What to do on a rainy day

Please see why you should come and visit Costa Rica

Created: prior to 2018

There are times it will rain, and times it will keep raining. I you are used to light drizzle like Vancouver experiences it seems most of the time, we are not talking about this. If you are used to monsoons – rains where you can’t see the hood ornament on your car like I have experienced in Papua New Guinea and I’ve heard about in Hawaii – then I don’t think you are going to see much of either in Guanacaste from my experience.

But there will be times when it will be heavy rain that will slow traffic and get you very wet running from the restaurant to your car.

So what do I do? What might you do?

Embrace the rain!

  • Go for a swim in the ocean. One local said: The best time to swim is when it is raining, all the tourists go inside – and you are going to get wet anyway! Then come out and let the rain remove the salt water from your body. Personally I have done this and I add one important detail: I personally don’t do it if I can see lightening or hear thunder – but most of the time I have seen and heard neither when swimming in Costa Rica Guanacaste region.
  • My wife and I, being caught out with our bathing suits, and towels in a water proof bag, just walked along the beach in the pouring rain, laughing and enjoying it, amazed at how warm a rain could be. Were we come from – rain is cold. But if you come from a tropical temperature, you might not agree with us about it being a nice temperature.
  • If you are a runner, go for a run on the beach – you’ll see lots of crabs, birds and I’m told you are more likely to see monkeys down close. I’ve seen monkeys more in sunlight so I’m not sure about the last one. But the crabs and birds, that fits my experiences.
  • Sit with your feet in the rain and your body under cover. This is very relaxing and you should try it at least once.
  • Sit in the porch and listen to the rain. Relax and sleep or read a book. Pay attention to the changing sounds of the rain, think of it as God painting an audio picture for you
  • It’s a great idea to bring rain boots or shoes or hiking boots that are waterproof, along with a rain jacket (I personally prefer a long Ausi-style oilskin duster coat that I wear on the plane – it’s better than the little blankets they offer if you want to sleep) and either a great rain hat (again, I prefer an ausi-style oilskin hat or a Tilley hat) or if you don’t like that idea, an umbrella – no really, go for the good quality hat … Then you can do all sorts of activities comfortably in the rain including rainforest hikes, horseback riding, waterfall walks, white water rafter, wildlife tours and more. I got my Outback Trading long oilskin duster and hat from Lammles in Alberta, but you can order online, especially convenient if you are in the USA from OutbackTrading.com
  • Go fishing – some of the best fishing is done in the rain

Why not take the attitude: I came here to have down time. Use the rain as forced downtime. Unlike Hawaii: it isn’t going to rain all day for two or more weeks, so you’ll have plenty of time to rush around and ‘do’ things in the sun. So act like a pluviophile and just relax and enjoy the rain when it comes.

Plan around the rain:

  • Have a siesta. There are 2 great reasons to embrace the ‘siesta’ lifestyle. One is when in rains, the other is when it is extremely hot, especially in the dry season. Take a break in the afternoon or late afternoon – have a great sleep, then wake up and party until later, and plan, if the weather report is, as it often is, for rain in the afternoon not the morning, to get out early – sun is up at 6am, and enjoy the day – all the while planning a siesta in the afternoon.
  • It seems to me that more often, if the weather is nice in the morning it will stay nice until mid or late afternoon, so plan your outings for the morning or first thing in the afternoon.
  • When it starts to rain, go have dinner. That way you get your meal, often listening to the rain, and if you have a relaxing meal, there is a reasonable chance (80% of the time in my experience) that the rain will be done when your meal is done. Many restaurants do not have 4 solid walls, but they tend to have ‘large overhang’ roofs, so I go for those type rain or sun whenever I can – that way I plan around the rain and I enjoy my meal rain or sun.
  • If it’s raining in the morning, plan to go out late morning or early afternoon. There is a very good chance it will work out.

Ignore the rain:

  • In general – spend time with family
  • When I have come to the Prados units, I left a deck of cards and set of dice (6) in each unit. Great for playing all sorts of games, some solitaire, some with 2 or more people. If you don’t already have games you like, a quick internet search will bring you to something to play.
  • Since our Prados units come with unlimited internet, this of course opens up a wide range of possibilities. Depending on what you are used to you will either consider our internet to be ‘fast’ or just ‘ok’. But at times there can be outages. Not often, but more so than you might expect in Canada or the USA.
  • Write a postcard, or email, or tweet, or Facebook post to a friend
  • Update your blog with all those wonderful pictures you took earlier in the day
  • Skype or Whatsapp or Facetime a friend
  • When I come to the Prados units, I also tend to leave books I or my wife have read (Science Fiction, Murder mysteries – currently, other than Bibles, only in English, sorry to my Spanish guests and friends. Feel free to read one of them or read your own. When my Spanish gets better I’ll start reading Spanish books and leave them there in addition to the bilingual Bibles.)
  • Study and practices your Spanish and English (whichever is the one you would like to learn.) If neither of those interest you, perhaps another language that you’re trying to learn, perhaps some other item of Interest: animals ,Birds, horticulture; whatever tickles your fancy take it as a time to sit back learn and improve your mind. To take an hour or two a day to do things like that you’ll be amazed at how you can self improve. Study photography, study computer programming. Study more about cost to Rica, someday I’d like to try my hand at drawing or painting, design something: maybe your next house made out of shipping containers or using bamboo. Study about solar energy, battery storage, all that has to do with so-called green energy.
  • If it’s February March or April and you’re from Canada or the US, do your taxes – might as well get them done.

Fight the rain:

  • Look at weather satellite images and forecasts, especially if you have a vehicle. Pick one of those places you want to go to and drive away from the rain. I have sometimes driven just 20 minutes and gotten out of a storm. But occasionally the rain is widespread and this is not a practical solution then.
  • Tracking this rain storm in Limón, while it rained for hours in Limón, it was easy to figure out a few minute drive to get to lovely beach weather with no rain under light cloud, and a few more minutes took you to scattered sun.

Live the rain: These tips are more for people who live/retired in Costa Rica

  • Pull out your painting canvas’ and paint the weather, or paint something based on pictures you took on a sunny day.
  • Do that long overdue house cleaning.
  • ead that book you’ve been wanting to read.
  • Spend time and cook a fancy meal.
  • Movies, Theatre, Museums, Art galleries.
  • Plant some seeds.

Some general tips:

  • If your cellphone or camera and/or lens isn’t waterproof: when going out in the rain to get those perfect rainbow or wildlife shots, be sure to remember to protect it. It isn’t fun to have your camera or cell phone damaged the first day of a trip to Costa Rica (it happened to me in 2018, fortunately my wife also had her cell phone so we used that.)
  • See my page on rain gear for more info on recommended clothing and hats