Here is a quick guide to seasonality at the Costa Rica beaches.

Peak Seasons

The two peak seasons are the week after Christmas and the week before Easter. Rates are at their highest; for the week after Christmas 2017, $565 a night or $3,390 for six nights, taxes and utilities included. For Easter Week, March 26 to April 1, $396 a night or $2,376 for six nights. Beaches and pools are packed with Costa Rica families coming from San Jose to enjoy their vacations, typically with six persons per condominium. Americans, Canadians, and Europeans who do not understand this concept complain about high prices, crowded beaches, and crowded pools. Others enjoy the fun. Weather is hot and sunny.

High Season

High season starts December 15, with rental rates at about $200+ a night leading up to December 26. Then comes the peak week starting December 26. January 1 to January 14 is a mini-peak season as Costa Rica schools are still on vacation. Expect rates of $275+ a night. From January 15 to the week before Easter is high season. Expect rates of about $225+ a night. Weather is hot and sunny. Many festivals.

Easter week starts March 23 in 2018, bringing the second peak season of families coming from San Jose.

Low Season

After Easter and until mid-December brings an abrupt shift to low season. My favorite time of year. Cooler temperatures, fewer people, and lush green vegetation. Surf is up in June, July, and August, waves are 20% higher than in winter. Fishermen, June through September normally is the best time to catch tuna. September, October, and November normally is the best time for marlin. A great time for a summer vacation.

Expect rates to drop to $160+ a night until the end of June. The weather turns partly cloudy later in April, showers start in late April and May. The temperature cools off. Many six months long stay rental bargains are available.

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Many people are surprised by extra “mandatory” insurance fees while renting a car in Costa Rica. Here is our Expert Guide on How to Rent a Car Cheaply and Safely in Costa Rica.

Step 1

Look at our favorite aggregating site, rentalcars.com, at least once a week before you leave home. If you are renting for high season, confirm your reservation as soon as possible.

Step 2

The fine print. There you’ll see that GPS units are extra. You don’t need one! Use waze.com free on the internet or the Waze app on your smartphone.

Step 3

More fine print. CALL about rental car insurance ahead of time. A popular scam is to quote a low

price for a rental car, and then charge additional collision, damage and third party liability insurance, equal to or greater than the original rental rate quoted, at the time of pickup.

How to avoid these charges:

  • Search Google for the name of the provider and location and get the local office phone number. They will have someone who speaks English. Confirm if there are additional insurance charges. Get the response in writing.

  • Talk to your own insurance agent, or go online, and print out proof of your coverage for liability.

  • Some of you may also be covered through your Visa Signature, MasterCard or American Express premium credit cards if you use those to rent the car. Print out proof of your coverage.

  • If the local agent you talk with gives you too hard a time and tells you that this additional coverage is mandatory, tell them that you will rent somewhere else. Then do it.

Additional Expert Tips:

High Season

Negotiating is easier before December 26. If you are visiting from December 26 until Easter (high season), supply will be tighter and prices will be higher.

River Crossing – WARNING!

River crossing is NEVER covered by the additional insurance coverage you buy from the rental car companies in Costa Rica. If you cross a river and flood the engine, this could total the car and you’d be liable for the replacement value of the entire vehicle. Vehicles in Costa Rica cost on average 50%-100% MORE than they do in the United States due to import taxes. So cross rivers at your own risk unless you have additional coverage! Plus, it only takes one inch too much of water to carry you out to sea.

Private Rentals

  • If you do not like the best rate you get, ask around about private rentals.
  • They should come with full insurance, but you are not dealing with a company.
  • You need to get proof of their insurance in writing, and make sure it is commercial insurance.
  • This is similar to dealing with AirBNB or Uber, except with a rental car. Just like with Uber, be careful out there. Not everyone is reliable, trustworthy etc. We can help when you stay here at The Oaks.

Not renting for your entire trip

  • Buses stop in front of The Oaks every hour.
  • We have a list of reliable taxis that the front gate guard can provide you. Taxi rates are negotiable and should not be more than $10 to go to downtown Tamarindo or $15 for a round trip to the high-end supermarket AutoMercado on the way to Tamarindo.
  • Tour operators will pick up and drop off at the front gate of The Oaks, so if you arrive tired, you may want to take an afternoon catamaran tour of the beaches the first day, and will not need a car.
  • A half day driving tour with a driver also is a good way to locate the best “off the beaten path” beaches.

As always, if you stay with us at The Oaks Tamarindo we are here to help with any questions you might have.

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Treat yourself NOW and get away to Costa Rica from September through November 15 for only $1,300 a month, minimum 30-day stay, prorated for more than 30 days at only $45 a night. From November 15 to December 15 only $2,200 USD. Tenant pays utilities estimated at $300 per month. This rate includes twice a week cleanings with towel and linen changes. This is a great time to visit. Did you know that temperatures are frequently lower here than in many parts of the U.S. in September? Plus, no hurricanes.

We also offer long stay reservations for winter 2018. Four weeks starting Wednesday, January 17 to Wednesday, February 14, at $3,900 USD, including all taxes. This rate includes twice a week cleanings with towel and linen changes. Tenant pays utilities, estimated at $300 a month.

A second four weeks starting Wednesday, February 14 to Wednesday, March 14, at $3,500 USD, including all taxes. This rate includes twice a week cleanings with towel and linen changes. Tenant pays utilities estimated at $300 per month.

Why Wednesday to Wednesday? You will find that airline tickets are cheaper on Wednesdays, and it avoids “down time” for our owners of three or four days between rentals, allowing us to offer you better rates.

Do you want to come for Christmas and New Year? New Year is the busiest and most expensive time of year. Costa Rica families come to the beaches December 26 and leave January 1. Occupancy is always 100%. Our owners receive $565 a night for six nights, including taxes and utilities, for a total of $3,390 for the week. This, plus Easter rents, pays a year’s expenses.

If your long stay does bridge Christmas and New Year, we offer a three-months-plus long stay from Wednesday, December 13 to Wednesday, March 21, at just under $5,000 per month, $15,000 USD, and tenant pays utilities estimated at $300 per month.

A two-seasons long stay option is a five-month-plus long stay from Wednesday, January 10, to June 21, for $12,000 USD, including all taxes. The tenant pays utilities, estimated at $300 a month. This costs less because it avoids the week after Christmas and includes the off-season months of April, May, and June.

The Oaks has four pools, two covered barbecue areas, a hiking trail and a dog park. It is a gated community with 24/7 security. It is located 10 minutes from Tamarindo and 15 minutes from Flamingo. It is not located on a beach, yet it is centrally located and within 20 minutes of ten spectacular beaches. During the winter season, The Oaks has many resort services on offer, including the availability of private chefs and massage therapists, with advance notice and at an additional cost, of course. You also can look forward to food and wine tastings and social activities that encourage you to get to know owners and other long stay residents.

We have had terrific people stay at The Oaks who have come to us from one of Canada’s premier travel agencies, Merit Travel, from Expedia, especially with its partnership with American Express, and, for weekly visits, from Interval International. As word continues to spread, we encourage you to book now and also help Texans and Floridians recover from Hurricanes Harvey and Irma. Call our Miami number (786) 245-7837 or email Robert@theoakstamarindo.com for quick service.

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