afternoon shower, usually clearing up in time to go out in the evening.
Temperature usually varies depending on elevation, not time of the year. Coastal and lowland areas are hot and humid during the day, with nighttime temps becoming comfortable. The Central Valley, where San Jose is located, enjoys an “eternal springtime” climate that is comfortable all day, year round. Evenings can even get chilly enough to warrant a light jacket. Mountain areas become cooler as you increase in elevation.
The coastal lowlands and northern plains are flat and hot. The lowlands eventually meet up with the rugged Central Mountain Range which forms the country’s spine. The highest point is Cerro Chirripó, which reaches 3,820 meters (12,530 feet) above sea level. The lowest point is sea level.
Costa Rica has many volcanoes throughout the mountain ranges, including five currently active ones. Arenal, Irazú, Rincón de la Vieja, Turrialba and Poás are all currently active. There are many more dormant colossuses that can be hiked and explored, as well.
Lots of rainfall and rugged topography make for lots of rivers. Whitewater rafting is a popular activity, and there are rivers for all ability levls.
The country is divided into seven provinces, which are Alajuela, Cartago, Guanacaste, Heredia, Limón, Puntarenas, and San José.
The three branches of government are the Executive branch, which consists of the president, two vice presidents, and cabinet; the Legislative branch, which is a popularly elected assembly of 57 deputies; and the Judicial branch, which consists of civil, criminal, appellate and constitutional courts.
Tourism is far and away the country’s main source of income. More than a quarter of Costa Rica’s territory is protected, and the ecological wealth within these reserves draws nearly two million international visitors annually. The government is currently working on improving infrastructure and services to major tourism areas.
There is a wide selection of state-owned and private banks in Costa Rica. Changing traveler’s checks can be difficult as most private banks and some state banks refuse to accept them. Most establishments of any size will accept credit and debit cards, and automatic teller machines are found throughout the country. Bring your passport for any bank transactions, including changing money into colones.