Thursday, March 5, 2009

La Fortuna Costa Rica Weather- the TRUTH

In La Fortuna Costa Rica, home of the Arenal Volcano it RAINS- a lot, with the time of year playing an important role on exactly how much; sometimes nearly all day, while other rainfall is more of the ‘late afternoon’ variety following near perfect mornings and early afternoons.

*Yeah, I realize I’m about to shoot myself in the foot on this post, as I am somewhat a piece of the ‘travel Costa Rica’ pie.
But I’m here to provide true INFO and I don’t think La Fortuna, or Costa Rica, or myself for that matter, have to promote the country using deceptive tactics and weather word games. Costa Rica is the SHIT regardless of weather. Hell, it’s the SHIT because of the weather.

*It is also worth noting if you’re thinking of visiting the La Fortuna/Arenal Volcano area: La Fortuna and Volcan Arenal are synonymous- Nuevo Arenal (a small town) is NOT the same thing and is located about 45 minutes or so from the La Fortuna area, and you will be pissed if you book rooms there thinking otherwise…. just sayin.

Also note: Most travel agents and travel books referring to Costa Rica use the following phrases, (marketing ploys): Summer, dry, and high season(s), ALL 3 mean the same thing: Dec-April, when it supposedly doesn’t rain AS much in Costa Rica. Likewise, winter, low, rainy aka green season(s) also mean the same thing: May-November when it’s raining much of the time in many parts of the country. More about the weather patterns in Costa Rica.

Back to La Fortuna and the Arenal Volcano.

The travel books like to say the Arenal Volcano is frequently clouded over, which is true, but without any reference to the time of year OR the weather patterns normal for this area. So, when it’s written as such, it almost sounds as if there’s one BIG ASS cloud covering the Volcano with the rest of La Fortuna being surrounded by sunny, blue skies- this conjures up a FALSE representation. The reason the volcano is frequently clouded over is SIMPLE- there are clouds in this ENTIRE AREA year round- rain clouds, as well as the nice, soft, BILLOWY, cuddly ones. This is where it gets confusing. You’re thinking ‘DRY’ season, which is like I said, a marketing ploy to make you believe it’s the best time of year to visit Costa Rica in general, which may or may not be true depending on what you enjoy and where you want to do it- rainforest vs. beach time, Pacific vs. Caribbean etc. In other words- EVERYTHING in Costa Rica ‘DEPENDS’. In La Fortuna it just so happens December, January and February (summer, dry, high season) are BAR NONE, the absolutely worst times to visit La Fortuna if your sole purpose is to catch a glimpse of Arenal Volcano. It rains a lot during this time, but the travel books refer to this as “The Arenal Volcano is frequently clouded over.” DUH!

Oh, btw- I charted this: In December of ’08 and January ’09, the volcano was visible a total of about 15 hours the entire two months (nights don’t count, but I’m sure there was little difference). Places like Tamarindo and most of the Pacific coast couldn’t have been much HOTTER or DRYER during this time.

Many people visit La Fortuna and the surrounding area for its scenic beauty, adventure tours, hot springs, wildlife and nature hikes etc, so aren’t bothered by the rain…. and shouldn’t be. Maybe they did their ‘weather’ homework, maybe they didn’t, but I’ll bet MOST thought it was the ‘dry’ season during those months around here and the constant rain and cloud coverage were merely an anomaly.

WHY an anomaly, because people in the ‘industry’ lie about the weather and volcano viewing patterns- for obvious reasons. Here’s our video on the BEST times to view the Arenal Volcano- we have been ‘scary’ accurate so far- we taped this video over a year ago.

That said, La Fortuna can also go many days (weeks) in a row with perfect weather, but not normally during the ‘dry’ season. Other times during the year you are MUCH more likely to have a perfect view of the magnificent Volcan Arenal. Don’t forget, La Fortuna and the surrounding areas are beautiful because of the near perfect combination of rain and sun, and PLUS, there’s a reason it’s called the ‘rainforest’. Double DUH!

I think of the weather in La Fortuna the same way you think of your MOM- You can call her a BITCH, but I can’t.

All the Costa Rica Videos you could want at Costa Rica Travel Channel, and ALL your Costa Rica Travel Information at Travel Costa Rica NOW. Hope it HELPS!