October in Costa Rica brings with it some unique green season weather patterns throughout the country, which brings with it a few changes in nature.
Throughout almost all of the country, October is the rainiest month of the year, with one major exception being the Caribbean coast. Towns like Puerto Viejo, Limón, and others tend to see rainfall throughout the year, lacking the traditional dry season that can be seen in much of the country, but October is different. For the majority of the month Caribbean weather is warm and sunny with scarcely a cloud in the sky, so October is a time for celebration and festivities.
In nature, the heaviest part of rainy season brings a few effects. Thanks to saturated groundwater, seasonal streams and waterfalls start to run. Mangroves, like the one in town, start to fill with the plentifully available water, becoming a hotbed for the young fish and amphibians that rely on these habitats to grow.
Plants that start their fruiting process alongside the heavy rains, like cas, mamón chino, and starfruit (carambola) all reach their peak ripeness and production around October, making now a good time to add these flavorful local fruits to salads or afternoon snacks. The month also brings mass turtle hatchings, following the arribadas of September and late August.
Iguana Tracks on Playa Danta
It’s the tail end of mating season for creatures like sloths and white-tailed deer, which follow the extra food of the rainy season as they search for a mate, and for oceanic creatures October marks a time of migration as well, most notably the humpback whales that begin to migrate south towards the end of the month.
All throughout the trails, the month is a very active time. More and more food will be available thanks to late-fruiting plants and the abundance of water on the mountainside, and many animals will be eating heavily in anticipation of the dryer months.
October is an excellent month for outdoor sports, with cooler temperatures and the occasional rainfall making it possible to be active throughout the day. During the dry season, it’s rare to see mountain bikers and paddlers out on the trails or the water in the middle of the day, but during October it’s possible to see people out at all hours.
There are numerous outdoor activities throughout the month, with one big event waiting at October’s end: Halloween.
Halloween is a day when families from town and the local area come together to dress up in costume, trick-or-treat around town, and finish up with a beachfront Halloween festival that has carnival games, food and drink, and a haunted maze to explore.
The colorful traditional architecture, walkable streets, and many hidden plazas make town a vivid and imaginative environment to explore during the day time, and the addition of evening lights and new people in costume around every bend mean town is practically tailor made for trick or treating. Out on the beachfront, the cool ocean breeze and the twinkling lights in the tall trees add to the atmosphere of the area, lending that little bit of a mystical air that always comes with Halloween celebrations.
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