Best time to visit Costa Rica and Panama – avoid the rain season!

Best time to visit Costa Rica

Best time to visit Costa Rica and Panama – avoid the rain saison!

This will be a very open blog post about my experience in Central America in the rainy season. You definitely want to find the best time to visit Costa Rica and Panama and it should definitely not be the rain season.

I visited Costa Rica in October and Panama in November and would love to share my insights on the rain season here with you now.

To start off, when I booked the trip I stupidly enough didn’t research the weather beforehand. This turned out to be a big mistake. I spent 1.5 month traveling through Panama and Costa Rica and literally had rain every single day. I think we got like three afternoons of sunshine in total. The rest it was just pouring rain.

Oh and put aside your concept of rain because I am sure it not nearly describes how much rain you can actually take. When it rains it doesn’t just drizzle a bit, it seriously rains cats and dogs for hours.

The difficult thing is that you cant really trust the weather report. There are so many microclimates and it can change so fast and so much. The weather is very unpredictable and this makes it extremely difficult to plan trips and activities. Every single time we wanted to go out and do an activity we were surprised by a humongous amount of water ruining pretty much everything we had planned. This made it quite hard to enjoy the trip, because I always felt like I would only get half of the experience. Sometimes it would rain all morning and would be nicer in the afternoon and then the next day it would be exactly the opposite.

 

In Costa Rica we also got quite a bit of fog. So combine rain and fog and you have the perfect weather to do absolutely nothing outside. I remember this one time we wanted to see volcano Poas which has the biggest crater of the world. We were standing centimeters away from the crater and did not see anything because of the rain and fog. It’s like I have never been there. Really sad.

Best time to visit Costa Rica
Seeing nothing at Volcano Poas

Now looking back I think I actually kind of fell into a slight rain depression. I am a person who simply needs sunshine and sunlight to be fully happy. Imagine going 1.5 month without a proper day of sun. It made me really sad, cranky and disappointed! 

One more thing I simply need to add as it also bothered me a lot traveling through Costa Rica and Panama. I just couldn’t get my head wrapped around how crazy expensive they were. Especially Costa Rica. I mean that fact alone would be fine if the quality of life, infrastructure and public transport availability would match the price levels. Unfortunately that was not the case. Besides the fact that it was dirty almost everywhere it was also difficult to get from A to B, I was missing a lot of the tradition cuisine (couldn’t find much more besides beans, rica and plantain) and couldn’t find any really nice restaurants to go to. As a food blogger the national cuisine is always super important to me and I just couldn’t find many traditional dishes or inviting restaurants. Most of them had plastic chairs, plastic banners, loud music and neon lights.

I know this sounds all very negative and there were obviously also some benefits from the rain.  Everything was sooo extremely green and beautiful. You will find any shade of green you can imagine and the entire country is blossoming and flourishing. Another positive thing I need to add is that it never gets cold. It is still going to be so much warmer than Europe – even with the rain.

We got one afternoon without clouds and the sunset was simply magical. I believe I might have also just been really unlucky with the weather. Nevertheless, it simply does rain a lot during that time of the year.

Best time to visit Costa Rica
San Blas with coming storm

I also quickly wanted to share my highlights of the trip if you ever consider going to Panama and Costa Rica yourself:

  • San Blas Islands: These are little indigenous islands in the Caribbean about 2.5 hours outside of Panama City. Beautiful blue water – if the sun is out (which wasn’t the case when we were there). You are hosted by local Kuna people and do boat trips everyday to tiny little islands.
  • Bocas del Toro: A group of islands right by the Costa Rican border. I can recommend Playa Estrella as you will be seeing so many star fish in the water.
  • Panama Canal: I was really impressed by the Panama Canal. My tip: go to the restaurant Atlantic & Pacific for dinner around 4.30pm. Like this you can avoid the expensive visitor center and still see the ships passing through from the terrace of the restaurant.
  • Rincon de la Vieja: This is a volcano in Costa Rica we went to. Even though we didn’t see the actual volcano because of the fog, the hiking trail was stunning and so interesting to see all the boiling and bubbling waters everywhere.
  • Buena Vista Lodge: this is a big adventure lodge in the rain forest north of Costa Rica. We went horse riding there, zip lining and visited beautiful volcanic hot springs.
  • Escalante: this is a nice neighborhood in San Jose filled with cute restaurant. It was the only place in Costa Rica I found restaurants that I actually wanted to go to and spend my money.
Best time to visit Costa Rica
Water Fall by Rincon de la Vieja

So to summarize October and November are the worst months to visit those countries. Therefore the best time to visit Costa Rica and Panama is after those months. They start getting much more sun in December. From December to April its dry season. Still with occasional rain every once in a while, but much much better than if you were to go in the autumn.

I met many travelers throughout the weeks and most of them had the same experience. Others got really lucky with the weather and got some good days of sunshine. I guess it just really depends on luck over there in the rain season.

Sorry for this quite negative blog post on the best time to visit Costa Rica – but it only reflects my experience there. So better an honest post than if I would tell you everything was amazing and you being disappointed if you end up going in October or November to these countries. If you want to read a more upbeat blog post about a place I actually love I recommend you check out my Tulum food guide and my Riviera maya travel tips. Here is also my Instagram for more travel inspo! 

xoxo,

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Overnight oats with yoghurt and carrots

Overnight Oats with Carrots

Overnight oats – the perfect, easy and super quick breakfast recipe for a healthy start into the day! 

On-the-go breakfast 

What I love about these healthy overnight oats is that you can prepare them already the day before and simply need to take them out of the fridge the next morning and off you go. That is why this recipe is perfect for an on-the-go breakfast. You can carry it with you in a nice glass jar and eat it on your way to work or university. 

 overnight oats with yoghurt

Overnight Oats Variation

The basic overnight oats recipe can be adapted in different directions, depending on your liking, season and flavor cravings that special day. In todays recipe I am showing you a delicious variation of overnight oats with yoghurt and carrots. I like the carrots because I feel they fit perfectly to the fall harvest. The yoghurt just gives it a nice soft texture. If you can make these overnight oats with greek yoghurt. It has a thicker consistency which makes the taste experience even better in my opinion. 

You will see these simple overnight oats will melt your heart and give you a nice reason to wake up to delicious breakfast in the morning. 

Vegan options

So this basic oat recipe is actually perfectly suited for vegans. You can make this 100% vegan my replacing normal milk with almond/rice/oat or any other kind of alternative milk. The greek yoghurt can be substituted for coconut or soy yoghurt and it will work just as fine. You know how much I like to add protein powder to my recipes. Also here there are so many different vegan options for you. I love to use sunflower seed protein or hemp protein. Moreover, rice protein also works really nice. 

overnight oats with yoghurt

Filled with complex carbs 

I love to use oats for my recipe because they are made out of a lot of complex carbs. These will slowly release energy for your body to use over a longer period of time than for example just a plain wheat breakfast roll. Oats are actually gluten-free and a great source of vitamins, minerals and antioxidants. they also have quite a high amount of fiber, which is always good for your digestion. 
Oats really are one of my favorite fitness food ingredients and I make almost all my breakfast dishes with them. 

Overnight oats with yoghurt
Serves 1
A quick but healthy on-the-go breakfast.
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Total Time
15 min
Total Time
15 min
Ingredients
  1. 30g oats
  2. 100ml milk (vegans use milk alternative)
  3. 100g greek yoghurt 0% (vegans use coconut/soy yoghurt)
  4. 25g protein (vegans use rice/soy/hemp/sunflower protein)
  5. 1tbsp grated coconut
  6. 1 grated carrot
  7. 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  8. 15g Erythrit or Xylit or Honey
Instructions
  1. Mix everything together in a bowl and stir well.
  2. Put the jar into the fridge.
  3. Let soak in the fridge overnight.
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Overnight oats with yoghurt

If you are interested in more healthy breakfast recipes you can check out my pancakes made out of oat flour or the vegan version of them. I also recommend you to check my YouTube channel for more healthy recipe videos. 

Did you make this recipe? 

Did you make this recipe?

Tag  @carina_berry and use the Hashtag #carinaberry to get the possibility for a shoutout on my Instagram! 

Finally, I always love to see your wonderful creations and it makes me so happy to see you guys actually making my recipes. 

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