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Central America Rainy Season: Best Time to Visit Central America

If you’re considering doing a one-month Central America itinerary during the Central America rainy season, this guide to the best time to visit Central America is essential. Many people avoid traveling during the rainy season in Guatemala, Honduras, and other Central American countries, while tourists often ask, “Does it rain all day in Costa Rica during the wet season?” As long as you don’t mind getting a bit wet, I think the rainy season is the best time to visit Central America!

There are two main seasons in Central America: the dry season (November to April) and the wet season (May to October). The rainy season differs depending on the specific country, so I’ll tips for popular destinations. I’m also covering how to enjoy the rainy season Mexico experiences—although Mexico isn’t in Central America, many people use it as a starting point for their adventures.

Did You Get Travel Insurance Yet?

The Insurance companies I recommend are Hey Mondo and Safety Wing

Hey Mondo is great if you are looking for a great value flexible policy. They offer single-trip cover, annual multi-trip cover, and long-term travel cover. Safety Wing is great value, with monthly coverage starting at $45.08. It’s super easy to use, and it just renews each month. I currently use them as they offer me free cover for my son as part of my policy.

Read my full travel insurance post here, where I go into detail about all companies. 

Why is the Rainy Season the Best Time to Visit Central America?

1. It’s Cheaper

The rainy season in Central America is considered off-peak. This means everything slows down a bit, and there are fewer tourists, which means more competition to drive down prices. Traveling during the Guatemala rainy season (or anywhere else in Central America) means you’ll likely pay less for flights, hotels, and day trips.

2. It’s Greener

Central America Rainy Season | 10 Reasons to Travel Central America during Rainy Season
Exploring Mistico Park in Costa Rica

You’re unlikely to get wet during the dry season, but everything is dry and dusty—during the rainy season, everything is much greener and more lush. If you like taking photos, I suggest traveling during the Central America rainy season.

Quick Tip: Book accommodation, tours, and transport ahead of time online to save money and stress. 
Best Central America ToursClick here to check out the top Central America tours
Best Central America Accommodation: Click here to check out the best accommodation in Central America
Best Central America Transport: Click here to book a bus, ferry, or train in Central America

3. It Rarely Rains All Day

Does it rain all day in Costa Rica and other Central American countries? While it usually rains every day, it’s rare for it to rain all day long. That said, it really is the luck of the draw. Don’t pay much attention to the weather forecast, as it pretty much says the same thing every day: that it will rain at some point. As a general rule, expect it to rain around 2:00 p.m. Some days, it won’t rain at all—other days, if you’re unlucky, it won’t stop.

Central America rainy season

How to Enjoy the Central America Rainy Season

Book Activities Last Minute

Normally, I book activities in advance—especially if it’s something big that I want to do, like hiking a mountain or a volcano. If you aren’t on such a tight schedule, wait until you arrive and see what the weather is like to book as late as possible. Always book activities with a reputable company and check the policy of refunds due to bad weather. For many activities, like rappelling down waterfalls in Costa Rica at Mistico Park, the rain won’t matter. I had an incredible day, and it rained most of the time. Since I was in and out of waterfalls, it made no difference!

Start Your Day Early

If you want to beat the rainy season, you must get out of bed early. Generally, the sky is clear from 6:00 to 10:00 a.m., when the clouds start to form. By 2:00 p.m., the rain will set in. To photograph the cities, go early in the morning—if you want to do a tour or activity, plan it for the morning.

Be Flexible

This is a must! One thing you can’t control during the wet seasons in Guatemala and the whole of Central America is the weather. You must remain flexible in case the worst happens, and the rain halts your plans.

Choose Accommodations Wisely

Central America Rainy Season | 10 Reasons to Travel Central America during Rainy Season
Lost Iguana Resort in Costa Rica

If you plan a rainy season Guatemala trip or visit other Central American destinations during wet times of the year, there’s a good chance you‘ll be stuck inside avoiding the rain. Make sure to stay somewhere you don’t mind hanging out. If that’s a hostel, check and see if it has a game room or a good library—even better, a covered hammock you can take a siesta in. If you have a private room, book a nice one, preferably with an indoor pool or a spa. I stayed at the Lost Iguana Resort in Costa Rica, and it was incredible!

Get Travel Insurance

You should never travel without insurance, but it’s even more important during these Belize, Costa Rica, and El Salvador seasons of rain. Accidents happen wherever you are in the world, but heavy rain can increase the risk. Make sure you’re covered for medical emergencies and damaged electronics. If you get caught in the rain and aren’t prepared, at least insurance will cover your drowned camera. I always recommend World Nomads for backpackers.

Pro Tip: Always carry plastic bags to store your valuables in. I also keep a few quality bin bags to carry all of my stuff, as rain covers for your backpack might not be as waterproof as you expect. Better safe than sorry!

Use Caution When Going Somewhere Remote

The El Salvador rainy season and wet seasons in other Central American countries can be unpredictable, so always plan for the worst and hope for the best. If you go somewhere remote on a day trip, have a Plan B in case the rain is heavy, and you can’t return.

Unplug Electronics

Make sure to unplug your expensive computer equipment during thunderstorms. The power often goes out, and the last thing you want is your expensive computer to be blown. Even better, add one of these to your travel arsenal.

Always Pack Your Headlamp

If you’re caught in an electrical storm, the power will likely go out. Always ensure you have a waterproof head torch handy. Put it in your day pack or the pocket of your jacket.

Travel in the Mornings

Traveling by bus is the easiest and most cost-effective way to get around Central America. The best time of day to travel is in the mornings. Landslides often happen later in the day or in the evening. Traveling in the morning reduces your risk of getting caught in the rain, and it’s safer to travel during daylight. Avoid overnight buses and shuttles if you can.

Bring Entertainment

Make sure you pack some playing cards, at least one good book, or your Kindle, and download plenty of podcasts. If you‘re in a power outage or stuck inside a tent/hotel room for a while, you’ll be thankful you did!

What About Mosquitoes During the Central America Rainy Season?

Central America Rainy Season | 10 Reasons to Travel Central America during Rainy Season

While I consider the rainy season the best time to visit Central America, one offputting factor is the mosquitoes. If you’re anything like me, you’ll get eaten alive! The difference between the Central American rainy season and the rainy season in Mexico, for instance, is that the mosquitoes are always around, rain or shine. Visiting during the dry season doesn’t mean you will avoid them, but they’re more vicious in the wet season.

Mosquitoes carry many diseases like malaria, yellow fever, Zika, and Dengue. The best way to avoid these illnesses is not to get bit in the first place.

How to Avoid Mosquitoes During the Central America Rainy Season:

  • Travel with a DEET spray and clothes that cover you up.
  • Get a mosquito net—a small one doesn’t take up much space, and you can sleep under it wherever you stay. Sometimes, it can get scorching in Central America, so you won’t always want to sleep in a sleeping bag or under your sheets. A lightweight mosquito net is the perfect alternative. 
  • Buy some mosquito-repellent bracelets. I usually put one around my wrist and one around my ankle. They don’t look like mosquito bracelets, which is excellent, and I’m generally bitten on the leg when I’m not wearing them. 

Pro Tip: Ensure you have all your vaccinations before arriving in Central America. Many countries won’t let you in without proof of Yellow Fever vaccination, for example. Malaria isn’t as big an issue in Central America. However, malaria tablets are cheap in Guatemala, so pick some up if you continue into South America.

Rain Season Mexico

Since many people travel from Mexico to Central America for their backpacking adventure, I wanted to share some tips for tackling the rainy season Mexico is famous for. The rainy season in Mexico typically occurs during the summer, from June to September. However, the exact timing can vary depending on the region within the country. Coastal and tropical regions tend to experience heavier rainfall, while inland areas may have a more moderate rainy season.

Check the local forecasts before planning any activities or excursions. Pack plenty of waterproof gear and keep your electronics protected from the heavy rain season Mexico experiences. Be cautious when traveling throughout Mexico, as the wet conditions can cause accidents and delays.

Rainy Season Guatemala

The Guatemala rainy season typically occurs from May to October—expect heavy rains, especially in the afternoons and evenings. There are often major thunderstorms and high humidity during these rainy seasons in Guatemala. Visitors should be careful when traveling throughout the rainy season in Guatemala, as landslides and flooding are common occurrences.

Belize Rainy Season

The wet season in Belize is usually June to November, coinciding with the Atlantic hurricane season. If you plan to try outdoor activities, exercise caution during heavy rainfall. Stay aware of tropical storms and hurricane warnings before planning your Belize rainy season trip.

Rainy Season in El Salvador

The El Salvador rainy season usually happens between May and October. Temperatures are warm, and humidity levels are high during the wet El Salvador seasons. The landscape is exceptionally lush and green, thanks to all the moisture, making the rainy season in El Salvador ideal for photographers.

Costa Rica Rainy Season

Costa Rica’s rainy season occurs from May through November and is famous for its afternoon thunderstorms. Does it rain all day in Costa Rica this time of year? Not necessarily, as storms tend to happen during the afternoon. Plan activities for the morning or evening to avoid these bursts of rain.

Rainy Season in Honduras

Honduras is another popular Central American destination with a wet season from May to October. The central and southern regions of Honduras experience the most rain, so stick to the northern areas for less rainfall. Despite the rain, this season is ideal for exploring the beautiful landscape with minimal crowds.

Quick Tip: View my full Guatemala packing guide here including a downloadable checklist. And check out my Guatemala Essentials shopping list here.

Central America Travel Guide Planning

🧳 Any recommendations on what I should pack for Central America?

Yes! I have created a whole packing guide to Central America, which you can read here—you can also check out my packing list for Guatemala on Amazon here.

🚗 Where can I book a bus or private transportation while I’m in Central America?

I strongly recommend using GottoGo. You can book almost all transport in the major tourist destinations through them online. They don’t just cover buses they also cover shuttles, ferries, and private drivers.

🎫 Where can I buy tickets for museums, attractions, and tours in Central America?

I recommend either Viator or GetYour Guide. They have a lot of options!

👩‍⚕️ What is the best insurance to have while traveling?

I recommend using Heymondo for a great value policy. The app also offers you 24/7 Dr Chat. For Digital Nomads check out SafetyWing digital nomad insurance.

I have also written a blog post covering all my recommended travel insurance here

✈️ Any flight recommendations?

WayAWay offers you cheap flights with cashback. You can use this code CLAIRE22 to get 10% off. Otherwise, Skyscanner or Expedia are my go-to flight-searching platforms.

📱What do you use for internet connection while traveling?

I’m a big fan of personal WiFi devices, and they have saved my ass so many times when traveling. I wrote a full review of the top travel WiFi devices you can read here. I personally use GlocalMe as I can either pop in a physical SIM card or use their local carrier.

With regards to my phone connection, I use e-sims while traveling, so rather than having to swap out my regular sim card I can download the app and buy a virtual sim card. I recommend using eitherAirhub or Alosim. Both have great coverage of multiple countries and are very easy to use.

🛏️ What is the best platform to use for booking accommodation?

The three best platforms I normally use are, and Expedia They offer great deals and multiple options. I always check all three to be sure of the best deals.

🛅 Do you have any luggage recommendations for traveling?

I do have a complete list of the best packing and luggage products that I recommend, you can check the list here. I’m currently traveling with this suitcase and this backpack.

Final Thoughts on the Central America Rainy Season

While many travelers avoid the Central America rainy season, I think it’s the best time to visit Central America. Not only will you get great deals on transportation and accommodations, but there will also be fewer tourists and crowds. As long as you come prepared with waterproof gear and travel insurance, you’re guaranteed an incredible time!

Central America Rainy Season